Pop Culture’s Top 10 Movers and Shakers (2017 Edition)

Movers and shakers

The outgoing year is often depicted as an old, tired man with a beard down to his knees. But this year, that depiction felt all too true. With all the natural disasters and political unrest and international crises afoot, 2017 probably made us all feel older than we should. Back in the day, many folks […]

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Vodcast: How The Last Jedi Is a Religious Movie

Vodcast last Jedi

Star Wars has long been a cultural powerhouse, but the saga itself is powered by a strange, supernatural element that undergirds its universe: the Force. The Force, in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s words, “surrounds us and penetrates us” and “binds the galaxy together.” It’s been a central tenant of every Star Wars movie, and the very concept […]

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Culture Clips: The Force is Grouchy With This One

culture clips last jedi

Our newsfeeds have been filled with a lot of serious news as of late. And we here at Culture Clips Central have dutifully reported much of it, from sexual harassment scandals to teen depression to accidents caused by Pokémon Go. But today, we want to delve into something really critical: whether the new Star Wars […]

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Don’t Bully Yourself: Listen to What God Says

Reading the bible

“I’ll always be alone.” “I’m not enough.” “I’ll never be able to.” And the list continues… Have you ever said something like this? Or maybe thought something like this about yourself? The Bible, in The Message translation, talks about using our “powerful God-tools” to “tear down barriers erected against the truth of God” (2 Corinthians […]

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Television Tops 2017: Paul Asay’s Year-End Picks

Most of television’s nicknames are severely dated. How can it be called the “tube” when most of our HDTV’s don’t even have tubes anymore? I’ve been known to call it the “small screen” too, even though there’s nothing small about most television screens today. There’s nothing small about the influence of television, either. Experts say […]

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Disney Now Owns All the Things

Darth Vader

The Walt Disney Company, which already either made or bought most of our childhood memories, apparently wasn’t content. The mammoth Mouse House has now purchased a huge chunk of 21st Century Fox for a mere $52.4 billion. Probably found it at a garage sale or something. The deal hasn’t been officially inked: It’s still subject […]

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Culture Clips: An Injured NFL Star and God’s ‘Perfect Plan’

Carson wentz

The Philadelphia Eagles’ Cinderella season may have come to a screeching halt last week. The NFL team’s star quarterback, Carson Wentz, suffered a season-ending ACL tear. But while many fans and commentators grieved what could have been, Wentz himself was tweeting this inspiring message: “I know my God is a powerful one with a perfect […]

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Pop Culture’s Complicity in Sexual Harassment

#me too

Complicity. The word sounds vaguely menacing. Even if we’re not quite sure what complicity means, it sounds … bad. To be complicit, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says, involves “helping someone commit a crime or a wrong in some way.” We’re hearing that word used a lot lately—albeit perhaps slightly less literally—in connection with the sexual harassment and […]

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What Parents Need to Know About Facebook’s Messenger Kids App

kid with phone (possibly using the Facebook Messenger Kids app)

Facebook is coming for your children. On December 4, 2017, Facebook announced a new app targeted at 6-to-12-year-olds called Messenger Kids. The world will never be the same again… …but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it is or, maybe, it isn’t. There are myriad opinions as to whether Facebook’s Messenger Kids app is […]

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Culture Clips: Time’s Person of the Year Is a Hashtag Movement

Each December, speculation builds about who Time magazine will select as its Person of the Year. That tradition that dates back to 1927, when Charles Lindbergh was selected as the inaugural honoree (according to Wikipedia’s entry on the subject.) Past recipients include almost every U.S. president since then (with the notable absence of Gerald Ford), […]

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Culture Clips: Do (Late Night) Nice Guys Finish Last?

Jimmy Fallon

I watched about five minutes of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert the other night. That was as much as I could take before Colbert’s political monologue drove me in search of something kinder, gentler. Something like, say, the Tonight Show with host Jimmy Fallon, who’s mostly eschewed the kind of political skewering that has […]

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Why “This is Us” is Sweeping the Nation

Over the last two seasons, NBC’s This is Us has become must-see TV for many a viewer, many of whom watch the show with a box of tissues handy. While the show has its content problems—and really, how many popular TV programs don’t?—it also showcases compelling, deeply emotional narratives that, for many, hit close to […]

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Culture Clips: It’s Hallmark Season

Hallmark

It’s that time of year again. Yup: It’s Hallmark season. I came home a few nights ago to find my wife and two daughters watching a schmaltzy, sentimental Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel. “Didn’t we see this one last year?” I asked. They looked at me with blank expressions, my wife answering, “Yes. And?” […]

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Culture Clips: Soaring ‘Reputation,’ Sinking Reputations

Taylor Swift

This just in: Taylor Swift is kind of a big deal. For months, the pop star has been stirring the pop culture stew with a steady drip-drip-drip of singles, the lyrics of which have been parsed and dissected as if they were ancient Sanskrit texts. Now she’s given her fans a whole album, and it […]

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