Television Tops 2016: Paul Asay’s Year-End Picks

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Bacteria and today’s television landscape have a lot in common. Like bacteria, television shows seem to be multiplying at a dizzying rate: Networks and streaming agencies gave viewers 409 scripted shows in the 2015-16 season, more than double the number we saw just six years ago, and even more are on track for this year. […]

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A Big Year For Jesus (at the Movies)

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Christians sometimes complain, especially this time of year, that Jesus is being taken out of everything. We bemoan the lack of traditional Nativity scenes on public property. We lament when people wish us “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Last year, Starbucks was lambasted for serving up a plain red cup for the holidays instead […]

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Culture Clips: What the Famous Think of Fame

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Most of us gave thanks last Thursday, acknowledging our many blessings. Many celebrities likely did the same. But Lady Gaga suggested that, for all the fame and success she’s achieved (and is surely thankful for), something’s been lost along the way. “I miss people,” she said on CBS Sunday Morning, breaking down in tears. “I […]

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Culture Clips: The Post-Truth Edition

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We live in a post-truth world. Or, at least, so says the Oxford English Dictionary. The hallowed caretaker of the King’s English dubbed the phrase “post-truth” as its Word of the Year. It’s not the first time that Oxford’s made a rather unusual pick for its annual word: Last year it ignored words entirely and […]

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Arrival and Us: Are We All Speaking the Same Language?

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Almost everyone likes Arrival. The $24.1 million worth of people who saw it thought it was just fine. (It gets a “B” from viewers, according to Cinemascore.) Secular critics thought it was fantastic. (It’s got a 93% “freshness” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and plenty of reviewers are calling it one of the best movies of […]

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Culture Clips: Hollywood Reacts to the Election

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We begin this week where we began last: with the election. Even though President-Elect Donald Trump was a former reality star himself, that doesn’t mean that Hollywood was thrilled with his win. The Los Angeles Times gathered celebrity reactions on Twitter and discovered that while Scott Baio and Kirstie Alley were cool with the results, […]

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Send Me In Coach, I Play Video Games

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Let me distract you from the agonies and ecstasies of the political season for a moment to address an interesting tidbit from the land of gaming. We all know that we live in a video-game-friendly world. And as gaming systems have gotten more powerful and game creation has become more nuanced, we cheery button-crunchers can’t […]

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Vodcast: Is The Birth of a Nation’s Grittiness Actually a Good Thing?

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The new Birth of a Nation movie is rated R, and rightfully so. But its subject matter has us wrestling again with a tricky concept: maybe, just maybe, harsh content can sometimes serve a purpose. The truth of the matter is this: Life—both modern and historical—is not as cut and dry as we like to make […]

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Down the ‘Portable Rabbit Hole’

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There’s a lot of stuff on the internet. But every now and then, I’ll come across something that just flat stops me in my tracks. That happened to me recently with Andrew Sullivan’s New York Magazine article “I Used to Be a Human Being.” The piece’s subtitle spells out Sullivan’s subject matter: “An endless bombardment […]

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Don’t Drill Holes Into Your New iPhone

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Apple’s latest iPhone models, the 7 and 7 Plus, were released earlier this month to slightly subdued delirium. Oh, make no mistake: The new gen phone was considered an improvement over the old, what with its longer battery life and better camera and its water resistancy (something I could’ve used two generations earlier when I […]

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What Does it Mean to Be Christian … and an Actor?

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The Magnificent Seven lands in theaters today, starring Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington and burgeoning superstar Chris Pratt. Next week, another box-office megastar, Mark Wahlberg, will unveil his latest action flick, Deepwater Horizon. All three actors, incidentally, are Christians. “Put God first in everything you do,” Washington recently told the graduating class of Dillard University, a […]

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