Culture Clips: Why Are Political Dramas Tanking?

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Have American viewers grown weary of fictional political dramas on TV? The answer seems to be yes, according to a Huffpost article analyzing declining ratings for the genre. Writer Stephanie Marcus notes that virtually every politically themed series—including Scandal, The Americans, Homeland, Madame Secretary, Quantico and Designated Survivor—has seen viewership decline since the election of […]

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Culture Clips: We’re Consuming More, More Media

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Pssst! Hey, you. Yes, that’s right—you there, the one staring at me on that screen of yours. Just what do you think you’re doing? Well, I’ll tell you: You’re consuming media, that’s what. Right at this very second. And you’re hardly alone. According to a study by eMarketer, the average adult spends more than 12 […]

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Culture Clips: Emma Watson, Post-Gender Awards Darling

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MTV has savvily generated awards-show headlines for nearly 35 years now. This year was no different at network’s annual movie (and this year for the first time, TV) awards. What was different was the reason the broadcast made news: it’s elimination of separate gender categories for awards. Actress Emma Watson (Beauty and the Beast, Harry […]

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Culture Clips: Revenge of the Books

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books

It wasn’t that long ago that the much-ballyhooed advent of e-books triggered fretting and nail-biting regarding the future of the printed variety. Would people still want old-fashioned, analog books? Or would everyone gravitate toward their electronic versions? Would the citizens of the future even know what a real book was? A perhaps surprising sales trend […]

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Culture Clips: The Fate of the Free World (and Vin Diesel) Edition

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Fate of the Furious cars flying

We have so much serious stuff to get to in our latest edition of Culture Clips. But before we get too grim, let me share with you my reaction to The Fate of the Furious’ mammoth $532.5 million worldwide take on Monday. “Wha??!” Turns out, though, I’m just an old curmudgeon. The Washington Post suggests […]

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Culture Clips: Clowns Are Scared of It

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A clown hiding behind a balloon.

Professional clowns are not happy about yet another cinematic remake of Stephen King’s seriously creepy 1986 horror novel It. The titular It in question here takes the form of a scary, nasty clown named Pennywise. And given the recent scary, nasty clown sightings in the real world last fall, those who still put on colorful […]

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Culture Clips: The Influence of the ‘Princess Industrial Complex’

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If you haven’t noticed, there are princesses everywhere these days. Disney princesses, that is. There’s the classic trio (Aurora, Cinderella and Snow White), the so-called Disney Renaissance princesses (Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan). Then we have the millennial members of this hallowed animated court: Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, Elsa and Moana. That’s a lot […]

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Culture Clips: Stars & Spirituality

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What does it take to break an addiction? Singer, actress and former Disney star Demi Lovato recently shared some thoughts on that subject on her Instagram account. Among other factors, she said that her relationship with God played an integral part in the process of breaking bad behavioral chains. Lovato wrote, “So grateful. It’s been […]

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Culture Clips: Do Video Games Undermine Young Men’s Will to Work?

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The unemployment rate for men in their 20s has been rising for about 15 years now. Yet, curiously, a higher percentage say that they’re happier these days. What gives? Could it be that men who aren’t working are busily filling their days with … video games?   University of Chicago economist Erik Hurst looked into […]

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Culture Clips: The Vexing Conundrum of Social Media

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Ah, social media. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Seems like there’s a bit of truth in that old, unfunny saying I just co-opted and twisted for my own Culture Clips purposes. Researchers are talking a lot these days about how Instagram, Facebook and the like can negatively impact our lives. But scientists […]

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Culture Clips: Logan & The Shack, Art & Redemption

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Could the bloody, profane, R-rated movie Logan somehow deliver a more redemptive message than The Shack? Relevant contributor Seth Hurd argues that perhaps it does. “From the opening scene, it’s clear that [Logan] is a story about death. Because the badness is so real, the moments of redemption are so clear. If the darkness isn’t […]

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Culture Clips: And the Oscar Goes To … No, Wait!

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Yep, we’re still talking about the Oscar gaffe. And let’s face it: It was a doozy. Thanks to an envelope mix-up, the world thought for about two minutes that the musical La La Land had won the Academy Awards’ Best Picture honors. Not so: The coming-of-age drama Moonlight was the real winner, and some say […]

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Culture Clips: Love Circa 2017

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Well, it’s February 14—Valentine’s Day. And that can only mean one thing: Yup, it’s time to check in with the researchers at Barna to get a statistical snapshot of what romance looks like circa 2017. Barna’s researchers found that the percentage of 25- to 39-year-olds who are single jumped about 10% since 2000. Cohabitation is […]

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Culture Clips: How ‘Bout the Super Bowl (Ads)?

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The New England Patriots are world champions. Again. Do I sound bitter? I don’t mean to. The 111.3 million people who watched the game were treated to a pretty epic come-from-behind victory, after all. But maybe a few of us are just getting a little tired of Tom Brady constantly hoisting the Lombardi Trophy above […]

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Culture Clips: When Church and Football Clash

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Going to church is more important than watching the Super Bowl, right? Not so fast. A new study by LifeWay Research (reported in Christianity Today) found that 41% of protestant pastors whose churches typically have Sunday night activities plan some sort of adjustment to that schedule to accommodate the big game. A small percentage of […]

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