The Great Television Content Rush Gets a Bit … Purer

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Hitting the Breaks

Way back yonder, folks came out West to find a new life, raise families and … well, who am I kidding, get stinkin’ rich. They’d travel to the gold fields of California or Colorado or the Yukon, visions of shiny yellow metal flashing in their nugget-hungry noggins. Some of them indeed struck it rich. Many […]

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Entertainment versus The Downers of Life

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Man with smoke coming out of his ears

Life’s just a downer, right? Well, maybe not totally, but it sure can feel that way—even here in the good old U.S. of A. A new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal reported just how pessimistic and deeply divided we Americans are feeling these days. Our country is roiling for a lot […]

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Culture Clips: An Expert Asks, ‘Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?’

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Culture clips and smartphones

How are the combined influences of smartphones and social media shaping the lives of children growing up today? In her new article “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” in The Atlantic, author and psychologist Jean M. Twenge (Generation Me, iGen) argues that these technological advancements are having a revolutionary—and mostly negative—impact on young people today. Twenge’s […]

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The Dangerously Mixed Messages of To the Bone

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A confession: I don’t understand eating disorders. I get the desire to be thin. But I don’t get the compulsion to starve oneself, or to binge and then purge, or to do any of the many, many things that those with eating disorders do to become so very, very skinny. So when I watched Netflix’s […]

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Parents Blame Children’s Deaths on 13 Reasons Why

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13 Reasons Why

The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has been out for more than three months now, but it’s still in the news for all the wrong reasons. Two California teens committed suicide in April, and their grieving parents are speaking out now, blaming 13 Reasons Why for their children’s deaths. Bella Herndon hanged herself in her […]

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A Look At VidAngel’s New Netflix Filtering Service

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VidAngel and Netflix

For some, movie and TV show filtering is the white whale of the family entertainment business—an elusive tool that gives viewers the ability to watch otherwise good movies without the problematic content. VidAngel, a relatively new player in the game of entertainment filtering technology, is trying to buck the trend of fad filtering services that […]

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Steve Allen is No Longer With Us. His Wisdom Still Is.

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Steve Allen

About 64 years ago this month, announcer/comedian Steve Allen began hosting a little 40-minute program on New York’s WNBT-TV. It was called The Steve Allen Show at first, but when NBC decided to pick up the program and take it nationally the following year, the network renamed it Tonight Starring Steve Allen. After Steve Allen […]

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A Tool for Evaluating Your Children’s Screen Time

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A child looking at a tablet.

We hear a lot about the hazard of excessive screen these days. For ourselves. For our kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics refined its recommendations for children’s screen time last October. For babies below the age of 18 months, the AAP suggests no screens at all. Between that milestone and 2 years, screens can be […]

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What Do People in the Flyover States Want in a Movie?

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I once heard someone say that the last thing God “saves” in a Christian’s walk is his/her politics. I’m not sure about that. I think it’s his/her entertainment choices. Even within red-blooded, minivan driving, PTO attending, Red Cross supporting, apple pie eating, flag waving America, there’s a big disagreement as to what constitutes a “conservative […]

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I’m Not Ashamed: A Teen Conversation Starter

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It’s not often that I see a movie that prompts me to think, Every family with teens I know should see this. But last year’s I’m Not Ashamed, the inspiring, tragic story of Columbine victim Rachel Joy Scott had that effect on me. I’m revisiting the film now for two reasons: One, it was a […]

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