Dear Star Wars: Happy Birthday! Sincerely, the Future You Created.

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When I was just a wee lad wearing bell-bottoms back in 1977, I bounded into a tiny movie theater in New Mexico to watch a little film called Star Wars. And my 8-year-old mind was blown. I didn’t see it on opening day—May 25, 1977, exactly 40 years ago today. The film (now known to […]

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A Movie For (and by) the Santali People Making an Impact

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“Among all varieties of evangelism, film makes one of the deepest impressions, even more than hearing a proclaimed message, reading words of Scripture or listening to a friend’s witness.” — Atlas of Global Christianity, 2010 Two years ago, I blogged about discovering a ministry called Create International, an offshoot of Youth With a Mission that […]

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“… In Sickness and In Health, Even When the Batteries Expire in the Clicker …”

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Couple watching TV

Want to find a faithful soulmate? Check and see if they watch HGTV. Hey, I’m not the one saying that. As a Plugged In reviewer, I’m more likely to tell you to throw holy water at your television than, y’know, counsel you to actually watch the thing. But Cassie Murdoch at Mashable insists that there’s […]

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Culture Clips: The Most Dangerous TV Show?

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Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is nearly a month old, but you wouldn’t know it  from the buzz.  The teen drama triggered more than 11 million tweets during its first three weeks of release, making it 2017’s most tweeted-about show.  But while 13 Reasons has been pretty popular with the 18-and-under set, don’t count everyone as […]

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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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Fighting Human Trafficking by Watching TV

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Think Hawaii and you probably picture sun, surf and sand, humpback whales and tropical waterfalls. If you’ve watched national news recently, you could add spectacular lava flows and high elevation snowstorms (surprisingly) to that list. You won’t hear Hawaii’s tourism bureau touting the state’s seedy underbelly. Like most states, Hawaii has a big drug problem. […]

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Chuck Berry’s Cultural Legacy

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It’s been said that rock is dead. While that subjective statement is impossible to prove, what’s certain is that the man often named “the father of rock ‘n’ roll” has himself passed away. Chuck Berry died on Saturday of natural causes at his suburban St. Louis home at the age of 90. And the case […]

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Gilmore Girls Helps Viewers Get a Better Education. What Else Can It Do?

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It looks like Netflix wants more Gilmore Girls. According to Deadline Hollywood a few days ago, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said they’ve had “preliminary” talks with the show’s creators for another installation of the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival. I know that fans of Gilmore Girls would love for the […]

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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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Easy Instagram Perfection … Not

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Your Instagram account got you down? You know, the fact that it feels like all your pals have such casually picture-perfect lives while your impromptu shots always make you look like a disheveled version of near-death on a cracker? Well, here’s a little vid that suggests that “picture-perfect” isn’t quite as casual as it looks, […]

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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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