When Celebs Seize the Bully Pulpit

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How do you respond when a celebrity accepting an award uses that opportunity to preach a mini-sermon? I don’t know about you, but I immediately reach for the remote so I can mute the TV. I’m exposed to enough marketing elsewhere in my life—like, well, everywhere—that I generally don’t respond very patiently to famous people […]

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Pokemon Go and the Hunt for Imagination

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The mobile gaming app Pokémon Go crossed over 100 million downloads last week, and it’s still barreling through the culture like an armor-plated buffalo (which, frankly, would be a pretty cool Pokémon critter in itself). And now, since even your Great Aunt Edna is trying to catch ’em all, scholarly experts are popping out of […]

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Born to Be Influenced by Media

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I reviewed A&E’s Born This Way this week (the review will be posted later today). It’s a reality show that focuses on several young adults with Down syndrome, and a refreshing change from the many reality shows that are predicated on greed and selfishness and bad behavior. It’s a gentler program that, while not exactly […]

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Of Pokémon Go and … Homeless People?

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Much has been made of the potential dangers of Pokémon Go since the wildly successful mobile app’s release earlier this month. We’ve heard stories about two guys walking off a cliff in California (they survived … but they’re likely never going to live that one down), as well as others who’ve had accidents because they […]

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Engaging Wisely With Real-World Violence

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I had been planning on writing this blog even before the horrific events in Dallas, Texas, last night. As people gathered there to protest the shootings of two black men by police officers earlier this week, snipers opened fire on Dallas police working the event, killing five and wounding seven others. What I want to […]

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Is It Possible to Unplug Anymore? Even on Vacation?

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Ah, vacations. A time to unplug, unwind and get away from our frazzled, workaday, always online world. Only apparently, we don’t. According to a survey conducted by Intel Security, most of us still check emails, post funny videos on Facebook and do, well, pretty much everything we do online when we’re at home or work. […]

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The Surprising Unintended Consequences of Fandom

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Movies can make people do strange things. And, no, I’m not talking about some of the usual suspects here. You know, teens taking up smoking (a correlation many studies have indicated) or imitating risky behavior. Nope, I’m talking about buying tropical fish and visiting a tiny island off the southwest coast of Ireland. Why? Because […]

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Vodcast: How Porn and Pop Culture Intertwine

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Here’s a surprisingly controversial statement for you: pornography is a problem. There it is. We said it. We mean it. Not only has pornography been linked to what many are beginning to call a public health crisis, it is—in and of itself—a problem. And a big one at that. Pornography and the use of it […]

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What Does the Truth Feel Like?

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Every now and then when I’m reviewing music for Plugged In, I’ll come across a lyric from an artist that succinctly encapsulates some aspect of our culture. That happened recently when I reviewed Gwen Stefani’s first new solo album in 10 years, This Is What the Truth Feels Like. Before I talk about the lyric […]

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