If Celebrities Have Pop Culture Triggers, We Probably Do Too

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Demi Lovato has suffered through some high-profile battles with addiction. Because of that, the singer and actress knows herself well enough to recognize what she’s got to stay away from if she wants to maintain her sobriety. Talking to Glamour magazine, Lovato recently said that she hasn’t seen a particular film because she knows it’s […]

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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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‘We Want to Help People Think Critically.’ PI’s Adam Holz Talks With MTV

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At Plugged In, we talk about culture a lot. We review entertainment. We write these little blogs. We blather on in the occasional vodcast. But it’s a little more rare that we get an opportunity to speak directly to that culture. To chat with some folks who are most directly influenced by the very entertainment […]

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MTV’s 2016 VMAs: Nothing to See Here

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The Monday morning after MTV’s Video Music Awards has often been a cultural watercooler moment in a culture that has fewer and fewer of those moments these days. Whether it’s Miley twerking on Robin Thicke (2013), Madonna and Britney kissing (2003) or Madonna’s risqué performance of “Like a Virgin” at the very first VMAs back […]

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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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