Culture Clips: The Hearts and Arrows Edition

culture clips valentine's day

It’s Valentine’s Day, folks—a time when many of us turn our attention to love, romance and lots and lots of chocolate. We’re all about that sort of stuff here—honoring love, recognizing our loved ones and, of course, the chocolate—but there are those who, in this frazzled culture of ours, are having a harder time figuring […]

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An Open Breakup Letter to Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake performing during the Super Bowl LII Pepsi Halftime Show in 2018

Dear Justin Timberlake (can I still call you JT?), I am writing to inform you that we’re through. I’m breaking up with you. Let me back up. I realize it’s been awhile since we last talked. In fact, I know that this is actually the first time. You don’t know me from Adam, and that’s […]

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Pop Culture’s Complicity in Sexual Harassment

#me too

Complicity. The word sounds vaguely menacing. Even if we’re not quite sure what complicity means, it sounds … bad. To be complicit, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says, involves “helping someone commit a crime or a wrong in some way.” We’re hearing that word used a lot lately—albeit perhaps slightly less literally—in connection with the sexual harassment and […]

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Truth About the Truth or Dare App

teens and phone

OK, let’s start with Truth, shall we? Many of us have probably played a game of Truth or Dare at some point in our past, right? Sure, we didn’t have all of today’s high-tech gadgetry to draw upon, but it’s possible that some of you still doled out those boundary-pushing teenage challenges in some antiquated […]

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Culture Clips: Soaring ‘Reputation,’ Sinking Reputations

Taylor Swift

This just in: Taylor Swift is kind of a big deal. For months, the pop star has been stirring the pop culture stew with a steady drip-drip-drip of singles, the lyrics of which have been parsed and dissected as if they were ancient Sanskrit texts. Now she’s given her fans a whole album, and it […]

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Culture Clips: The ‘House of Cards Indeed’ Edition

Kevin Spacey

For five seasons now, two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey has starred in Netflix’s buzzy House of Cards. He played a caddish President Francis Underwood who manipulated and murdered his way to power and—if the show’s title means anything at all—would’ve someday been laid low by his own misdeeds. We may never see Underwood’s comeuppance come […]

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Culture Clips: Distracted to Death?

Today’s vehicles are packed with more safety and collision-avoidance technology than ever before. But traffic-related deaths in the United States have nevertheless risen sharply over the last two years, up 14.4% after decades of generally trending downward. Curiously, certain kinds of folks are increasingly prone to be involved in fatal car accidents than others: pedestrians, […]

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Culture Clips: Fall of a Hollywood Kingpin

Harvey Weinstein

The bigger you are, the harder you fall goes the old cliché. But in Harvey Weinstein’s case, that seems to be true. Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most successful kingmakers, was summarily ousted from his namesake movie distribution company after The New York Times revealed that the producer had been the subject of several sexual harassment […]

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Culture Clips: Game of Thrones Conquers Millions, Facebook Billions

Game of Thrones

Winter is coming. In, like, about five and a half months or something. In the meantime, HBO’s Game of Thrones is coming, too. Its seventh season begins July 16. The show has become about the closest thing to “must-see TV” in today’s fragmented television landscape: Time tossed it on its cover this week and called […]

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Culture Clips: The Blow Out Those Virtual Candles Edition

iphone birthday

If you’re reading this on an iPhone, pause a minute and wish your device a happy birthday. It officially turns 10 on June 29. (Well, not your phone, of course. If your phone is turning 10, you may want to look at your wireless contract.) The original iPhone revolutionized the tech industry and transformed the […]

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Culture Clips: Emma Watson, Post-Gender Awards Darling

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

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

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

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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