Culture Clips: “Mom, Where’s My Bulletproof Backpack?”

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backpack

It’s back-to-school time. That means school supplies. Pencils? Check. Erasers? Yup. Trapper Keepers? (Oh wait, it’s not the ’80s anymore. Oh wait again, they have new ones now? And vintage ones sell for big bucks? Who knew?) Bulletproof backpack? Check.   Now, that sounds like something your teen might find while scavenging for useful gear […]

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Chris Pratt Seems Like a Great Guy. But …

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Chris Pratt

I really like Chris Pratt. He seems like a fun, funny, down-to-earth guy who, despite being one of this moment’s great action heroes, doesn’t take himself too seriously. Oh, and he’s Christian. And he pulls no punches when it comes to his faith. Take his recent acceptance speech at the Teen Choice Awards. “I love […]

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When Social Media Bullying Turns Uglier

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cyberbullying word cloud

When I was in elementary school, I was frightened terribly by a boy named Winfred. Winfred was a huge (I thought) fifth-grade bully. Somehow I had crossed him and as a result, he had threatened several times to beat me up. I worked hard to take different routes home from school (hiding a lot along […]

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Culture Clips: Adults Spend 11 Hours Daily on Screens!?

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screentime

Does it feel like screens are eating your life? Maybe they are. At least, metaphorically speaking. In the first quarter of 2018, the data hawks over at Nielsen report that the average American adult spent an average of 11 hours and 6 minutes a day watching screens. (And for those really good at math, that […]

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Reflections on Demi Lovato’s Relapse

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As we reported in Culture Clips on Wednesday, singer and actress Demi Lovato was hospitalized after reportedly overdosing this week. It’s another deeply sad moment in the career of a young woman—Lovato is just 25—who has been in similarly desperate places before. Lovato has long been open about her struggles, serving as a role model […]

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Culture Clips: Demi’s Overdose

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Demi Lovato

After six years of sobriety, pop star Demi Lovato admitted on her latest single that she wasn’t “Sober” anymore. Yesterday, the world came to know the tragic depth of her relapse. Lovato was taken to a Los Angeles-area hospital after an apparent drug overdose, according to multiple media reports. (Initially, celebrity gossip site TMZ reported […]

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Vodcast: How Does Parenthood Change Our View of the Media?

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Parenthood is full of surprises, no matter how much we try to prepare for everything before the arrival of our firstborn. One of those surprises may be the ways becoming a parent changes how we see the world. And that includes entertainment and media. In this week’s Plugged In Vodcast, Kristin Smith, Bob Hoose and […]

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Culture Clips: State of the Teens, Summer 2018 Edition

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Are the kids alright? It’s a question that many in our culture return to again and again. Rightly so: Today’s children represent the future of our society. But while the question itself seems a simple one, answers almost never are. And so it is today. The news about what’s happening with young people—mostly teens, but […]

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Pokémon … Still Go-ing, Two Years, $2 Billion Later

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pokemon go

Like the Energizer Bunny, Pokémon Go is still going. Now, you may think, Wasn’t that that thing people were all abuzz about like, three years ago? Close. It was two years ago, actually. And, yes, this pioneering augmented reality mobile game did generate a lot of headlines … for about a month. Like most apparent […]

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Culture Clips: The Most Unlikely Superhero: Fred Rogers

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Mister Rogers

In a world where superhero movies rake in hundreds of millions at the box office, a film that’s made $12.7 million so far might not seem like news. But when that movie is a documentary about the late Fred Rogers, it’s news indeed. Morgan Neville’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor? has become one of the […]

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What a Rescue in Thailand Can Teach Us About Entertainment … and Life

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storybook

It’s nice to read a happy ending now and then. Like much of the world, I’ve been following the story of a Thailand soccer team—12 boys and a coach—who’d been trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks. Rescuers were racing ’round the clock to save the team before heavy rains made rescue […]

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Abraham Lincoln’s Entertainment: “It Gave Him an Hour or Two of Freedom.”

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Americans celebrate our Independence Day tomorrow—a day full of hot dogs and fireworks and family and friends for many folks. But for history wonks like me, it can also be a bit of a time of reflection. When I’m not watching movies or television shows or writing blogs and stuff, I tend to be reading. […]

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Culture Clips: The Kanye by Kanye West Edition

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Kanye West

For years, faith-based films have been largely ignored in the secular entertainment establishment. They never— I’ma let you finish, faith-based film guy. But first, we have to talk a little about Kanye West. Love him or not, the influential rapper sure says some … interesting things. And with his new album, Ye, out, West is […]

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Culture Clips: The Chris Pratt Talks About God on MTV Edition

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Awards shows on MTV have often offered celebrities big stages for bad behavior. (We could start with Miley Cyrus and work backwards from there.) But perhaps the biggest story at this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards is something Monty Python might have introduced with the disclaimer, “And now for something completely different.” Really different. […]

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