Culture Clips: Rock’s Inescapable Decline

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“Rock is dead!” That opinion has been bouncing around the culture practically since the rowdy genre was born. The Who actually had an unreleased album titled Rock Is Dead—Long Live Rock all the way back in 1972—just as the genre was really blossoming. I’m not going to suggest that rock is dead. Not literally, at […]

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Culture Clips: Just Another September, Just Another iPhone?

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Yesterday, Apple fans around the world celebrated as the company released the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The greatest feature of the iconic brand’s latest iterations seems to be the cameras: Depending on which model you get, there are up to three separate lenses on each. Some of the […]

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A Plugged In Conversation With Skillet’s John Cooper

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John Cooper interview

Skillet has spent more than two decades pumping out hard rock delivering a two-part message: Life can be hard, but God is faithful. That theme is evident again on the band’s 10th studio album, Victorious. Recently, Skillet’s high-energy road show rolled through the Rocky Mountains, and my son and I had a chance to go […]

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Skillet Frontman Asks, ‘What in God’s Name Is Happening to Christianity?’

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skillet John Cooper

Sometimes the truth hurts. It hurts because we’re forced to confront something about life or about ourselves that’s uncomfortable, maybe even painful. That doesn’t feel good. Increasingly, though, mainstream culture is veering away from telling hard truths. Especially those that make anyone feel uncomfortable. And for many, emotions have become the path to their subjective, […]

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Culture Clips: Lil Nas X is Music’s New Record-Setting Sheriff

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Lil Nas culture clips

The music industry has a new top dog: “Old Town Road.” It took 24 years to beat “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men as the music industry’s longest-running pop chart-topping song. That ditty spent 16 straight weeks on the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1995 and 1996. And while  […]

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Culture Clips: Apple Deletes iTunes

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Once upon a time, we bought CDs. (And before that, cassettes, vinyl records and, yup, even 8-tracks for a hot minute in the mid-’70s.) But that list illustrates an inescapable reality: Music formats eventually become obsolete. CDs, while not technically extinct, have given way over the last two decades to digital music-streaming platforms such as […]

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When Stars Get Depressed

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Justin Bieber depression

Young people are stressed out, anxious and often depressed. In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, some 70% of teens surveyed reported that anxiety and depression are the biggest issues that they see among their peers. Another study published in February in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found that about one in seven children […]

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Culture Clips: Justin & Hailey Talk Abstinence & Marriage

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Justin Bieber has headlined Culture Clips (and other Plugged In blogs and articles) many times in the last decade. His wildly zigzagging trajectory has often ricocheted between affirmations of faith and reckless behavior. The 24-year-old singer married model and TV presenter Hailey Baldwin last July. And the couple recently sat down for an interview with […]

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Pop Culture’s Top 10 Movers and Shakers (2018 Edition)

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movers and shakers

See ya, 2018. Wouldn’t want to be ya. Who would? The year was so crazy that even Vincent Van Gogh would have suggested it get a hold of itself. Terrible fires in California. Terrible cold out east. A Tesla Roadster is driving around in space. Certain eels are compulsively swimming into the noses of certain […]

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Musical Musings 2018: Adam Holz’s Year-End Picks

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Music picks 2018

Every year, I find a handful of music releases to look forward to. (Imagine Dragons and Mumford & Sons, for instance, were on the list this year, even if I wasn’t able to include those two bands’ most recent, more-positive-than-not releases here.) And then, there are surprises. Sometimes big ones. Last year, for example, I […]

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Speaking of Speaking …

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speaking of speaking

In my 2011 book, Plugged-In Parenting, I included a chapter titled, “Ten Things You Can Do to End Fights Over Family Entertainment.” One of those suggestions was to get your pastors involved. Here’s what I said: When your kids hear other people—pastors, parents, teachers—echoing your advice on media, they may be more willing to listen. […]

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Why the Eagles Passing Michael Jackson Is Worth a Blog

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Eagles

For pretty much my entire adult life, it’s been common knowledge that Michael Jackson’s seminal 1982 album Thriller was the best-selling record (remember those?) of all time. Well, now it’s not. According to new sales and streaming tallies by the Recording Industry Association of America, Thriller’s been dethroned by the Eagles. That band’s 1976 album, […]

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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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