Culture Clips: What Was Up With Beyoncé’s Grammy Outfit?

We’re in the heart of the awards season, where honorary hardware coats the entertainment ground like autumn leaves, and you can’t walk five paces without tripping on a golden statuette. Why, we’re even giving out a few of our own come Friday, and rumor has it that there’s another little awards shindig on Sunday.

But hey, the entertainment press is still buzzing over the recent Grammy Awards broadcast. So let’s begin there, shall we?

Pretty much everyone who performed (who wasn’t Metallica’s James Hetfield, that is) got themselves a nice Grammy sales bump, according to the Los Angeles Times. Ed Sheeran saw a 166% increase in his album sales right after the show, and Bruno Mars’ tribute to Prince was worth a  294% increase. Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book probably got plenty of extra downloads, too—but because Coloring Book is only available to stream, not to sell, no one really knows. In fact, Relevant tells us that he just might be the first musical artist who has earned more Grammys than he’s sold albums. Oh, and as mentioned last week here and in our music review of Coloring Book, the sometimes profane rapper is also quite outspoken about his Christian faith. Chance tells GQ magazine that his life turned around when his grandmother prayed over him. “But this time, she said, ‘Lord, I pray that all things that are not like You, You take away from Chance. Make sure that he fails at everything that is not like You. Take it away. Turn it into dust.’ ”

Chance wasn’t the only guy at the Grammys getting spiritual. Beyoncé’s show-stopping performance was apparently steeped in both pagan and Christian art references. According to art historian Cécile Fromont from the University of Chicago, “The performance is a golden dreamscape of maternity figures and mythical women, from Hindu goddess in the first minutes, to Botticelli’s flowing-hair Venus from his Birth of Venus painting, to a Baroque apparition of the Virgin Mary gloriously floating on a cloud.”

But while we’re talking about the Grammys, the Internet continues its plans to take over the world.

Well, maybe “take over” is a bit strong. But according to The Atlantic, future digital assistants—far more capable than today’s Siri and Alexa—could impact almost every aspect of our lives. Meanwhile, today’s teens don’t really feel the need to hang out with each other in person anymore, thanks to the ease and ubiquity of video chats. And the Screaming Eagles, an arena football team located in Salt Lake City, are experimenting with allowing fans to call plays, thanks to an interactive app.

Oh, and then there are the creepy, eminently hackable German dolls that may be listening to your (or your kids’) conversations. Is Big Brother watching you? More like Little Sister.

Clearly, all this internet connectivity cuts both ways. But what would happen if the Internet simply … ceased to be? Even for a day? What would happen? The BBC looked into it, and the answers might surprise you.

For all the internet’s plusses and minuses, it certainly hasn’t made growing up any easier. According to a study published in Pediatrics, teen girls in the United States may be suffering from more serious depression these days—depression perhaps exacerbated by social media.  Meanwhile, some teens are apparently breaking apart e-cigarettes and “dripping” the liquid inside, thus receiving a higher hit of nicotine. Oh, and then there’s “Yellow,” a new app that’s been called a “Tinder for Teens” and is causing parents a lot of understandable consternation.

But believe it or not, there are some children who still send actual, paper, handwritten letters. In fact, one 7-year-old girl recently applied for a job at Google with just such a letter—and she made a pretty big impression. Addressed to “Google Boss,” 7-year-old Chloe was intrigued by Google’s freeform work environment that includes slides and go-carts and asked if she might work there. But she did let the boss know that she’ll probably just be a part-time employee. “I also want to work in a chocolate factory and do swimming in the Olympics,” she admitted.

Well, Google Boss Sundar Pinchai read the letter and wrote back, encouraging her to keep following her ambitions wherever they might take her. “I look forward to receiving your job application when you are finished with school!” he concluded. The letter and subsequent response naturally went viral.

All of this leaves me with just one question for my own work situation: Where’s my go-cart?

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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