Culture Clips: A Tragedy in Jacksonville

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jacksonville

Most of us turn to entertainment to get a little respite from the anxieties of the world outside. When we watch a movie, we’re not worrying about our kids’ grades. When we play a video game, we’re not thinking about deadlines. For many, entertainment is a cozy blanket we use to keep out—for a little […]

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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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Crazy Rich Asians Trounce Happytime Murders

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Better to be crazy and rich than happy, apparently. At least when it comes to movie titles. Crazy Rich Asians cruised to its second-straight box-office victory in a style befitting its title. The sweet, sassy romcom wooed moviegoers out of an estimated $25 million, nearly twice the haul of its nearest competitor. The film showed […]

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Vodcast: Leveraging Childhood Stuff to Tell Adult Stories

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happytime murders

No Sesame. All Street. If you grew up watching Sesame Street, you may be a bit shocked with the new “puppetry” movie, The Happytime Murders. By taking a bunch of puppets who look a lot like those beloved childhood Sesame Street Muppets and making them very adult—this movie aims to shock. But we’ve seen this […]

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Culture Clips: And Now a Word From Our Sponsors …

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netflix commercials

Netflix, you clever dog, you. “Commercials are terrible!”you told us, and then you filled your streaming service with roughly three quintillion original shows (OK, 323, a number that has tripled between 2016 and 2017) that we could binge without seeing a single ad for shampoo, beer or personal hygiene products. Now, my own children treat […]

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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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Crazy Rich Asians Scores Sane Rich Weekend

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We’ve officially hit the August movie doldrums. All the high-profile summer blockbusters have come and gone. Oscar hopefuls and holiday flicks are back stage still, biding their time. Kids are vacating their vacations and going back to school, and studios are pumping the theaters full of cinematic afterthoughts. But even so, there’s still money to […]

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Vodcast: What’s Up With the New Oscars Category?

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award change

I’m a sucker for traditions. Growing up, we didn’t have many of them, and now that I have my own family, we love creating our own. I love Christmas for that very reason. Every year my husband and I decorate our tree while drinking hot chocolate and listening to Michael Bublé. It’s magical. Most of […]

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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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‘Eighth Grade,’ Like Eighth Graders, Needs Parents

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Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade, the movie, is rated R, and for some pretty obvious reasons. Our intrepid reviewer Kristin Smith noted lots of profanity (including about 10 f-words) and saw plenty of references to various types of sexual activity when she screened the film. “It left me wondering why so much of it had to be there,” […]

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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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Fallout Hangs on to No. 1

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What’s an impossible mission? Out-adorabling Winnie-the-Pooh, that’s what. But out-earning him? Yeah, that’s possible. Mission: Impossible – Fallout took the No. 1 slot for the second-straight weekend in convincing, if not dominating, fashion, forcing a bevy of newcomers to fight for the leftovers. Tom Cruise’s lastest cinematic display of derring-do collected about $35 million in […]

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