Culture Clips: The Rock Is Dead, Rap Reigns Edition

Kendrick Lamar

Rock is dead. Rap reigns. So say music charts, YouTube views, Spotify play lists and Washington Post contributor Marc Weingarten. His opinion piece yesterday, “Sorry, rock fans. Hip-hop is the only genre that matters right now,” unpacks the significance of rapper Kendrick Lamar winning this year’s Pulitzer Prize for music. Though rock fans may be […]

Continue Reading

Uncool, CinnamonToastKen

cinnamontoastken

Emma Jenkins has nearly 32,000 followers on her YouTube channel. She, like most folks with a YouTube channel, talks about what she likes. And that, it turns out, includes Jesus. CinnamonToastKen has nearly 3 million followers on his YouTube channel. He, also, talks about what he likes. And that, its turns out, includes making fun […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: She Kissed a Boy … and He Didn’t Like It

katy perry

OK, a quick show of hands: Who would like to get a kiss from Katy Perry? Well, perhaps Plugged In readers are not a representative sample of America as a whole. Certainly, plenty of folks would gladly accept a smooch from the singing superstar. And maybe that’s what Perry was thinking when she planted a […]

Continue Reading

American Idol Goes Back to the Future

American idol

American Idol is back. On a new network (ABC), and sporting three new celebrity judges (Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan). That’s a quick summary of what’s changed. What hasn’t changed? Well, almost everything else. After a two-year hiatus, ABC’s reloaded version of Idol is almost exactly the same reality singing competition it was […]

Continue Reading

How to Fix the Oscars

oscars

Well, here we are, nearly a week after the 90th Academy Awards sported record-low viewership numbers. Nielsen suggested they were seen only by a handful of wandering channel-surfers and that strange guy down the street who collects antique dog bowls. No, seriously, only about 26.5 million people tuned in. As reported on Wednesday, that’s a […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Finally, Something We Can All Agree On

bachelor

In a culture sometimes infatuated with transgressing norms, it’s hard to do something that’s so far out of bounds, morally speaking, that virtually everyone condemns it. But this season’s finale for The Bachelor earlier this week may have accomplished that rare feat. Here’s what happened and why people are so mad about it: This season’s […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: The Red Carpet (and Red Sparrow) Edition

red carpet

And the Oscar goes to … Jennifer Lawrence! No, no, that can’t be right. The actress isn’t even nominated for anything this year. But, as last year’s Oscar telecast taught us, sometimes mistakes can be made, even on moviedom’s biggest night and on its biggest stage. So in light of last year’s oopsie—when La La […]

Continue Reading

A Conversation With Kirk Cameron on Media Discernment (Part II)

Cameron and doctor

Yesterday, we posted the first part of an interview I had with Kirk Cameron who just so happens to be releasing Connect, a film about the need for media discernment and technological awareness. We continue today with more thoughts along that line as I ask him why he chose to interview a young man about […]

Continue Reading

A Conversation With Kirk Cameron on Media Discernment (Part I)

kirk cameron

Have you ever experienced a “chance” meeting with someone that, looking back, you’re certain was a divine appointment? I had one earlier this year. I had received an email about a Fathoms Event film called Connect, which will be getting two encore presentations on March 20 and March 24—a movie all about the influence of […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Remembering Billy

Billy Graham

A giant has passed. Billy Graham, the evangelist who travelled the world inviting millions to follow Jesus Christ, has died at the age of 99. Christianity Today, the magazine that Graham himself founded, invited prominent evangelicals to weigh in on Graham’s momentous cultural influence, both among evangelicals and in the broader culture. CT‘s Marshall Shelley […]

Continue Reading

Russell Brand’s Unexpected Journey: From Addiction to … Jesus?

Russell Brand

If you had to choose five celebrities whom you thought were least likely to have a spiritual encounter with Jesus, who would be on your list? It’s an interesting thought experiment, isn’t it? One who might have made my list is the British comedian/actor perhaps most famous for being Katy Perry’s ex-husband: Russell Brand. He […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Time’s Person of the Year Is a Hashtag Movement

Each December, speculation builds about who Time magazine will select as its Person of the Year. That tradition that dates back to 1927, when Charles Lindbergh was selected as the inaugural honoree (according to Wikipedia’s entry on the subject.) Past recipients include almost every U.S. president since then (with the notable absence of Gerald Ford), […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Do (Late Night) Nice Guys Finish Last?

Jimmy Fallon

I watched about five minutes of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert the other night. That was as much as I could take before Colbert’s political monologue drove me in search of something kinder, gentler. Something like, say, the Tonight Show with host Jimmy Fallon, who’s mostly eschewed the kind of political skewering that has […]

Continue Reading