Culture Clips: Game of Thrones Conquers Millions, Facebook Billions

Game of Thrones

Winter is coming. In, like, about five and a half months or something. In the meantime, HBO’s Game of Thrones is coming, too. Its seventh season begins July 16. The show has become about the closest thing to “must-see TV” in today’s fragmented television landscape: Time tossed it on its cover this week and called […]

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Culture Clips: The Blow Out Those Virtual Candles Edition

iphone birthday

If you’re reading this on an iPhone, pause a minute and wish your device a happy birthday. It officially turns 10 on June 29. (Well, not your phone, of course. If your phone is turning 10, you may want to look at your wireless contract.) The original iPhone revolutionized the tech industry and transformed the […]

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Culture Clips: The ‘It’s Tough to Be Famous’ Edition

katy perry

Ah, celebrity, that fickle bestie of the entertainment world. One minute, you’re all, like, hangin’ out together at posh banquets, dressed to the nines and accepting awards. The next you’re wondering what’s the point of awards at all. “All the awards shows are fake,” singer (and frequent award winner) Katy Perry told The New York […]

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Culture Clips: The Kids Aren’t All Right

More and more young people are struggling with suicidal thoughts and actually taking their own lives, according to recent research reported by USA Today. The suicide rate for children ages 10 to 14 doubled between 2007 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And a new Vanderbilt study that analyzed data […]

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Culture Clips: Why Are Political Dramas Tanking?

Have American viewers grown weary of fictional political dramas on TV? The answer seems to be yes, according to a Huffpost article analyzing declining ratings for the genre. Writer Stephanie Marcus notes that virtually every politically themed series—including Scandal, The Americans, Homeland, Madame Secretary, Quantico and Designated Survivor—has seen viewership decline since the election of […]

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Culture Clips: We’re Consuming More, More Media

Pssst! Hey, you. Yes, that’s right—you there, the one staring at me on that screen of yours. Just what do you think you’re doing? Well, I’ll tell you: You’re consuming media, that’s what. Right at this very second. And you’re hardly alone. According to a study by eMarketer, the average adult spends more than 12 […]

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Culture Clips: Emma Watson, Post-Gender Awards Darling

MTV has savvily generated awards-show headlines for nearly 35 years now. This year was no different at network’s annual movie (and this year for the first time, TV) awards. What was different was the reason the broadcast made news: it’s elimination of separate gender categories for awards. Actress Emma Watson (Beauty and the Beast, Harry […]

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Culture Clips: Revenge of the Books


It wasn’t that long ago that the much-ballyhooed advent of e-books triggered fretting and nail-biting regarding the future of the printed variety. Would people still want old-fashioned, analog books? Or would everyone gravitate toward their electronic versions? Would the citizens of the future even know what a real book was? A perhaps surprising sales trend […]

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Culture Clips: The Fate of the Free World (and Vin Diesel) Edition

Fate of the Furious cars flying

We have so much serious stuff to get to in our latest edition of Culture Clips. But before we get too grim, let me share with you my reaction to The Fate of the Furious’ mammoth $532.5 million worldwide take on Monday. “Wha??!” Turns out, though, I’m just an old curmudgeon. The Washington Post suggests […]

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Culture Clips: Clowns Are Scared of It

A clown hiding behind a balloon.

Professional clowns are not happy about yet another cinematic remake of Stephen King’s seriously creepy 1986 horror novel It. The titular It in question here takes the form of a scary, nasty clown named Pennywise. And given the recent scary, nasty clown sightings in the real world last fall, those who still put on colorful […]

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Culture Clips: The Influence of the ‘Princess Industrial Complex’

If you haven’t noticed, there are princesses everywhere these days. Disney princesses, that is. There’s the classic trio (Aurora, Cinderella and Snow White), the so-called Disney Renaissance princesses (Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan). Then we have the millennial members of this hallowed animated court: Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, Elsa and Moana. That’s a lot […]

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Culture Clips: Stars & Spirituality

What does it take to break an addiction? Singer, actress and former Disney star Demi Lovato recently shared some thoughts on that subject on her Instagram account. Among other factors, she said that her relationship with God played an integral part in the process of breaking bad behavioral chains. Lovato wrote, “So grateful. It’s been […]

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Culture Clips: Do Video Games Undermine Young Men’s Will to Work?

The unemployment rate for men in their 20s has been rising for about 15 years now. Yet, curiously, a higher percentage say that they’re happier these days. What gives? Could it be that men who aren’t working are busily filling their days with … video games?   University of Chicago economist Erik Hurst looked into […]

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Culture Clips: The Vexing Conundrum of Social Media

Ah, social media. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Seems like there’s a bit of truth in that old, unfunny saying I just co-opted and twisted for my own Culture Clips purposes. Researchers are talking a lot these days about how Instagram, Facebook and the like can negatively impact our lives. But scientists […]

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Culture Clips: Logan & The Shack, Art & Redemption

Could the bloody, profane, R-rated movie Logan somehow deliver a more redemptive message than The Shack? Relevant contributor Seth Hurd argues that perhaps it does. “From the opening scene, it’s clear that [Logan] is a story about death. Because the badness is so real, the moments of redemption are so clear. If the darkness isn’t […]

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