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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Social Animals Showcases the Inspiring, Terrifying World of Instagram

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Social Animals

In Social Animals, a new documentary directed by Jonathan Ignatius Green, a teen laments the chaos that is Instagram: “You have to deal with the perverts, the disrespectful teenagers, the racist people, and family members,” she says. “That’s too much.” But is she going to delete her account? Probably not. Instagram may be “too much,” […]

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Culture Clips: Is ‘VeggieTales’ Racist?

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veggietales

Hardly a week goes by these days without something somewhere in popular culture offending someone, it seems. Several more such stories made the rounds on the internet the last few days. And this week’s list includes a couple of surprising new “offenders.” Starting with VeggieTales. Yeah, that’s right, Bob, Larry and the gang have apparently […]

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Is a PG-13 Deadpool Movie a Good Thing?

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deadpool once

I’ll be seeing Once Upon a Deadpool today—the new PG-13 version of the very, very, VERRRRRY R-rated Deadpool 2. But already, without having seen a second of the new cut, I’m super conflicted. On one hand, Deadpool (actor Ryan Reynolds under the mask and prosthetics) can be pretty funny, and much of Deadpool 2’s humor […]

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How Stan Lee Changed the World

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Stan Lee

As you’ve probably heard by now, Stan Lee died yesterday at the age of 95. Many have eulogized Lee as a “comics legend,” and that’s wholly fair. As a writer, editor, publisher and eventually chairman of Marvel Comics, he created or co-created some of the world’s most famous superheroes and helped redefine the genre itself. […]

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Culture Clips: Why Do People Want to Be Scared for Fun?

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halloween dog

For most of us, being genuinely frightened is probably something we try to avoid in the real world. But when it comes to entertainment, the opposite is often true. Many people love being scared. Especially this time of year, the time when horror movies rule the multiplexes and haunted houses pop up in seemingly every […]

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Sometimes Free Costs Too Much

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eighth grade

I get a lot of emails that make me scratch my head. I’m guessing you can relate. For instance, I regularly get one from a female gynecologist wanting me to interview her. I also get frequent emails from some “cannabis-something-or-other” business excited about their various products infused with THC. (I’m not sure what the official […]

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Culture Clips: Heroes, Heels and Hacks

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captain america

It’s not easy to find heroes these days. So it was nice to see Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and apparently all-around good guy, break the National Football League’s all-time passing mark this Monday night. Even better, though? His post-game interview. When the ESPN interviewer Lisa Salters asked Brees what he told […]

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Did ’80s Movies Reinforce Rape Culture?

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Breakfast Club

Some of us who grew up in the ’80s likely have fond memories of John Hughes’ “classic” teen movies: Sixteen Candles. Breakfast Club. Or maybe we recall how much we loved Back to the Future. Or Ghostbusters. Say Anything. Or Big. Now, all of those movies have some content issues, from a Plugged In perspective. […]

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Culture Clips: The Facebook Trauma Edition

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Culture clips facebook

Perhaps it’s not exactly news anymore when Facebook announces a data breach. The ubiquitous social network has been as leaky as a perforated garden hose lately, so what’s another 50 million users? Still, it made the virtual front pages of a lot of virtual newspapers, and what might’ve gotten lost in the week’s Facebook headlines […]

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The Power of Film (Even a Very Short One)

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making a film

Recently, I had the privilege of being invited to be one of ten judges for the “Film Your Faith” video contest, sponsored by Faith Counts. Contestants submitted a two-minute video that somehow dealt with the subject of “faith.” The winner, Kyle Churchwell, who created a film called “Faith is Knowing,” got a healthy $20,000 prize. […]

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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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