A Real Hope Instead of a Virtual One

2
ready player one

The movie Ready Player One imagines a near-future so bad that everyone living in it regularly escapes into a totally immersive virtual reality experience known as OASIS. Obviously, that word implies relief, parching one’s thirst in a dry land.  But over the course of the film, young hero Wade Watts makes a startling discovery: The […]

Continue Reading

What’s in a Word? Plenty.

14
Sister Jean

We’re in the throes of the NCAA Basketball Tournament now, aka March Madness. And you don’t have to be a superfan to know who’s been the biggest star of the show right now: Sister Jean. Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt is the team chaplain/unofficial scout/beloved mascot for the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, an 11th seed that’s made an improbable […]

Continue Reading

American Idol Goes Back to the Future

0
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

Instagramming Your Vacation

1
Argentina ziplining

The other day, as I was shuffling through the papers on my desk and thinking through what I might write about, a colleague of mine (the oldest of the group— born sometime in the early 1900’s) suggested that I write about millennials. So, being a millennial myself, I asked, what could possibly be written about […]

Continue Reading

R.I.P. CDs

10
CDs

I bought a CD last night. (Rock guitar instrumentalist Joe Satriani’s latest release, if you must know. But I digress already.) I bought it because even though I listen to tons of music digitally (streaming, and in my 15-year-old iTunes library), I just like having a real, physical copy of my music. It’s tactile. Reliable. […]

Continue Reading

Plugged In Movie Awards: Best Christian Movie

25
PIMA Best Christian Movie

We’ve come to the end of our Plugged In Movie Awards nominations, and by now you know the drill. As I’ve said before, pick your favorite among our nominees or, if you think we whiffed on one, choose your own. Let us know your own favorites down below, on our Facebook page or on Twitter, […]

Continue Reading

Plugged In Movie Awards: Best Movie for Adults

24
PIMA Best Movie for Adults

We’ve come to one of our most prickly categories now, picking through the best films Hollywood offered this year and deciding what’s truly praise-worthy in terms of both its messages and content. These aren’t films that the whole family will necessarily want to sit down and watch. But these films resonated with us. Again, we’d […]

Continue Reading

Finding Truth at the Golden Globes

5
Oprah Winfrey at 2018 Golden Globes

The Golden Globes this year offered a lot of what awards shows typically offer: lots of awards, lots of star power, lots of sometimes awkward acceptance speeches. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri escaped the awards show with four Globes. HBO’s miniseries Big Little Lies scampered away with three. But this year, hardly anyone was talking […]

Continue Reading

Pop Culture’s Top 10 Movers and Shakers (2017 Edition)

4
Movers and shakers

The outgoing year is often depicted as an old, tired man with a beard down to his knees. But this year, that depiction felt all too true. With all the natural disasters and political unrest and international crises afoot, 2017 probably made us all feel older than we should. Back in the day, many folks […]

Continue Reading

Television Tops 2017: Paul Asay’s Year-End Picks

25

Most of television’s nicknames are severely dated. How can it be called the “tube” when most of our HDTV’s don’t even have tubes anymore? I’ve been known to call it the “small screen” too, even though there’s nothing small about most television screens today. There’s nothing small about the influence of television, either. Experts say […]

Continue Reading

Pop Culture’s Complicity in Sexual Harassment

16
#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