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: State of the Teens, Summer 2018 Edition

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Are the kids alright? It’s a question that many in our culture return to again and again. Rightly so: Today’s children represent the future of our society. But while the question itself seems a simple one, answers almost never are. And so it is today. The news about what’s happening with young people—mostly teens, but […]

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Culture Clips: Yeah, Being a Couch Potato is Bad For You

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cat couch potato

We’ve always known, deep down, that sittin’ on the couch to do nothin’ but watch TV probably isn’t the best way to spend one’s day. Or month. Or year. But now, thanks to Scientific American, we have some indication of how bad the sin of sloth can be for us. It’s not just that couch […]

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Show Dogs Controversy Hits the Mainstream

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Controversy surrounding the kids’ movie Show Dogs ratcheted up another notch today. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has issued a statement on scenes involving a talking dog having its genitals touched during a dog show, scenes that they’re concerned may promote sexual abuse of children. The NCOSE’s statement reads: “The movie Show Dogs sends […]

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The Clanging Cringiness of Musical.ly

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Musical.ly

We’ve all heard about Facebook and Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Certain apps and social media platforms are as ubiquitous as, well, the smartphone you’re probably clutching in your hand right now. But kids flock to some apps that we parents are sometimes woefully unaware of. The Musical.ly app may be one of those. On the […]

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Spotify vs R. Kelly

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R. Kelly

So Spotify just did a thing. According to their new public hate content and hateful conduct policy, they’ve chosen to take R. Kelly’s music off of their streaming playlists. His music will still be available on Spotify, but will no longer be promoted. After nearly 20 years of allegations that the artist has had sexual […]

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Culture Clips: It’s a Crazy World … So Eat Dinner as a Family

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You don’t have to look further than your news feed to find plenty of disheartening news. And we’ll deal with some of that shortly. But before our weekly deep-dive into the overlapping realms of entertainment, popular culture and what’s happening with kids today, I thought we’d begin with an encouraging reminder from Homeword’s Jim Burns: […]

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Vodcast: Our Love/Hate Relationship With Romcoms

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P.S. I Love You

In our newest vodcast, I sit down with Paul Asay and talk about my favorite movie genre: Romantic comedies. Paul isn’t a diehard fan, but he did have some things to say about how these sorts of movies have the ability to influence us as children and adults. So click on the vid below and […]

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Facebook Upside Your Head

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Teens and Facebook

In spite of all the bad press Facebook has gotten lately over leaking-like-a-sieve privacy concerns, it seems that the youthful set is still flocking regularly to that social media stopover and other venues like it. The latest compiled numbers from sources such as the Associated Press and the Pew Research Center suggest that: Nearly 90% […]

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Culture Clips: The Hearts and Arrows Edition

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culture clips valentine's day

It’s Valentine’s Day, folks—a time when many of us turn our attention to love, romance and lots and lots of chocolate. We’re all about that sort of stuff here—honoring love, recognizing our loved ones and, of course, the chocolate—but there are those who, in this frazzled culture of ours, are having a harder time figuring […]

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An Open Breakup Letter to Justin Timberlake

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Justin Timberlake performing during the Super Bowl LII Pepsi Halftime Show in 2018

Dear Justin Timberlake (can I still call you JT?), I am writing to inform you that we’re through. I’m breaking up with you. Let me back up. I realize it’s been awhile since we last talked. In fact, I know that this is actually the first time. You don’t know me from Adam, and that’s […]

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Pop Culture’s Complicity in Sexual Harassment

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#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 […]

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