Category: Entertainment

Ringling Bros., elephants and serving as creation’s stewards

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus was a regular part of my childhood. I don’t remember feeling too strongly about the use of elephants in the show either way. To be honest, I was more into the tigers (although the elephants certainly ranked higher than the clowns). Things look differently through adult eyes, however, which is how I’ve experienced the Ringling Bros. circus in recent years.…  [more]

Colbert Catechism covers Lent and Pope Francis

Perhaps to help us bide time until he takes over as host of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert recently made a video (embedded below) for the Catholic magazine America that showcased the same comic-religious sensibility that defined the best episodes of The Colbert Report. Called “Colbert Catechism,” the video features a casual interview between a newly bearded Colbert and James Martin, editor-at-large of…  [more]

Russell Brand on the problem of porn

It’s not every day that a celebrity known for shocking behavior, tight pants and over-the-top comedy crafts a homily on the catastrophe that is modern-day porn culture. The fact that Russell Brand has just issued one of the most powerful, personal, effective and even prophetic messages on the subject of pornography is simply fascinating. Comic dandy Brand may not be the first person that comes to mind when…  [more]

Birdman (or, the unexpected virtue of the Academy Awards)

Birdman won the Best Picture Oscar at last night’s Academy Awards ceremony, something I predicted partly because it’s a movie about making movies, a subject of which Hollywood never tires. The fact that it’s also about the artistic ego – and how pride goes before the fall – could be seen either as the icing on the cake or the definition of Hollywood hypocrisy. With the somewhat…  [more]

Why “normal Barbie” might not be the answer

Who knew a bunch of second-graders could make me so defensive about Barbie? You’d think I’d be past this. After all, I’ve had a lifetime of concerns about the plastic blonde. I’ve worried her famously out-of-proportion physique could lead to body image problems. I’ve recoiled when a talking Barbie declared that “math class was tough.” (Even though, honestly, I agreed with…  [more]

Kids these days: Parsing that interview with Jaden and Willow Smith

Just playing devil’s advocate here: maybe Will and Jada Smith are just like any other good parents who believe their children possess a particular brand of genius. Let’s be honest, if the New York Times style magazine wanted to feature our kids’ accomplishments and precocious personalities in an interview, we’d let them. Otherwise why are we all filling the Internet up with the videos, photos…  [more]

They still don’t know it’s Christmas? Band Aid then and now

The band (aid) is back together, and I’m not so sure how I feel about it. Band Aid 30 is an attempt to recreate a rock-and-roll charity sensation of some three decades earlier, when the likes of Bono, Sting, David Bowie and other superstars gathered to record “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. (Since, there have been other versions.) I was…  [more]

Pop culture’s parentless playground

There has been much interest in a recent New York Times Magazine piece by A.O. Scott tracing the demise of American adulthood through the lens of popular culture. Citing the likes of Mad Men, young-adult fiction and comic-book movies, Scott observes that we have “witnessed the erosion of traditional adulthood in any form” to such an extent that “nobody knows how to be a grown-up anymore. Adulthood…  [more]

Holy Ghost and the latest step in Korn’s spiritual journey

Holy Ghost, a new documentary from Darren Wilson’s Wanderlust Productions, spends a sizeable amount of time with two figures we’ve been following here at TC for quite a while: Brian “Head” Welch and Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu of the metal band Korn. Both have had highly public, though separate, conversion experiences, ones that have been greeted with a certain amount of skepticism.…  [more]

The other reason not to look at those nude celebrity photos

If the stolen photos of naked female celebrities have taught us anything this week, it is that there is a difference between those who consume pornography and peeping toms. Unlike past glimpses of celebrity skin, this instance is particularly disturbing because of the means used to acquire them. The images – including some of actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton - were stolen. And they were not…  [more]

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