What ‘Persuasion’ Can Teach Millennials about Marriage and Maturity

Two hundred years ago, in December 1817, the last finished novel by Jane Austen was published posthumously. Despite its heartfelt writing and compelling characters, Persuasion has never carried the same cultural weight as Austen’s other novels. While the 1990s in particular brought Jane Austen into popular culture, with definitive film versions of Pride and Prejudice, … Continued


Can Santa Claus Survive Our Hi-Tech Age?

With a wave from his sled at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Santa Claus has come to towns across America. Belief in Santa continues to thrive, despite the internet spoiling the myth for children everywhere far more efficiently than “that kid” ever could. Even so, the fear of technology destroying Santa Claus is a concern for … Continued


Does Television Finally Understand Catholic Culture?

For most of entertainment history, Catholics seemed to only find their way on-screen if they were dressed in black. Perhaps because of that unpopular lifestyle called celibacy, religious men and women have always been a point of curiosity in the mainstream. From Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess to Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act to Netflix’s latest … Continued


Advice from the Transcendentalists: Don’t Drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Go to a Real Pumpkin Patch

October marks the 180th anniversary of the friendship between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, nineteenth-century American essayists who grappled with what it means to be an American author. As Transcendentalists, Emerson and Thoreau looked to nature for renewal, knowledge, and understanding of the world and of themselves. Although some schools and educators no … Continued


A Dystopian Movie with a Surprisingly Pro-Family Message

We never tire of dystopian plot lines, or so it would seem from the abundance of books, movies, and television series that feature oppressive, futuristic regimes. According to the Encyclopedia for Science Fiction, dystopian stories point “fearfully at the way the world is supposedly going in order to provide urgent propaganda for a change in … Continued


What Jane Austen Teaches Us about Texting

First email, then texting, Facebook messaging, and now Instagram—platforms for written communication in the twenty-first century are constantly expanding. Parents are often baffled that their children prefer “impersonal” communication forms like texting instead of the telephone. They worry this will compromise younger generations’ ability to interact with each other properly. What our parents and grandparents … Continued


Why Lifetime’s ‘Bad Girls’ are Bad for Women

The Lifetime network’s latest plug for their For the Love of Lifetime Women movie marathon was rife with problematic gender stereotypes that our culture should be far past embracing. Despite recent findings that women on screen are still underrepresented compared to men, and often still play domestic, “life-oriented” roles, women’s characters on television are slowly … Continued


‘Project Runway’ Goes Plus-Size

In its sixteenth season, Project Runway has finally embraced the body positivity movement and made it work in such a way that should satisfy Tim Gunn as well as every woman in America. Celebrities, companies, and the media continually attempt to appreciate women’s physical diversity, often with tasteless and sometimes even harmful results. Recall Dove’s … Continued


The ‘A Christmas Carol’ You Should Be Watching

As Christmas approaches, the choice of which Christmas movies to watch over the remaining days looms. One standard selection is Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, but which version? Because the story is in the public domain, there are over a dozen representations out there, from a silent film in 1910 to a Hallmark special in … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Make Captain Ahab American Again

If Moby-Dick has been on your reading bucket list for years, the time has come to cross it off. Plymouth University in England has just completed its three-year project to convert Moby-Dick into an audiobook and podcast. And the question is, why did it take a British University to decide the world needed to hear … Continued