The Weaponization of Distraction

Naomi Schaefer Riley’s new book, Be the Parent, Please: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat, will be published January 8, 2018. “Let’s go bowling!” my son suggested on the first weekend of winter vacation. It sounds like such a wholesome, old-fashioned idea for family fun. It’s an activity that people of any age and … Continued


Why Christmas Music is Good For Us

The song “All I Want for Christmas is You” is everywhere this time of year. It plays constantly on the radio, in stores and malls across the country, and no doubt serves as the soundtrack of the dreams (or nightmares) of those poor store workers who are forced to listen to it dozens of times … Continued


When Will Hollywood Tackle the Opioid Crisis?

The scale and scope of America’s opioid epidemic are hard to fathom. On August 10, President Trump formally declared the epidemic a national emergency, per the recommendation of his Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. In its interim report, issued on July 31, the commission presented some horrifying numbers. For example: Drug … Continued


The Accidental Benedicts

One of the toughest parts of parenting is guiding our kids through the minefield of a culture that wants them to grow up much more quickly than they should. Do we let them wear the same clothes other kids are wearing even if we think the necklines dip too low and the skirts cover too … Continued


What Today’s Celebs Could Learn from George Michael’s Generosity

George Michael celebrated his last Christmas on Sunday before dying of heart failure. The pop star was fifty-three years old, and while you may know him best for his holiday hit, “Last Christmas” (Taylor Swift’s version will never compare), or his 1980s stardom as one half of the pop duo, “Wham!” there’s a lot more … Continued


#ThisCatholicGirl and the Need for Emotional Chastity

Earlier this week, the world of Catholic Twitter went up in flames when one of its star members was revealed to be a fake. For those unaware of #ThisCatholicGirl-gate, Chase Padusniak, like many a social media-savvy Catholic, developed a “Twitter-Relationship”, as it were, with (who he thought was) a cute Catholic college student who broadcast … Continued


Pop Culture Matters — Editor’s Note

Pop culture is ephemeral. Celebrities rise and fall (and then land reality TV shows exploring their feelings about their fall); television shows and movies come and go (and come back again in rebooted form). The “song of summer” this year will have faded from people’s memories long before fall arrives. But some aspects of popular … Continued


‘Stars Wars’ and the End of Culture

Two noteworthy events happened in 2015: the premier of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the publication of Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society, by Mario Vargas Llosa. Seemingly different, the two works actually have a lot to do with each other. Notes on the Death of Culture is a … Continued


Pop Culture Detox with ECM

Every once in a while it’s necessary to have a pop culture detox. Just take a few days and unplug from the grid. No Internet, no phone, no Netflix. This isn’t to be confused with antipathy towards pop culture; if anything, it’s a way to come back to the stuff you love with fresh eyes … Continued

Entertainment, Music

The Death of Adulthood Means the Death of Culture

Recently A.O. Scott posted a piece in The New York Times entitled “The Death of Adulthood in American Culture,” which stirred up online discussion about whether our grownup culture has shifted into a protracted childhood. What was largely absent from the observations is where this arrested development is taking us. Scott argued that in doing … Continued