Mormon science fiction author Orson Scott Card, whose story Ender's Game landed in theaters over the weekend, has been embroiled in controversy for months regarding his outspoken disapproval of gay marriage. "I've had no criticism," he told Salt Lake City's Deseret News. "I've had savage, lying, deceptive personal attacks, but no actual criticism because they've never addressed any of my actual ideas. Character assassination seems to be the only political method that is in use today, and I don't play that game, and you can't defend against it. All you can do is try to offer ideas, and for those who want to listen to ideas, great. For those who simply want to punish you for not falling in line with their dogmas, there's really not much you can do about it."
Actress Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch; Melissa & Joey), told the Huffington Post that she faced similarly extreme reactions after tweeting that she was voting for Mitt Romney the night before the 2012 presidential election. "I got called every name in the book," she said. "[People wrote] that they hope I die, and that they hope my children are gay, which is somehow supposed to be some sort of punishment. … The hate was really unbelievable just from that simple tweet. Just by saying I was voting." [deseretnews.com, 10/29/13; huffingtonpost.com, 10/31/13]
In 2005, guitarist Brian "Head" Welch left the influential nu metal band Korn after becoming a Christian, saying that he wanted to shed his various addictions and raise his daughter in a more wholesome atmosphere than life with the notoriously debauched band afforded. Last year, Welch reunited with his old group; and in a July article published at loudwire.com, he had pointed comments for Christian fans who were critical of his new choice. "Speaking of God, I was getting some crap from a few Christians that were commenting online that Korn weren't 'honoring The Lord' in their music. There was a time when I didn't think God would be very into Korn's music and lifestyle, but I've learned that He loves everyone where they're at. And I know God loves Korn's music because its passionate and very honest. I just trip out on these people that have the balls to judge people so harshly with their negative, hateful attitudes. It's crazy how bold people are online. Not one person has come with their negative attitudes to my face. Luckily, most of the Christians are cool and 'get it.' I only have to deal with a small number of knuckleheads." [loudwire.com, 7/11/13]
"I think when you set out to be an artist, first and foremost—a musician, a rock 'n' roller—you don't come with this kind of, like, hey, I also want to be a role model that, obviously, will let you down because I'm a human being," says pop songstress Katy Perry. "And a lot of people see me as a role model but I'd like to kind of turn that around and say I appreciate that but I'd like to be seen as an inspiration. Because a role model, I think, will fail you." How might they fail you? Well, maybe by showing up nude. Perry observed, "Females in pop—everybody's getting naked. … I'm not talking about anyone in particular. I'm talking about all of them. I mean, it's like everybody's so naked. It's like, put it away. We know you've got it. I got it too. I've taken it off for—I've taken it out here and there. [She did so for the cover photo of her Teenage Dream album.] And I'm not necessarily judging. I'm just saying sometimes it's nice to play that card but also it's nice to play other cards." [npr.org, 10/26/13; theatlantic.com, 10/30/13]
"[The latest] wave of porno pop is currently raging across our screens, and Doris Day it ain't. … Most young people—particularly those young gals who cut their teeth on Aguilera's G-strings—are totally unfazed. Everything seems 'totes norms' to them. In fact, so inured are they to our oversexed culture that, when they discover the artists of yore on YouTube, they are totally dumbfounded by the lack of throbbing, overt sexual hotness. … A cursory glance at [today's] porn 'n' pop mélanges will leave you wondering where it will all end. How far are we from the day when singers will record their songs midshag? Not very."
—author and fashion commentator Simon Doonan, in his Slate article "Pop Stars Are Dressing Like Porn Stars" [slate.com, 10/23/13]
"This is the best time of my life. I'm not going to look back on it and be like, 'I wish I hadn't been dwelling over a breakup,' you know? Because that's not what God wants my life to be about right now. God wants my life to be about being successful and being happy and blessing other people and being blessed."
—Miley Cyrus, in a cover-story interview with Cosmopolitan [cosmopolitan.com, 10/26/13]
According to National Geographic's Pop Omnivore news site, "At costume giant BuyCostumes, fox costume and accessory sales are reportedly up 350 percent from just a couple hundred sold last year to a few thousand. Other retailers like Costume SuperCenter and Amazon have seen similar fox interest." Why so many foxes for last week's Halloween events? "Experts give credit to Ylvis's viral hit ["The Fox"]. The video, posted in early September, has garnered more than 170 million views on YouTube." [newswatch.nationalgeographic.com, 10/29/13 c&e]
The American Academy of Pediatrics is again asking parents to rein in and regulate their children's and teens' screen time. The group recommends that children should not spend more than two hours a day in front of a screen, and should not have televisions and computers in their bedrooms. "I guarantee you that if you have a 14-year-old boy and he has an Internet connection in his bedroom, he is looking at pornography," says Dr. Victor Strasburger, who was the lead author on the updated policy. [nydailynews.com, 10/28/13]
"'What I'd like done with my digital presence' is the new 'what song I'd like played at my funeral.'"
—Zan McQuade, on how people increasingly feel compelled to consider what will happen to their online presence and social media accounts after they die [dailydot.com, 10/29/13]
Only about 215,000 online viewers tuned in for the inaugural YouTube Music Awards, streamed live Sunday night. Never mind that Lady Gaga performed her new song "Dope," removing sunglasses to show tears streaming down her face. Viewers weren't impressed, with 4,000 logging out during her spectacle. Who won? Eminem was named the first YouTube Artist of the Year. Other well-known acts to receive awards included Taylor Swift and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. More obscure winners included Girls' Generation, DeStorm and Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix. [latimes.com, 11/4/13; abcnews.com, 11/4/13; foxnews.com, 11/4/13]
Much is often made of the coveted 18- to 49-year-old television demographic. But according to MediaLife, the median age of someone watching one of the big-four broadcast networks is now 53.9 years old. Breaking it down by network, Fox's median audience is the youngest at 49.6 years old, while CBS' is the oldest at 58.2. NBC and ABC check in at 50.6 and 54.0, respectively. [medialifemagazine.com, 10/24/13 stats]
"We know it's going to be sad for a lot of people, but for us, we are looking forward to the future."
—25-year-old Kevin Jonas, explaining that he and his siblings (Nick, 21; Joe, 24) have decided to disband their group, the Jonas Brothers [usatoday.com, 10/30/13]