WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Track Review

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch succumbed to cancer in May 2012. But Detroit rapper Eminem is doing his part to keep Yauch's—and the Beastie Boys'—influential (but often lyrically dubious) legacy alive in his latest song, "Berzerk." Indeed, Eminem's first single from his latest effort, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, features sampled bits of two Beastie Boys' hits: "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" and "The New Style."

Given the Boys' lofty stature within the hip-hop pantheon, Eminem's shrewd appropriation of their iconic songs is hardly surprising. Much more surprising—and much more frequent on "Berzerk"—is the continual sampling and looping of guitar tracks and vocals from Billy Squier. Specifically, Eminem (with help from über-producer Rick Rubin) borrows lyrics and licks from Squier's 1981 hit "The Stroke," essentially synthesizing a unlikely rock backing track with his signature wordplay layered over the top in syncopated rhythms.

In keeping with that retro rap-rock vibe, Eminem gets underway with a shout-out to the old-school way of doing business. "Now this s‑‑‑'s about to kick off, this party looks whack/Let's take it back to straight-up hip-hop and start it from scratch."

From there, the song staggers back and forth between rowdy exhortations to "go berserk" and bizarre bursts of bravado, as only Marshall Mathers can render them. The bridge, for instance, advises, "Kick your shoes off/Let your hair down and go berserk all night long/Grow your beard out/Just weird out (go berserk) all night long."

Said berserking gets even more antisocial (not to mention profane) in the chorus: "We're gonna rock this house until we knock it down/So turn the volume loud, 'cause it's mayhem in the a.m./So baby, make just like K-Fed and let yourself go/I say f‑‑‑ it before we kick the bucket/Life's too short not to go for broke/So everybody, everybody (go berserk) shake your body."

Eminem also unloads a nasty and explicit rhyme that references a woman's menstrual cycle and having sex. He meanly mocks Khloe Kardashian.

Bright spots on this frenetically rocking rap track are certainly fewer than its obscenities, but it's worth mentioning here, in light of Eminem's public battles with prescription drug abuse, that he raps about those struggles in the past tense: "Just like I did with addiction, I'm 'bout to kick it/ … Far as hard drugs are, though, that's the past." Still, an ambiguous follow-up lyric seems less clear regarding whether codeine abuse is also something he's left behind.

The video shows us clips of men fighting, spliced in among visual nods to the '80s as Eminem raps alongside his musical mentor, Rick Rubin. And it doesn't help us concentrate at all on the track's limited sense of restraint. Mostly, one gets the feeling that even if this newly sober rapper has embraced healthy limits in one area of his life, there are others that still need lots of attention as he invites fans to recklessly go berserk.

A postscript: ESPN has adopted "Berzerk" as the theme song for its weekly Saturday Night Football broadcast during the Fall 2013 season, ensuring that it will get plenty of exposure, if in an edited-for-TV sort of way.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!