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Stephen Colbert begins run as Late Show host

Stephen Colbert participates in 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert' segment of the CBS Summer TCA Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, August 10, 2015  (Credit: AP Photo/Richard Shotwell/Invision) 264 dreary days have passed since Stephen Colbert's final episode of The Colbert Report. But he'll make his return on Tuesday night as the new host of The Late Show on CBS. He has some big shoes to fill as David Letterman left quite a legacy in that setting. But Colbert seems genuinely excited for the challenge, saying of the chance to follow one of his comedic heroes, "The only thing that felt like a promotion was to be offered to take over for Dave."

Making the transition from right-wing blowhard, as his character on The Colbert Report has been described, to a more balanced and genuine form of himself has been liberating. However, it also required some comedic soul searching early on. As Colbert described, "At first, we said: 'Let's not take anything for granted. Let's be willing to throw out everything from the old show.' And what we've discovered is, oh, our sense of humor is our sense of humor."

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MTV Video Music Awards: what did you expect?

 Miley Cyrus, right, performs at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, August 30, 2015 (Credit: AP Images/Matt Sayles) Flannery O'Connor found that, "To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness." Judging from reaction to MTV's Video Music Awards this past Sunday, a number of individuals apparently found their coffee was not the only thing bitter when they awoke Monday morning.  

Per usual, the VMAs was less awards and more attention seeking maneuvers. Hosted by Miley Cyrus, the show was a series of sporadic YouTube moments that appeared to be choreographed for future use in Internet memes that would lead to GIF notoriety. Host Miley changed outfits up to five times, each time showcasing her creative spirit and belief that modest is not hottest.

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Watch me Whip, Watch me Nae Nae

Silentó - Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) music video. (Credit: Silentó  via Youtube)Like the common cold, Silento's newest hit is both infectious and has no known cure. It ravages the body, causing individuals to creatively move in such a way that is not allowed in certain churches. But many are resonating with Elsa from Frozen (video) when she remarked, "the cold never bothered me anyway."

In his newest offering, R&B artist Silento asks his listeners to watch him whip and watch him nae nae. Unlike a Donald Trump news conference, this song is quite predictable and repetitive. However, the song is merely the vehicle by which listeners are transported to the dance floor – or even turning regular floors into dancing flats. Empowering in his lyrics and compelling in the beats, Silento is a hurricane force wind, sweeping the nation into a choreographed frenzy.

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John Oliver takes on televangelists

U.S. tax law allows television preachers to get away with almost anything. We know this from personal experience. (Credit: Last Week Tonight via Youtube)John Oliver is the host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight." Prior to taking on that role, he was one of the most popular correspondents on The Daily Show. In many ways, his ability to take a candid look at culture and report it in a way that is both humorous and thought provoking, though not always safe for work, is similar to that of his former boss, Jon Stewart. On this past week's episode, Oliver aimed directly at televangelists who abuse the trust of their followers in order to pay for the kinds of lavish lifestyles usually reserved for Hollywood's elite. However, perhaps that is only appropriate considering their "spirituality" is often more the result of a carefully scripted performance than the genuine work of the Holy Spirit.

Oliver wanted to be very clear from the start that he was not targeting all religious bodies by affirming that "Churches are a cornerstone of American life. There are roughly 350,000 congregations in the United States, and many of them do great work, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor. But this is not a story about them. This is about the churches who exploit people's faith for monetary gain."

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Straight outta Compton: the struggle for identity

Straight Outta Compton follows the story of N.W.A. and the five young men that forever revolutionized music and pop culture. (Credit: Universal Pictures)This weekend, audiences will take part in the classic summer tradition of fleeing the sweltering heat and flocking to chilled theatres. Some seek entertainment. Others just want to escape from the work-week. A few simply desire the discrete intimacy a darkened theater offers. But many will go to the cinema to pay homage to the past and be compelled in the present by the movie Straight Outta Compton.

In a time when the racial tension is palpable in the air, Universal Pictures isn't so much releasing this movie as much as it is simply letting the movie free. The pent-up energies that have drawn their power from the tragedies in Ferguson to Brooklyn have created a suffocating sense that something needs to be done. But this is accompanied by a hesitant fear of what might be done. The line that separates reacting appropriately and overreacting detrimentally is far smaller than desired and usually exceeded because of desire.

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