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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. TIME magazine’s Person of the Year 2011: The Protestor (as portrayed here by cover artist Shepard Fairey). “There’s this contagion of protest,” explains managing editor Rick Stengel. “These are folks who are changing history already and they will change history in the future.” More on the reasoning behind the editors’ choice here.

2. “I am not surprised that women don’t want to see an ultra-violent David Fincher movie about women being tortured and raped. I think women see these trailers and are being scared shitless away from it.” — A marketing insider “explains” why only 36 percent of women are planning to see Sony’s “$125 million gamble,” The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

3. George Clooney has signed on to appear in a Rob Reiner-directed benefit reading of 8, the latest play from Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. The work, which examines the legality of Prop. 8, made its debut at a staged reading in September at New York’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre. [via LAT]

4. It sounds like Louis CK’s new $5 comedy special is working out nicely; so far he’s made an estimated profit of $200,000. “I really hope people keep buying it a lot, so I can have shitloads of money, but at this point I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked,” he writes. “If anybody stole it, it wasn’t many of you. Pretty much everybody bought it.” [via Vulture]

5. Here’s your first look at the new graphic novel adaptation of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series by novelist Daniel Abraham and illustrator Tommy Patterson.

Bonus Buzz: Why Dubstep Should Never Be Played In Public

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