Why I Refuse To Watch 13 Reasons Why

Why I Refuse To Watch 13 Reasons Why

Because I could have been Hannah Baker.
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On March 31st, Netflix debuted its original series based on the novel Thirteen Reasons Why. The story is about Hannah Baker, a teenage girl who has recently committed suicide, but not before recording cassette tapes about why she committed suicide. Then, a bunch of people she knew when she was alive listen to the tapes, have moments of introspection, feel guilt, and experience character arcs. That's about all I know of the story. Despite the praise it's getting on all platforms, I refuse to read or watch it.

I tried reading it when I was in middle school. I'd just been diagnosed with clinical depression, and so I thought I could relate with Hannah Baker and maybe find some solace in the book. I wasn't able to finish it. At thirteen years old, it scared me too much to think that I may be capable of doing what Hannah Baker did: end her own life.

Depression and suicidal thoughts go hand in hand, and I'm no exception. After years of therapy, I'm fine and have my illness under control, but one of the scariest and most important things I've learned while healing is that when you want to die, you will find every reason to justify it.

"My parents will save money by not having to buy me groceries."

"My therapist will be able to take one more client."

"My little sister can get her own room now."

"If I write letters/record videos/send deep text messages, all my friends will feel guilty. They'll miss me so much. People's lives will be upturned and by dying, I'll create waves. Nevermind that I'll be too dead to see my impact. I'll have an impact."

That last one is really common. If it sounds ridiculous to you, then you've probably never seriously considered killing yourself. The suicidal mind doesn't work the same way as a non-suicidal one.

The suicidal mind latches onto any little tidbit that will encourage it to carry out its goal: to die.

And the idea of leaving something behind is intoxicating, especially when you feel you are doing so little in your life now. The idea that people will listen to your last words, knowing that the things you say right before you die are guaranteed to be important to people, is amazing when you're suicidal. You'll be too dead to see it, but you'll know that by dying, you've impacted lives. Half the fun of being suicidal is trying to leave something behind.

Now, if someone who wants to die watches Thirteen Reasons Why, that last line of thinking will be extended even further: "My friends will have glorious character arcs and will become kinder. They will become better people. They will become stronger. All because of me."

When you focus on the people affected by suicide rather than the suicidal person themselves, you are showing suicidal people what will happen if they go through with it. Thirteen Reasons Why doesn't encourage suicide, of course, but it isn't going to help someone who is desperately looking for a reason to die. It's morbid, but I know that if Thirteen Reasons Why had premiered at a time when I was sixteen and still didn't know how to healthily deal with my mental illness, I would have held onto it and never let go. It would have scared me. It would have disturbed me. It would have helped me to believe that my death would help more people than my life did. You cannot create a story about suicide and let the suicidal person serve as nothing more than a convenient plot point. You cannot. It's gross. It's irresponsible.

I could have been Hannah Baker. When I was younger, I would have wanted to be Hannah Baker. I have no desire to watch what my life could have been in the worst possible scenario. I don't care how kind it encourages you to be. I don't care how nuanced their portrayal of a rapist is. I don't care. I cannot, and will not, watch this.

Cover Image Credit: Screen Rant

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Live Music Is Better Than Pre-Recorded Music

Have you ever been in an arena with 15,000 people singing along to your favorite songs? It gives me goosebumps every time.
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As an avid concert goer myself, sometimes going to two or more per month, I fully believe that hearing music live is way better than listening to it on Spotify.

First off, if you’re going to hear it live, you’re more than likely going with a friend. What’s better than being at the barricade singing along to your favorite songs? Nothing! Being with my best friends at a concert for an artist we all love dearly has grown to be one of my happy places.

Second, you get to hear things live that you’ll never get to hear with a pre-recorded track. Something that’s pre-recorded is the same thing over and over again, you can never change it, but with live music, it’s different every time. Some bands that I’ve seen throw in extra guitar solos or drum solos and even climb into the audience to let fans sing into their microphones, which is something you don’t get to hear on pre-recorded tracks.

There is no autotune at a concert, and if the artist is really good, they sound just like they do on the pre-recorded track. All Time Low is a great example of this - and if you haven’t seen them live, I highly recommend that you do! They are one of my favorite bands and they put on an amazing show whether it’s your first one or your one hundredth.

Acoustic songs and hearing the crowd sing the song right back is something that will always give me chills, especially big arena shows with more than 15,000 people in attendance. Nothing warms my heart more than knowing that thousands of people are there together for one night to do one thing - sing their hearts out to their favorite artists.

Getting the chance to possibly meet the artist is another added benefit of live music that I like to throw in. If you don’t have meet and greet, most artists will usually meet fans in the back by the busses! It’s one of the most exciting things about the after-concert, hoping they’ll come out and say hello.

I could go on forever about why live music is better than pre-recorded, but if I had to pick a reason over everything, I would say the memories of live music.

Sure, I can capture them on my phone and re-watch them later, but nothing beats being there with your friends and listening to all your favorite songs unfold in front of you. Nothing beats screaming the lyrics and forgetting about everything stressful in your life for awhile.

My next concert is not until June and I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do until then. Attending concerts is one of my favorite past times, and this year, my friends and I will be traveling to see quite a few shows, which I can’t wait for.

Next time you attend a live show, think of all of these things discussed in this article and ask yourself which you prefer: live music or pre-recorded?

Cover Image Credit: Megan Courtney

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11 Of The Best 'Powerpuff Girls' Quotes

Sugar, spice, and everything nice
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Growing up, the Powerpuff Girls was one of my favorite television shows. I spent a lot of time with my sister and cousin, watching and re-watching episodes, and running around pretending to be the amazing super-heroines we looked up to. When I watch the show again at age 20, I realize how funny, clever, and insightful some of the lines are. If you grew up watching the Powerpuff girls and you need a laugh, these 11 quotes are sure to remind you of the three wonderful girls who save the day, as well as their friends (and enemies)!

1. Bubbles: "There's nothing wrong with talking to yourself."

2. Blossom: "I'm not boring! I'm a... a fiery redhead! And who made Bubbles the cute one? I'm cute! Look at this bow!"


3. Mojo Jojo: "Annoying little girl, you must wait your turn, in which I am first and you are second, which, in essence, makes you last, since 1 is before 2."


4. Bubbles: "Goodness gracious! Sir, you are being slowly digested. We need to get you to a hospital."

5. Buttercup: "It takes a lot more than a couple of cheap shots to make us cry."

6. Princess: "QUIET. Now listen. It doesn't matter that you've got your little gadgets, or that you're the ultimate evil. All that matters is that I destroy the Powerpuff Girls, which I will because I have the most powerful power in the whole wide world. COLD HARD CASH."

7. Talking Dog: "Well, I may be able to talk, but I sure as heck can't drive!"

8. Bubbles: "What are you doing in our closet, Mr. Mayor?"

Mayor: "You mean...we're not in my house?"

Buttercup: "Sorry, Mayor."

Mayor: "Well that explains all the cool furniture!"


9. HIM: "You see, the thing about gift giving is it's the thought that counts. And obviously, thinking isn't your strong point."


10. Brick: "If you're gonna do graffiti, at least spell the words right! Sheesh! Talk about dum-BUH."


11. Professor Utonium: "Hey, where's Bubbles?"

Buttercup: "She's probably upstairs combing her hair so she'll be the 'prettiest girl at the party'!"

Bubbles (upstairs, combing her hair): "I'm gonna be the prettiest girl at the party!"

Cover Image Credit: Randall Petersen: Flickr

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