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13 Reasons Why and school shootings

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This will start with a bit of a ramble: A couple of months ago my brother showed me the series 13 Reasons Why. The show is about a high school girl commiting suicide and leaving behind tapes for 13 people she blames had a hand in her commiting suicide with the intention that each one in turn will listen to the tapes and then pass it to the next one in line with failure to do so will get the tapes publicly published.

 

I'll get it right out of the bat, the show is boring as hell. It might have worked as a two hour movie but instead it is a 13 hour slog which is padded with terrible music (think Ross's review of Life is Strange). I only lasted until the fifth episode but did read on the plot afterwards since I was expecting some major stuff to happen, as the first few tapes were really tame in the "transgressions" toward the girl.

 

But as far as i'm aware there is no secret event later which involves the first characters (at least the majority of them). They are blamed as causes for the girl's suicide for doing stuff like "breaking up with her due to misunderstanding" or "sharing with friends the girl has "the best ass"" which might be shitty but overall regular part of human interaction. The events of the last tape is pretty disturbing when you think about it. She goes to the school chancellor (after already finishing recording the other tapes) and secretly tapes her talk with him, when he can't immediately help her she blames him in the tape for her impending suicide. But she already made the other tapes, meaning she pretty much came in expecting to fail so there is point rather than adding the guy to the list.

 

Now to the point, when thinking about the show a couple of months later it kinda hit me that this isn't the actions of a regular depressed invididual. Making a "hit list" of people she blames for her suicide, putting them in a game where if the tapes will be released then it will destroy some of their lives. Heck, the book ended with one guy commiting suicide (making the girl a complete hypocrite) and another enacts a school shooting. The girl is a psychopath who wants to enact justice by commiting suicide and leaving others to suffer for it, yeah it's potentially "only" psychological damage but not everyone on her list is having an easier life than her. This is this is a show detailing a lighter version of a school shooter.

 

And with this in mind when looking at the show it can be seen as the mental gymnastics of a school shooter. Blaming other's in all her problem and creating an elaborate setup to do as much damage to people she perceives as at fault. It might have been the author's intent but as far as I looked the majority of people don't see it and he (a guy wrote the original book) didn't scream "hey, the girl is also a villain" and a major hypocrite.

 

Now the question is how we got into a situation where we have such a show and nobody notices that something is wrong by the main character (technically not the protagonist) being a monster rather than a victim. It's possible that people just don't think while binging the show, this wouldn't surprise me. But the frightening alternative is a good chunk of people who liked this are emphasizing with a person with no empathy that sees nothing wrong with ruining people's lives while killing herself in the process. This kinda make current human society look bad.

 

So am I hallucinating stuff? Is having a misunderstanding with a person is a valid reason to be singled out as cause for suicide? What are your thoughts?

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Modern society is messed up. That's the TL;DR.

 

Here's a bit longer version. Modern secular society has popularized so many things that are inherently unhealthy for our human minds. (the devaluation of family, the blatant hate directed towards all religions, the emphasis on trying to make people experiment with being LGBT, single parents, etc.) In addition, it makes it seem as though not having the newest shiny is the same as being worthless as a human being. This has gradually resulted in an incredibly self-centered populace that doesn't care about anything else, (including the other people in their lives, whom they treat as objects) so long as they get what they want. This is why not only is this movie "relatable" to modern children, but also doesn't even try to tell them it's wrong. (it's not telling them it's wrong because even the writer isn't sure anymore what is right and wrong) Kids are taught to feel "empowered", yet power almost always leads to abuse of the power, and a feeling of superiority over others they perceive as "beneath them". There aren't any losers anymore, everyone is taught that they should be rewarded for simply showing up, even if they put no effort into it.

 

Society is killing us.

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Modern society is messed up. That's the TL;DR.

 

Here's a bit longer version. Modern secular society has popularized so many things that are inherently unhealthy for our human minds. (the devaluation of family, the blatant hate directed towards all religions, the emphasis on trying to make people experiment with being LGBT, single parents, etc.) In addition, it makes it seem as though not having the newest shiny is the same as being worthless as a human being. This has gradually resulted in an incredibly self-centered populace that doesn't care about anything else, (including the other people in their lives, whom they treat as objects) so long as they get what they want. This is why not only is this movie "relatable" to modern children, but also doesn't even try to tell them it's wrong. (it's not telling them it's wrong because even the writer isn't sure anymore what is right and wrong) Kids are taught to feel "empowered", yet power almost always leads to abuse of the power, and a feeling of superiority over others they perceive as "beneath them". There aren't any losers anymore, everyone is taught that they should be rewarded for simply showing up, even if they put no effort into it.

 

Society is killing us.

The correlations here break down when you consider the Commonwealth.

Specifically the wealthier and more developed nations. Canada, the U.K., and New Zealand. Nonsecularism, hetero/cisnormativism, family values, and all of that jazz aren't significant cultural values of any of those countries, yet the people of those countries are living in safe and sane societies relative to the U.S. who's been far behind them in pretty much every social regard.

And what about South Africa? While they are technically a secular nation they're more Christian than the United States. While gay marriage technically has been legal there for over a decade, there's still no penalty for LGBT hate crimes, and there are LGBT people there being killed and correctively raped there at higher frequency than the U.S. Gun violence is technically lower but violent crime overall is still higher.

The U.S. does have a societal/cultural issue but it's not that our traditional values are being challenged and subverted. The U.S. has always had its values challenged and subverted since it became an independent nation, and even before then. Now is no different.

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The correlations here break down when you consider the Commonwealth.

What commonwealth? The one in Massachusetts?

 

Specifically the wealthier and more developed nations. Canada, the U.K., and New Zealand. Nonsecularism, hetero/cisnormativism, family values, and all of that jazz aren't significant cultural values of any of those countries, yet the people of those countries are living in safe and sane societies relative to the U.S. who's been far behind them in pretty much every social regard.

1. They have a very different culture there, one that isn't directly compatible with that of the USA.

2. Prove that their social systems are "better" objectively, and not just in your opinion.

3. Safe is not what I would call it in the UK, where you're far more likely to get physically accosted than anywhere in the USA.

4. Please provide objective proof that their conditions are "sane", and what conditions would be insane.

5. Why are you bringing up countries that aren't related to the conversation?

 

And what about South Africa?

What about it? It wasn't a part of the discussion.

 

While they are technically a secular nation they're more Christian than the United States. While gay marriage technically has been legal there for over a decade, there's still no penalty for LGBT hate crimes, and there are LGBT people there being killed and correctively raped there at higher frequency than the U.S. Gun violence is technically lower but violent crime overall is still higher.

They just recently got rid of Apartheid as well. None of this actually discusses anything in relation to the subject at hand. You're going off topic.

 

The U.S. does have a societal/cultural issue but it's not that our traditional values are being challenged and subverted.

You're about to contradict yourself... It's coming right up...

 

The U.S. has always had its values challenged and subverted since it became an independent nation, and even before then. Now is no different.

And there it is... Self contradiction.

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The correlations here break down when you consider the Commonwealth.

What commonwealth? The one in Massachusetts?

The Commonwealth of Nations.

 

Specifically the wealthier and more developed nations. Canada, the U.K., and New Zealand. Nonsecularism, hetero/cisnormativism, family values, and all of that jazz aren't significant cultural values of any of those countries, yet the people of those countries are living in safe and sane societies relative to the U.S. who's been far behind them in pretty much every social regard.

1. They have a very different culture there, one that isn't directly compatible with that of the USA.

2. Prove that their social systems are "better" objectively, and not just in your opinion.

3. Safe is not what I would call it in the UK, where you're far more likely to get physically accosted than anywhere in the USA.

4. Please provide objective proof that their conditions are "sane", and what conditions would be insane.

5. Why are you bringing up countries that aren't related to the conversation?

1. You can't just say x culture isn't compatible with ours because we have so many goddamn cultures here. The biggest cultural difference I can think of is that the United States has a culture of excess, and seeing that change wouldn't be a bad thing. That's just my opinion though.

2. New Zealand, Canada, all of Scandanavia, Denmark, Iceland, and the Netherlands are some of the happiest countries in the world. All of them have a universal single-payer healthcare system, all of them have strong but fair gun regulations, all of them have similar or higher divorce rates to the United States, and all of them recognize gay marriage and LGBT rights and representation.

3. You're comparing the U.K. as a whole to specific areas of the U.S., and beyond that I'm pretty sure London is safer than Flint, or St. Louis, or Baltimore, or Chicago, or Detroit.

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

All sources and citations included in the list. Canada ranks highest of all the countries I've mentioned for gun homicides and it's still more than 9 times lower than the United States. That's not mentioning the frequency and magnitude of mass shootings and terrorist attacks in the United States.

5. They are related to the conversation, because the cultural and societal correlations you've made don't add up practically in other real-world examples.

 

And what about South Africa?

What about it? It wasn't a part of the discussion.

 

While they are technically a secular nation they're more Christian than the United States. While gay marriage technically has been legal there for over a decade, there's still no penalty for LGBT hate crimes, and there are LGBT people there being killed and correctively raped there at higher frequency than the U.S. Gun violence is technically lower but violent crime overall is still higher.

They just recently got rid of Apartheid as well. None of this actually discusses anything in relation to the subject at hand. You're going off topic.

5. They are related to the conversation, because the cultural and societal correlations you've made don't add up practically in other real-world examples.

 

The U.S. does have a societal/cultural issue but it's not that our traditional values are being challenged and subverted.

You're about to contradict yourself... It's coming right up...

 

The U.S. has always had its values challenged and subverted since it became an independent nation, and even before then. Now is no different.

And there it is... Self contradiction.

Good job on missing the context anyway. It's not a contradiction to say the fact that we are having and always have had our "values" subverted isn't a problem. It hasn't been a problem for the past couple hundred years and it isn't a problem now.

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The Commonwealth of Nations.

And why should that matter in this discussion?

 

1. You can't just say x culture isn't compatible with ours because we have so many goddamn cultures here. The biggest cultural difference I can think of is that the United States has a culture of excess, and seeing that change wouldn't be a bad thing. That's just my opinion though.

2. New Zealand, Canada, all of Scandanavia, Denmark, Iceland, and the Netherlands are some of the happiest countries in the world. All of them have a universal single-payer healthcare system, all of them have strong but fair gun regulations, all of them have similar or higher divorce rates to the United States, and all of them recognize gay marriage and LGBT rights and representation.

3. You're comparing the U.K. as a whole to specific areas of the U.S., and beyond that I'm pretty sure London is safer than Flint, or St. Louis, or Baltimore, or Chicago, or Detroit.

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

All sources and citations included in the list. Canada ranks highest of all the countries I've mentioned for gun homicides and it's still more than 9 times lower than the United States. That's not mentioning the frequency and magnitude of mass shootings and terrorist attacks in the United States.

1. I most certainly can say that, because I dare you to find any other country that puts the right of firearm ownership directly in the founding principles of their country, (besides Mexico which doesn't actually allow that right in practice, or Guatemala which was not one of your espoused countries of "sanity") even so much as to put it second only to the freedom of speech. The culture of excess is literally what I described at the beginning that you disagreed with.

2. None of that proves objectively that their social systems are "better".

3. I'm comparing all of the UK to anywhere in the USA, because it's a valid comparison that you don't like. The UK has a MUCH higher rate of violent crime than the USA, just not with as many guns.

4. That has absolutely nothing to do with sanity, or proof of anything related to this particular subdiscussion.

 

5. They are related to the conversation, because the cultural and societal correlations you've made don't add up practically in other real-world examples.

This statement doesn't make any sense.

 

Good job on missing the context anyway. It's not a contradiction to say the fact that we are having and always have had our "values" subverted isn't a problem. It hasn't been a problem for the past couple hundred years and it isn't a problem now.

I didn't miss the context, and it's only your opinion that the subversion of values isn't a bad thing. I bet you would consider it bad if that subversion caused people to steal your stuff, and kill you for being a witness.

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1. You can't just say x culture isn't compatible with ours because we have so many goddamn cultures here. The biggest cultural difference I can think of is that the United States has a culture of excess, and seeing that change wouldn't be a bad thing. That's just my opinion though.

2. New Zealand, Canada, all of Scandanavia, Denmark, Iceland, and the Netherlands are some of the happiest countries in the world. All of them have a universal single-payer healthcare system, all of them have strong but fair gun regulations, all of them have similar or higher divorce rates to the United States, and all of them recognize gay marriage and LGBT rights and representation.

3. You're comparing the U.K. as a whole to specific areas of the U.S., and beyond that I'm pretty sure London is safer than Flint, or St. Louis, or Baltimore, or Chicago, or Detroit.

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

All sources and citations included in the list. Canada ranks highest of all the countries I've mentioned for gun homicides and it's still more than 9 times lower than the United States. That's not mentioning the frequency and magnitude of mass shootings and terrorist attacks in the United States.

1. I most certainly can say that, because I dare you to find any other country that puts the right of firearm ownership directly in the founding principles of their country, (besides Mexico which doesn't actually allow that right in practice, or Guatemala which was not one of your espoused countries of "sanity") even so much as to put it second only to the freedom of speech. The culture of excess is literally what I described at the beginning that you disagreed with.

2. None of that proves objectively that their social systems are "better".

3. I'm comparing all of the UK to anywhere in the USA, because it's a valid comparison that you don't like. The UK has a MUCH higher rate of violent crime than the USA, just not with as many guns.

4. That has absolutely nothing to do with sanity, or proof of anything related to this particular subdiscussion.

 

5. They are related to the conversation, because the cultural and societal correlations you've made don't add up practically in other real-world examples.

This statement doesn't make any sense.

 

I think we have a very different view of the culture of excess. You think it's the rejection of religious morality and that's what this entire discussion is about in the first place. To be honest it really isn't in your place to direct this conversation and tell me what's relevant and what's not, because I'm the one who pressed the concern in the first place. I think the culture of excess you described is just basic freedoms that other countries are enjoying. I think the culture of excess is the rejection of practicality rather than a rejection of religious morality. I'm a mentally ill transgender person who was dabbled in paganism and witchcraft and was raised by a single mother, and I love guns. I don't want to be viewed as some recipe for disaster because I fit your criteria for what's wrong in society, because to the contrary I'm actually a pacifist.

 

Good job on missing the context anyway. It's not a contradiction to say the fact that we are having and always have had our "values" subverted isn't a problem. It hasn't been a problem for the past couple hundred years and it isn't a problem now.

I didn't miss the context, and it's only your opinion that the subversion of values isn't a bad thing. I bet you would consider it bad if that subversion caused people to steal your stuff, and kill you for being a witness.

If you didn't miss the context you would see that wasn't a self contradiction.

And yes, I would consider it bad if subversion of values included grand theft and murder because they're fucking grand theft and murder. As it stands, challenging norms of gender and sexuality and rejecting Christianity aren't the same as grand theft and murder. Marilyn Manson has been pushing those bars for decades. Absolutely silly comparison.

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I personally don't like the show either, that's just me. I find it to be too melodramatic about the whole situation for me to take seriously.

 

Though yea, I did notice how nobody seemed to notice what was up with the story and how this show isn't really well-written at all.

 

Up here in Canada the show made a few bits of news and circulated around as "Promoting a Conversation on Suicide in Schools", which is basically Liberal-Speak for making a generally positive statement about something without commenting on its quality or content.

 

The inherent problem being: "What kind of conversation can you have when you open it with such a clumsy attempt at one?"

 

I mean, if this film were actually trying to promote a conversation, and not a statement, it would actually be making us doubt who was right in which situation and make us question the broader concepts. But from the start, the show wants us to feel bad for the girl who commits suicide, and to go along with her as to outline the 13 reasons (Most people who leave notes when they commit suicide rarely go to such lengths) that led to her wanting to kill herself.

 

No, I'd argue its not promoting a conversation, its giving a specific statement on the subject. A statement which MIGHT promote a conversation, but one which doesn't necessitate a conversation.

 

Like for the first case, what kind of conversation is that supposed to have in regards to this? "Should we not break up with people we don't feel 100% on in High School because they might try and kill themselves out of sadness?" No fucking way.

 

Or "How do we teach students on how to deal with assholes?" Actually, that'd be a conversation I think a lot of people should have, teaching people how to not get worked up over every random fuck who doesn't like you can go a long way in life.

 

As for the lack of critique of the show though, I think the bigger problem of why people don't notice, or aren't willing to call it out, is because of optics. Nobody would want to be seen criticizing a show like this unless the establishment does, because they're afraid of being seen as un-caring of suicide. So many people nowadays are incredibly concerned over how they'll look over opinions on things that don't really matter. Because a lot of other people today are really trigger-happy about lambasting people as the worst human beings on Earth if they have so much as a critical opinion on something the establishment likes.

 

Its a view I've seen becoming increasingly prevalent that you're only allowed to be critical of certain things in society. Various subjects, movements, and issues are not allowed to be critically examined, because it has been judged that they're out of the discussion for one reason or another, or are conveniently avoided. No different from the 1960s or 50s, hence why I use the same term "the establishment" to quantify those in ideological power on this, though the people who make up the establishment are much different than those then.

 

Could also be that a lot of people just don't know how to give out critique either. That's certainly the case with most University and College Students.

 

They're concerned about feelings before reason. They don't want you to think about the story, they want you to feel bad about the situation because its apparently inherently bad. Which even if it is, there are plenty of cases where well-written stories can leave you feeling terrible or sad at the end of them because they were so good. Raising the question of why not criticize the writing

if you actually want people to feel bad, and think about the plot in a serious and smart manner?

 

Fuck, I watched "Unfriended", which deals with a similar concept in a horror movie sense, and I found it to be immensely more enjoyable and thought-provoking towards the end (even though its not that deep either) with the whole concept of the Ghost/Demon/Whatever of the girl who killed herself wanting the person out of the group to admit which of them made the video that made her go to kill herself, to admit that they did it openly, when in truth, it already knew which one made it. But it wanted to hear them say it themselves, to show that they actually did feel bad for the event, that they take responsibility for what happened, but the person never does, and all of the group end up dying horrible deaths because of it as the Ghost tries to force them to admit it as it kills each of their friends one by one (the idea being that if they didn't feel bad for the girl committing suicide, maybe they'd feel bad that their friends are getting killed because they won't admit to it). But no, the person was incredibly selfish, and not remorseful.

 

That horror film, arguably raises more of a "discussion" than 13 Reasons Why. But you saw nobody talking it about it then because it was an "MTV-funded movie".

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