What is the controversy in 13 Reasons Why?

Over the last couple of days Gigglez and I have binge watched “13 Reasons Why” (https://www.netflix.com/title/80117470). The general premise is simple, yet quite complex.  A high school junior commits suicide, but before she does, records a series of audio tapes. These tapes involve all of those that contributed to her decision to end her life. Each person on the tapes are to listen to them and pass them onto the next person.

I think that this may be the most important series that I have watched in quite some time. The level of passion in the work harkens back to Dead Poets Society. Reaching deeply into the high school minds.

I am a fan of what Stephen King says about banned or censored works:

“Censorship and the suppression of reading materials are rarely about family values and almost always about control about who is
snapping the whip, who is saying no, and who is saying go. Censorship’s bottom line is this: if the novel Christine offends me, I don’t want just to make sure it’s kept from my kid; I want to make sure it’s kept from your kid, as well, and all the kids. This bit of intellectual arrogance, undemocratic and as old as time, is best expressed this way: “If it’s bad for me and my family, it’s bad for everyone’s family.”

Yet when books are run out of school classrooms and even out
of school libraries as a result of this idea, I’m never much disturbed not as a citizen, not as a writer, not even as a schoolteacher . . . which I used to be. What I tell kids is, Don’t get mad, get even. Don’t spend time waving signs or carrying petitions around the neighborhood. Instead, run, don’t walk, to the nearest nonschool library or to the local bookstore and get whatever it was that they banned. Read whatever they’re trying to keep out of your eyes and your brain, because that’s exactly what you need to know.” 
― Stephen King

So, as controversy is starting to stir, we decided to see why. What is the idea that “they” did not want us to see?  Was it the sex, drugs, suicide, free thought, bullying, or what? The negative press is asserting that the show is somehow condoning suicide, rape, drugs, and alcohol.  We simply did not find that to be the case. We found it to be illuminating the problems rather than glorifying them.

This series draws you in tightly with a broad spectrum of demographics and personalities. The cast was convincing in their roles.  Their portrayals caused emotional response and reflection for me.  It may be too hot of a topic for the various award giving entities to give the appropriate accolades.

Katherine Langford plays the role of the girl who chose to end her life. The life, death, and everything in between had such vibrancy it was the girl next door.

Dylan Minnette, the male lead, pulled of his role to such quality that it had me thinking of my youth. Back came the memories of the girls that I wished that I had the courage to approach. The cheerleader in math class, everyday taunting my middle school mind.

I think the one who stood out most for me was Kate Walsh. She played the grieving mother, struggling to come to terms with what happened with her cherished daughter. Why did she lose her daughter and could there have been anything that she or the school could have done to prevent it.  I could see in her the pain of all of the mothers who have lost a child. I have enjoyed her work since Gray’s Anatomy, but this role was far beyond the characters that I have seen her in before.  I know that she has kids, and that may have been part of what propelled the emotional buy-in that we saw. It was an utterly stunning role to see her play out.

As the series unfolds and we see more and more of the factors come to light it is difficult to watch as you know what is about to happen.  I am being mindful of spoilers so there is much more that I would like to say, but, it would be better for you to watch for yourself.  The episodes delve into areas that we wish did not exist, and for some, pretend that they don’t.  Guess what people, kids are mean, bullies exist, sex is had (consensual and rape), drugs and alcohol gets consumed.  When you watch this series (and I hope that you do if you have the strength) take the time to watch the follow-up episode.  The breakdown of the rationale for the way that certain scenes were carried out was quite valuable.

My wife and I were both reminded of those that we lost in our youth. The names, and faces from the past. We lost people, almost lost people and have had some that we reached out to when we were worried. In the end we cannot help but wonder how many times we missed a friend in need.  We also have to think about how something we may have said, or NOT said could have nudged someone to a darker place without meaning to, or realizing it.

Where does this leave our society? We need to be more thoughtful in how we interact and raise our kids. We have to be open, mindful, watchful, and communicative.  It is too bad that we cannot instill the golden rule upon our kids and have it stick with them for their entire lives. We are not perfect, nor are our kids.


Ms. Lips is bored

When Ms. Lips gets bored, it may be dangerous.

I am pretty sure that Ms. Lips and Ms. Badcat are both on the same pages as to what I have been doing over the last month.

Gigglez and I dropped the daughter off at WSU Pullman.

We are very proud of her. Now that she is an adult… Go Bree!!!

As part of her path toward veterinary school, she has to be mindful of all of those things that will make her more attractive to getting accepted. This is not some overnight idea for her. she has had this plan in play as long as I have known her. We are talking since she was ten or so.

Here is where we can kill two birds with one stone. Ms. Lips, I know that you are wonderfully smart, so how about we exercise the synapses.

I was thinking that we can develop a crowd funding type project that she can do (with help from behind the curtain) that is in some way pet related community oriented charity work.

Welcome back you two!

Gay Marriage; States rights, federal rights, or human rights

By Eyes_open


As the Supreme Court takes on the issue of California’s Proposition 8, and the federal DOMA, and Jeb Bush weighs in that he believes marriage should be a states rights issue, where do you stand on the issue of same-sex marriage, and why. Is it a matter that should be left to each state, should the federal government be involved and to what degree. Or is this a constitutional violation of civil rights, placing it in the hands of the Supreme Court.

Random Act of Compassion

The other night, Gigglez and I were out for a quick bite to eat.

As we ate I noticed a sight impaired gentleman tapping his way north on the east side of Highway 99. What I could not see fully from my seat was, that at the corner there was construction netting that had the curb closed off.

The family two tables over had a much better view, and they became concerned as this poor guy ran out of sidewalk and was no longer and to navigate. his bearing were getting quite screwed up.  (for the non-locals highway 99 is a five lane (including the turn lane) surface street and we were a block form a Walmart so it is busy.

The father of the family beside us jumped up, and briskly crossed the street to get to the man  who was getting even further turned around. we were afraid that he was going to step off of the curb and get hurt, or worse.

We did see a couple other people catch up to him at the same time.

It turned out that he was headed to Popeye’s as well and is a frequent customer. I did find it notable that he unknowingly took the exact seat that his rescuer was sitting in. I did get a staffer to clean the tables for him. There were crumbs everywhere and she had just served his food to him at the table… I don’t know WHY she did not wipe them down on her own. just because he can SEE that the table is dirty doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t take care of it. I even offered to wipe them down myself to make it easy. bah…

in the end, several people did a great job stepping up to make sure that this gentleman lived to get his dinner. After what I saw last week, I did not want to see any more sheets being draped over anyone any time soon.

Stay safe people, and keep an eye out for these around you. 🙂


Are parents clueless about child predators on the Internet?


We see these stories all the time where kids have run off to meet up with someone that they were talking to online.

Why were the parents so far out of the loop?

There are plenty of tools to help with these situations, if the parents will actually PARENT their child.

Is this another case where “parents” are going all soft and spineless with their kids? Where we cannot invade the kids’ privacy?

should teen dads be forced to stay out of sports or other extra cirriculars until the mother is back to school?

I think the title pretty much covers the question.

Not much to add.

Should religious schools be required to teach health/sexual education from a non-religious perspective?

Does theology trump general health?
Can the nation decide that there be a minimum level of sexual education that must be provided by schools regardless of the school religious beliefs?