Two Different Views of 13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why can be viewed in many ways. Many love it many hate it. There is, however, something quite refreshing about this new Netflix Original show. the fact that they do not shy or hit people in the face with things. It is both bold and understated. I love the intimate relationships that you discover throughout the show, but the over arcing theme can be overwhelming to some. From the way I see it there are two audiences that are watching this. The first audience is made up of those who have considered suicide, like Hannah, or might in the future, like Sky. The second audience is made up of people who know people like Hannah/Sky, like Clay and the others on the tapes.

I know this might be pretty self explanatory, but from my own personal views and those I know, I have seen this division grow. Surprisingly, those who might be in a dark place in their minds seem to dislike the overall theme, yet enjoy the plot line. Most saying that the show “glorifies suicide.” Where as those who know those in dark places seem to enjoy the eye opening trip that the show took them on.

For me I was extremely captivated until the last episode. It was a little too close to home. I have been there before. I have cleaned up my room and organized everything so that after would be easy for those involved. I have written my letter over and over. I have been in that tub fully clothed and ready with a razor. In the end I truly was scared of ending. I settled for panic inducing crying fits in a cold shower and the comfort of a stinging piece of metal to remind me that I existed for some reason. So to watch someone do it with such… I don’t want to say ease, but with such ease hurt a bit. I felt almost slandered, because for me, this has been going on for years. And even though things have been happening to Hannah throughout the year, the suicide portion seemed rushed. Things have been happening to me since middle/preschool. I’ve written my suicide note at least 3 times. It was something I fought with every day and night.

I know that I am describing me, but I feel like there are others who have felt the same way. I know that there are some that have the worst day of their lives and decide then and there to end it. I know and understand those cases are out there. but to put together 12 reasons, that honestly could have been summarized, then to “give life one more chance” seemed just plain off to me. I feel like they should have added some scenes of her in her home falling apart throughout the whole year would have benefitted. Suicide isn’t something that people do because they want to prove a point, it is something they do when they see absolutely no other option.

Then you have the Sky character who is a very stereotypical “emo”. She has the scars, the look, and the attitude to back up her stereotype. So here you have two polar opposites. One shrouded in black and taking her anger out on the world and herself. Then you have a beautiful girl who tried to be friends with everyone and gets stabbed in the back every time. Yet the one you don’t think fits the image of a suicidal girl is the one who actually ends her life. In a way I like this because although there are a lot of Sky’s out there, there are also some that you never would expect to hide scars or other issues. But in private, behind closed doors, they are the same. They both have anger and sadness in them to the point that it is too much. That is what was missing for me. There were only a couple times when we got to see Hannah breakdown. But realistically speaking, it would happen constantly


I’m Alive: Next to Normal

Next to Normal is a tense and chilling musical. That’s right, a creepy musical. And it is amazing. This is by far my favorite show that I have ever seen or heard of. I’ll give a quick overview of what the show is about, then go into the lyrics of the song I’m Alive.

So the entire show consists of 6 people. Mother, father, son, daughter, boyfriend, psycho-pharmacologist are those 6! But there is a catch, the son actually died when he was a baby.


The mother never got over him, so in her mind he kept growing, kept again. So he is present throughout the show as a figment of her imagination… Or is he?


This is Aaron Tveit… The amazing, sexy, wonderful man that is the son. You might recognize him from Les Miserables, Enjolras, or from Graceland.. Where he is one of the leads! Well, this guy can also sing… Like a flippen angel. And in this role he is absolutely breath-takingly creepy.

He plays the son that is constantly trying to convince his mother that he isn’t just a figment of her imagination, but that he is really alive. Trying to convince her that he is alive isn’t the only thing that he is trying to convince to to do though, he also wants her to join him. But that is a whole other song! So throughout the show you get to see her struggle between her husband who lovingly stays by her side, and her son that has aged into a handsome man.


All the son wants is for her to actually grieve him. Not pretend he was never alive, but really grieve him. For his dad, he wants him to acknowledge him. But what makes this show absolutely amazing is the acting. The way the characters pour themselves into the parts is gut wrenching at times.


I cannot tell you enough about how amazing this show is. If you like characters with depth this is the show for you. I wont go into detail about how much the sister struggles with dealing with a mentally ill mother, but I will tell you that it is amazing. I think I have described enough to go into the analysis of the song. Keep in mind that he is jumping all over the amazingly well built stage!


“I am what you want me to be,
And I’m your worst fear”
This line is incredibly accurate. There are a couple ways, based on staging, that you can interpret this. I’m going to try and base everything on what the lyricist was thinking when this song was written. Basing it more upon the thought process of the character. Directors will have the actors doing different things. THAT being said here are the two ways. 1) The son is singing the first part of the song to his mother, and the second part to his father. This is based on the mother’s constant struggle between believing her husband that her son isn’t really there, and believing that her son really is there. 2) The first part is fulfilling the hope that their son hadn’t really died. It was all a nightmare, he isn’t gone, he’s okay. That’s what they want. The second part of the lyric would be the reality of why the son is there. He wants them all to join him. He isn’t there to provide peaceful thoughts, he wants to stir up trouble and get them to join him on the other side. This would all depend on the staging done by the director. If he directs the son to indicate to each parent on the specific line, then the first interpretation is being used. However, if that is not the case, and he is singing to one than the second one is being used.

“You’ll find it in me.
Come closer…
Come closer…”
He is singing to his mother throughout this song. She is in a therapy session as he is singing. So I think that this line is being used to try and convince her further that she needed to leave her therapist and go to him.

“I am more than memory”
A simple memory, such as last week when you “cheated” on your diet isn’t something that makes you loose sleep. A traumatic event, such as loosing someone close to you is something so much more. So when he says that he is more than a memory, he’s referring to being more tangible than a fleeting thought. 

“I am what might be,”
Clearly, he is embodying the person that he could have been if he hadn’t died. the life they could have had, if he were there.

“I am mystery.”
Since she isn’t sure, within her mind, if he is there or not. Even if he is, why is he there? Why is he doing this? It’s all a mystery.

“You know me
So show me.”

With this line, once again, he is singing to his mother while she is in a therapy session. I feel like he is trying to remind her, “You know me” remember? “So show me” So prove it. He is trying to get her to choose him.

“When I appear it’s
Not so clear if
I’m a simple spirit
Or I’m flesh and blood…”
When the son isn’t around, it might be easy for her to believe that he really isn’t there. It really is in her head. That’s why he points out the fact that it is when he appears it’s hard to tell whether or not he is there.

“But I’m alive,
I’m alive,
I am so alive,”
Leading off the previous line, he is telling her that he isn’t that simple spirit every says he is he really is alive.

“And I feed on the fear
That’s behind your eyes.”
May I just start with how much I love this line? It’s hard to know exactly what was meant by this line. Is it merely a metaphor? He loves the fear that radiates from the family that he compares it to something he can’t live without: food? Or is it literal? The more they fear him, the stronger he gets? I’m going to go with the second one because of the next line.

“And I need you
To need me”
And this is why I think that it is an actually craving. He needs to be wanted. If not, he’d fade away. So the more she believes he is there the stronger he will get.

“It’s no surprise
I’m alive…
So alive…
I’m alive.”
I’ve thought about his line for hours. I know that sounds strange, but why does he say this particularly? Rhyme? No, they could have had him say “I tell no lies” or something like that. But I think that I finally figure it out. If he feeds on the fear, than it’s no surprise that he is alive. Going along with the whole idea that he gets stronger the more people fear/accept him, than he is saying that it really is not a surprise that he is “alive”. 

“I am flame and I am fire,
I am destruction,
Decay and desire”
All of these, including desire, could be interpreting dark things. Such as sins, desire – lust. I like how the writers used flame and fire. A flame isn’t necessarily dangerous. But a fire is. the flame is the beautiful, yet dangerous part of the fire. Sort of like the thorn on a rose. To combine destruction and decay with desire was probably convenient for the alliteration. However, destruction and decay are words that could relate to other things. Destruction, the ruining of the mind and body. Decay – withering away in both the mind and body. Desire- the powerful feeling of need and want for something. Could he be saying that what she is craving of him is actually what will bring her mind to completely wiped?

“I’ll hurt you…
I’ll heal you…”
As talked about at the beginning of this song, there are two ways to look at this based on staging. It could be that the first part of the line could be directed towards the father or therapist, and the second part to the mother. If not directed like that, it could just be the son saying that he will hurt you, but then softens to reassure that he would also heal. It could also stand to mean that in healing you, he is actually hurting you.

“I’m your wish,
Your dream come true,”
If you have ever lost someone close to you, you know what he is saying. The mother completely lost her mind when she lost her son. All she wants is for him to be back, so he is. 

“And I am your darkest
Nightmare too”
Considering how much he want her to join him, there is no denying the accuracy of this line.

“I’ve shown you…
I own you.”

This is another one that is a little confusing unless you know the show well. The concept of him owning his mother is very strange and could be difficult to wrap your head around. Until you realize the whole joining thing. Or even when he tell her that he would be there, not her husband. Then when they fight, the son is always there. and even when she leaves for a while, he knows that she will be back. This picture above is from the song “There’s a World” which is where is finally has her attempt to join him. Such an wonderful song when performed correctly.

“And though you made me,
You can’t change me”
He is their son, but he is so much more than that now. He might have been created by them in life, but in death something darker seems to have control over their “son”. I feel like  he is sort of rubbing it in her face. You might have been able to control me, if you didn’t let me die. 

“I’m the perfect stranger
Who knows you too well.”
This tags along with the previous line. She might think of him as her son, but he is really something darker. A complete stranger who bares the face of her baby boy. Something that no mother would be able to ignore.

And I’m alive,
I’m alive,
I am so alive,
“And I’ll tell you the truth
If you let me try.”
She has been told countless times that he isn’t there. A figment of her imagination that confuses her. So I feel like at this part he is trying to tease her to draw her closer. As if there were a deeper reality that others can’t sense and he was finally going to let her in on the secret.

“You’re alive,
I’m alive,”
Trying to compare himself to his mother, if you’re alive I must be alive too, right?

“And I’ll show why
I’m alive…
So alive…”
Again with the same feeling that he is teasing her with some piece of the puzzle that she’s been looking for for years.

“I’m alive
I’m right behind you.”
For this line it is the staging. For the production I saw, as well as the image above, he was coaxing his sister. He pushed their mothers purse out so that she would feel inclined to go through it and take her medication. He just wants to have a big family reunion when they all join him, huh?

“You say forget,
But I remind you.”
The whole notion that he doesn’t want to be forgotten is hidden throughout the show. The docs try to give her so many meds she doesn’t even know why she needs them anymore. Later in this song he mentions, until you grieve me, as in until you remember. So every time she moves on a little bit past, she isn’t actually grieving. She’s either forgetting about it, or pretending it never happened. So he is there to remind her every time she thinks she can take a shortcut through the grief.

“You can try to hide,
You know that I will find you.”
 He thinks of himself as a God, and with enough conviction people will see him as one too. She has never been able to escape him, so when he says this he is reiterating to her that she will never be cleansed from him.

“‘Cause if you won’t grieve me
You won’t leave me behind…”
And here is that line I was talking about previously. She has never just dealt with what happened. The event was so traumatic that her brain thought is would be easier to forget, or pretend, that is ever happened. So until she confronts what happened, he isn’t going anywhere.

“Ah, ah, ah,
Whoa, oh, oh,
Whoa, oh, oh…
No, no, no
I’m alive,
I’m alive,
I am so alive,”

“If you climb on my back,
Then we both can fly.”
Once more I feel like he is trying to get her to join him. Come with me and I’ll make you feel wonderful. 

“If you try to deny me
I’ll never die”
Until she confronts what happened, he ain’t going anywhere!

I’m alive…
So alive…
I’m alive…
Yeah, yeah…
I’m alive…
I’m alive…
I’m alive…
I’m alive!

Next to Normal Photo 9


And this is how the song ends. The mother on the bottom floor reaching up to the son her is on the top floor who is reaching down. Father and daughter, respectfully, on the second floor facing opposite directions. Finally the therapist on the same level as the mother, simply looking at her. I think the mother and son reaching thing is easily explained. But something about the father and daughter sat strangely with me. why have them face different ways? Why have them on the second level? Yes, it probably was because it was pretty. But it would also stand to reason that they were standing in the was of the son and mother being together. As for them facing different directions, could show disinterest. They aren’t facing each other, which would be interpreted as something familiar to a family. They are facing opposite, which stands to reason that they have opposing standpoints.


Alibis–Marianas Trench

Marianas Trench is a wonderful Punk-Pop group from Canada. They are actually on tour currently in the states though. It consists of four men who have performed together now for years. I started becoming slightly obsessed with them about three years ago when my family looked up their music videos. trench-smh-102811

Although they have a punk-themed look, their videos tend to be upbeat. Some songs definitely have a stronger theme to them. Song writer and lead singer, Josh Ramsay, often puts his life into his songs.


Battling anorexia and a heroine addiction at a young age gave him the soul needed for writing such intense lyrics. One of my favorites is Alibis. This was on their album titled Fix Me. This album hosts many of their rougher tunes that are deeply missed. Songs like this one cry out to me and really make me reflect on things that I’m going through or things from my past.

As always, this is simply my assumption, and what I personally take from the song. This does not necessarily reflect what the band means by their words.

“From the scrapes and bruises”

Knowing that Josh dealt with Anorexia means that he also probably had to deal with bulimia as well. Often, a side effect of bulimia means you get to walk around looking like you punched something recently. Unless someone uses alternative measures to induce their gag reflex, most people use their hands. More often than not your knuckles scrape your teeth. When done multiple times a day, this means that you will receive injuries that look like scrapes.

This is very accurate also if you self-harm. Some people with give themselves bruises instead and then say they fell. Easier to explain than straight lines.

To the familiar abuses”
To me, the word familiar is being used here because people hear about narcotic addictions more often than they do eating disorders. This going strongly for men. So here he is saying that in addition the the abuse he endures from the eating disorder, he also has what other people might call normal abuses as well. In his case, heroine.


It could also mean something that hasn’t been done in a while. It could also be interpreted that it was familiar because it had been done in the past. So using the self-harming idea again. If someone had stopped for a few months or years, then started once more, it would be the familiar abuse.

“I’ll kick and scream but it never changes anything”




I’ve been told, and have seen it portrayed, that when giving up an addiction to something as strong as heroine, your body completely rejects the lack of the drug. So major fits of aggression can, and do, occur. Then, with the last part of that line, “but it never changes anything” states that no matter how much he hates it, it never changes. So he can go on and on and nothing is going to change the state that he is in.

“I could spill my guts out
Wearing my best little girl pout”
I view this in three ways.
1) Literally spilling guts as in bulimia.
2) Spilling guts/blood as in self harm
3) Spilling guts as in telling someone about what they are going through.
However taking into account the next line, it is probably one of the first two.

“And I almost missed it”
When someone reflects on the past, sometimes they can’t believe that they missed that feeling. With this line, I almost feel like he is amazed by the thought. I can’t believe I almost missed it.

“But nobody said that this was gonna be easy”
Giving up any addiction is beyond difficult. When one is going to start to give something up they are bombarded with negative thoughts. People are all too willing to say that you are strong enough, but they never talk about how hard it is.

“This is not the man I hoped to be”
I don’t think that any young person dreams to be an adult dealing with an addiction. So this line seems to reflect on that thought.

“And I’m just trying to stop the bleeding”
This line, again, I take a couple ways. One way that it could be interpreted is stopping the bleeding from self-harm/bulimia. But there is also another viewpoint. One that mimics a similar thought, but not necessarily meaning that it has happened. This could just be a way of saying that he is simply trying to stay alive.

“I don’t know how to word it
I just started to deserve it”
Often times, when someone self-harms or partakes in eating disorders, they feel like they deserve to feel the way they do. I’m annoying to everyone I meet, I should punish myself. I disgust everyone by my size, I should starve myself. things like that. It might not start off that way, but it quickly turns into that.

“And all my, all my faces are alibis”
This is by far one of my favorite lines from Marianas Trench. I think most people can relate to this line in some way. This line is talking about how others people view him. If everyone sees a happy smiling face, how would they ever believe that I am depressed? If they have never seen me upset, how would they believe me when I tell them I need help? So when he says “faces” he is talking about his persona. When he says alibis, he is meaning his defense. Even if someone saw the scars, or saw the tell tale signs of eating disorders, “but he/she is always so happy! He/She could would never do that.”
“And me, I’m half the man I wanted to be”
You could take this literal, half the man because of the weight loss, or you could take it a bit more abstract. You know when some one say, “If you were half the man your father was…”? So he could just be saying that he isn’t good enough.

“Most times it all comes out wrong
I don’t know the words but I’ll hum along”
This line I take a little differently. I think that this is going along with the alibi theme. Pretending to be okay, when you really aren’t. I don’t know how to be normal, but I pretend to anyway. 

“There’s nothing familiar here anymore
To anyone or anything left to feel alive”
When dealing with depression, of any form, it is easy to think that you are completely alone. In feeling this way, you tend to push away people close to you. When this is done, you think that they left because of you and they were never really there. Then you start wondering who they were, did you ever really know them at all?

“And I still taste that sickness”
I think this one is pretty self explanatory… However there again there are two ways of looking at this. 1) literal sickness. 2) Plain disgust. Like when you are so upset at something you’re sick about it. So this could be someone reflecting on something unpleasant and still feeling upset about it. 

“And it makes me crazy without it at best”
This line is talking about at best he feels crazy without that sickness, which is rather upsetting when you think about it. This means there are times when he feels worse than just “crazy” at the loss of the thing he is trying so desperately to get rid of. 

“But I’m in the same place I used to be”
Still an addict. Still depressed…

“But I’m trying harder not to be”
Once an addict always an addict, but there are ways of working to be better. That is what this line is for.

This is not the man I hoped to be
And I’m just trying to stop the bleeding
I don’t know how to word it
I just started to deserve it
And all my, all my faces are alibis
And me, I’m half the man I wanted to be

So what am I? What am I? So what am I?
If you are trying to get better, so as to not be an addict, but you are still struggling–what are you? Feeling lost about who/what you are when you loose something that was such a big part of who you identified as is a very confusing thing.

And all my, all my faces are alibis
This is not the man I hoped to be
And I’m just trying to stop the bleeding

“I don’t know how the words go
I just started not to say no”
Just slightly different from the previous line, this one is talking about relapsing. At least that is my interpretation. Constantly saying no to something, then finally giving in. Not necessarily relapse, but in general.

“Don’t want it, don’t get it
I know you won’t regret it”
This line is kind of an advisory line. He is saying that he doesn’t want what he is going through, then telling others not to “get it” as in addiction.
“Don’t surface, don’t surface
And I feel so damned worthless”
1) If I do not get over this I will feel completely worthless
2) Don’t go outside, don’t let others see you because you feel so worthless.

“Another day is gone and all my faces are alibis”
Once again, I’m pretending to be something I’m not.

All my faces are alibis

And me, I’m half the man I wanted to be


I’ve said it throughout this piece that this is just my interpretation of the song. Often times I refer to him/he I do not necessarily mean Josh throughout. It is just the singer, so I refer to the voice. I’m not trying to say that this is how he feels/felt. I’m just interpreting the lyrics from my viewpoint.

This song is hauntingly beautiful with it’s comparisons and deep understanding of the struggles caused by addiction.

Plus, who can’t love a song by this sexy man??

Inside Out

First of all. SPOILERS. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. This movie is a lot deeper than you think. I went in thinking that it was going to be such a fun and happy movie, and it is! But, man, if you really think about it it brings a much deeper level of thought that kind of hits you by surprise. In a nutshell the story follows the emotions that are inside this little girl, Riley.


The emotions are coordinated to a color. That obviously match. Joy is clearly the one in control.


What is interesting, is when each emotion touches the control desk, they are taking over how Riley does certain things. So if Anger has you go upstairs, she stomps up. If Disgust has her say something, Riley will say it as if she was… well, disgusted. Then, each memory that is created reflects the emotion that was in control. So if it is a memory of something that was scary, than the orb would be purple.

The next thing that happens is a little confusing. If you think back, to certain memories, there are a couple that really stand out and make them who you are. Memories of your family, friends, hobbies, things like that. Each time you have a memory like that they become extra special. They go turn into “Core Memories”. Then, in true animation style, those create little islands.


These are the islands of personalities. These are what makes Riley, Riley. There is, in order, Honesty Island, Friendship Island, Hockey Island, and Goof-ball Island. Now from the very beginning, you see Joy trying her hardest to keep Sadness away from the control desk as well as the orbs. I didn’t really like this, but it was for a reason. I mean who wants to see their person sad right? Joy was just looking out for Riley. While the other emotions weren’t paying attention to Sadness, she went and touched an orb. The orb was originally Gold in color to reflect Joy, yet when Sadness touched it it turned Blue.


All of a sudden, Riley, who was recalling something happy suddenly saw this memory sad.  This of course  happens at the worst time ever, because she is standing in front of the class talking about the recent move.


Joy tried to turn it back gold, but it remained blue. This is one of those times when you realize that it has a deeper meaning. Sometimes, when you reflect on happy times, it makes you sad. Sad that those times are over, those people are gone, the fact that those moments won’t happen again. It makes since that it turned blue and wouldn’t turn back. There was something else that Sadness said about wanting to, or feeling like she should touch it.. As if Riley was already slightly thinking it was sad, but needed the actual Sadness to turn it sad. Does that make sense?

Anyway, the movie goes on to show the family moving to California. The house isn’t really a house, and their furniture is lost in Texas. So you can imagine that Joy had plenty of work to do. Eventually, the mom came in to tell Riley that it was wonderful how happy she was staying. That her parents really needed her to stay that happy little girl.


That’s putting a lot onto a child. But this inspires Joy to keep working. Of course things just can’t happen like that though! While trying to stop Sadness from turning a Core Memory sad, Joy and Sadness both wind up lost in the inner workings of Riley’s mind.

Unfortunately for Riley, this means that Anger, Fear, and Disgust have to take over. She gets in a fight with her parents over many things. And eventually the three emotions come up with an idea to run away back to Minnesota. After all, that is where Riley is happy, so go back and she is happy again right?


Inside Out Japan Pixar Post 5

Because she had ruined all her islands, Riley looses everything that made her, her. And because of that the desk starts to loose it’s power. Meaning that no matter what the emotions did, they couldn’t make Riley do anything, which means that Riley couldn’t feel anything.

Joy of all people realize that she has to be sad in order go go home. My mom didn’t seem to understand this part. Why does being sad make you want to go back home? If Joy were able to take control, Riley would have been happy about running away. But because Sadness took over, Riley was sad about leaving her family, so she changes her mind and runs back home.

Then, Sadness has Riley tell her parents about how she has been feeling. “Please don’t be upset with me.” “You want me to be happy.” Riley started recalling those Core Memories, but only after Sadness turned them all blue. This is very deep, for a children’s movie. The past hurts. Sometimes it hurts the longer it’s been, and having Riley say all those things really meant a lot to the whole plot.

Her parent end up hugging her, and comforting her. Sadness then grabs Joy’s hand and puts it on the controller too. So now there is a happy-sad moment happening. A memory orb comes down and it is two-toned.


This scene meant so much. It wasn’t about letting kids know they can talk to their parents, it wasn’t about trying to make people ‘feel’ something, it was to let everyone know that it is okay to be sad. It is okay to show people that you aren’t okay. Now I realize that I didn’t explain everything in full and complete break-down mode from the movie, but if you haven’t seen it please go, and you will understand. But having a movie like this, with this kind of meaning is a big deal.

There is a feeling in today’s culture that effects so many people. Sadness. Pain. Hurt. Feelings that we are told, influenced, to keep hidden. Smile through the pain, pick yourself up again, don’t let others see you hurt. Why? Why has everyone become so afraid of being human? We all have emotions that effect us, maybe they aren’t as creative as the colorful egos in Riley’s head, but we all still have them. To pretend that everything is okay, when it clearly is not, is something that no one should have to do.


I believe that the point of this movie is to let people know that it is okay. It’s okay to be sad, to ask for help, to let people know that you are not okay. If this had come out 4 years ago I would probably be a different person, but as it is, here we are. Being sad isn’t something to be ashamed of. You shouldn’t have to hide that part of you. If you are sad, let it out in a healthy manor. Let people know, don’t be afraid of opening up to other people. You shouldn’t have to be left alone with your feelings of self worthlessness.

This is a movie with deeper meanings that I will dwell upon, and probably extend on this review when it comes out on DVD. I wouldn’t call it a kid’s movie. I don’t think that they would understand these thoughts. This is definitely something that I would highly recommend for middle school and high school students. Plus there is a wonderful explanation of cats at the end of the movie. 🙂