terça-feira, 18 de abril de 2017

13 reasons why...

Folks, meet Hannah Baker, the girl who slits her wrists and bleeds till death alone in a bathtub. Hannah is the main character of "13 reasons why", the dead girl of Jay Asher's best-seller novel on which the new-released Netflix series is based. The dead girl who leaves audiotapes behind saying what are the reasons why she took her own life. 7 cassette tapes, sides 1 and 2, the last one missing the second side. So, it tallies to 13 reasons, each of them related to 13 acquaintances and/or friends of Hannah's who, in her perspective, contributed to her final deadly act. Some of them disappointed her, some bullied her, some turned their backs to her, others cared about but not enough. Not enough, according to the tapes, to stop her from picking up common razor blades and sliding them deeply onto her skin. Not enough to avoid a tragedy, to avoid the feeling of unbearable pain. In the end, when one thing comes on top of another, all that matters is an effective relief; to get rid of that "stack of pains", at any cost. Things overflowed to Hannah. Like the overflowing bathtub where she died, water and bleed blended in. 

Mainly targeted to adolescents, the Netflix series has been arising lots of controversy. Not only in teenagers milieus, where bullying, violence and the taboo of suicide have been carried out more often, but also the show has been drawing rising attention and concern among adults, ranging from authorities, education and health experts and institutions to families, communities, and the public opinion in general. As the suicide rates have been hiking in that specific age group, filling up the news almost everywhere world wide, "13 reasons why" has been ultimately blamed for inciting teenager suicide. For making it up glamorous, allegedly a final statement which attempt is worth of.

For those who kicked off with the series watching, Hannah might be considered so immature that all that she wanted was getting people's attention. Maybe it hasn't crossed her mind how far she would have gone and the due consequences of her attitudes. Or, as a dead person, the last word, the final judgement would lay forever on her opinions, her personal impressions and grasps of what her high-school mates had done to her. After all, who would deny or contradict stories that couldn't be faced-to-faced later on?

And last but not least, we might glimpse a weak juvenile lacking the skills of coping with the troubling web of pain and sorrow encircling any rite of passage to adulthood. If anyone got through that, why wouldn't she? Probably because life is more complicated than rules stated in pedagogic guide books. Because one's views and experiences of things is irremediably personal and unique. And so are the different ways to pave the paths toward being an adult.

The minimum that can be said is that the Western societies are not catching up with the contemporary - and more brutal - forms of bullying and violence our youngsters have been exposed to. What happens at schools courts, classes and corridors has been evolving far beyond the grips of parents and education counselors. The new shapes of bullying are more sophisticated, more harmful and available to any kid to take a dare. Of course, sometimes things escalates as it happened with our spotlighted Hannah. However, most of the times we are talking about reality, not about fiction. About teenagers cutting themselves to get a palpable measure of an unimaginable pain caused by any sort of abuse or bullying. About adolescents getting angrier and raging against each others and other people; eventually adolescents getting more depressed, detached of a meaning for their lives.

"13 reasons why" might depict a more embellished reality. Though it cannot be said that the series fosters suicidal behavior among juniors. A wide gap lies in between. Most likely a kind of denial acknowledging what has been coming up inside youth's minds and souls recently, including higher rates of self inflicted deaths within the teen years.

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