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Unpacking 13 Reasons Why
Two Glaring Truths the Show Unveiled
by Rob Chagdes

It’s Hannah, Hannah Baker… I’m about to tell you…why my life ended. And if you’re listening to this tape, you’re one of the reasons why.

Netflix has once again introduced a show that has captured the conversation among teenagers, much like last summer’s hit Stranger Things.

Based on the Jay Asher novel of the same name, 13 Reasons Why, tells the story of a teen girl’s decision to end her own life. High school sophomore Hannah Baker records thirteen reasons she ended her life, because, as she says, “there are thirteen sides to every story.” Recording on old-school cassette tapes, Hannah orchestrates a scenario in which those she blames for her death will listen to the tapes and know why she took her own life.

JONATHAN'S BLOG: Teen Summer Bucket List Goes Viral
Go to a party
Have sex
Give two blow jobs
8 hoe pics for Instagram
Hook up with Jacob again
Get a boob hickey…

These are just some of the items on a young person’s “bucket list” gone viral on Twitter.

Does this surprise me?

The timing is intriguing. Just last week I had a 3+ hour drive to the airport on my way back from teaching youth workers at a convention in Indiana. I took the opportunity to listen to the current Billboard Hot 100 to get a glimpse into the top music today… and apparently teen thinking today.

The most predominant music genre was definitely rap and hip hop, all five of the top five had sexual references, two actually referred to the female genitalia, and the top message in most of the top 100 was predominantly “live for the moment.” But I think the biggest factor that hit me was that most of this music (and most of entertainment media in fact) didn’t reveal any specific consequences.

Don’t get me wrong. Many songs talk about pain and hopelessness, especially in the context of breakups. But never is this pain and hopelessness paired with specific actions.

Just two messages in music today:

  1. Do whatever feels good

  2. Wow… this hurts!

Wouldn't it be nice if teens had a safe place where they could dialogue about the ramifications of posting "8 hoe pics for Intagram." Do most young people feel any regrets after posting hoe pics? Wouldn't it be nice if caring adult mentors were having these kinds of conversations with today's young people?

Isn't it also bizarre that one of the TV shows that actually does reveal consequences of behaviors went viral in the last year.

It’s funny. This generation likes innocent fun… like baking cakes and cookies. This young YouTube star has over 8 million followers… and she just bakes creative yummies. Sadly, the aforementioned bucket list only has a few items that might even fall in that category:
Have a lemonade stand w/ Zoe.
Eat cotton candy
Pet a giraffe

What would your teen’s bucket list look like?

What did your list look like when you were a teen?
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Season Seven, Episode Sixteen, The First Day of the Rest of Your Life
by Thom McKee Who would you rather be, Negan or Rick? Think about it. Negan has pretty much everything he wants, including immense power and access to most of the material things that people only enjoyed before the Zombie apocalypse.

  • More Than Just The Talk
  • Get Your Teenagers Talking
  • Zombie Survival Guide
Sexy Songs of Summer
This Season's Hits Aren't Short on Sensuality
David R. Smith and Jonathan McKee  

Today’s musical artists will do almost anything to own the coveted “song of the summer.” In recent years the key ingredient seems to be racy, sexual, or even explicit messages (but at what cost?). This summer is no exception.   

Here’s a quick look at a few songs in this week’s...