I have a problem. I’m compulsively driven to read the comments on every 13 Reasons Why article that crosses my Facebook feed. I know, I KNOW, I should know better, but here we are.

The one thing this practice has given me (other than stress-induced migraines) is a singular insight into the types of comments these articles inspire. All thirteen of them (HA!). Because every comment defending 13 Reasons Why against BLASPHEMOUS criticisms levelled by THOSE ASSHOLE mental health and suicide prevention experts comes in a finite number of variations.

So here I am, answering each one so I can maybe exorcise myself of the need to repeat myself in 7347687346 reply threads.

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Hannah from 13 reasons why

Pop Culture

13 Reasons Why Not

I don’t watch 13 Reasons Why, and I never will for very specific reasons, but I’ve been following its reviews – good and bad – because it stands to impact people, and it’s a subject I’m personally invested in for reasons that are about to become apparent.

Warning: I’m about to hit on themes of suicide and self harm. I’m also going to talk about the final episode so: spoilers.

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When I was little I would frequently return home from visiting my father with raging ear infections.

I was a water baby, practically living in his pool on school holidays which served the dual purpose of a) giving me the infections in the first place and b) distracting me sufficiently from the pain that my head was about falling off by the time I raised enough of an issue to make it to the doctor.

My mother learned early that when I offhandedly mentioned something hurt, only to be distracted by a game of tag five minutes later, that that didn’t mean the pain wasn’t serious. I just had a knack for ignoring my body’s klaxons, right up until either the distractions ran out, or an emergency room visit was in order.

It’s something I never grew out of. Which is probably for the best because two decades later I was diagnosed with endometriosis.

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After three years on the max recommended dosage of Effexor (otherwise known as venlafaxine and/or “that fucker”), I’m now day four into withdrawals and am here to tell you that the nightmare is real: coming off Effexor is a full price Contiki tour through Satan’s bumhole.

But hey, at least I have some gnarly sightseeing recommendations:

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The OA

For Writers + Pop Culture

The OA: A Near Narrative Experience

This’ll contain spoilers, y’all.

So first off, I really enjoyed the ambiguity of the show as a whole in terms of unreliable narration etc etc but there were just SO VERY MANY storytelling flubs I’m surprised I didn’t end the season rocking in a corner. The most frustrating part for me was it has all the makings of a really tight, interesting story but feels like it was rushed off the line after the second draft.

So here you go, have my draft notes.

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