September 25, 2017

Summer Soapbox: Volume 1

People look forward to the summer for many reasons: the freedom to actually venture outside, grilling, deck beers, etc. It is all wonderful, but people still have needs, content needs. We all want to consume the hottest podcast or join in on the frenzy of a new Netflix series. So I created an outlet where your favorite Tailgate Society contributors can join me to discuss what they are passionate about right now, and I opened it up for them to bring whatever they want to the table. This week, Jacqueline Cordova joined me with some opinions on 13 Reasons Why, AHCA, and In-N-Out’s burgers.

Tyler: Jacqueline, thank you for coming on and being the first guest on the Summer Soapbox. I understand you’ve got some topics you are pretty fired up about. Where would you like to start?

Jacqueline: Hey Tyler, Thanks for having me. Pretty pumped to be the first one for the summer. Absolutely. I got some good stuff for you. We can start with 13 Reasons Why and the fact that it’s been officially announced, not that I was surprised really, but they’ve renewed for a second season!

Tyler: Awesome! So I have not seen the show yet, but I know its been fairly controversial. What were your takeaways from the show?

Jacqueline: So I read the book in high school and I liked it for the most part. It didn’t impact me as much as the show did but I was also younger and with a different mind set. I was hooked on the show just like so many other people. I probably finished the show in two days. At first, I was like “Wow ok this is good” but then it just took such a dark twisted turn. The book is geared towards teenagers and the show wasn’t afraid to have some of the most difficult things to watch come at you full force.

The show and book touch on topics like bullying, which is the main theme, but goes on to binge-drinking, suicide, rape and the show also taps into a glimpse into a possible school shooting. You get towards the end and suddenly you have each episode starting with a warning because of the content. I kid you not, they show you the entire suicide scene for everything that it is, and I didn’t watch a single second of it, but I sat and sobbed my eyes out as I knew it was happening.

Once I finished the show, I started processing. 1 – teens were watching this and 2 – I, as a grown woman, was having such difficulty with it even though I think right now, I’m in a very good mental place in my life. So suddenly I found myself angry. HOW were we actually allowing this to be content we wanted our teenagers to be watching? Give or take, I think this is an amazing window to start a conversation about these issues that are happening and aren’t being discussed enough, but the conversation quickly went south.

Tyler: Wow, I didn’t know the extent of how graphic it got outside of hearing about the suicide scene. I think most criticisms I have read about the show were about the glamorization of suicide overall and how it can impact the people around these troubled teens. It’s fascinating how viewers are so drawn in by it and want to binge watch it, but the majority of those viewers also come away wishing it had not romanticized teen suicide. SPOILER ALERT: the girl kills herself in the end (I think most people know this by now) so how do you see them moving forward with a second season now that the main character has left the show?

Jacqueline: I read somewhere that they wished they hadn’t renewed due to the fact that the whole focus of the book was Hannah Baker’s life and why she decided to commit suicide. She’s technically the main character and of course again, it’s no secret, there was only one book, BUT my biggest issue with the TV Show was Hannah. I am a strong believer that we need to address mental health a lot better than it was done in the first season, and talk more about what are real steps to dealing with those scary issues to our youth. I was against season 2 at first, but Hannah Baker’s story is over, the show ends with 12 teenagers in absolute shambles and they’re all pretty unstable with the exception of Bryce (no need for spoilers there). We need to move forward with the conversation and teach these kids that what Hannah did wasn’t okay either. Bullying doesn’t stop bullying. The rest of the characters deserve this next season not only for their sake, but to show the world there are alternatives.

Tyler: That makes sense, and I really hope that is the way they go with it. I feel it would be good to show the reality of the grief and guilt that the people around her are dealing with. Let’s move on to one of your other topics, what else is on your radar right now?

Jacqueline: IT’S NO SECRET that the conservatives were popping bottles over the first step in finally getting rid of Obamacare. There’s a million things we could address about this new health care act but I want to pinpoint something specific. In their list of preexisting conditions that insurers can use included rape victims. On college campuses rape is way too common. For years we’ve sat around battling this problem with the hopes to defeat the power in victims not speaking up, and universities protecting specific rapists in order to protect their image. There are tons of documentaries, survivors speak all over the America in hopes to bring change. Then we have the government make a statement by saying someone is allowed to be judged based on a wrongdoing done to them.

When I saw that I took it as we’re almost taking away from the power of a victim’s voice.

This isn’t about being a liberal or conservative anymore. This is a whole different issue and can of worms. When Republicans won the White House, I was prepared for them to want to change things to fit their values and beliefs but your political affiliation shouldn’t determine whether you condemn someone for having been sexually assaulted.We want to teach our people to speak up and not be afraid. I could watch Joe Biden speak all day about the importance of teaching our own NOT to rape and teaching our victims to not be afraid to speak up and here we are. Why would anyone want to speak up now if something like their access to health care depends on the fact someone made a horrible decision against them?

Tyler: Agreed, and it really doesn’t make a difference which way you lean politically. It should really just be about doing the right thing. Rape being a pre-existing condition is one of the more egregious pieces of this whole healthcare situation. It kills me to know that all of these decisions are just being made by a group of men in Washington that have no idea what it is like to go through the trauma that rape victim’s experience and deal with for the rest of their lives. We can only hope that the folks with consciences in Washington can stand up and do what is right here.

Alright, enough of the heavy stuff. I understand you also have some thoughts on In-N-Out’s burgers?

Jacqueline: I THOUGHT YOU’D NEVER ASK!

So I lived in Las Vegas for 12 years where I grew up around In-N-Out burgers. I think I’ll be 80 years old with no teeth and still believe that In-N-Out burger is the best fast food burger to ever be created. In 2013 it’s double double burger was voted #1 so clearly I’m not the only one who thinks so

You can only really find In-N-Out in the Southwest. So, moving to the Midwest as a 13-year-old and realizing nobody here knew what In-N-Out even was broke my little heart. I wish I was joking but when my friends and I went on vacation to South Padre, on our drive home I made them get off the route home to find an In-N-Out in Texas.

Tyler: I did not know we had an In-N-Out stockholder here at TGS! I have heard great things about it for years but have never had the pleasure of trying it myself. I’ve had Whataburger in Texas and it was pretty good but that is pretty much the extent of my non-Midwest burger experience. I’ve heard about the “animal style” fries and other menu items you can order and those just sound tremendous.

Is there anything in the Midwest that comes close?

Jacqueline: Honestly, I can’t say that there has been a burger to make me feel anywhere as happy as an In N Out burger. I tried Whataburger and wasn’t impressed at all. I think B-Bops holds a tiny little spot in my heart in making me feel better about this long distance relationship I’m in with In-N-Out, but even then, it still doesn’t come close in my opinion. I’m visiting Las Vegas next week and I already told my mom the first stop is to have a burger.

Tyler: B-Bops is always amazing, whether intoxicated or not, it is an enjoyable experience every time. I’m jealous of your upcoming Vegas trip, please enjoy that burger for all of us Midwesterners that can’t.

Jacqueline: I promise to eat as much as I can in your honor and the rest of Iowa and our friends at TGS!

Tyler: Fighting the good fight, as always. Well Jacqueline, it’s been real. Thank you for coming onto the Summer Soapbox and bringing some fire takes. Enjoy Vegas!

Jacqueline: Thanks so much for having me!

Tyler Gross 3 Articles
Staff Writer

Tyler studies Marketing at the prestigious Peru State College in Nebraska. He is a suffering Chicago Bears fan and a self-proclaimed college football and hoops purist. So much so that his girlfriend despises him from September to March. You can find Tyler binge-watching shows, cheering on his Cyclones, or reluctantly doing his laundry out of necessity. He cannot be convinced that True Detective's first season was not a masterpiece. Tyler will primarily review movies for TGS, but wouldn't rule out writing about college football, as well.

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