The title might sound mightily juvenile, at least to some people, but I’m really not kidding. I have found a really great teenage appropriate flick to binge watch, and it’s something I confess deeply that I think is better than just some boring adult soap opera. Fifteen, the old Nickolodeon show is a soap opera because all it talks about is who’s dating who, but Degrassi and shows like it bring up little and big issues among teenagers. Let’s talk about it.
Degrassi has had a long and proud history on TV, but the Next Class series strikes me a lot in different ways. One thing it brings up frequently is race and racist “tolerance” or “zero tolerance for fighting” policies. When Tiny Bell, one of the black boys, is suspended for five days in school for fighting a guy who sucker punched him first, he gets help from Lola and other students who feel he was treated unfairly. Another issue plagues the school volleyball team, which is previously accused of racism after a monkey drawing surfaces during a game against Northern Tech High School. WEll, let me just say the girl who did it came from a highly troubled family. It’s interesting to see what Frankie Hollingsworth does to try to fix the situation, but she’s forced off the team without suspension. But after Tiny’s fight incident, Principal Simpson is forced to look further at the racially applied things such as zero tolerance that promote rape and dangerous outlooks for the students of color.
Why am I writing this now? THis is a bit fitting for MLK Jr. Day as racism is on its way out, but as I stated on Facebook, only by 85%. Why 85%? First, let’s look at the way African American youths are treated.
First, you got Michael Brown and other young boys being shot in all cities all over the nation. Denver has had its share but we don’t frequently make the news. Ferguson, MO, however, made the news because its justice system was corrupted in favor of whites. Ferguson is almost 99% black, and after violence rocked the city, the DOJ got involved. As a white woman watching this, you might think I would not sympathize or empathize with the protesters, but I do. Some people simply don’t know how to act and do maladaptive behaviors to get attention, which is what about 60% of the protesters in the news were doing, thus curfews were placed on citizens. Especially the young, and that’s how it should be because juvenile crime is up at night a lot during these times.
The National Guard was activated in Ferguson, which scares even me. I felt scared for all the residents over there. Like how is the community going to trust police anymore? Black people about 80% of the time don’t trust police due to generations of Jim Crow, oppression, and racist bigots. This is what the Degrassi teens are talking about.
ANother issue I found in Degrassi that I could relate to was the issue of cyberbullying and domestic violence and harassment.
Hunter Hollingsworth was pretty much pissed off that his gamer club was shut down due to its choice of game. Hunter had designed a game that a lot of people saw as horrible, but look at the library of games available for PC, PS4, Xboxx 1, and Nintendo’s array of consoles. Most involve … you get three guesses, but you will likely guess fighting, male dominance, and supporting roles only for females. There are games that promote female lead characters and have women doing the fighting, sure, like in Crouching Tigers, Hidden Dragons, yadda yadda yadda, but most games were invented by males, so people might think they contain misogynistic crap. Hunter was seen as this kind of character, and so went on to troll Maya Matlin, the president cofounder or some what of the Feminist Club. Maya was dating Zig, and Hunter was trolling her with comments and messages anonymously so he could try and harm Maya. WEll, here’s how Mommy handled the situation: she put Hunter in a psych ward so he could be taught to cope with maladaptive feelings, etc., after only finding out he brought a gun to school and had a list of names, students suspected a kill list. Hunter reminds me of a real life internet troll, Ivan Soto, who would fit the bill in a lot of ways. Ivan was punished, but not by Mom, but by a buddy of mine who knew this was going on. Ivan impersonated my ex boyfriend, Blake Tucker, saying he was glad he hadn’t “fucked” me, which if you knew Blake, you’d know he keeps the marital bed holy, and would be damned if he did a thing like that. So it was Ivan impersonating Blake, attacking Trenton, attacking others with mental disabilities etc because even he is disabled.
Now, if Ivan doesn’t get therapy like the character in Degrassi ends up receiving, in this case Hunter, Ivan could turn into yet another more advanced psychopathic character altogether.
JDO, let’s call him, was a real vicious abuser in his own right. He and I dated for eight months, but he ate me out of house and home with a best friend, and I regret dating the guy because my best friend from high school, she barely talks to me about it. I just want to put this behind me, but then I notice he’s been abusing other girls. JDO abused a long list of females, including Tina from a previous post. I use only this name with her because I want to protect her. JDO could have killed Tina, and it further proves him too maladaptive for relationships, even his own sister can say the same. The pattern is this: he looks for disabled girls who are troubled, weak, and vulnerable. He lures them in, and then his smooth operator charm clicks in, then he hurts them in some way. In Tina’s case, he fractured her finger with a fake and disgusting piece of jewelry, and he messed up a perfectly good relationship with a decent man who would never treat her like that. Tina needs our help, not the guy known as JDO. Hopefully, his mother does what Mrs. Hollingsworth did, confiscates all technology, takes away his router, etc. But then there’s a racist boyfriend in the family that the mother is dating, who is blocked on FB because of all this.
If we don’t help maladaptive teenagers now, just look what they’ll become when they’re older. Teenagers, as Degrassi shows, are highly malleable as young children, and remain that way until they reach maturity. I’ll bring in some more issues as they come around and talk more Degrassi and how it can be applied to real life.