I literally had nothing to write about up until five minutes ago. Fortunately, this is the Internet, and there is always someone who is wrong on the Internet.
One of the things that has shown up on the Internets lately is something I’d like to call “I can’t handle words on a screen because I forgot to put on my big boy panties this morning.” (Yes, I totally put on big boy panties. Shut up.) They call it the “trigger warning”.
Seriously. You now need to put a warning label on a blog post or something because somewhere, somehow, someone might have a reaction to something that may or may not cause them to react in a way… that’s a lot of stinking cow excremental right there. Aside from our usual society response to any sort of speech which might deemed “racist” (oh yeah, I used air quotes when I typed that), we now have this burning need to placate individuals who forgot their big boy panties and now must be warned before reading something.
Maybe this should have started with “trigger warning”? Eh, if you’ve made it this far without following the Standard Internet Arguing Checklist (Skim until offended, then disqualify the opinion, then attack! and if that fails, skip to calling them a racist), then you don’t need a trigger warning. You are a grown up (yay!) and have decided that words on a screen don’t offend you. You, like myself, remembered your grown up panties this morning. I’m thrilled that you decided to do this.
But why do we feel the need to post about a trigger warning before we talk about everything? It’s absurd once you peel back the layers of the entire thing. Instead of dealing with something that can cause someone’s feelings to be hurt in a direct manner, people say “Trigger Warning!” and this allows people to avoid reading about it or, worse yet, form a judgmental opinion beforehand and proceed to read, waiting to be offended (because subconsciously, they know it’s coming… they were warned, remember?). To me, this is the most cowardly way to avoid dealing with a problem.
In a group, people are brave, so long as the group exhibits bravery, because the herd mentality forces the individual to join the group think. But alone? Bravery is much more difficult when one is alone, and being warned about a “trigger” is the last thing someone needs to be worrying about. Why? What could subvert someone’s natural bravery (or lack thereof) and cause them to want to run back and hide within the herd? Well (straightens big boy panties here), sometimes people want to be coddled.
Oh wow. Yeah, I went there. I yell at people (a lot, in fact) about pulling out their “race card” and using it in an argument (see Standard Internet Arguing Checklist). I yell and scream when they race bait (see Sharpton, the Reverend Al). It seems pretty acceptable to call someone out when they’re doing this. But… playing a victim card? That’s a tougher one to denounce, because there’s a fine line between trying to help someone and being an abusive dick (note to self: find that line).
It’s one thing to warn someone who was recently in a nasty car crash that “there’s some guy who got decapitated in this next scene”. That’s being polite. It’s another to post a warning because there are some words which may offend them. It’s one thing to deal with PTSD; it’s another to be a permanent victim.
(straddle that line, boy… straddle it… straaaaaaaaadle it)
For reasons outside of my understanding, there is a belief that being a permanent victim is not a bad thing (damn it… there goes that line). Why is that? Why do people feel that it’s okay to allow oneself to continue to be a victim for a long period of time? Is it something in the water? Did those CIA mind control experiments really pay off? Is the collective emotional insecurity of group think really affecting people that much?
Or maybe… it’s something deeper. Perhaps people don’t want to face the ugly reality that is human existence today? Because while people are posting “trigger warnings” about sensitive topics (I don’t know what those topics are, since I’m an insensitive bastard… ask my mother), there is some really messed up sh*t in this world going on right now. Can you imagine a trigger warning on everything people might find offensive or get all butt hurt about?
(I had a funny thought just now… can you imagine the the Declaration of Independence having a “Trigger Warning” at the very top?)
Okay, this is starting to ramble a bit. Bottom line: big boy panties, on. Life sucks, deal. Victim card, maxed out.
It’s time to live dangerously, people. Think.
For those of you who hadn’t heard, Jason’s latest novella (coauthored with Eric S. Brown) came out this past week. “Kaiju Apocalypse” is currently available on Amazon.