Big Boy Panties

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.

dr who gif

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.

46 comments

  1. I think most of us like to be coddled. For maybe five minutes, an hour max, when we’ve had a really bad day. Then we get bored and irritated, get out of bed and get on with it. Had enough coddling for weeks, maybe months. Thanks, Honey!

    It’s depressing when you realize that the future society in “Demolition Man” is getting close to reality.

    1. There’s a local store where the clerks finish the transaction with the phrase “be well.” Yes, just like “Demolition Man.”

      It always make me pause.

      1. FWIW, I’ve been using that since before the movie came out– I think I picked it up from the Scottish shepherd side of the family. “Don’t go getting yourself hurt” sounds about right.

        1. Same here, Foxfier. Mom’s folks are Scots-Irish descent, and we’ve quite a few oddities that’ve crept into the language as a result. Southern Appalachia tends about a generation or so behind current times in some things.

  2. I am reminded about a line from a late season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

    “Eventually, that excuse stops working.” (Anya’s constant complaints about Xander leaving her at the altar.)

    Well eventually, that victim card stops working.

  3. I have been a victim a time or two. That’s life. With this disease there is someone who is always in worse shape than I am so I have learned to take the day or two to get over whatever issue I am having (usually sick enough to stay in bed) and then try again. I would rather be a fighting survivor than a limp victim.

  4. But don’t you dare tell them to “man up”. The poor little dears will have a comeapart.

    (OK, it would be fun to watch. But for better or worse, I don’t live within a few hundred miles of any such hothouse flowers.)

      1. Given what Duke University’s history with “people saying things they shouldn’t” looks like, they are the *last* people to be telling *anyone* what should, or should not, be said out loud.

  5. Who is the tired-eyed kid in the first one? (OK, he’s probably mid-20s, but given Hollywood he looks like the Twilight kid after a term in the Army.)

    1. As Glenn explained – once everybody who cares gets your [positional good of the day], it’s no longer worth anything as a status marker. That’s just about obvious enough to leave one wondering: why chase after obvious futility?

      1. Seconded there. Those of us who work in cube farms have to deal with the prospect of the boss walking past at any time. NSFW means “do not go to this link until you are home” because bosses get a bit irritable if they see it.

        1. Until said boss gets back to his own office with the door closed. Especially if he’s a federal employee, given how much porn some of them have been caught with on their government-owned desktops….

          1. Well, yes. But said boss has *power*. I don’t. That makes ALL the difference.

            1. Actually, as a guy who has WORKED Federal Network Security Operation Centers. . . . .we’d bag a porn-watcher about every other month, and a kiddie-porn watcher about once a year.

              It got to the point where we simply called the base cops, give them the location and a user name, and then half the team would zip upstairs to watch the perp walk. One of the few times we actually got to see the fruits of our work. And I will admit. . . we looked forward to catching one.

              Call it “Nerd Justice”. Our chance, for just a moment. . . to be the Batman. . .

              1. Hehehehe…. Good for you guys. I save watching the… *ahem* warm stuff for when I’m at home. When I’m at work, most of what I do online is related to that. Which means the occasional NSFW item that comes from a source that’s usually about software development or testing can be rather… startling.

                1. My question is “what kind of idiot goes to sites that he wouldn’t want his boss to know about using a computer that he doesn’t own”?

                  Don’t know the actual legalities but work computers aren’t “your computers”.

                  Your boss and the company’s computer “network” have every right to know what you’re doing on *their* computers.

                  1. Typically ? A senior Civil Servant, generally a GS-14 or GS-15, male, divorced or separated, and a Branch chief.

                    8 out of 9 fit that profile. Number 9 was similar, but a political appointee. And that. . . individual. . .was caught surfing gay child porn. I watched THAT perp walk myself. . .

                  2. Exactly. The only time I’ve hit sites I didn’t want the boss to know about at work have been accidents.

  6. It is sensitivity TANSTAAFL, as you suggest.

    The good of the social awakening that occupied much of the 50’s-70’s. Much greater racial equality, tolerance for difference, de-marginalization of groups at the Periphery and integration into (or equal valuation in re: to) the Core. Willingness to consider individual (particularly exceptional) extenuating circumstances in all kinds of scenarios.

    The bad: PC mania, race/gender/class/ethnicity/body image cards for endless trumping of almost everything (thereby making today’s social poker akin to some folks having 3 wild cards in their hands to offset what used to be a very dealer-stacked deck. Question: shouldn’t those wild cards be surrendered roughly in proportion to the reduced deck-stacking?), and rampant personal entitlement, the latter manifesting most horrifically in the gruesome endgame of Warhol’s ‘everyone will have 15-minutes of fame” prediction. (I.e.: mad killers who have imbibed the notion that being ABLE to have 15 minutes of fame means they MUST have 15 minutes of fame, and so they find a few guns and an unsuspecting elementary school classroom as the canvas upon which they shall paint their bid for celebritization–before blowing their own brains out, Campbell soup-can-style…) That, not the presence of the guns, is what is different about our society–and answers why we did NOT have the school shooting problems before Columbine. In the late 60’s, about the same time Neil was taking humanity’s first stroll on the Moon, I used to walk past an Army-Navy store that had wooden barrels full of M1 Carbines for sale. Decommed, not wanted for training anymore, rejected as retread weapons by allies with the emergence of the M16 and other 5.56mm weapons. What that means is that, in 1969, for a pair of Andy Jacksons, you could pick up a .30 semiauto rifle, ridiculously easy to control, 30 rd magazines slightly less commonplace than flyshit. And for 25+ years, no one went on a public school shooting spree. My humble contention: it is not the presence or availability of guns in our society which has changed. Not at all. It is the society itself. What we do about that–a different discussion. But to return: TANSTAAFL–There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. When you change a major variable in the complex equation that produces the gridwork of our culturescape, that effect ripples out to impact EVERY ELEMENT of that gridwork. Trying to talk about the problems of guns or race or gender or discourse without taking that variable–radical INNATE entitlement (vs. deed-EARNED entitlement)–into account is sure of only one thing: a constant inability to solve the ACTUAL equation in play.

    1. Dang it, now I’m pricing M-1’s, and I don’t have the expertise to know whether I want the .30 or the .22LR. The .22 is about half the price, but neither of them are anywhere near “a couple of Andy Jacksons”.

  7. If these people need warnings for opinions on the Internet, how on earth do they function in real life?
    I like the David Tennant gifs.

    1. Poorly, good lass. Imagine ricocheting through life from crushing disappointment to thundering outrage with only the briefest moments of calm when in a protected cocoon with others of their ilk. It doesn’t seem very attractive, from the outside.

      1. How sad. It makes me wonder how they’ll hold up when reality comes knocking.

  8. The demand for Trigger warnings, or, more often the wailing over the lack of them is nothing more than a power play based on the current veneration of sensitivity toward someone’s victimhood. They’re not REALLY that traumatized, but if they can force you to back down and apologize, or even edit yourself because of their tantrum (And 99% of the time, that’s all it is) then Bam, they have power, and what’s not to like about that. It’s the “adult” equivalent of the toddler who has learned to turn the waterworks on to get his way.

    If anything, these adult toddlers often go out seeking the situations where they can whine about being stressed by something trivial, simply because it gives them that trump card. And it doesn’t even have to be true. They see someone get to silence someone else by saying “You can’t say things like that around me, I was raped.” and they want that power for themselves, even if they have to dial back the claim a little “You can’t say things like that around me because they make me feel a little ‘unsafe’.”

    “Unsafe” is a good one these days, because it’s so non-specific. The person it’s being played against doesn’t have to be guilty of anything, its all about the player’s feelings. Larry Corriea isn’t going to shoot you at the con, but you can try to get him banned by saying he makes you feel “unsafe” and your feelings are far more important than anything else, so people MUST accommodate you. See the power there?

    1. People who take their hands off a chuck key left in a piece of rotating equipment make me feel unsafe. Yes, even if the thing does have interlocks that will prevent it from energizing.

      Grins, ducks, and runs away.

  9. (straddle that line, boy… straddle it… straaaaaaaaadle it)

    Oh, no you don’t. Now my warnings have been triggered. Or my triggers have been warninged. Or something.

    You sir, have suggested that men are capable of straddling things. This is patently untrue. Men are simply not built to straddle things due to the fact that we hate women and have forced them to have the children, thus forcing them to have wider hips and causing a negative body image. And how is this caused? By the horrors of PIV!

    I’m about to run off and report you to our Radical Feminist Overladies (TM) for your act of micro-aggression! Well, as soon as I finish putting glitter on my hoo-hah. And why panties? Because women wear them? That’s a negative stereotype of women as well. And by the way, what are you doing? This is an inclusive blog! We don’t allow men here!!!!

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

    (For those who aren’t sure, the comments above are entirely satirical in nature.)

    1. Well, I’m a cismale gendernormative fascist myself, because, you know, male dangly bits and, uh, women have babies?

      I suck at this.

      1. Just hit your head on the wall twice then try to write normally. It’ll come out about this twisted every time.

  10. Jason you said what I said last night in a much more polite way than I did. I reposted my rant in my page’s notes if you want to see the Dwarf hammer straight to the point about this trigger crap too.

  11. Piece o’ Cake! Generic: There is no possibility that you will not be offended here, so leave now or forever hold your hostility.

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