One of the weirdest phenoms of the 21st century is the “Trigger Warning.” This is a statement made before news items, blogs, plays, books, stories, opinion pieces, university lectures, movies, TV programs, poems, paintings and pretty much everything else we watch, read or hear. The purpose is to warn us that whatever is coming next is probably too tough for our fragile emotions to handle, and we should avert our gaze or else we’ll end up huddled in the corner — sobbing. Personally, I think this is a rather ad hoc way to do business. We all know life is tough, and if we’ve become such emotional marshmallows we can’t deal with trivial crap like TV programs or someone’s Twitter opinion, maybe it’s time we put “trigger warnings” on life itself.
May I make a few suggestions:
Warning — Normal people disagree with each other. Sometimes, they will disagree with you. They are not idiots, evil or part of an international corporate conspiracy. Please use discretion when dealing with normal people.
Warning — There are hundreds of different cultures in the world. These cultures exist simultaneously and overlap. If you are so uncomfortable being white that the overlap causes you feelings of latent liberal guilt, please return to your home and eat Kraft Dinner until they pass.
Warning — Reasonable political discussions may contain material that is not negative, demeaning or derogatory to President Trump. If you are a journalist or suffer from Trumpophobia, you may want to walk away while the adults are talking.
Warning — Not every person on this planet is your mother. We are not obligated to cuddle, cajole or care about you. If this makes you uncomfortable — uh — I don’t care?
Warning — You can’t change history. If historical names, statues and monuments offend you so much you want to erase them from history or destroy them (a la George Orwell’s 1984) go to Syria — that’s what they’re trying to do there.
Warning — Television is NOT real. For example, during the fictional story Game of Thrones, Lena Headey was NOT actually raped by her brother. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is NOT Ms. Headey’s brother, and he is NOT a rapist. They are both actors. Ms. Headey does have a brother but he is NOT a rapist, either. If make-believe offends you, please do not watch television — except perhaps SpongeBob SquarePants or, maybe, reruns of Friends (Season 1, only.)
Warning — Humour still exists in the world. If laughing at stupidity, absurdity, the ridiculous and the inane makes you uneasy, please pull the hockey stick out of your ass and quit spoiling it for the rest of us.
Warning — “Trigger Warnings” are bullshit. If you are an adult and still need someone else to prequalify what you read, watch or hear, please talk to your parents immediately. Obviously, they didn’t do their job properly, and you might want to start again.