Go On. Pull That Trigger – A Blast From The Past From March 2014


*A couple of days ago in my instapundit beat, I linked this article.  Apparently trigger warnings don’t diminish the emotional impact of reading whatever follows.  As in DUH.  If people are so frail that printed words disturb them they need psychological help, not trigger warnings.  And if they think ANY emotion at all from reading is a bad thing, they need to desensitize themselves by reading more challenging stuff. Try fiction which is supposed to be a channeling with emotion. Start with something at your level like See Spot Run which is more realistic and emotion packed than the books approved in your college campus. – SAH*

Go On. Pull That Trigger – A Blast From The Past From March 2014

*Trigger warning: this post contains special snow flake melting triggers, you’re not the center of the universe triggers and meltdown triggers for unspanked babies over the age of twenty – you’ve been warned.*

First let me tell you I don’t discount PTSD triggers.  One morning, a few years ago, I came out of the grocery store with my son.  For various reasons I was very stressed, but also very stressed in a way that had been familiar in my youth, where on a few occasions people near me were shot or at least shot at.

When a car backfired, I found myself under a parked truck.  I’d dropped the bags and taken a long dive.  My son was looking at me like I had gone around the bend.  I had to crawl out, grab the bags, and explain.  I was shaky the rest of the day.

Now, this doesn’t even happen every time a car backfires, and I’ve gone to a gun range without looking for shelter.  The noise bothers me, but it’s not that bad (It bothers me because it’s in a range that hurts my ears, not because it gives me flashbacks.)

But put me in the right kind of stress, in the right situation, and the back brain takes over.

I don’t care.  As issues go, it’s not that bad.  Weird, yes, but not that bad.  And it gives me understanding for friends who have much worse triggers to much worse flash backs.

Other PTSD symptoms from growing up in an unstable country are more subtle.  Two hours after hearing about the World Trade Center bombing, I was driving back from the grocery store, my truck filled with groceries, but particularly cooking oil and toilet paper.  This is in no way rational.  There was nothing about the bombings – even when we thought there would be a lot more of them, as we did – that would affect the supply of canola oil and toilet paper in Colorado in the proximate future.  BUT in Portugal in the seventies having these in stock was a very good idea, as they often disappeared from store shelves.  In other words, they  made the confused, scared kid inside me feel safe.  It’s all right.  Took me a year to get through the supply, but it’s all right.

Some of my friends with much worse experiences sleep with a gun at hand, or under their pillow at certain times of the year.  Or completely isolate themselves from humanity for two weeks, because they can’t be trusted not to snap at a triggering incident.

I don’t know anyone – not one person, and trust me I know many sorts of people who are broken in many sorts of ways – who gets their PTSD triggered by a WRITTEN word or a blog post.  I could see, perhaps, a novel that was all-absorbing, about a civil war triggering my feeling of vague stress that could make me vulnerable to PTSD.  This is one of the reasons that, though I love military SF I don’t read it often.  And I have to be careful when I write anything resembling it (I don’t write military sf, I don’t know enough about life in the military, never having served.)  But it would have to be a darn good novel. ALL absorbing.  Way beyond being “a good yarn.”

Normally the triggers are more primal and connected to the gut.  Smell is one of the strongest, in most humans.  You know that, right?  Smell something and suddenly you’re there, when you were three and seeing whatever.  Sight, of course.  Often a certain season/time of year with all the cues.  I thought Pratchett did that beautiful in Night Watch with the smell of lilac.  It was RIGHT.

So what in holy, bleeding, sulphurous h*ll is this about?

Twenty years ago, critics such as Christina Hoff Sommers, Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge, and Karen Lehrman described the bizarre “therapeutic pedagogy” in many women’s studies classrooms, where female students were frequently encouraged to share traumatic or intimate experiences in supportive “safe spaces.”  Today, at many colleges, academic therapism has spread to other fields.  Welcome to the age of the trigger warning.

The trigger-warning vogue began a few years ago on feminist websites, and then spread to other “social justice” blogs.  The idea behind them is that for people who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), something that reminds them of the trauma can trigger painful flashbacks and panic attacks.  Initially, the warnings were primarily for sexual assault and partner abuse. Eventually, on some blogs, they spread to just about everything that could be potentially upsetting  to any person of politically correct sensitivities: sexism, racism, homophobia, “ableism,” “victim-blaming,” “slut-shaming,” “fat-shaming,” “body-shaming” and a host of other sins and oppressions.  (My personal favorite, from Melissa McEwan’s Shakesville site, is a warning for “discussion of gender policing”–that is, of norms dictating proper bounds of masculine and feminine behavior.  How startling to find such a discussion on a feminist blog!) Warnings for mere references to gun violence, suicide, self-harm and various mental disorders, as well as things that trigger phobias–from spiders to small holes (really)–have proliferated as well.

I’ve seen those warnings a couple of times, usually on articles about cutting or other addictive dysfunctions.  That I understood.  These are ADDICTIVE dysfunctions.  If you cut, you do it for the endorphins.  There is a seduction to it for you.  The same for drug use.  I can see where a well written, evocative, biographical article on it COULD start you thinking about it and could lead to your wanting to do it again, even though you kicked it.  G-d knows I understand that.  Every time I give up writing, I read a book…  Never mind.  Not the place to joke.  (And I’m not even sure I’m joking.)

I get that type of warning and it’s where I’ve seen them.  If you still choose to go ahead and read the article, you should have a quick dial to your buddy or twelve step counselor or whatever.  Right.  That’s fine.  You’re more than allowed.  You’re encouraged to do this.  In certain circumstances, maybe, if you squint, an article on suicide might even lead you to consider it again.  If the article makes it appear as wonderfully seductive as it has to me in my worst times.  NOT normally, but if you’re at just that point.  It’s a small demographic, but I could totally see a warning before playing certain songs or reading stories to a group of people that goes “If you’re suicidaly depressed…”  (Of course, who admits to that?  And to what end personal responsibility?  Most of us who are cyclically inclined towards depression are aware of it, and compensate.  Weirdly, actually, sometimes the more depressive songs are what pulls me out of it.)

But what the heck, people, seriously WHAT THE HECK?  sexism, racism, homophobia, “ableism,” “victim-blaming,” “slut-shaming,” “fat-shaming,” “body-shaming”?  Spiders? Small holes?  WHAT?

You cannot have PTSD to any of those, because none of those are the sort of trauma that causes PTSD.  Guys, I have black friends who lived in South Africa, under Apartheid, who don’t have PTSD relating to racism.  They get upset at it, sure, (everyone does, with real racism) but they don’t have PTSD.  There can be no “trigger” unless your idea of “trigger” is “something that makes me feel uncomfortable.”  If that’s it, then everything is clear, from the “triggers” for mentions of spiders and small holes, to not feeling safe at a convention because someone, somewhere might make a fat joke.  (Actually fat jokes don’t even make me feel uncomfortable.  I know I’m fat.  I don’t like it.  For various reasons I have trouble controlling it.  But you know what?  It’s still funny.  Heck, I make fat jokes myself.  My favorite is that if my local thrift store doesn’t stop putting size 3 suits in the size 18 section, I’m going to find the sorting clerk and sit on her.  At my weight, that’s serious punishment.)  A fat joke can offend you, if you feel it’s directed at you – though then, that’s not a joke, but just a rude remark.  In the same way a sexist/racist/homophobic comment might upset you.  THAT IS NOT A TRAUMA.  That’s just being bothered and upset.  The proper outlet for it is to either roll your eyes, tell the person they’re annoying (if they’re nearby and not like a performer), not listen to/read the person again, OR, if it really gets on your nerves, vent to your friends about it.

I knew we were in some sort of trouble when I stole my kid’s psychology textbook and found that having mood variations of any sort was being classed as “bi-polar” and needing medication.  I have no idea how it’s being applied, but let me tell you, I know what a real bi-polar person is like.  I grew up with one.  Getting mildly upset or happy doesn’t make you bi-polar.  It makes you human.

You can’t feel unsafe because someone near you might possibly eventually say something that could remotely perhaps apply to you and upset you.  You can’t even feel unsafe because someone might turn to you and tell you you’re a fat cow.  You can get angry, but getting angry is okay. To feel unsafe you have to have a reasonable (note, REASONABLE) expectation of physical HARM.

Listen to me – this thing you’re experiencing?  This upset in the pit of your stomach?  It’s perfectly normal.  Trust me.  It’s part of being human.

That thing where whatsherface heard Larry Summers say that at the very top in the sciences there were few qualified women and felt like she was going to faint or throw up?  Learned reaction.  And the fact that she somehow got it into her head that she should never, ever, ever be upset.

Any woman who feels the need to faint when faced with a statistical truth – that women tend to cluster in the center of the bell curve while men cluster in the extremes (  Yes, there’s more male geniuses.  And more male morons.  BUT this is not predictive of any given woman or man.  It’s a statistical universe thing) – is an unspanked baby.

No, I don’t believe babies should be spanked.  (Yes, I can see the twitter storm now.  That’s fine.  I don’t care.  They’re going to play telephone with anything I say anyway, let them have their fun.)  But I do believe that if you’re never been metaphorically spanked, if the world never hands you a set back, if everyone tiptoes around you and tries to make sure that your tender, delicate, lilac scented feelings can’t ever ever ever be offended, you’re not going to grow up.  You’re going to continue to think like a baby who attempts to control his environment by crying and pumping his hands and feet.  And the more mommy and daddy – or total strangers who buy into your entitlement – rush to protect you, the more you’ll try the trick because, oh, my, that must be your G-d given right.

Listen, princess (and it’s mostly women, though some men are also drama queens) I don’t care how privileged your upbringing, how cushioned your adolescence; I don’t really give a good g*ddamn how many people told you that you were special and must be accommodated in all things, you’re human, living in an human world, and sooner or later reality is going to bite you on your pink powdered ass.  And the longer it takes for reality to bite, the worse it will hurt.

This doesn’t make you a victim (and being a victim doesn’t make you a good person, btw) or entitled to compensation.  Depending on how you take it, it either makes you a grown up, or a bloody nuisance.

But you have TTTTTTRAUMA.  Some uncouth man has looked at you too long, slapped your butt, told you that you were hot…  Some guy – trembles lip – tried to get into your roooooom at a con.

Look, my upbringing was no worse than most people’s.  It was probably better than most in my time and place.  My parents were middle-middle class.  By education probably upper middle class.  BUT thank G-d neither of them believed that I should be raised as the bubble girl, with every harsh feature of the world and humanity cushioned and softened for me.

I know they didn’t like to expose me to what was at the time and place quite a rough and tumble world.  I didn’t like to expose my kids, either.  I remember that first day in kindergarten, letting go of the kid’s hand, knowing they’d get in trouble, be made fun of, be spoken harshly to.

I didn’t get advanced from first to fourth grade because fourth grade was the last grade in the village, and after that I’d need to take a bus to the middle school.  Mom thought a girl of eight was too young.

Now let me tell you why she thought so.  Portuguese buses are usually overfull.  There is either a class of men who rides the bus all day practicing frottage, or there are a lot of these men.

Yes, I’ve had total strangers pleasure themselves by rubbing up against me.   When I was as young as 11, which is when I did go to 5th grade.  Do I have PTSD due to that?  Oh, hell no.  It was ewwwwwwwwwwwwww beyond all measure, but it happened to everyone and I had been warned.  On the advice of my female cousin/sister (she was raised with my brother and I) Natalia, I’d provided myself with one of grandma’s hat pins.  It became a game to shift just slightly, then STAB.  Oh, the screams, the clutchings, the moans that they weren’t doing anything.  (At which point more often than not the conductor would come and toss them out.)

There were other worse incidents.  It was the culture.  Does this mean I feel unsafe around men?  Oh, please.  Why should I?  WHY would that be a horrible trauma?  Some stupid idiot thought he could get off by doing this.  It makes me feel disgusted, but disgust – LISTEN TO ME – is NOT TRAUMA.

Being rubbed on by a stranger, or being groped by one, even, or even being cornered in a deserted classroom by a guy six years older who is intent on raping you IS NOT TRAUMA.  NOT if you got out of it unscathed.  It was scary.  Oh, it was very scary.  BUT BEING FRIGHTENED DOESN’T CAUSE TRAUMA.

Rape can very well be trauma.  Very bad trauma.  But how many of you have been raped?  Tell me the truth, princess.  Not “slept with him and found out he was not very nice.”  Not “my friends all thought I was stupid for sleeping with him, so I told them it was rape.”  How many of you have been held down and forcibly raped?

I know there are real cases of this.  And I know it causes trauma.  I have friends – female AND male – who have been raped, and who are still traumatized by it.

But look, honeychild, if being “slut shamed” is enough to traumatize you, you’d expect these people who have been VIOLENTLY and FORCIBLY raped  to be huddled under their beds, crying, right?  For the rest of their lives?

The people I know are all functional human beings.  They might have some scars they have to route around, but I can tell you something, your highness, NONE OF THEM WHO READS THIS (and a few will) will complain I “triggered” them.  They can be triggered, yes.  I’ve handled meltdowns with a couple of them.  But not by reading some words on a blog post.

I know my friend, Amanda, likes to just yell at people like you to “grow up” – yeah.  You should.  But I don’t know if you can.  That is, I don’t know if it’s that easy.  Sometimes I wonder if this panic and “injury” is sort of like the psychological version of humans who grow up in houses that are too clean end up having asthma, because their body reacts to ANYTHING as a major threat.

If that’s the case, you can’t just volitionally do it.  But you should try to do it, nonetheless.  Expose yourself to the company of those who disagree with you and DO try to defend your point, instead of screaming they’re hurting you and running away to the “comfort” of all your friends who will pat you on the back and assure you that it was indeed horrible trauma.  Depending on how capable of immersing yourself in art you are, reading biographies of people who really WERE traumatized and didn’t end up as quivering pools of jelly (the world is full of them.  No, seriously) might help.  Or you could help people who have it worse than you.  Take yourself out of your comfort zone.  Baby steps.  Remember, being upset is not abnormal.  It’s part of human existence.  And you are not a fairy princess.  You’re human like the rest of us.

But you have to do something – other than scream and moan and demand to be protected. — Because I’m going to tell you this, Rapunzel, right now a well protected Victorian maiden would laugh her ass off at you.  As much as they presented the “delicate maiden” to the world, theirs was a rougher environment, and they were likely to withstand a lot more than you can, including death of siblings and worse. Certainly being spoken to harshly and being TRULY discriminated against.

And here’s the thing, Cinderella, if you don’t change your ways, you’re giving Victorian maidens a bad name.  I don’t care how much you roar in your “safe” places that you’re an all conquering warrior queen.  The first time you faint at a harsh word, you’re validating all the stereotypes people like me don’t want to have brought back.

You know the whole frottage thing in buses?  And why it was dangerous for a woman to be out alone after eight pm?  And why a lot of families where I grew up considered it dangerous to send their daughters to mixed-gender schools at all?

Because women were assumed to be too fragile for this harsh workaday world.  They were supposed to be kept cabined, cribbed, confined – PROTECTED by their men.  And any one that was alone out after sunset (or nominal sunset, because sunset is around 9:30 in summer) could not be a virtuous woman, not even an 11 year old girl.

Now I wasn’t in the first generation to break that, not by a long shot, BUT there was still enough of that in the culture that I had to be aware of and fight and show that I could handle things so I’d be allowed to go on.  A lot of that.  And I fought back at it, because I did not want to be “protected.”  I was a human being and I wanted to be treated as one.  I wanted to learn and work, and be, just like my brother or my male cousins wanted to learn and work and b.

But if you keep up with the helpless-flower act, you’re going to end up giving people the impression that ALL OF US need to be protected.  Slut shaming?  Why, darling, you might not end up locked in the house, but the generation after you will.  It’s so easy.  “I don’t let my daughter go to school.  She’d faint if someone made a joke about her body.”

Next thing you know, we’re all in burkas and being kept from that terrible rough and tumble world.  Maybe that’s what you want for the generations of women after us.  It’s not what I want for my potential granddaughters or great granddaughters.

So, princess, get off your tuffet and stop making like you’re a melting special snow flake.  You aren’t.  And before you destroy what much better women than you have worked for, I’ll see you in hell.*

*and if you thought the last was threat and you wanted to faint or run away, then yes, this post is all about you.

100 thoughts on “Go On. Pull That Trigger – A Blast From The Past From March 2014

  1. “My scale is finally telling me I’m under $NUMBER pounds.”

    “What did it tell you before?”

    “One at a time, please.”

    And I’ve quipped that I’ve been large enough to have mass without the Higgs…

    [When you’re (even semi)bovine, there WILL be fat jokes.]

  2. The most … triggering aspect of demands for Trigger Warnings is how disrespectful they are of people truly suffering PTSD. The complaining is akin to telling someone with pneumonia, “Oh yes, I’ve been there too; last month I had a case of the Sniffles which just wouldn’t go away!”

    1. I’m going to use that analogy next time I get irritated at some twit claiming PTSD for trivial reasons.

    2. Facebook this year was AWESOME.
      When folks triedthe “remember to not use fireworks, it triggers PTSD in combat vets” thing, dozens of guys who had been BLOWN UP showed up with their BS flags.
      Couple said they do hate fireworks, but that is because of their dogs.

      (IRL, bad drivers are a more likely trigger.)

  3. BUT in Portugal in the seventies having these in stock was a very good idea, as they often disappeared from store shelves.

    There is the converse. 

    I grew up in the northeast.  The first house I remember was in a near suburb of Philadelphia and then, when I was ten, we moved into center city.  I came to the south for school and never left.  It took me years to realize that even though I had no fear of a snow flurry, at the first prediction of impending snow I had best join everyone else at the grocery store to buy milk and bread or none would be available.  I still find the practice unnatural. 

    1. The ‘French Toast Theory’ of Winter Storms – what else do people do with bread, eggs, and milk?

      Alright, bread & milk have short-ish shelf-lives, eggs last a bit longer (depending on consumption rate) but I’ve seen *canned goods* and such fly off the shelves with news of an impending possible storm.. in Minnesota. In Minnesota – where you’d expect any sensible person would have stocked up enough to not need to worry about all but the shortest shelf-life items in early October or earlier. And yet… planning? Whazzat?

      1. Thinking ahead.  A good practice. 

        When we moved into the present house The Spouse and I have a gas cook-top that could be manually lit installed … we had been through enough ice storms.  Ice storms are worse than snow, and are all to common in our area.  Some years we have several, some years none.  Weather here in the Piedmont of North Carolina is consistently uneven.  

        When the power goes out, as it inevitably does, we keep cider mulling on the stove in a heavy enameled cast-iron pot.  This results a warm kitchen and warm beverage which is sometimes spiked with rum … yum.  We can have hot victuals as well. 

        Mind you, this past year the problem has been a very wet summer followed by disintegrating hurricanes producing numerous tree falls.  It was a change of pace, but I would prefer to do without power outages altogether.  If they were any more common The Spouse and I would be looking at investing in a generator.

        1. > manually lit

          Those are getting harder to find; many modern ranges are coming with “safety” features that cut the gas off without electric override.

          I wired a utility outlet behind the range to the generator circuit anyway, just in case we need it in the future.

      2. French Toast of the Snowpocalypse! ‘Round here it’s eggs, milk, bread, and beer.
        I keep milk stocked for my husband’s tea, but when blizzards threaten (that is, at least 5 snowflakes forecast to fall with a greater than 10% chance), if it comes down to joining the rush, or going without? We have tins of condensed milk, tins of sweetened condensed milk, and half & half in the fridge as alternates.

        1. There was a little girl here at the grocery store, who was totally unsettled by the concept that her mom could run out of milk and have to give her other stuff to drink, and thus was telling the whole grocery store about it the next day. (Obviously they had milk in the cart.)

          I was very good and did not laugh, but I think she is the embryonic form of one of those eggs and milk people.

        2. I had heard (not sure if accurate) that before a hurricane strikes the biggest sellers are beer and Pop-Tarts. People seem to ‘get’ the beer but are often bewildered by the Pop-Tarts. Seems plain to me. Pop-Tarts are shelf-stable, do not need to be chilled or cooked/toasted, come in waterproof packets, and kids will eat them. Poor man’s MRE. Healthful? Oh, Heavens no! Tolerable for a few days? Yeah.

      3. The rural attitude is a bit different…

        When a major winter storm is forecast, we set aside two days. The day of the storm, we’ll do what shoveling is necessary (back deck only at worst case to clear the satellite dishes), while the second day is dig out day. Really big storms will have multiples of the first day. I haven’t needed more than one day to get the garage-to-the-highway route cleared, so far.

        At worst case, we’ll run out of bananas or eggs.

        Once the weather is better and the roads are plowed, we’ll do shopping. We buy perishables once a week and staples on an as-needed basis. Some stuff lasts for a year or five (note to self, don’t buy so many pinto beans next time) while others a few weeks.

        We have lot of pantry space in the house; built in at the kitchen, with cabinets and closets for other stuff.

        OTOH, we’re still trying to upgrade our ammo inventory.

          1. Well, I am excluding the 3 foot+ snowfalls that isolated $TINY_TOWN for weeks and months at a time. OTOH, at that time, the direct road to the city wasn’t paved.

            If things go seriously sideways, we have sufficient power to keep refrigeration going indefinitely (barring Fimbulwinter), and enough dried staples to keep us going a long time. We’d be short of animal proteins until I got good at hunting.

              1. Yeah, I see your point. 🙂

                OTOH, it took work to get to that state. A fair number of people around here might be down to canned pork-n-beans, but a side effect of both of us having severe gluten issues is experience at cooking from scratch.

      4. Back when I worked a prepared foods counter, our three biggest sellers (i.e. the three things we ALWAYS sold out of) right before an impending storm were, in no particular order: egg salad, tuna salad, and chicken salad. I.e. the three things that go bad if you so much as look at them funny. Now, if there was a big snowstorm on the horizon, no big deal. Just take them outside and stick them nice and deep in a snow drift (though I doubt any of my customers would ever think of that).

        But when there was a hurricane coming? Prior to one of the big storms (I think it was either Irene or Sandy), the local energy company was predicting that people in the are could potentially be without electricity for a week or more. I had a guy come up to my counter and buy all of the aforementioned products that we still had in stock. I asked if he had a generator, he said ‘no,’ I told him that he should probably stock up on nonperishables (his cart was empty: these were literally the only things he was buying to prep for the storm), he said, and I quote, “oh no, see, when the electricity goes out, we’ll eat all this stuff right away, and then we’ll be fine until the power comes back on.”


        Humans are stupid.

          1. It gets better (or worse, depending on your POV): the same people who bought highly perishable items in preparation for big storms thought I was certifiably insane because I always kept a week’s worth of canned foods and bottled drinking water on hand in case of a prolonged power outage.

            1. This thread on Twitter.

    2. You’re expecting a disaster so you stock up on perishable goods. No one advises it, but all so many people do it. . . .

      1. Entirely understood. But as where I came from it took more than a threat or even an inch or two of snow to shut things down. It is not natural to me to think of it in terms of a possible disaster.

  4. Smell is one of the strongest, in most humans.

    I heard that this is because the sense of smell if the one most directly connected to the brain.  Shortly after I heard it I had an experience that hammered it into my memory – whether it is true or not.

    The Spouse and I were going to the house of one of his co-workers.  He had inherited the house from his grandmother and moved in with a couple of friends.  Having completed the building of a sand volley ball court in the back yard they decided to have a party.  We had had to park on the street.  Walking up to the house I was transported back to my childhood, it was as if I was approaching my own grandmother’s house.  Physically the houses were not alike, but for one thing.  A fragrant boxwood hedge lined the sidewalk. 

    1. It’s hardwired to lower centers of the brain than sight or hearing. This is why we have terms to describe sights — red, saturated, matte, etc. — but if you want to describe a scent, you have to say it smells like this.

  5. My wife’s comment on reading that article was, “Wait, so they gave people a trigger warning, and then had them watch the video anyway? That’s not what real trigger warnings are supposed to be for: they’re for letting you avoid the thing that might distress you.”

    I.e., the study wasn’t designed to test the thing that it said it was supposed to test. The usual junk science study, in other words.

    1. I think that it comes down to some people wanting the warning so that they can pay careful attention to note details that they can use later. They have the emotional satisfaction of working themselves up to a lather knowing that when they complain they will be properly respected.

      The theory is that when warned that there is difficult material you can prepare yourself, and not be so overwhelmed when you see, say, the conditions were at Auschwitz when it was liberated…

      1. Being a victimized special snowflake has partially replaced “from a good family” as being the key to success.
        So, people gin up and exaggerate distresses and traumas to fit in.

        1. …you know, not really? Most all the professional victims and highly lauded snowflakes are actually “from a good family”, but using that schtick. You’ll find extremely few true victims in the cocktail parties where victimshood is held as the highest good.

          And that’s the tragedy – that they hold this out, as falsely as if they were lauding blackness but only promoting those who wear their white-girl hair in dreads and white boys who wear their pants too big and beltless, and their baseball caps backwards. It’s just the latest variation on the french queen with her courtiers playing pretend-pastoral on the lawn of Versailles.

          And the folks who want to be in the inner circles, but are not “of good family”, cannot tell their virtues from their vices, and burn through their social capital aping the man-hating patriarchy-blaming whiny ways, seeking victimhood instead of adulthood… and when they run out of social capital, having far less than the rich kids to start with, they have no way to recover and are truly damaged, lost, and cast up as human wreckage on the shoals of reality.

          1. True, you still got to be part of the group to be part of the group.
            You can’t have anybody allowed to play the Snowflake game- they may get the wrong ideas about their place & station!
            Which is why it is perfectly fine for a wealthy white child of wealthy parents to progsplain how right leaning minorities don’t know what oppression and poverty are.

    2. No. You and your wife just aren’t familiar with how the left and Universities (BIRM) use trigger warnings. If you give the trigger warning it’s a magic shield of protection, and then you can go ahead and show/read/lecture with impunity. (Mostly because of law suits, I think, but…

      1. I believe that the first item approaching a trigger warning I encounter was in a college course catalog. It warned those thinking of taking a course on the First Amendment and media that some of the content would be controversial and/or pornographic. At the time I thought, “Well, duh.”

        1. First one I ever saw was on a class about the Aztecs and other Central American peoples. I read the warning list and then overheard several undergrads saying things like, “Cannibalism? Cool! I want that class.” So was it a warning or a sneaky advertisement? The other class that “sells out” is one on the history of Death and Dying. (The D&D prof also did a 17th Century History class that filled almost as fast. It’s not every course where you learn how to march with pikes and make a Spanish Hedgehog on the quad.)

  6. ‘s funny; read this today, and then in spare time, pick back up on a Jordan Peterson biblical lecture, and what’s he talking about? Theoretically, the flood… but in reality, he’s talking about how societies turn into hellholes, and that it’s due not to some top down control, but to the moral degeneration of the people in the society. I pause that, and flip back over here where you’re talking about people who choose to claim they’re just as traumatized by an article discussing “fat-shaming” as people with actual PTSD hitting a real flashback.

    … “It is certainly possible that the consequences of our actions have ripples that are far beyond the limits of our immediate consciousness. And I also think people know that, too. They know that in the way people know things when they don’t want to know them. Which means they know them embodied: they can feel them, they can sense them, they have an emotional response to them, but there’s no damn way they’re going to let them become articulate, because they don’t want to know.”

    So if you tell people about things they don’t want to know, sounds like they get a feeling they want to call triggered, so they can blame others for the way their own conscience makes them feel.

    1. Risk assessments are scary. There’s a general superstition that thinking or talking about a potential danger will make it happen. If I just close my eyes so I can’t see the problem, there is no problem- a childish belief at best.

  7. There are certain environmental conditions that bother me greatly, for Reasons. So I avoid them when possible, and deal with the bother when I can’t avoid the environmental condition. That’s what adults do.

    I don’t have “trigger warnings” on things I discuss in class – I just present events in a matter-of-fact way, and tell students if they want more detail, to ask me after class. History can be very, very ugly, and shocking to the sheltered. But if you approach it as “bad things happened, here are some examples, here’s what came next” rather than wallowing in the horror, it still gets the point across, probably more effectively.

    Which may be the problem – the “do gooders” wallow, and encourage people to wallow, in the terrible, ugly, painful, without offering hope or a way to grow stronger and learn. Add to that that we have a generation so sheltered* that it might as well live in bubble wrap and packing peanuts, and it makes for a very bad combination.

    *Not all the youngsters, but the ones that make the news and justify the SJWs beating up on the rest of us.

    1. My conviction is that the spoiled, stupid, socialist millennials are actually a rarity. Most people are normal people, and normal people don’t normally make the news. And a good number of yoots following the medial line eventually grow out of their rectal-cranial inversions once they get to real life.

      But, those same spoiled brats are overly represented in the media industries, which is why we hear about them ceaselessly.

    2. Wel, I always appreciate advance warning about seeing dead bodies in war footage, or actual gory crime scene photos. Or concentration camp footage. Or autopsy footage.

      And in general, it is nice to know if they are going to show real surgeries in detail, or human childbirth with closeups.

      But that is more of a “get the kids out of the room or change the channel” warning, or maybe a “do not eat dinner while watching this show” warning.

    3. History can be very, very ugly, and shocking to the sheltered.

      I always thought that the study of history was an excellent inoculation against falling for the proposition that man was essentially good. 

      It also made me very thankful to be born where and when I was.

      1. The problem there is that kids these days are taught that all that Bad Stuff is the result of Oppressors – i.e. white people. Even when whites aren’t involved or even anywhere near that part of the world, it’s still due to their influence.

        1. As I understand them, it is especially when Whites are not involved or even anywhere near that they are most oppressive.

          Darned insidious, those White oppressors.

  8. “…you’re giving Victorian maidens a bad name.”

    Yup. Especially the ones who kept one of Colt or Smith & Wesson’s fine products in their muff. Don’t be deceived by the lace and velvet, the Victorians were steel-hard underneath.

    1. Indeed – and I can give chapter and verse on that one. The Victorians were made of much tougher material than is conventionally supposed by later generations.

      1. The other thing about it is that things like “fainting couches” were exclusively an upper-class phenomenon.
        Who goes on about trigger warnings these days? The upper class.

        Coincidence? Doubt it.

      2. A wonderful joy our eyes to bless,
        In her magnificent comeliness,
        Is an English girl of eleven stone two,
        And five foot ten in her dancing shoe!
        She follows the hounds, and on she pounds —
        The “field” tails off and the muffs diminish —
        Over the hedges and brooks she bounds,
        Straight as a crow, from find to finish.
        At cricket, her kin will lose or win —
        She and her maids, on grass and clover,
        Eleven maids out, eleven maids in —
        And perhaps an occasional “maiden over!”
        Ah! Go search the world and search the sea,
        Then come you home and sing with me
        There’s no such gold and no such pearl
        As a bright and beautiful English girl!

        With a ten-mile spin she stretches her limbs,
        She golfs, she punts, she rows, she swims —
        She plays, she sings, she dances, too,
        From ten or eleven til all is blue!
        At ball or drum, till small hours come
        (Chaperon’s fans conceals her yawning)
        She’ll waltz away like a teetotum.
        And never go home til daylight’s dawning.
        Lawn-tennis may share her favours fair —
        Her eyes a-dance, and her cheeks a-glowing —
        Down comes her hair, but what does she care?
        It’s all her own and it’s worth the showing!

        Ah! Go search the world and search the sea,
        Then come you home and sing with me
        There’s no such gold and no such pearl
        As a bright and beautiful English girl!

        Her soul is sweet as the ocean air,
        For prudery knows no haven there;
        To find mock-modesty, please apply
        To the conscious blush and the downcast eye.
        Rich in the things contentment brings,
        In every pure enjoyment wealthy,
        Blithe as a beautiful bird she sings,
        For body and mind are hale and healthy.
        Her eyes they thrill with right good-will —
        Her heart is light as a floating feather —
        As pure and bright as the mountain rill
        That leaps and laughs in the Highland heather!

        Ah! Go search the world and search the sea,
        Then come you home and sing with me
        There’s no such gold and no such pearl
        As a bright and beautiful English girl!

  9. Many years ago, the wooden apartment building I lived in caught fire in the middle of the night (domestic dispute + kerosene). I had gotten in late and cranked up the window air conditioner, so when I heard yelling and pounding outside that sounded like a loud party, I threw open my front door to curse them all out… and saw a raging fire about twenty-five feet away, with the fire door hanging off its hinges (nice touch…).

    I managed to grab my keys and wallet and ran toward the fire and down the wooden stairs, and spent the next few hours sitting in my car watching the firefighters keep it away from my place. Spoiler: they succeeded, but the family two doors down lost everything.

    For quite a while after, even a faint whiff of smoke late at night would send my heart rate through the roof, and I wanted to strangle the new neighbors who had a drunken midnight hibachi party about a year later. But since it wasn’t an imaginary trigger, it took a very specific combination of situation and smell to affect me; fireplaces, wood smokers, or seeing California catch fire every year have never caused a blip.


    1. In the late ’80s, I tried to use a chef’s knife to open one of those plastic blister packs. After the hand surgeon put the tendon back together (didn’t quite sever it, but came really close) and things healed, I had a very profound respect for knives, and especially large ones in other people’s hands. Took a year or two for that to calm down.

      Now I have a larger chef’s knife, but it gets used for food. I use smaller knives or shears for those damnable packages.

      1. I always wonder how they expect you to open those blasted things. Sheers work, but take far to much pressure ti be comfortable, amd my Lady can’t manage it at all.

        Small charge of explosive?

        1. I found that box cutters or heavy duty mat knives worked well … carefully applied so that you don’t harm either yourself or the contents of the packaging.

          1. Should be something everyone manages to learn before leaving home – proper use of a box cutter. One of the handiest home devices, and one that women can wield as neatly as men.

      2. That’s supposedly one of the most common injuries they see in ER.

        A friend was trying to get a network card out of one of those blister packs one time and finally asked me if I had a knife. I told him I wasn’t carrying a knife, but he could use my gun if he wanted to shoot it. He said he had his own gun, thank you…

        For a long time here, you could carry all the guns you wanted, but pocket knives would get you into serious trouble with the law. Neither one of us has gotten back into the habit of carrying a blade now that there are no more restrictions on those.

        1. Blister packs on cardboard usually have me separating layers with my pocket knife–not quite a concealed weapon. Actually, it was one of the clamshell packs that I ran afoul of (who says I have problems with words? Moi?). Now, I’ll use shears or a utility knife.

          I have a hooked utility knife blade that comes in handy for some things like that. Tricky to use, because it wants to dig in. Still, it’s nice to get wire sheathing off.

          1. I am thinking it should be easy enough to open blister packs with a hollow needle and attached air compressor …

        1. Search your favorite online store for “Canary Cardboard Cutter”. They make short work of pretty much any packaging, and are also extremely good for cutting up old ballistic nylon duffel bags and backpacks. Rounded tip, serrated teflon-coated blade, cheap.


    1. I am so glad that where I work has parent interviews as well as student interviews. If the parents won’t be a good fit (snow-plows, or the other extreme and completely unwilling to help the student), then the student is directed to other options. It is rare, but otherwise qualified students have been refused because of their parents.

  10. Way when in HS they used to show videos, I think from Ohio State Police, of accident aftermaths. Complete with bodies and body parts to scare us into not drinking and driving. No warnings, and nobody ever left. Too much fun to dissect them afterwards. IIRC they were all B+W and apparently had all kinds of extra fake blood edited in. (Some of us CAN see red on B+W films….)

    We did get a reminder that we could leave if upset before we were shown actual German footage taken during the Holocaust. I remember only one friend leaving part way through. He had uncles and aunts he had never met die in the camps. There are, BTW, no Holocaust Deniers from my HS class.

    I know my youngest, now in 2nd year of college, received snowflake type warnings in HS. He used to come home and laugh about them. We live in ruralville. Many of the kids have killed their own food. Both livestock and game. And fish. Don’t have a clue why they think rural kids need snowflake warnings.

    1. If the molly-coddlers were sincere they would denounce any and all threats to burn Israel in nuclear flame or otherwise complete the solution the Nazis started as inexcusably triggering a traumatized people. The fact that they do not defend Israelis’ right to live in peace suggests an agenda driven outrage, weaponized against decent people everywhere.

      I don’t know about anybody else here, but I’m verging on being triggered by people claiming they’re triggered.

    2. Ah, you’re missing an important conditioning point. It’s especially important for propoganda purposes to give trigger warnings to rural folks, so that they have their noses rubbed in the fact that their behaviour is not appropriate, and their reactions are culturally unacceptable, so they will feel ashamed and uncertain, and bow before the ruling of their inferiors.

      It’s very hard to rule a strong, free people; you have to make them feel ashamed, uncertain, and off-balance first.

    3. At an orientation they were telling us what to do in cases of medical emergency and then showed us some of those videos.

      I walked out announcing I felt faint. Good thing I knew what to do, because the guy who lectured on medical emergencies had NO CLUE.

    4. 90% of the time, I leave for those warnings.
      If I already get the idea, I won’t wallow in it. I can explain stuff clinically, accurately, and would probably just end up angry……

  11. Never considered it PSTD. Is it?

    Growing up had an Uncle who had extremely violent grand mall seizures which he would fight. In addition when he’d get upset it’d trigger a the violence and a seizures. The nieces & nephews were always quickly removed from the situation to prevent us from being collateral damage. When I was 12, it took all 3 of the other brothers* and 2 brother-in-laws to subdue him to prevent him from hurting someone (which, yes, as an adult I know would broken his heart) or himself. * Given that 2 of his brothers were barely older than the oldest of us, plus it reduced grandma to sobs, it made an impression.

    Fast forward have been 3 instances where someone lost it. One involved a 15 year old (bigger than me). I bolted. Knew it was wrong. Didn’t know why at that instant. Stopped before i got too far because it put another in violation of the rules and youth. Sure didn’t want to, but I did. Figured out later that it was the earlier experiences that caused me to bolt. But I never considered it PSTD. Always figured once I was aware of it, anytime I had responsibilities, bolting was not an option, I just had to deal with the impulse. Other instances, leaving might be the answer, but bolting was not, still had to deal.

    Second instance happened at work during a release review. Someone discovered that a part of the project that he’d written at inception had been rewritten (well duh, that is the nature of software, even the documentation). Person blew up (violently verbally, if not physically) at the writer who redid it (with direction). No one was surprised when the person threw the tantrum (and it was a tantrum, better than I’ve seen toddlers pull one down). But, wow were they surprised (including me, FWIW) when I screamed back at him, even though I was not the target (was not known for speaking up at meetings, in the group, provide feedback via email or one on one, but not in group meetings.) My impulse was leave the meeting. But, I couldn’t leave the target without defense, I just couldn’t. Couple of reasons. Product was ultimately MY responsibility. It was my responsibility the change had been made. Yelling at the person who made the change was wrong, just wrong.

    Third instance was the reason I ultimately retired when I did. Another employee was off the rails due to drugs and mental issues. Management wasn’t doing anything about it, and wouldn’t be (for reasons.) More than once I left the office. Sudden desire for an extended off the site coffee break. Was joined by others more than once. After our break, we’d return to the office, to make the determination if it was time to go home and work or not. The difference this instance was I had no responsibilities regarding the individual, no need to defend someone else, knew why I wasn’t hanging around, but made that decision deliberately. Ultimately it came down to I will not deal with this. I didn’t have to. I quit.

    I now know that the experiences I saw as a child, even though I was never physically affected by them, trigger my reaction when I see, in person, violent confrontations, whether I’m a direct target or not. Not real comfortable seeing it on TV, but isn’t that what DVR recording and fast forward is for? Reading, uh, no.

    Is it PSTD? Don’t know.

    1. I am not in any way, shape, or form a licensed or trained therapist of any kind. That said, I’d argue that you show Post Traumatic Stress in the form of a trained reaction (get away, protect others if can’t get away, get others away if possible). I don’t think it is at the disorder level – does your reaction to the situation cause problems with everyday life? If not, then I don’t think Disorder is the right word. My reaction to certain things is just that – a reaction – and doesn’t interfere with going about the business of living. (Now, if I can just remind my adrenal system of that so it quits dumping ‘fight-flight’ on me at certain occasionally awkward moments… My go-to response now is a little sigh and muttering “Here we go again,” then finding a reason to step outside or duck into the ladies lounge for a few seconds.)

      1. Day to day life, interference. Hell no. I’m not in those type of situations regularly enough to trigger a protect, cover, or flight decision. Even work situation, it didn’t get bad enough until the last few months, or the worse of it I heard about afterwards. Maybe if we lived somewhere else.

        OTOH are we social butterflies? Avoiding the possibly of running into the situation? No, we are not. Is that maybe my fault?

        Have my husband and I ever, in 40+ years, of dating and marriage, and I do mean, ever, had a loud or even appearing to have a violent argument. Oh, hell, no. I guarantee you, the argument would have been shutdown cold, because I would have shutdown, or ran. Luckily I picked wisely …

  12. According to (as I understand – although, frankly, I think they just make this scheiss up as they go along) Modern Monetary Theory, money comes from government, which means it is just something we all agree to do together.

    After AOC Chases Amazon Jobs Away, Some New Yorkers Begin to Understand Socialism
    By Sarah Hoyt
    I was highly amused at reading this article: “Poll: 38 percent say Ocasio-Cortez ‘villain’ in New York losing Amazon HQ deal.”

    Apparently, New Yorkers are so badly educated that they didn’t understand the side effects of electing socialists.

    You see, electing socialists always results in businesses moving away, disappearing, or never setting up in your town at all.

    There are reasons for this, reasons usually tied in with how socialists view the world.

    For instance, they don’t understand where money/wealth comes from. …

    1. “I like my pets. I don’t want to know what they taste like with mustard.”
      Don’t worry. In the Socialist Paradise, you won’t have mustard.

  13. I’m finding myself increasingly leery of when people ask if one has traumas, even understandable ones. People don’t seem to know how to respond if one replies that one found psychologists and therapists useless (especially if one point out that they were younger than oneself, and had no children, what business do these people have in trying to comfort a bereaved mother?) I know the docs are all required to ask these days if one needs therapy once they hear one’s lost child/ren, but gah. Or the fact I’m not medicated, and that I have the odd little coping mechanism of getting a ‘weepy romance novel, crying out my stress, then feeling better afterward.’

    Do I have nightmares? Yes. Do I have times when I sit there just watching my daughter breathe? Yeah, but …that’s also part of ‘soft happy mummy feeling watching her beautiful baby sleeping.’ (Okay, she’s also got the Owlet and a Snuza, and a medically issued apnea monitor -for now- so I can relax a bit.) Also, “Will she burp up and end up hiccupping to a full vomit, the poor darlin’, or will she snooze past that half-hour gassy danger zone?”

    It’s one of those things that you’ll either survive or don’t, and always have scars from and learn to cope with. They don’t really know how to react to that either. So I often find myself being unsure of how to answer some questions, because a number of times, the poor emphatic soul in front of me is the one who’s distressed.

    Time has a way of dulling the agony to ache, but damn, it’s almost like people expect me to be a perpetually broken woman, with the grief fresh and always burning out every other rational thought, and that I’m not is ‘suspicious’ somehow.

    1. I think they expect people to wear Victorian black mourning dresses and veils forever, or something like that. So they can identify “poor victims” and make themselves feel good by cosseting and “helping.”

      (Yes, I’m a bit snarly this AM.)

      1. “Snarly”? Du??? Sweetness and light, m’dear, you are sweetness and light.

        Lemon juice & shadows

    2. With child loss events I’ve heard about from fellow loss mom’s here, people seem to be embarrassed about being confronted with an actual traumatic event. So the usual response in the immediate aftermath is to tell us we’ll get over it soon and move on. And when we don’t improve in the timeframe imposed by the outsider, be it a family member, friend, or the DSM, then we’re wallowing and unhealthy and have a mental problem.

      1. Sigh. Even a personal romantic loss.
        It’s as if we’re expected to keep wallowing in the loss, keep on torturing ourselves, over, and over, and over again.
        I eventually bowed out of a lot of sponsored single-parent support groups, because it seemed to me that they eventually turned into a weird kind of contest.
        “Hey, my ex beat me!”
        “Well, my ex beat me and the kids, too!”
        “And my ex beat me, the kids AND the dog!”
        Yeah – even if I was still feeling emotionally-wounded early on – that just did not seem really healthy to me, or conducive to regaining a sense of emotional stability.
        Which is totally necessary to being a parent. Single or otherwise.

      2. And when we don’t improve in the timeframe imposed by the outsider, be it a family member, friend, or the DSM, then we’re wallowing and unhealthy and have a mental problem.

        And at the same time, if we are improved and seem fine, we also have mental issues to ‘watch out for.’


        I think that these generations we have now are so pampered and lucky and cossetted that as much as people wail about their stresses and tragedies, when confronted with real trauma, they are also confronted by the shallowness of their issues and wounds, their weakness, so they want to rush past that real thing, or worse, belittle it.

        We were not shattered by the blows of hammer while we are being tempered on the anvil, but the blows leave their mark, and will be part of our blades forever.

    3. Having an intimate relationship with God helps. When my son was diagnosed with cancer that killed him in 6 months, I wrote a psalm to God and offered my grief. That next 6 months was filled with opportunities to be a blessing. It was not just my own strength. There were minor miracles along the way.

      The older you get, the more dead people you know. You miss them, and it pokes holes in your life. My now dead son, had a life filled with problems, OCD, depression, hypersensitivity. Yet I would tell people I was lucky. A brother of mine could never have children. Another brother lost a son being born. If God had offered me a choice, it would be the one he gave us. A chance to offer yourself as a gift.

      Learn to appreciate what you had and have. The pain of loss is love turned inside out. So practice a life of gratitude, appreciate what you take for granted. A recent practice is to be aware of things to be thankful for, to produce generous, even excessive gratitude. A couple of weeks ago, at a hospital cafe, a woman was cleaning tables. I thanked her. The look in her eyes told me how much she appreciated the blessing. So much we take for granted.

      1. My husband put it this way: ‘would you have said no to having Brandon (the son we lost through SIDs, after we lost Damien to full term stillbirth) if you knew he was only going to be with us for such a short time?’ My immediate, unhesitating response was a vehement “I would want him anyway!” Because as hard as it was (Brandon was a preemie and I had to have a c-section), he was a delight to us, and much beloved even before he was born.

        Yeah, we do the ‘it would’ve been fun if they were alive’, but it’s said with the ‘we wish we could share these joys with you’ wistfulness. But they’ll forever be our boys.

    1. I was in Appleton yesterday. Not enough snow for a skidoo. Heck, hardly any snow at all until Green Bay and that only in well shaded or large piles places. The groomed snowmobile trails are as much mud as snow/ice.
      damn. hope I didn’t jinx it.

  14. Trypophobia is a real thing affecting about a quarter of the population, though most not seriously.

    It appears to trigger the instinctive response “That there is something with parasites.”

  15. Odd you used the example of keeping kids home from school– the (cry)bullies are part of the advantage of homeschooling. My kids don’t have the “people who act friendly want to hurt me” response that I had by 7 or so.

    1. No, hon. What I meant is keeping GIRLS home from school (and not teaching them.) Not the same. It’s what they did in Portugal in my great great grandmother’s generation. Illiteracy was almost overwhelmingly female, because they were too “delicate” for school.

  16. I’m a big dude, so people don’t usually tell fat jokes at my expense. The universe on the other hand… yea… I’ve had a number of chairs fall apart beneath me (one practically disintegrated into a pile of toothpicks). The REAL funny part is, I’m not all THAT big. I have friends who weigh more than I do who have never had a chair break under them.

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