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Trigger-Happy Warnings

An article on Heatstreet—HeatStreet? Heat Street? I’d really like to get this right. I don’t want anyone upset. It’s upsetting me that I might be unable to un-upset others—anyway, this article posted on a website with a confusing climate-change-oriented name reminds us that what the world needs now is…

…no, you idiot! (Oh, crap! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!)

Anyway, signage.

That’s what the world needs now.

In particular, what we need are trigger signs scattered throughout all public spaces. Because public spaces, you know, frequently contain stuff. And stuff can be scary. Heck, did you notice both words—”stuff,” and “scary”—even start with the same letter?!

In today’s world, that’s connection enough, isn’t it? Like when U Mass threatened action for Title IX violations based on infantile Harambe memes.

We understand that social media has been popularizing Harambe in some crude ways, which may appear as funny to groups of people,” the RAs wrote. “However, these comments are not only derogatory, but also micro-aggressions to some UMass Students.

This happened because there happened to be a defined residential community—a kind of dormitory-style safe space—for African-American students.

Now let’s not get side-tracked here. (I can say that, right? I mean, I don’t want to accidentally offend anyone by appearing to disparage trackers, or side-trackers.) If I can try to be serious for a moment—and I will readilyadmit that I have trouble taking much of this seriously—I have absolutely nothing against so-called DRPs.[1]

Anyway, I was being serious. And, in the spirit of that seriousness, I want to say that I have absolutely no problem with DRPs. In fact, I did already say that. I think people can live in whatever kind of community they want. After all, my wife and I have created a kind of little mini—alright, come on here! my wife is 4’10” (or 4’11” if you ask her, or own a tape measure)—oasis in our backyard. The lush (no offense, drunkards) plant-type things, and tree items create a safe space for us at the end of a hard day.

And if anyone else comes into our DRP without permission, we scream. They typically scream, too, because we’re not infrequently sitting in our spa, aunaturel—and I apologize: I realize now that I probably should have given you a trigger warning before saying that.

But, really, life in the United States is not always, shall we say, “friendly,” to people of color. And I mean that. Despite my feelings about things like what I’m here writing about, I realize that I don’t have the life experiences to do more than imagine—and that has its limitations—what it’s like to be non-white in a country which of late often seems hell-bent on transmogrifying (not a gender thing, I don’t think) into a KKK stronghold.

But there’s a big difference between saying that people should be allowed to have a place to call home that comports with their comfort needs, and suggesting that the rest of the world needs to not talk about certain stuff—scary stuff—because it happens to have the same name as your space. It’s like me being upset because there are other people named “Rick” in the world, or feeling “triggered” because someone invented “rickrolling” instead of “barackrolling.”

Things have gotten so bad that two University of Houston faculty members are helping to create “emotional first aid kits” distributed by the 99.99% Society as a way to protect students from “microaggressions.”

Speaking of triggers, you know what kind of triggers we really need to be concerned about?

The epidemic of triggers that are killing black men all over America. The ones cops can’t seem to keep their fingers off of.

But, thanks to the idea I got from Hofstra University, I think I’ve found a way we can solve the problem.

According to U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon—no, no, we’re not doing the infantile jokes here—and FBI Director James Comey, so many police officers have been caught on tape apparently murdering people that

police officers may be more reluctant to get out of their patrol cars and confront suspects because of fear they will be videotaped and criticized.

In other words, all these goody-goody American citizens running around with their freedom, and video-phones, and protests, and stuff (!) are scaring cops into not shooting people.

I therefore propose that we post signs on every block of every street of every city, town, and village of America:

Footnotes

  1. The aforementioned defined residential communities. Yeah, I know the words “community,” or “communities,” do not start with “P.” I didn’t come up with the name, so I have no idea what it’s about. If you’re really triggered by this, maybe google it? But—TRIGGER WARNING!—be careful: We’ve already talked about how scary stuff can be. For example, these may not be the DRPs you seek: You may run across Del Ray Pizzeria in your search, for example, which could be traumatic if you’re a vegetarian. And DRP Belle Haven (Edit 3/21/2017: Link broken/removed.) is even worse: they serve “mini” sliders, which is not only a slight against little people who fall down a lot, but may contain uncooked meat! [↩]
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