The New Republic On Trigger Warnings Jumping From Blogs to College Campuses

Comments

1
Saying a trigger warning triggers you is basically mocking people with PTSD. Our society has decided that things like wheelchair ramps, special parking spaces, and accessibility standards are reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities so they can fully participate in society. But if you have a mental illness, such as PTSD caused by repeated childhood rapes, you need to remove yourself from the internet because it is too much of an annoyance for Dan Savage to put the content where he vividly describes rape or includes traumatizing photos below the fold.

Dan, you are acting like a privileged fuck right now. It is not surprising that you linked to an article full of strawman arguments.
2
WOW. JUST. WOW. SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU ENTITLED DEMI-OPPRESSIVE, MIDDLE-CLASS-OVERPRIVILEGED ANTI-FEMINIST!!!!!! you're literally a gynephilia-marginalizing neckbeard!!!! you nazi, stop objectifying deathfat-aligned people!!!!! you ignorant scum, stop attacking genderamorous-identifying personalities! STOP FUCKING SHAMING PANSEXUAL-ALIGNED PEOPLE YOU BASEMENT DWELLER!!!!! leave polygender-identifying personalities the fuck alone you asshole! YOU'RE TRIGGERING ME YOU ENTITLED ASSHOLE!!! your denial of omnisexual-identifying personalities is problematic!!!!! YOU MIDDLE-CLASS-PRIVILEGED DUDEBRO!! STOP OFFENDING ME YOU ENTITLED REDDITOR!!!!!!!!!
3
@1 Being upset by a difficult subject matter is not the same thing as having PTSD symptoms. "Trigger warnings" don't help to mitigate PTSD, they help people find/avoid certain topics. "Triggers" in and of themselves are person-specific and impossible to account for, which is why effective PTSD treatments don't focus on "triggers" but on how to cope and get relief when you experience symptoms.
4
Every time I read something by some billionaire arguing about needing more tax subsidies ... Which they call exemptions or enterprise zones .. That triggers something.

Disgust.
5
@2 I actually thought Raku had a new handle there for a second.
6
@5 me too!!!
7
I dunno about all that stuff about "musky colognes" or whatever, but for the most part trigger warnings are a mild common courtesy that bothers no one and lets people know that they might not want to read what follows if it bothers them.

"Trigger warning: description of sexual assault" costs you nothing, but saves some people a non-trivial amount of grief. It's OK to be a braying jackass -- my specialty -- but a little decency towards others before you begin doesn't hurt at all.
8
Trigger warnings are not a reasonable accommodation. They are an extraordinary courtesy, and the lack thereof shouldn't give rise to censure.

I understand triggers. But, as the article syas, dealing with them is much more mentally healthy in the long term than expecting society to raise a new thicket of word shields and wordfences and wordgates to protect all the people who have some type and level of trigger from all of the things which trigger them. People need to take some responsibility for themselves. Bailey Loverin could have gotten up and walked out of that class, and no one would have thought a whole lot about it an hour afterword. But she stayed, endangering her mental health, because she didn't want to draw attention to herself? And she decided to solve the problem of having to draw attention to herself by drawing attention to herself on a national basis by her proposed policy change? That is hyperentitled and just plain whacked.

@1 Yes. Do yourself a favor and stay off the internet. Unless you are looking for reasons to be offended, then stick around. There are plenty. Or you could just grow the fuck up.
9
@8:
People need to take some responsibility for themselves.
That's right rape victim, we're not going to give you any trigger warnings, but we are going to call you irresponsible if you suffer further trauma. Be responsible for your mental state after you were sexually assaulted and just remove yourself from society because you aren't worth enough to us to even get us to write a warning.
10
@7, exactly.

Just ignore it if it doesn't apply to you. But I really appreciate when somebody has the courtesy to warn me "hey, this might be upsetting to you" because hey, you were assaulted and that's kind of a big fucking deal. If you have never had a flashback, you have no idea what the trauma is like - sitting at your desk, shaking and crying, because your therapist isn't on speed dial and an article you though was innocent actually includes a graphic description of a sexual assault. I don't think it should be mandatory - but it's a courtesy.

It's not about "growing the fuck up". It' about acknowledging that other people may have experienced trauma that you haven't. If you think that's not important, no amount of discussion will convince you it is.

11
@8: Oh, and you calling a sexual assault victim "hyperentitled" for trying to protect other rape victims from psychological trauma is too much for words. Really.
12
@9: The point is the putting up signs saying, "You are a victim and you are too weak to handle this so go away" is not helping anybody.
13
@12: No, it is saying that you may see something traumatizing. If you a prepared, go ahead. If you want to prepare ahead of time, then do that. And if you can't handle it right now, then don't read it.

It is better than the alternative where traumatizing shit can present itself randomly without preparation. And it allows access to sites that cover traumatic material without excluding people who can't handle it without preparation or who only want to read the non-traumatic material.
14
"where traumatizing shit can present itself randomly without preparation"

I believe that's the Official Motto of the Internet.

In fact, I made you a present!

http://www.mememaker.net/static/images/m…
15
Dan, I enjoyed your post about the minimum wage earlier, but you missed the mark pretty badly here. The article presumes you agree with it, and presents nothing to convince people to agree until way down, when it starts to discuss research, but then rapidly goes off into assuming that trigger warnings don't work, despite the fact that people's experiences directly contradicts this.

I was inclined to agree with the article before I read it, but I'm less so after reading it, because it was badly written, provided no evidence, and just hand waved about something it assumes we all hate.
16
@1 I'm with you, and that was my first thought when Dan linked this on Twitter earlier today. It doesn't cost me anything to label sensitive topics with trigger warnings, and it does help a lot of people. It's part of being a considerate person - something I realize is rare on the internet, but still.

That doesn't mean we should need to put "trigger warnings" on everything, just like we don't need to put allergy warnings on bananas or beer - people who are allergic to bananas/beer make up a tiny percentage of those with food allergens. But allergy warnings on peanut products (or, to get back to the topic, trigger warnings on rape/PTSD-triggering topics) make a huge difference to a not-insignificant number of people. Why not use them?
17
@13 exactly. I've gotten therapy* and learned how to determine when and how I could handle, say, watching a certain show today. Trigger warnings give me the chance to check in with myself and decide if I want to proceed.

A good bit of mental health involves maintaining boundaries and avoiding triggers. Especially when you've experienced a trauma that will never really be okay.

* that shit is difficult and expensive. It's kind of an asshole argument that people who haven't gotten therapy are irresponsible
18
Ok, here is another issue where it's easy for us to fall in to an either/or category rife with righteous indignation. I can already see mighty warriors for justice on both sides.

I'm almost certain the solution lies in the middle. A trigger warning seems like a reasonable expectation for a person writing a blog post describing rape to a readership that includes a large portion of rape victims. It is not reasonable to expect it from a rough sex porn blog for describing some BDSM scene from Kink.com. Or expecting it from a generic food blog for saying "grape" because it sounds too much like rape (an extreme example I know, but it illustrates my point about taking the expectation too far)

The rub comes when "Trigger warning" is used a a pretentious club to beat over the head of people in order to show what a good person you are for defending the victim. In open public discussion there is going to be words and subjects that will cause pain for some people. So as a courtesy in certain situations I can understand a trigger warning, but as a blanket rule for all language everywhere? Absolutely not. Unless we all want to sound like a spoken word version of Tumblr Social Justice.

Long story short, there has to be a reasonable middle ground here.
19
@12, I'm just perturbed by the fact that when you see someone who is weaker than you your immediate impulse is to attack them.
20
I don't really see trigger warnings as all that different from tagging a link as "NSFW" or putting auto-play videos after a jump. It is just a way to alert someone who may not want to see something that this is something they may not want to see. Common courtesy, nothing more.

(I mean, look at all the bellyaching that happens here over autoplay videos on the main page.)
21
Fuck Tumblr
22
Required reading here. (tigger warning)
23
I swear to god I'm going to pistol whip the next person that says "trigger."
24
Isn't this what an abstract is for?
25
@19:

/:|
26
I think it is an unreasonable expectation that a person who has experienced trauma should never have to be reminded about that trauma again.

Yes, some traumas or worse than others, but most of us are damaged in one way or another, and we learn resiliance to get through the day to day.

27
I think it is an unreasonable expectation that a person who doesn't need a trigger warning shouldn't have to ever see a trigger warning.

Yes, some annoyances are worse than others, but most of us are capable of empathy, and we learn to avoid harming people day to day.
28
@23 Hey Farva, what's the name of Roy Rogers' horse you like that does all that goofy shit?
29
I don't mind the use of trigger warnings. I don't mind that they're being used for a broader array of topics. I dislike the tendency to vehemently condemn people for not using them when discussing topics that previously didn't require warnings.

Fervently aggressive enforcement of a relatively new social trend is a bit much, even if the trend itself is reasonable.
30
I tend to agree with those who think of this as a reasonable accomodation, but there is something about the phrase "trigger warning" that I find incredibly condescending and obnoxious. I know that it's less pithy, but is it so difficult to briefly describe what it is that you are trying to give people the opportunity to opt-out of, so they can make an informed decision for themselves? Are trauma victims so sensitive that even the mention of "graphic violence/sex below" will cause additional pain? Do we need the vague euphemism?
31
@9 Is it irresponsible for a person standing on the railroad tracks to not get off the tracks if he sees a train coming? Yes.

Is it irresponsible for a person with PTSD, upon being unexpectantly confronted with a potentially triggering event or depiction to not walk out of the classroom? Yes.

Sometimes the trigger happens before you get a chance to react. I get that. But, judging from her own recitation of events, that wasn't the case for Bailey Loverin, and it isn't the case for a lot of other people as well. That's what I meant by assuming personal responsibility, not removing oneself entirely from society - and a little personal risk management might go a long way as well.

@10 " If you have never had a flashback, you have no idea what the trauma is like." Sorry, I completely disagree with this philosophy. We are humans. We are empathetic and imaginative enough to have a good understanding of such things even if they don't happen to us, if we try to. As an anecdotal example, I tried to imagine once how it would feel if horrible experience X happened to me. Later horrible experience X did happen to me. And you know what? It was pretty much how I imagined it would be. I don't think I'm unique in my ability to imagine or empathize. Some people in this thread even feel I lack empathy.

But policy choices like this are not merely about courtesy. They are also about whether we as a society want to reinforce man's essential durability - our ability to overcome adversity and horrible things happening to us - or to reinforce the idea that that we are weak, delicate creatures, easily be broken beyond repair. This is important because those who suffer trauma can and do impose these societal visions on themselves, and it may make the difference between a maximized recovery and a failed one.
32
Sorry for the double post, but I think I know what I hate about "trigger warning." Because of its vagueness, it feels to me like expression policing. While a description of the thing you are about to say is definite and predictable, anything can be a "trigger," and failure to pre-announce it can be subject to sanction for failure to warn. Like that statue of the sleep-walking guy. There wasn't anything actually offensive or traumatic or frightening about it, so people just threw "trigger warning" out as an epithet to get rid of something they didn't happen to like. Maybe I'm being oversensitive myself, and as the neologism gains traction, it will come to have a narrow and definite meaning. But until then, I'm not in favor
33
@32 The problem is that the way neologisms gain traction is often to begin with quite a narrow definition and gradually mush out and spread to the point where they become meaningless. There's also the difficulty that words which function as terms of art in one discipline can be used incorrectly by anyone outside that discipline and be either weakened beyond usefulness or subsumed into their non-specialized use with no effective response. Witness the problem the scientific community faces (if they are still facing it) with the "theory" of evolution. Evangelical literalists and other anti-science types scream that "it's only a theory" and therefore is worthless as science, and no amount of explanation from the scientists themselves has so far convinced any of the anti-intelligentsia that the word is being used in a scientific rather than a generalized application. Those who want society at large to bow to the necessity of trigger warnings should remember the adage about being careful what you wish for, unless they can be perfectly content reading nothing for the rest of their lives.
34
The only time I've seen trigger warnings on the internet, they were followed by ledes to articles which include exactly what the subject is going to be. Ex. "Trigger warning-child sexual assault" in a story about children being sexually assaulted.

Trigger warnings are the internet equivalent of holding somebody else's hand and treating them like a small child. Is this really what trauma patients want?
35
@1 You know the reason people don't agree with you isn't because they don't care about people with PTSD. It's because you're a fucking moron.
36
If it's one thing the internet has brought us, it's over-thinking. If people want trigger warnings, so what? It takes far less time to actually do it than it's taking me to post this fucking reply.

Is there some reason why you people are getting so butt-hurt over this? Just be excellent to each other & get on with your lives. Jeez.
37
@31: What people in favor of trigger warnings are asking for is the chance to see the train coming and get out of the way. Suppose you're walking on a sidewalk, you cross a street, and suddenly get hit by a falling piano. What, you didn't see that coming? They always drop pianos there, grow up and get over it! Or maybe a sign warning of falling pianos would be reasonable in that situation?

Can warning signs be overused? Sure. That doesn't mean they are a bad idea in every situation.
38
Over at Shakesville (a progressive feminist blog about politics, culture, social justice, cute things, and all that is in between), they put content warnings—which they used to call trigger warnings before they decided that was too triggering—on all their posts.

They have a fun post about the New Republic article at http://www.shakesville.com/2014/03/trigg… (Content Note: Narratives of oversensitivity; discussion of being triggered).
39
Dear all people commenting on trigger warning who have not had PTSD, STFU. Trigger warnings are really patronizing to people who have gone through trauma, as often the only way to move on and get over it is desensitization therapy. So the constant braying of the hyper-entitled about how we need to be more sensitive to rape survivors - well, sod off. I've been through way worse that reading an article about something shitty that's already happened to me. You know people who live with long-term PTSD (for example: anyone living in the DRC or a war torn country) live without trigger warnings everyday. Survivors of trauma aren't fragile little glass figures, and that's exactly why we've survived. I'm sorry if that sucks - I know I've been there having a panic attack on the bathroom floor of a movie theater because I didn't check the review first - but that's life and eventually you pick yourself up off of the floor and move on. Dialogue about triggering things helps us as a society process trauma, otherwise we're just ignoring it and that has never helped anyone. True story.
40
I agree intensely with @16 and @20 here. There is of course nothing that is going to be a definite line here.

Nevertheless, I can't fathom that it should be controversial that there should be a handy, roughnready line that expresses the internet/written equivalent of an alergy/NSFW/spoileralert line.

I think there is a hair-trigger spoiler alert line on the internet and it might be helpful for those sensitive to that line to contemplate other, analogous and more important lines
41
Trauma, and any subsequent PTSD, looks different from person to person. To make any proclamation about what is actually, truly traumatic is bullshit. Trigger warnings are not solutions, as Fnarf points out they are courtesies, and I have to wonder how helpful they would be for people's sense of safety/hyperarousal if they were to become ever present.
42
They made us read The Bluest Eye in high school without a trigger warning - picket Toni Morrison's house! Life is shocking and traumatic - I demand inoffensive pablum!

I still remember my middle school history class when we were forced to watch footage from liberation of Dachau. I can't imagine a teacher getting away with that now. A pity.
43
What's "P.S.T.D."?
44
Honestly, I don't know how anyone gets through the fucking day.
45
While I find some of the demands for trigger warnings excessive (the internet seems rife with people who blur the line between mental trauma and things that make them upset), and I worry that they may not actually be helpful in preventing episodes or flashbacks, I agree wholeheartedly with Fnarf on this. If a rape victim asks me to warn her when I'm going to talk about rape so she can leave the conversation, I'm going to give her the common courtesy of warning her. Anything less than that is just being an asshole. And really, does the world need more assholes than it already has?
46
Reading comprehension. The author’s point was that trigger warnings to articles read on the internet have very little to do with PTSD – treating it, helping people with it, etc – author is saying the internet TW is based on a bunk claim, but is nonetheless being misapplied ad-nauseum throughout the internet in a way that is patronizing and being used to score ideological points. How dense are some of you?

The argument is NOT you have a friend that doesn’t like to talk about X with you, but you should be an asshole and do it anyway because 'muh freedoms.' That’s NOT what’s being said here. Fuck, most common joke I’ve seen between people who have been through treatment is to use “trigger” and “trigger warning” ironically.

Here’s a thought -- catalog your content and title appropriately so the context is evident, remember tags? THE FUTURE IS NOW. You think people are ignorant of their triggers? Do you really think the most common trigger is READING? Prove it.

Here, let’s flowchart it: Are you running a rape survivor’s website? No? Then what are you doing appropriating TW, when did everyone become a licensed therapist now?
47
@46 I agree, tags and clear descriptions make far more sense. If one is triggered by description of assault/suicide/eating disorders then what they need is not a vague "trigger warning" which could basically mean anything by now. Like warnings for graphical content in the news. If there's a movie on the curriculum, there should be a list of issues covered with in the movie and mention of anything particularly graphic, not a patronizing "overly sensitive persons need not attend". Then if someone has a problem with the topic of a particular movie, they can just tell the professor that they have a problem.
48
“Trigger Warning” would be a great band name.
49
Several years ago, I was in grad school. At the first session of one class, the instructor screened the movie 'Requiem for a Dream'. He didn't offer a content warning. At least one classmate was in recovery for heroin addiction, and sure enough, he was triggered. He didn't relapse, but how hard would it have been for the prof to show it the second session, with a warning, or tell us to watch it on our own time?

How the instructor handled this seemed gratuitously careless to me.
50
@1: Stupid assholes trigger my non-disprovable PTSD. Therefore, you need to get a tattoo on your forehead saying "Stupid Asshole," or admit you're a hypocrite. Which will you do?

I'm also triggered by anything written by someone wearing pants. Or who might be wearing pants. Either you're a hypocrite, or you need to begin your every utterance with "TRIGGER WARNING: COMES FROM SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BE WEARING PANTS."

In more seriousness:
"Saying a trigger warning triggers you is basically mocking people with PTSD."

No, it mocks people who are pretending to have PTSD as a pretext for attacking random people for no reason. Since that's what you're doing, I can see why you're so offended by it.
51
Honestly, if the social justice warriors get their wish, and the phrase "trigger warning" makes it into the mainstream culture, and people start using it reflexively in daily speech the way we say "no offense" or a Canadian says "sorry" it would lose it's appeal. Imagine a Daniel Tosh joke with a semi-sarcastic "trigger warning" thrown in the middle. What if it gets co-opted by the right, like the rest of the language of the left? Imagine Rush Limbaugh using it in support of George Zimmerman.

Saying trigger warning now shows you're the most sensitive, the most attuned to the pain of the oppressed. If it no longer means that, it no longer has value. Seriously, it assumes rape survivors, former addicts, etc, can't use context clues to figure out if a situation will harm them and leave. There are tags on posts, as people have suggested, as well as how often id a graphic beaten body just randomly sprung on you?If you're in a lecture when a movie about drugs is going to be shown, how will "trigger warning" help? If someone is in such a precarious place that a random image or film will send them spiralling, how is "trigger warning" going to help them?
52
By the way, I don't think anyone should screen movies like Requiem for a Dream in class, regardless of trigger warnings. It is obviously likely to bother many people and not just former addicts.
53
@52: And goodness knows nothing in a class should ever bother anyone.

We should definitely stop teaching math, too. When I was a kid, I remember it being pretty bothersome.
54
@53 I did not say that: "nothing in a class should ever bother anyone."
Have you seen the movie? It's just too much for some people and I understand that. Even though I like it a lot. But my level of tolerance for this kind of stuff is pretty high.
I just don't see the point of watching it in class. You can perfectly well watch the movie at home, just like you would read a book before class, and then discuss it later. Besides, what if you have already seen it? Should you be forced to watch it again?
55
@50,53: Are you able to make an argument without a strawman fallacy? I get that it is easier to dispute imaginary extreme arguments. But have you ever tried to discuss the matter at hand, that trigger warnings are very rare warnings for people who suffer from PTSD and don't interfere or censor any content. You might see one in every thousand or so posts on Slog if they included them. They are no different than many common warnings we see on the internet like NSFW, Graphic Content, etc.

But yes, your argument is you are triggered by pants. Get over yourself and your privilege. It isn't about you. It doesn't affect you.
56
@55 Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Your @1 first post demonstrates you either negligently or purposely misconstrued the author’s argument.

PTSD is not simply being “upset,” “disturbed,” “made uncomfortable,” or “reminded of something bad that happened” it’s a physiological reaction that causes your fight or flight mechanism to kick in. My partner’s trigger is the music from (the artist formerly known as) Prince.

Your refusal to even consider that your behavior and actions are infantilizing or insulting speaks volumes about the kind of crackerjack activism prevalent these days. Not everyone is an Evergreen State College student in their early 20s. Just because someone says they are doing something “on behalf of the oppressed,” or whatever, does not mean that they are automatically correct in every assertion they make or that you should believe them on faith.

Did you even know that the treatment they give soldiers with PTSD is exposure therapy? Complete with putting them in 3d simulators with guns to re-live the trauma?

You seem like one of those people who trafficks in activism prefaced on hyper-emotional 1st person storytelling -- in that case I strongly recommend you check your premises first before ever attempting to call people out on whatever privileges you think they may have over the internet.
57
@56: You are cracking me up. You honestly think that exposure to real world stimulus and exposure therapy are the same thing? Exposure therapy is controlled and incremental. In fact, a trigger warning would be helpful in that case. Uncontrolled exposure is one of the stupidest things you can do. Nice try, go collect $200, and go fuck yourself.
58
@57 Garrett seems to know something about this though, from their partner's experience. Your hysterics are completely uncalled-for. @53 was a valid argument. The point of this discussion is that trigger warnings are no longer very rare and are sometimes demanded by people who are just upset by something, and in extremely aggressive ways too.
59
@58: Right, and the above poster responded to my comment that said "trigger warnings are very rare warnings" with a ridiculous strawman argument. I really don't care if they are being misused. I care about their valid applicability. If you want to discuss how Dan Savage's previous post was wrongfully given a trigger warning, then go ahead. You will be right, people are misusing them. But that is not what I'm arguing. I am arguing that they have a valid place on the Internet and they can be useful. It may be helpful to make a set of guidelines for this, but to me it seems obvious: give a warning when the content is far beyond what a newspaper would typically cover when it comes to events that may be traumatizing. For example, graphic depictions of rape, suicide, or self-injury could use a warning that says "graphic depictions of rape/suicide/self-injury". This isn't some feminist conspiracy. It is just common courtesy for people that could be reasonably hurt.
60
@59 " give a warning when the content is far beyond what a newspaper would typically cover when it comes to events that may be traumatizing. For example, graphic depictions of rape, suicide, or self-injury could use a warning that says "graphic depictions of rape/suicide/self-injury"."
I think most people here don't argue with that. However, the examples I have seen and some people have posted here go way beyond that.
61
"For example, graphic depictions of rape, suicide, or self-injury could use a warning that says "graphic depictions of rape/suicide/self-injury". This isn't some feminist conspiracy. It is just common courtesy for people that could be reasonably hurt."

But those already exist, and have for years. For as long as there've been blogs, even the right-wing and apolitical ones have put something like "graphic image after the jump" when showing say, and beaten or dead body. TV shows have warnings for the same thing. Even on the news they say" The footage you are about to see may upset you." Is that really not enough? Should people complain they saw violence in an R-rated movie, or one where the poster had Stallone on it?

But the way the "progressives" want to do them now is overkill. You need them not only for graphic photos of, say, rape, but Roman Polanski interviews. What about when the Right co-opts trigger warnings? When they complain because a radio station didn't say "trigger warning" before playing "same love."

It just seems odd to me that for decades now, we see photos of concentration camp victims or Phan Thi Kim Phuc and no warning is needed. Now we need a content warning for a post about Daniel Tosh.
62
I am a rabid defender of civility, compassion, and common sense, all desperately important for creating a public space most people can live in - but equally important for each of us individually in creating a reasonable or sustainable way to navigate that social world. But, Jesus!, speaking as someone who has been raped, stabbed, homeless, in an abusive domestic relationship, and the like (it gets tediously repetitive after a point), it's my damned job as a participant in society/family/work to work on myself, and it is the job of education, literature, visual art, music, etc. to provoke! I think 'Everybody Poops' is a great book, but it's no fucking Dostoevsky or Nabokov. I *need* to be disturbed, and challenged - we all do! I love and respect Richard Scarry, but 'I Am a Bunny' does not suffice when what I need is The Rite of Spring, or Artaud, or Bourdieu.

Best to skip the humanities altogether if you must avoid depictions of conflict, and for the love of God avoid the sciences at all costs because...oh, Jesus, you just don't want to know!
63
I am a rabid defender of civility, compassion, and common sense, all desperately important for creating a public space most people can live in - but equally important for each of us individually in creating a reasonable or sustainable way to navigate that social world. But, Jesus!, speaking as someone who has been raped, stabbed, homeless, in an abusive domestic relationship, and the like (it gets tediously repetitive after a point), it's my damned job as a participant in society/family/work to work on myself, and it is the job of education, literature, visual art, music, etc. to provoke! I think 'Everybody Poops' is a great book, but it's no fucking Dostoevsky or Nabokov. I *need* to be disturbed, and challenged - we all do! I love and respect Richard Scarry, but 'I Am a Bunny' does not suffice when what I need is The Rite of Spring, or Artaud, or Bourdieu.

Best to skip the humanities altogether if you must avoid depictions of conflict, and for the love of God avoid the sciences at all costs because...oh, Jesus, you just don't want to know!

For what it's worth, I think 'The Bear,' a well-made, excellent, and troubling film, was the one work of art in my life most in need of a terribly stern 'trigger warning' (the one it had when played on CBC back in the day was, while existent, shit); I think reasonable people should quite reasonably expect Lolita, Girls, The Sopranos, The Killing, Borgia, Monster, The Long Loneliness, Les Chants de Maldoror, The Seven Storey Mountain, The Magic Mountain, and A Season in Hell to fuck their shit up!

Life is disturbing, and so is art. Live, stretch, plumb the depths, and grow! Otherwise your special snowflake self will melt into a tepid puddle of unused safewords, overextended cynicism, and loneliness. That may be 'safe,' but it's fucking boring!