Thomas Wictor

Another valuable concept destroyed

Another valuable concept destroyed

Jill Filipovic recently wrote a piece titled, “We’ve Gone Too Far with ‘Trigger Warnings.'” It’s about how university students are demanding that virtually everything unpleasant have a “trigger warning,” meaning a disclaimer that will alert sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder that they may read or see something that could trigger a flashback. The result? Another valuable concept destroyed.

Actor Ed Asner said the following as an explanation for why Hollywood’s most passionate anti-war activists did not speak out against President Obama’s promises of American military action in Syria.

A lot of people don’t want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama.

This is prima facie evidence that the concept of racism is now meaningless in the United States. People who describe themselves as humanitarians opposed to war keep their mouths shut rather than be seen as “anti-black.” Luckily for them the Obama administration never followed through on its vow to punish Bashar al-Assad for crossing the chemical-weapons “red line.” But how would criticizing President Obama’s policies have made anyone “anti-black”?

Does President Obama represent all black human beings on earth? If so, wouldn’t criticizing President George W. Bush’s policies have been “anti-white”? Racism used to mean this.

1. a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

2. racial prejudice or discrimination

Can anyone explain why adhering to one’s principles and opposing a president’s policies is racism? The term is now worthless. Genuine racism exists, but because the concept has been utterly debauched into farce, the true victims of bigotry will suffer.

It’s the same with “sexism.” In the Los Angeles mayoral race of 2013, the National Organization for Women attacked fellow feminist group EMILY’s List for distributing this flyer.


The text at the bottom of the flyer read, “Most Angelenos don’t lead a Hollywood lifestyle, but Eric Garcetti does.”

Just so you know, Mayor Eric Garcetti isn’t a blonde woman. He’s a young fellow who has trouble producing a natural smile, even for his official portrait.


In response to the stupid flyer with the blonde woman, NOW fired off a salvo of blubbering, semi-literate sanctimony.

It’s outrageous that EMILY’s list is attacking a leading champion for women’s rights, and it’s offensive that their attack mailers feature sexist imagery. They’re representing that [Garcetti lacks substance] with a white, blonde woman in a red dress who’s very attractive. That image is used to represent superficiality. It’s very diminishing to women… I’m disappointed to see another women’s organization reinforce that stereotype.

A white, blonde woman in a red dress who’s very attractive.

“Hey lady! That’s sure an attractive dress you’ve got on. What’s her name? My pants Jimmy want to know!”

When one feminist coterie attacks another, claiming that female beauty is used to represent superficiality and is “diminishing to women,” it’s an admission that the word “sexism” has lost all its meaning. Like racism, real sexism exists. But in the way that factory workers get used to loud noises or hideous stenches, the general public now tunes out the latest shout of “_______-ism!”

Jill Filipovic’s article about “trigger warnings” shows that the next concept destined to end up a punchline for standup comics is post-traumatic stress disorder. I’ve written extensively about my PTSD, which comes with the added bonus of secondary psychotic features, making it PTSD-SP. It’s very real. I dissociate when under extreme stress. A few weeks ago my cardiologist told me that he would have to recommend I be institutionalized unless I could get my weight and blood pressure back under control.

So I have no sympathy whatsoever for the young narcissists demanding that “trigger warnings” be put on all material that might upset them.

Trigger warnings, and their cousin the “content note”, are now included for a whole slew of potentially offensive or upsetting content, including but not limited to: misogyny, the death penalty, calories in a food item, terrorism, drunk driving, how much a person weighs, racism, gun violence, Stand Your Ground laws, drones, homophobia, PTSD, slavery, victim-blaming, abuse, swearing, child abuse, self-injury, suicide, talk of drug use, descriptions of medical procedures, corpses, skulls, skeletons, needles, discussion of “isms,” neuroatypical shaming, slurs (including “stupid” or “dumb”), kidnapping, dental trauma, discussions of sex (even consensual), death or dying, spiders, insects, snakes, vomit, pregnancy, childbirth, blood, scarification, Nazi paraphernalia, slimy things, holes and “anything that might inspire instrusive thoughts in people with OCD.”

That list of triggers is called “life.”

Since I’ve joined Facebook, I’ve learned that there’s a huge passel of people out there who can’t bear an opposing viewpoint. Some of them get so angry that they send me private messages. One guy didn’t like it when I told him in our private exchange that he was obsessed with politics. He replied that he learned in 1972 that politics was a life-and-death issue, because that was the year he got his draft card at the age of sixteen.


Sixteen-year-olds were never sent draft cards. At sixteen you didn’t even have to register. If he was sixteen in 1972, that means he was born in 1956. The draft lottery of 1972 was for men born in 1952.

The way the draft worked, they began with twenty-year-olds. If they ran out of those, they moved on to the pool of registered nineteen-year-olds. As a final resort, they tapped the pool of registered eighteen-year-olds. The average age of an infantryman serving in Vietnam was twenty-two.

If you’re going to lie to me, don’t choose topics I know about. That rules out pretty much everything. Sorry, but I’m an information junkie. It’s not my problem if you’re too stupid to lie effectively to me.

People are so terrified of being uncomfortable that they lie and demand “trigger warnings.” As someone with crippling PTSD, here’s my recommendation for all you swooning pearl clutchers.

Step One.


Step Two.


The difference between me and so many others is that I don’t demand to be coddled like an infant. I don’t want everyone to think and speak the way I do.

My PTSD will shorten my life. No question. But I don’t curl into the fetal position and scream for others to remove everything I find even slightly unpleasant. I’m determined to enjoy however many years I have left. The great John Candy inspires me. This is the finest scene of his career. Look at his face.

Instead of being grateful for anything, you spoiled, whining, pampered poseurs with your fake problems just complain endlessly. You make me sick.