August 14th, 2012


"On the floating, shapeless oceans..."

Yesterday, I wrote 1,228 words on Chapter Two.

Today, it's somewhat cloudy, but we may head south after work. I need to get out of the city, and as close to the sea as I can. I need this very badly. My nerves are like fraying jute rope.

I would apologize for the outburst last night, only it hardly seems sane, much less appropriate, to do so. This morning, I still mean what I said. I still said what I meant. But this shit actually kept me awake last night. If you genuinely think I'm being insensitive by a) refusing to use "trigger warnings" (except in jest) and/or b) are offended that I think "trigger warnings" are absurd, then the only advice I can offer is that you cease reading this blog. This morning, I'm actually seeing shit like, "I've been reading Caitlín for years, but now I have to rethink this, considering her stance on TW." I don't know what to say in or to a world where intellect can shrivel to such a point.

I do know that I ought not to have dignified the comment that set me off with a response. You respond in such a fashion to this species of troll, and they only feel vindicated. They wish to reshape the internet (and, of course, the world beyond it) in their own wilting self-image, and I give them ammunition.

But I can't stop wondering if they've actually paused to think through the logical consequences of their demands (and they do demand) for "trigger warnings." This is simple. This is elementary-school reasoning, not that fancy college-level logic: Everything has the potential to be a "trigger" to someone, if you accept this currently fashionable idea of "triggering" phenomena. Yes, everything. So, if I were to acknowledge the need for "trigger warnings" as valid – which I don't – I'd have to preface everything I write with such a caveat. This isn't me trying to deflate an argument by recourse to reductio ad absurdum. This is a simple and obvious outcome. Were I to be fair to everyone who might be "triggered." Since anything can serve as a "trigger." Since anything can become associated in the human psyche with a traumatic event. Any sound, small, taste, narrative device, image, etc. and etc. I'm not trying to be insensitive or an ass. I'm acting as any rationalist would.

Isn't this, well, plain as day?

See, here's the thing. We live in a nation where the state of mental health care is abysmal. Indeed, it is nigh unto nonexistent. Every time I go out, I see schizophrenics living on the street, because they have nowhere else to go. I am a staunch proponent of nationalized mental health care, and those people who are so disabled as to need hospitalization (I've been there) should be given the support they need. They should have a retreat where they can once again, hopefully, become capable of living outside institutions. This is, I believe, a basic human right. The idea is to get better, if you can get better. Not to wallow in your illness, and hope that others will coddle you. Illness does not confer privilege.

If you're at home, sitting at your computer, trolling Twitter and blogs and Facebook and what the hell ever for something that will piss you off so you can call an author a #failbag, you are not one of those seriously mentally-ill people of whom I speak. I'm not sure what you are. I will not hazard a guess. It's not my problem. It's yours.

The lot of you, you could be better human beings.

I didn't want to write about this today. Which is why I wrote about it last night. I have work to do, deadlines to meet, bills to pay, a family to care for, and so on. But I say again, if it's too hot, please get out of my kitchen, and then we'll all be happy, right?

Judge me as you will. I won't bow to the pressure of people whom I consider, with good cause, to be seriously deluded bullies. Thought Police. Big Brother. Big Sister. Big Bother. I am free, and I am free to speak. I do not engage in hate speech, and being a functional (but legally) "permanently disabled" person whose branded an ableist for disdaining "trigger warnings," if that makes me one of the Bad Guys in the eyes of the Outrage Olympics, so be it.

I don't have time for this. I live in the real world.

Tired of the Purveyors of Crap,
Aunt Beast

Postscript: I'm also perfectly comfortable applying to myself words like "crazy," "nuts," and "whackadoodle." So don't start in with that NA and NT nonsense. Also, I'm not closing this entry to comments, as I am not a coward and do not wish to give that impression.

Second Postscript (3:00 p.m.): Okay, maybe I am a coward. No, actually, I'm just too busy to reply to bullshit. So, I'm screening the comments to this entry. Play nice, you get to comment. Act like a shit, you don't. Go off the rails on me here in my blog (feel free elsewhere; I'll never see it anyway), and you will be banned. Think of this as my living room, and then behave accordingly. Also, don't bother telling me you'd never buy my books because of what I've written. I. Do. Not. Care. You'd hate them, anyway. Oh, and by the way, in the eleven years I've been blogging, the number of people I've had to ban can be counted on the fingers of both hands. Including the one I banned today.

Third Postscript (4:48 p.m.): My attempts to reply to as many of the reasonable responses here as possible has become unpractical. So, I'm stopping. But please feel free to continue commenting, so long as you remember whose house this is.

Postscript to This Morning's Entry

On the subject of the practical inability to avoid all possible traumatic "triggers," via Wikipedia:

"Triggers can be quite diverse, appearing in the form of individual people, places, noises, images, smells, tastes, emotions, animals, films, scenes within films, dates of the year, tones of voice, body positions, bodily sensations, weather conditions, time factors, or combinations thereof. Triggers can be subtle and difficult to anticipate..."

Can you imagine, alone, how many possible bodily positions there are? And are you aware that there are ~11 million species of extant animals? These are, of course, rhetorical questions.

And you want me to try and anticipate all these hundreds of millions of possibilities every time I (or anyone else) makes a blog entry? Seriously?

Aunt Beast