Microaggressions and Trigger Warnings placed on books and films and university classes? Who thought up this asinine system which sounds like the acceptance of the adult-child? Trigger warnings on classes because their subject matter might upset somebodies identity or other hang-up is what maturity was supposed to cure. University was the last place that transitory management called life was presumed to get people past their childhood hang-ups. The university should have simply had freshman orientation inform every student as a group that they were about to be treated like adults who had stepped out into the real world. But this all actually makes sense if one carries the protect the child from any harm child-rearing which was started after World War II and first applied in part to the Baby-Boomers. These were the kids whose parents rushed them to the doctor or the Emergency Room at the first sniffle, sneeze or cough. Where did we expect such activity to lead? Where did parents think, if they ever thought about this, that forcing or, at a minimum, pressuring their children to take band and learn a safe oboe or violin instead of Home Economics which exposed their daughters to dangerous items such as sewing machines, stoves, ovens, or Shop Class which exposed their sons to the threatening world of power tools or even manual impact devices and manual torque converters (hammers and screwdrivers) which could put an eye out, would lead to later in life their children feeling inadequate and unable to cope with life for themselves. Their children would never use such items; they would hire others to do such work. Make them learn to cook when they can make reservations on the cook’s night off. Fix a railing using tools was out of the question when the handyman could be paid to take such risks thus saving their sons the challenge and danger. This was some of the psyche of parents in the late 1940’s through the late 1960’s and into the early 1970’s as the Baby-Boomers were brought into adulthood. The excuse always was that they meant well and that repaired the scars, not.
Not every parent was like this. But even some of the less protective parents refused to permit their son to play football or other “dangerous” sports where concussions were a potential danger as their child was going to use their head for higher purposes and thus must be guarded from any and all damage. They did not realize the damage they were performing. Then, we Baby Boomers began to have the next generation and now the protection racket went mainstream. Again there were the risk adverse parenting methods and some which prepared their child for the real world. Parents who had more than two, three children at the most were irresponsible and probably would let them risk injury while growing up. How absolutely thoughtless they acted. Some of the Baby-Boomers refused to have even one child as they were overcome by the “me first” complex where any complication that stood between them and complete self-fulfillment was to be avoided, shunned like the monster under their beds as children. They served themselves and no other and would usually pair up to pretend they were a family, a childless family as it even gained terminology. But those who had children, or more often child, were tasked to see them through life free from any trauma. Bicycles were to be ridden with full safety gear including helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, hip pads and whatever could protect their precious little bundle of joy short of wrapping them in bubble wrap. Baseball the batters wore helmets and shin guards and forearm guards in case they were struck by a pitch. Perhaps teaching them to dodge would have been preferable but that required extreme coordination and was less than 100% effective. Better safe than sorry became the parental watchword.
With each generation having fewer children than the number of parents is a mathematical proof for eventual extinction. Ask Russia or Europe where birth rates are all well below the 2.1 children per woman replacement rate where zero growth and zero shrinkage is presumed to take place. A healthy population would have that ratio of babies to women closer to 2.5 and often much higher. But keeping junior safe from all those terrible threats and dangers out in the world takes up all their time, who has time for a second or third or heavens forbid, a fourth child. Their children never need worry about the real world as they will go to university for a decade plus and get sufficient degrees such that they will never need use tools other than a pen and paper, they will be professionals, doctors, lawyers and never work with their hands when their brains have been so cultivated. This was raising a psychosis, not actually a child, never ever considered raising their child for anything short of a professional practice and an easy and good life as defined by the child’s parents and their grandparents who would need to be consulted on virtually every choice the actual parents found difficult. The big questions would be, do we expose little junior to life on a farm as there are so many dangerous things like hay forks and tractors with plow blades and junior will definitely never need to farm. Even if junior wished to act like farmer Joe, he would do so with a trowel and raise roses or other respectful things like strawberries or tomatoes, though the latter might be too much of a challenge. Of course the parents chose a safe environment for university and these universities had to please those who wrote the checks that paid for the $100,000.00 per year or more before dorm costs, fraternity or sorority costs plus books and a weekly generous allowance so they could have safe fun and safe everything.
Universities became more about coddling precious and gentle, all so innocent and unaware adult-children over education. They had mandatory classes to explain how dangerous and injurious certain words and phrases could be and that the university would not couch the use of such language from its staff or students. Students were to respect their fellow students above all else so all could have a safe university experience. Life became all about safe experiences which never challenged the protected child. Nobody ever thought to simply tell a child struck by an errant pitch to simply, “Put some ice on it and take your base.” Instead an instant diagnosis was performed like triage and both batter and pitcher, the victim and the abuser were made to shake hands and make up for their acts which potentially harmed another child. This way each wears a scar, one having what we used to call a bruise but now parents refer to such injury as a contusion as none of these parents would call such a bruise as that would be so low-life talk that is totally unacceptable in their circle. It all becomes about appearance and a contest over whose child will be the most successful. There will be arguments where they decide if a lawyer supersedes a family practice or general practitioner or does a heart surgeon supersede the lawyer; then they arrange for the child to leave to seek the greatest career. Not until they are safely through receiving their law degree or training as an intern can parents relax knowing they completed the task of raising a perfect child.
These perfect children still have not been exposed to reality. Imagine an intern assigned one Saturday night, though it could be any night, to work in the Emergency Room in a large and prestigious hospital in a now less than desirable neighborhood. Are they prepared for the cursing and swearing they will hear? This is such a stark introduction to the world of colorful language they are likely to receive. Imagine a man comes in with a severe knife wound and there is already another man with a gunshot wound. Does anyone believe life thus far had prepared them for the language and possible actions should these two patients see one another? The level of animosity which will be displayed by both these fine and upstanding belligerents will only be outshone by the brilliant repertoire of language which will be used. If an elderly physician witnesses this confrontation he would likely have something witty and condescending to one or both men as he would quite likely tell one to, “Put a sock in it,” and the other to, “Put some ice on it and I’ll get to you when you act like a man.” Neither swears one iota but both said firmly and resolutely could have the effect of shutting down the conversation. The existence of a number of the city’s finest and security on location assists with the physician’s demands. The young adult-child intern is likely completely unprepared for such a scenario and would run to their safe space away from the noise.
One cannot honestly believe that parents are shelling over such gross amounts of money to have their offspring protected from reality by the very institution which is presumed to be preparing them for life in the corporate jungle. These ill prepared adult-children will get eaten alive by anybody raised spending any amount of time on what we call the mean streets. The streets educate a child into an adult with great alacrity providing a wide range of experiences. First and most obvious is the colorful language. Nothing is merely gnarly, a word possibly within the adult-child’s vernacular, but is more probably f&#$ing gnarly or bodaciously gnarly sh^t or other equally colorful adjectives used. An injured person’s language who was in the knife against a gun fight and was shot or stabbed and deeply injured and cut to the bone will use language that might be truly shocking to a Marine, though no Marine worth their salt would show shock or surprise, and life threatening to the sheltered adult-child. Emergency Rooms come as trigger warning free zones and sans safe spaces. They are reality in its most raw form with people attempting to fake injuries so that a physician will write them some prescription for some pharmaceutical drugs, most likely pain killers but sometimes pep pills. Tell the one in a muscle shirt in Detroit in February that he does not need the medication he is demanding and that a Tylenol would be just as suitable as what he demanded for his pain. Listen to the language as the physician tells the gentleman that he is being discharged and recommended to take two Tylenol every three hours as necessary for pain. The next experience comes without warning and with nowhere to run as there are no safe zones and the threats of physical violence are such that the adult-child never even knew could pass from a civilized person’s lips, welcome to the real imperfections in the real world. These youths are not being served any good purpose protecting them from contrary ideas or the more colorful side of language along with threats of violence made by real people in real situations in the real world. Things are far from antiseptic in reality but perhaps that will change and everybody will be more civilized and the world will see the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” and we can all live as John Lennon had dreamed to “Imagine” and all will then have no need of trigger warnings and everywhere will be a safe zone. I, for one, dread such a day as there would be no free thought or further development as it is the rough and tumble of our world which necessitates change and that agitation is required to make those changes and discoveries, Rock On!.
Beyond the Cusp