Bill Maher railed on trigger warnings, saying they’re creating a thin-skinned, ridiculously overly sensitive and weak nation … and he has receipts that are hard to square with common sense.
The “Real Time” host was on a tear Friday night, positing not only that trigger warnings don’t work, they actually make trauma worse by creating needless anxiety.
His overarching point — life is hard, it’s not always fair, and sometimes you gotta deal with meanness and other bad things … and because of the cascade of trigger warnings, people no longer have the ability to cope.
As for examples, they’re telling, sad and hilarious.
— A Brooklyn theatre has a warning for a movie that contains “darkness and violence” … the movie is “Oklahoma!”
— London’s Globe Theatre has a warning before staging “Romeo and Juliet” … “includes suicide.” Not only is that ridiculous (the play’s like 400 years old) … it’s kind of a spoiler.
And there’s more … college campuses have banned phrases they consider offensive, sexist, etc … like “balls to the wall,” “white paper,” “peanut gallery” and “virgin.”
Bill says Brandeis University has banned words and phrases it considers violent, like “killing it,” “beating a dead horse,” and, get this, “trigger warning!” As Maher says, school doesn’t understand irony.
Short story — we are trying to protect young people to a level of absurdity that will make them unable to cope with life.