Monthly Archives: August 2012

Triggers

So Grey Carter was talking on his Twitter about the concept of being offended by jokes. Here’s some of his tweets:

Comedians have a nasty habit of characterizing offended people as whiny crybabies, and I don’t think that’s particularly fair.

Being offended is good, it’s great. It shows you give a shit. It’s very cool to pretend to be apathetic these days, but it’s mostly bullshit

I will add that I’m fascinated by WHAT offends people. Everyone has different, often weird, triggers.

E.G: I’ve made jokes that utilize the holocaust, rape and Killzone 3, three of the most horrible things humanity has inflicted upon itself –

– but I am OFFENDED by jokes about the homeless and the mentally ill.

Now, Grey was using the word “triggers” to refer to topics that are offensive to us as individuals, but I (and I suspect others as well) thought of triggers that bring back traumatic memories and feelings.

I have some triggers of my own. And I can assure you that they can be very weird.

If you’re a ‘regular’ reader, you know I attempted suicide earlier this year. I wrote two posts about the attempt, totaling close to 4,000 words. A suicide attempt is perceived by the victim as a near-death experience, even if it doesn’t physically harm her at all (and it didn’t really cause physical harm to me, ’cause I got lucky). As a result, having memories of it brought back can be traumatic.

You’d think I would have the bad feelings come back when I hear mention of suicide, but that’s not actually how it works. I can hear people talk about suicide, I can talk about suicide myself, and I’ll generally be alright, if a bit put down. I can even hear “suicide jokes” — that is, jokes at the expense of depressed/suicidal people — and while I’ll certainly be offended, I won’t really be hurt.

But there was this one picture a friend sent me awhile back. The picture was called “electric rubber duck,” and I don’t want to describe it, so here, just click here. (Trigger warning, of course.)

When I saw that picture the first time, I literally had trouble breathing for a few moments. The feeling of terrified hopelessness rushed into me like a current, and I completely lost my composure. I had to close the image, close my eyes and wait it out until the terror had passed.

At that point I wasn’t “offended.” I was hurt. I was experiencing emotional pain.

Now, do I begrudge people for not recognizing the trigger? Of course not. I forgave my friend for sending me the picture; it probably had slipped his mind that I’d tried to do something similar to myself. The fact that he showed me the picture doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, but the fact that he didn’t show me anything else like it once I let him know the effect it had was a sign of positive character on his part.

I guess my point is that while you shouldn’t be afraid to say anything because somebody might find it hurtful, be mindful when someone lets you know how he feels about it. Understanding your audience is an important rule in comedy. And just remember that sometimes you’re not just offending someone; sometimes you’re hurting him emotionally.

The “sticks and stones may break my bones” mantra is bullshit, and we really should all understand that by now.

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Felicia Day Ruined Videogaming

I’m not making some grandiose statement about depression or sharing an intimate story today. Just sharing something that amused me. Hope you don’t mind. And I’m posting it here because it isn’t actually about video games.

So Felicia Day does this weekly Youtube show called The Flog (which means Felicia’s vlog, GET IT?) where she shares five three of her favorite things she saw in the week, shows some segment that generally involves her traveling to some place to have someone teach her how to do something random like crocheting or blacksmithing, and then answers a fan question.

In case anybody’s curious, I think my fanboy crush on her is about at level 3 right now. I’m currently trying to conceive the exact right things I would say to her if I ever meet her in person so she’ll think I’m cool and we can be best friends forever.

ANYWAY, here’s her latest episode, which was posted on Monday. In it she plays a Sega Genesis game called Gunstar Heroes with her brother. And it’s hilarious.

It’s the best episode she’s put up in awhile, though I probably only think that because the segment involves her getting trolled into an indignant rage during a coop game, which is what happens to me whenever I try to play coop with basically any of my friends. (You know who you are, assholes.) But that’s not what I want to talk about.

See, in the game they play, they face a boss that her brother Ryon compares to a 4chan troll. They then proceed to playfully mock 4chan.One line they both recite in particular is, “Oh my god you ruined videogaming!!!”

Apparently someone decided to post a link to the video on 4chan /v/. A short time afterward, the top rated comment on the video said:

“Why did my hobby have to turn into shit?”

The irony is palpable.

Also, there was a flood of comments accusing Felicia Day of being an attention whore, being a stupid fake gamer, and contributing nothing to video games. You know, usual stuff. Honestly, do any of these people ever get tired of this shit? Are they that devoted to a joke, or do they genuinely believe that people like Felicia Day are ruining the games industry?

Whether it’s giggle-inducing or painfully frustrating depends on how seriously you take Youtube comments, I suppose. Either way, it’s downright pathetic.

Oh, also, here’s one hilarious comment I found:

“My girlfriend sent me this video because she thought we could ‘share laughs’ at how funny Ms. Day is. Dianne, it is over. Come by the apartment and take all your useless shit out. I’ll be there, so don’t even think about stealing MY consoles or pc.

In the last couple months, all you do is screech at the tv or spout memes when ‘playing’ video games. And when you are not ‘playing’, you are spending all my money. I wondered what caused this change, and now I do. Thanks Felicia, I hope you’re happy.”

Bear in mind this guy didn’t comment until very soon after the video was posted on /v/. But no, I’m sure this story is totally real.

As for what I think on the subject, I think Wil Wheaton summed it up best via Twitter:

“Listen, dicks, when you contribute 1/100 of what Felicia Day has contributed to gaming culture and independent production, you can talk. Until then, shut the fuck up and go back to your sad little lives, jerking off alone every night. Okay? Great. Thanks.”