Trigger Warnings

Maybe it would be safest to have blanket trigger warnings for all English, history, and psych courses. Come to think of it, how about a trigger warning in the catalogue to cover all liberal arts courses? For those too sensitive to bear the curriculum, there’s always engineering. However keep in mind that in engineering you have to get the right answers, not just show that you thought and felt deeply about the problems.

Here’s a little scenario:

Imagine the following discussion of the syllabus for a course on William Faulkner between a weary professor and an eager young student. Student: ” I’ve gone over the readings, and one of the novels has so many trigger warnings that I think it might be better if you went ahead and removed it from the reading list.” Professor: “Really? And which novel is that?” Student: “Sanctuary. Why just in the first few chapters my pencil would have broken from all the triggers I had to underline, except of course I did it all virtually on my e-reader. But still…” Professor: “”Hmm. So you want to take Sanctuary off the reading list? But what could I replace it with?” Student: “Well, I’m glad you asked. How about The Hunger Games?”



Sex change operations are cross-dressing taken to frightening lengths. Mutilating your body surgically to resemble the sex you believe you are is fundamentally the same thing as dressing that way. Since our society is prosperous enough to offer the extreme option of sex change surgery, troubled people who would otherwise have much more limited options, will of course take it. But that doesn’t mean it should be done. If we had a truly gender neutral society then cross dressing wouldn’t be necessary or possible. And neither would sex change; it wouldn’t make any difference. Odd that the most flagrant male to female trannies seem to cleave to the cleavage — their concept of femininity is of the bombshell variety. Such is sexism.

Ice Cream Memories

We were fortunate enough to visit Germany a few years ago, staying at a friend’s house in Berlin. One day I was longing for ice cream. We were doing various things all day and I didn’t get a chance to buy myself any. In the evening we wound up in a lively enclave near a train station. We were just walking around, and I saw an ice cream store. I rushed over but it had just that moment closed. Crestfallen I walked away. When we came back to the area a few minutes later the store had miraculously reopened. I told everyone to wait for me, dashed in, and came out with a lovely cone. I took two licks and was just starting to savor it when my ice cream fell to the ground. Husband and older child just laughed, younger child was a bit sorry for me. But how sorry can you be for an aging woman on a nice vacation who dropped her ice cream? Still, l get tears in my eyes when I remember.


Good movies as movies go, not too stupid. But while watching the searing image of the burning playground I thought how simple minded and exploitative. For just one reason: the bad guys are the machines, not us. Playgrounds burned in Hiroshima and it wasn’t the machines that did it. Do the movies but have the decency to spare us the nuclear playground

It’s private

There’s so much concern about threats to privacy; from the government, the media, the social networks. Yet people behave as if they don’t value privacy at all, or understand it. Everyone publishes his or her every little thought or act and many include photographs or videos as well. People dream of going viral, yet have nightmares about the NSA. I don’t get it, do you?