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It triggers him? 引爆

中国日报网 2022-06-21 11:52


Reader question:

Please explain “trigger” in “it triggers him”.

My comments:

Trigger refers to the device that releases a spring to set off a gun.

To shoot a gun, one raises the gun, takes aim, pulls the trigger with a finger and, bang, a bullet is shot off.

After the trigger is pulled, the bullet is let fly, at tremendous speed, in order to kill or inflict a wound.

Or otherwise cause damage.

Metaphorically speaking, if something triggers someone, it means it triggers him or her like a bullet.

And they, like a bullet, fly into action.

Some damaging action that is, as the shotgun is triggered to kill, wound or generally do damage.

So, basically, “it triggers him” means it causes him fly into a rage, to get mad, to throw a tantrum and to generally lose control.

And when are triggered, something bad is apt to happen, as it is the case with shotguns.

Something bad, usually.

Usally, but not always. People can be triggers to do anything, good or bad – so long as they do it quickly and without delay.

In our example, it may be something someone says that triggers him. Can be anything. Different people are triggered by different things as they are, so to speak, wired differently.

Let’s learn more about what triggers whom in what way via real media examples:

1. That was a pretty stunning story about the White House asking some Navy officials to move the warship USS John McCain “out of sight” during President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Japan. The obvious fear was that sharing any stage with the war hero would unhinge the president. McCain died last August from brain cancer.

This is pretty wild stuff.

Higher-ups in the Navy reversed earlier efforts to cover the ship’s name with a tarp. Trump denies he knew about the request, as does acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan.

Believe them, or don’t. What cannot be denied is that someone in the White House sent email to the 7th Fleet urging that McCain’s name be kept out of Trump’s line of vision. Please confirm that the request “will be satisfied,” the White House Military official wrote in a follow-up message to the Navy.

Also, sailors wearing the USS John McCain’s insignia were not allowed to board the amphibious assault ship Wasp, where Trump was giving his Memorial Day address. Sailors from other ships were invited aboard.

What we have here is a trigger warning at the presidential level. A trigger warning cautions that a work to be presented contains writing, images and/or concepts that some people might find distressing. Popular on some college campuses, trigger warnings have been subject to much-deserved ridicule.

Recall the fuss made during the last presidential campaign over the appearance of the words “Trump 2016” chalked on steps at Emory University. Students demonstrated with at least one insisting that the scribbling made him fear for his life. Others regarded this display of sensitivity as ludicrous.

Students demanding trigger warnings are often called “snowflakes.” Snowflakes are people so easily offended they feel a need for “safe spaces” away from realities of a harsh world. Snowflakedom is a mark of immaturity.

“Basically, we now have a capital city that is trying to child-proof the presidency, right?” historian Jon Meacham said. “You want to take everything away, all the sharp objects.” Airbrush things out that might upset the “dear leader.”

So what about John McCain triggers Trump? Many have noted that the senator from Arizona is a true American hero who, having spent over five gruesome years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, sacrificed greatly for his county – and Trump is not.

After running out of student deferments, Trump evaded conscription by claiming incapacitation due to bone spurs on his foot. It turned out he probably didn’t even have bone spurs. (His doctor reportedly lied about them as a favor to Trump’s father.)

It must have been hard for a fragile personality like Trump to watch the national outpouring of grief for McCain, who also embodied what now looks like a golden age of nonpartisan patriotism. The similar tributes paid to the late George H.W. Bush no doubt added tinder to Trump’s pile of insecurities.

- Trigger Warnings for Donald Trump, Creators.com, June 4, 2019.

2. Meghan McCain hears you talking about her and she’s had just about enough of it. In particular, the former “View” co-host lashed out at “pundits and comedians” who are making it a point to talk about her body.

“Teenage girls are literally killing themselves over our toxic culture towards women bodies,” she tweeted as part of a larger statement about what she says she’s been experiencing in the public space.

“It continues to be bizarre to me so many pundits and comedians with big platforms are so triggered by my body and spend so much time and energy talking about it,: she tweeted. “And it’s multiple people.”

Originally, a longer Twitter thread, according to People, McCain appears to have removed most of her commentary. Per the outlet, McCain originally elaborated a bit more on her own experiences with body shaming, and how it impacted her personally.

“I thank God I never ended up with an eating disorder or worse given the amount of bullshit I’ve experienced publicly since I was 20,” she’d originally noted before her comment about teenage girls, per the outlet.

She then followed the remaining line with, “I’m one of the lucky ones. But is there any thought of how it can impact impressionable young women and fans?”

- Meghan McCain Lashes Out at Everyone ‘Triggered’ by Her Body and Talking About It, TooFab.com, January 5, 2022.

3. Ben Shephard has said that watching the moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars “still triggers him in some way”.

On Sunday evening at the Academy Awards, Smith struck Rock live on stage after the comedian made a quip about Jada Pinkett Smith’s short haircut, apparently unaware that she has alopecia.

While Smith has since issued a public apology, the Academy has launched a formal investigation into the incident, stating in a recent statement that the actor “was asked to leave” the awards ceremony but “refused”.

On Thursday’s edition of Good Morning Britain, Shephard, Susanna Reid and their guests discussed the scenes that unfolded, with Oscars co-host Amy Schumer saying afterwards in since-deleted comments that she felt ‘traumatized’.

“I watch it and it still triggers me in some way,” Shephard said.

He continued, stating: “Just in terms of trying to understand what happened. There were young people, there were young actors like Jude Hill from Belfast, 11-year-old, was in the audience. There were children in the audience.”

- Ben Shephard still ‘triggered’ by Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Oscars: ‘There were children in the audience’, March 31, 2022.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣   编辑:丹妮)


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