Insensitivity Training

     Maybe I’m oversensitive, but it seems I’ve been hearing a lot lately about oversensitivity. The terms “trigger warning” and “microaggression” are suddenly popular and causing all sorts of consternation.
     Generic-search-engine them if you don’t believe me – but don’t do it if you’re sensitive.
     There’s even a microaggressions.com, and it doesn’t seem to be ironic. (And since I’ve written that sentence, I expect to be deluged with macroaggression from people whose feelings have felt a tiny twinge.)
     Regardless of how benign or, more likely, oblivious or stupid you are, if you don’t phrase something just the right way, you’re a monster.
     I understand that it’s not nice to hurt people’s feelings – even just a little bit – but has anyone considered the feelings of the microaggressor?
     You may be having what you think is a bland bit of small talk with someone you barely know and suddenly you’re accused of racism or sexism or cruelty to impressionable minds. Aren’t your feelings hurt in a non-micro way?
     Where’s the sensitivity toward insensitive people?
     There’s an injustice here, and I expect to see class actions on behalf of people who never meant to say whatever they said.
     Workplace training will have to be revamped. Sensitivity training will have to be combined with insensitivity training aimed at cutting down unnecessary and hurtful whining.
     This is a particularly important topic for those of us in the legal and comedy professions. If no one can take a joke or a lawsuit without being insulted, we’re in deep trouble.
     Of course, the odd thing about all this is that at the same time we keep hearing about oversensitivity we also keep hearing about Internet trolls and Donald Trump: i.e., overinsensitivity.
     A guy who calls people losers or rapists and complains about women’s faces and bleeding is enormously popular. We’ve seen our inner bully and a lot of us love it.
     What conclusions can we draw from this?
     I have two.
     First of all, consider who almost all of us – sensitive and insensitive alike – really hate.
     Stop. Think about it. You know the answer.
     It’s politicians. The guys who rarely seem to mean what they say. The guys who waffle and, at least seemingly, sell out.
     What the overly sensitive and just plain mean people have in common is honesty. Maybe not honesty in fact but at least honesty in feeling.
     And it’s making us miserable.
     So conclusion number two is the solution: We need to ignore each other.
     If we’d just stop paying attention, everyone would be a lot happier.
     Tune out. Stop worrying. Play a Bobby McFerrin CD. You’ll feel better.
     And then the politicians will take over …
     Maybe this isn’t such a good idea.
     
     Homework: I have an assignment for you. I’m going to give you a link to a Sept. 10 ruling from the Florida Supreme Court and I want you to consider the following question: Is this hysterically funny or is it just me that thinks so?
     I’ve admitted repeatedly that I’m weird. But am I that weird?
     To give you a hint about what we’re considering, here’s a quote from the ruling: “One need only read the myriad opinions from this Court disciplining judges after a finding of misconduct by the Judicial Qualifications Commission to agree that this Court must provide guidance when it identifies an area of potential concern.”
     So this must be about something tremendously serious affecting the very core of the judicial system.
     Then why can’t I stop laughing?
     Has judicial correctness gone too far or am I committing a microaggression with my giggling?
     Here’s the link .
     We’ll discuss this next week.

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