NOTE: If you don’t understand that this entire post is making fun of people who think trigger warnings are the end of the world, then I don’t know what to say to you.
We open on a dusty, stark landscape. A small town, not much more than a rest stop for travelers to somewhere better. If there even is somewhere better. The one building that doesn’t look like it’s about to fall apart is the Library. It is gleaming, well-maintained, and guarded at all times by heavily armored troops.
A mother is teaching her daughter to read.
MOTHER: Now remember, Sally, any time you open a book, you gotta read the trigger warning first.
SALLY: But the trigger warning is boring, Mommy! I want to get to the good part!
MOTHER: Don’t ever let them hear you say that! They could… they could kill you. My little girl. Don’t let them hear you. Okay?
A teacher is instructing her class.
TEACHER: Okay, everyone, open your books to page TW14. Philip help read out pages 7-14 yesterday, so who wants to go today?
STUDENT: When are we going to get to the actual book?
STUDENT 2: Yeah, I want to read something real!
TEACHER: Come on, class, you know the rules. If you don’t read the warning, you won’t know what’s inside the book. And if you don’t know what’s inside, anything could happen.
Two old men, former novelists, are getting drunk and grousing at a bar.
CARL: How’d we ever let it get this bad, Gene?
GENE: C’mon, you know why. It was the logical conclusion. First, the trigger warnings popped up on the web. “Hey, this post includes discussion of sexual assault.” Then, they put them in a couple books. No big deal, right? Just a few sentences at the start of Huckleberry Finn. “Watch out for the racism!” Surely nobody would object to that.
GENE: And then, the Trigger War. The librarians and the religious extremists teamed up to form the Content Wardens. And things have never been the same.
CARL: You’re right–it was all inevitable. From the first trigger warning posted on a blog, this was where it was all leading.
GENE: The logical-fucking-conclusion.
Our stars, LUKIFER, played by John Cusack and SERENDIFFANY, played by Mila Kunis, are walking through the desert. He strides ahead, purposefully, while she lags behind, calling out to him.
SERENDIFFANY: Why are you looking for this stupid book, anyway? You can get a book at any Library. As long as the Content Wardens don’t shoot you for a micro aggression.
LUKIFER: Because this book is special. It’s the one book that they haven’t touched, the one book left in the whole world without a trigger warning.
SERENDIFFANY: Are you going to destroy it?
LUKIFER: Of course not! I’m going to read it.
SERENDIFFANY: But… but anything could be inside!
LUKIFER: That’s the point, girl. That’s the damn point.