Waiting for The Cinder Block of Internet Dismay

Do you ever look at that SEND button, and know–even before you push it–that what you’re saying is probably more controversial than you know?

I’m pretty good at self-censoring the political content. In the first place, it just doesn’t travel well. After all, does someone in Britain or New Zealand really care that I hold my local city council personally responsible for the water main break the other day? I mean, if someone had employed the judicious use of condoms, their son would never have hit that pipe with a backhoe, but you pretty much have to be from my town to care. Definitely my state.

In the second place, that’s a slippery slope into a rant–FREE CONDOMS FOR EVERYONE (except the nuns, that would be a waste of taxpayer money)–and do I really want my website to be the no-holds barred, ultimate fighting championship of the world?

Not really.

I spent plenty of time stuck between the republican, the democrat, the dentist and the gynecologist at family gatherings, and I have no desire to relive the experience.

Maybe I’m still left with that feeling of the futility of talking about it.

After all, the only consensus anyone ever came to was a preference for patients with big… mouths.

Okay. Yes. Moving right along.

Every now and then, the urge to say something overcomes me, and I say it, and then, I wait for the backlash. Most of the time, the backlash never comes, either because I don’t have that big a following outside my immediate sphere of internet influence, or because everyone in the whole entire world agrees with me.

Every now and then, though, there’s something I know touches on the political, and I still wind up saying it because someone’s in danger (right now, at this moment), or because I just don’t have the sense to keep my mouth shut.

So, you say the thing that everybody’s been dancing around for political correctness’ sake, and hold your breath.

There’s that feeling that you’re about to be hit by the great cinder block of internet derision.

Yesterday, I heard the story of a girl whose brand-new college roommate is in an abusive relationship. There are two elements that I should point out here: American dormitory rooms (including the one these girls are in) tend to be about 15feet x19feet with the bathroom down the hall. And the college semester started about a month ago, so they have known each other for about a month.

Well, there’s what’s really happening. Then, there’s the fraction of that the girl’s willing to tell a roommate she’s known for a month. And then, there’s the fraction of that the roommate is willing to tell her mother.

The mother was asking what to tell the daughter.

Uhm… Gee… what would I tell my daughter?



Don’t get me wrong. I believe the other girl should be safe, too. Hell, I’ll even say I think she should dump the bum, if half the story is true.

But sharing a 15×19 room with someone who’s in that kind of situation is not safe, and it’s certainly not conducive to learning to spend your life wondering what’s going on and if your roommate is going to come home.

There’s a difference between “supporting” someone in a bad situation and putting yourself in the line of the bullet.

And nothing says “I’m concerned for your safety” like… well, “I’m concerned for my safety.”

I also included information on how to switch roommates, in case that’s the problem. Not everybody is aware that changing is an option, and I happen to believe that the girl who’s the very first person in her family to go to college deserves the same safety as the girl whose mother just picks up the phone and calls the dean.

So, I’m sitting back and waiting for the cinder block.

But as of right  now, I get a few extra rep points on that forum (it’s one that’s visible to the public, not a private forum), and some very quiet murmurs of agreement.



  1. Reply

    I love this paragraph – ‘I spent plenty of time stuck between the republican, the democrat, the dentist and the gynecologist at family gatherings, and I have no desire to relive the experience.’
    I catch cinder blocks in real life too.

  2. Reply

    My New Year’s resolution every year is to ask the awkward questions. Why be docile and complacent? If we don’t comment and stand up for those in danger (or anything else we don’t agree with), who will? Don’t be your grandmother, who never said boo, didn’t drive, and stayed home, subjugating her needs for others. Speak out and be proud.

    • Reply

      I’ve gotten much more selective about what fights I’m willing to get into, at least in part because we’re becoming more and more prone to tuning each other out. I have to have a reasonable expectation that what I say will benefit someone, or I’m just adding more heat to the firestorm we’re all in.
      My family of origin is very much a microcosm of the current political system. None of them are speaking, anymore.

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