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©June 2007

Carol Jane Remsburg

 

 

The Alternative Universe of a BB

 

 

 

 

For those who are unfamiliar, a BB is a Bulletin Board.  There are thousands across the internet, but for those of us veterans, we are still addicted to the old-fashioned BB.  A good BB is like a family, a dysfunctional family, but a family just the same.  A place you can make yourself friends or a horse's butt. 

 

I subscribe to one that I've left twice and returned to again each time.  Over the last seven years many have come and gone, but most of the core posters remain the same.  Freaks fly in and fly back out, banned alties return under multiple names, and a fun game is to figure out who they are—often, it's not difficult. 

 

From headline news discussions to television reality shows to pets and personal family dramas, most everything is shared and commented upon.  There are those people who are genuinely nice and supportive to you and others who work to inflict pain on others.

 

Today has been a prime example.

 

One poster received a humorous, slightly exaggerated email comparing 1977 to 2007.  Life is dramatically different, even without the exaggeration applied.  How do I know?  Um, I was in my final year of high school then thus I remember and was just awakening as an adult to the world around me.  In the last 30 years, the changes have been incredible.  Some of those changes have been incredibly good in science and technology but in the world of "Political Correctness" you could roll back the calendar to near the Dark Ages and that's a shame. 

 

While there are polite ways to say nearly anything, some breeches of social acceptance, well simply can't be.

 

To view the post in point:

 

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I received this from a friend in an email today. I rarely, if ever, pass on something I receive in an email but this was just too good to keep to myself. What surprised me was how much of it was....true (and I've reread it a few times to see if I see any really strong exaggerations in there too!). So, I thought I would send in some food for thought and see what everyone else thought of it.

Scenario: Jack goes duck hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.

1977 - Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.

2007 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

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Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1977 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.

2007- Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

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Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

1977 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal. Sits still in class.

2007- Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

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Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping.

1977- Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2007 - Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy's sister is told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

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Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1977 - Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.

2007 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

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Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.

1977 : Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.

2007 : Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can't speak English.

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Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

1977- Ants die.

2007- BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

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Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1977 - In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2007- Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

 

 

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One response:  you should've kept the email to yourself. Or maybe you condone child abuse, taking guns to school, and children who blow up living things. And for the record, ritalin was widespread in the early seventies. My abusive parents gave it to me. The rest of your post are exagerations.

 

…it got worse even later.

 

That I won't even include.  Finally, rather than trying to divert, I had to be direct:  I'm very sorry to hear about your childhood traumas--and that such a post as webmommy's which highlighted some of the differences between then and now pricked such a nerve in you that you felt the need to respond the way you did.

I hope your day is better now that you inflicted hurt on someone else.

 

 

A battle has been brewing all day and for no real reason at all. 

 

Times have changed and become weird—again.

 

Yeah, I remember the 70's really well.  I was reared well and while not a stereo-type goody-two shoes, close enough to qualify.  There was lots of available trouble to get into and my parents had raised me well enough to know the difference between fun and danger and to behave accordingly.

 

Often it's the same on a BB.  A certain nerve or a cord gets struck that hurts.  What I don't understand is the lashing out to inflict hurt on others as a way of relieving your own.  That never works and causes general unrest. 

 

But then, we're all different and that's what makes up the world.

 

It's the microcosm of the internet that can bring into focus what is out of whack with the rest of the world.

 

Consider this, yesterday I had a flashback to the day when the kitchen was filled with my family, my hubby and teen, and all of us were working as one to get a big dinner for company together as we had unexpected delays in chores earlier in the day.  And, it was fun—we laughed, we teased, and we worked as a team to get it done.

 

That's what families do—whether by genetics or by familiarity. 

 

So the next time you get a cut, an unexpected one whether in person or online, don't take it personal.  Know you have those who love you and shrug it off.

 

Life is a learning curve, and if we're lucky, we never have to reach the nadir.

 

Even as our drought is finally ending with the flooding brought by the remnants of TS Barry, smiles can be found as friends bond together and provide support.

 

But if you visit, post, and participate, don't be a horse's patoot!  People remember when you do.

 

 

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