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Sunday, May 11, 2003  


•Content. I criticized someone recently for having so little gray matter that he thought a discussion of soda pop worthy of a blog entry. That raises the question of what kind of material a blog should contain. Since Mac-a-ro-nies is a general purpose blog, arguably it can contain anything I choose. But, I have decided to focus mainly on current events and the blogosphere, with a little biographical stuff thrown in so the blog will read like a person writes it. That doesn't mean I would never discuss soda pop. But, if I do it will be apropos something that matters, not idle chat. I save the idle chat for when I'm talking about myself.

•Fact versus opinion. I have decided to spend less time interacting with the people at some blogs. The main reason is that I am tired of being misinterpreted and misrepresented. I think familiarity breeds that. People are so sure they know what you think, they don't take the time to read what you actually said. For example, in regard to a couple blog entries, Barry of Alas, A Blog, recently said: "Mac Diva . . . argued forcefully against sexual reassignment surgery (SRS)." I did nothing of the sort. I am, in fact, indifferent about what other people do to their genitals. It is no skin off my nose (or elsewhere) after all. What I am opposed to is the argument made by some transsexuals that state medical programs for the poor should pay for their surgeries and other treatments. I believe that not to be justified because of the mixed record of the process in American SRS studies and greater need for the money that would be spent by other citizens seeking health care, including children. The officials at every state health department in the country agree, not considering SRS a proven treatment that impacts enough citizens to include it in their programs.

Another example is a misrepresentation of a remark I made about autism getting more attention than some other birth defects because a high number of white, middle or upper-class parents advocate for it. The last time I saw an allegation in regard to the comment it had been mangled into a claim I said only white, middle or upper-class families have children with autism.

Ironically, neither of the statements I actually made is controversial to reasonable people. As I said above, no state is currently convinced transsexuals should get free SRS treatment. That means hundreds of qualified people have reviewed the research and reached the same conclusion I did. Many articles you read about autism will make the same point about the vocal, white middle and upper-class people who advocate for the disorder. The dichotomy between reality and Bloggersville arises because there are so many advocates for one cause or another blogging. The advocates often treat their Utopian desires as if they are facts. Furthermore, many people have difficulty distinguishing between opinion and fact. That irks me because as a journalist doing so is second nature. Both the autistic disorder Asperger's Syndrome and gender dysphoria are listed as mental illnesses, but say that in Bloggersville and advocates will try to drown your voice with shreiks of denial. Forget the facts, the 'truth' is whatever they advocate. I will spend less of my time on trying to speak sense under such circumstances in the future.

•Blogger blues. I again found myself writing blog entries in Blogstudio and then switching them to Blogger yesterday. Blogger was inoperable, which is not unusual. So, instead of just using Blogstudio as an adjunct, I've decided to really learn it. I am not saying I will switch to Blogstudio from Blogger, but I will at least prepare myself for a mirror site. I don't have any idea how much work this will involve, but will let you know.

11:21 AM