Saturday, July 21, 2007

Missing the point, or deliberately obtuse?

I've noticed that a number of the negative feedback on the size-acceptance blogs comes from people who challenge our facts, then refuse to do any research or reading when they are presented with the answers.

For example, a commenter in Harriet Brown's blog attempted to counter fat-acceptance with the tired arguments about health and "obesity costs the health care system". When presented with suggestions of books to read, or with links to support the opposite, the commenter flatly refused to acknowledge any of the information contained within.

Finally, I pulled information out of the books and links and spoon fed it into the comment thread--and it seemed to be regarded as brand new material by the person. They had no comeback when directly presented with the facts, so they didn't keep pushing the refuted arguments afterwards.

The thing is, it's bloody tiresome to have to re-write the information for every obtuse individual who can't be bothered to read for themselves. Never mind that Kate Harding created this awesome post and linked it to the top of her blog to ward off this type of thing. Or that she directs people to it when they start in on the subject. They just can't be bothered to actually go and read it. So we hear the same crap, over and over, and it's gotten to be aggravating.

Here's the deal: I'm going to direct folks to that link once. If they cannot go and educate themselves on what topics are already discussed to death, that's not my problem--they will be ignored, and comments deleted, because I'm sick of these folks thinking they're being clever by acting deliberately obtuse. No excuse.

Another thing is, I'm tired of people missing the point entirely. When I discussed athleticism's "burden" on the health care system, I was not advocating that people not be athletic. Most people who have half a brain would have figured out that I was trying to make the point that blaming one group or another for "overburdening" the health care system is not just disingenuous, it also hinders real progress in finding solutions to the actual problems in the system. If you decide that fat is the problem, and that diets are going to fix it, you're fooling yourself. I'd like to move the discussion beyond blaming demographic groups for the failings of the health care system. It's not constructive, and it's not even accurate.

In other words, my entry was not an attempt to shift blame onto athletes, it was to point out how EASILY blame is shifted onto another group, depending on one's point of view! I could have picked on illegal immigrants (like most other people do on this topic), or fertility treatment patients (and their scores of multiple preemies), or even old people (they're living too long, darn them!). Silly me, thinking that people ought to be treated like humans who need health care instead of fat, old, athletic, premature leeches on a system--a system that should only be treating the youthful, thin, pretty people, apparently?

So, yes, trolling or baiting comments from the deliberately obtuse or disingenuous will be henceforth ignored and deleted.


Harriet Brown said...

Fair enough, Rio. I felt quite worn out by that little interchange on my blog, yet unable to disengage.

Thing is, I don't think this kind f talk changes anyone's mind. Reading, educating yourself, that's what does it. Bickering on a blog is a pointless waste of time. Thanks for helping me clarify that to myself.

And hey, nice store! You live in Albany? My beloved mother in law, who died last year, lived about an hour and a half west of there in a tiny town called Roseboom, and we visited her often there. Beautiful part of the world.

thejunkyswife said...

Woohoo! I hate mean commenters. And obtuse ones.