Pet Peeve: Control Freak Bloggers

I keep running across (or into, as the case may be) with bloggers who heavily censor or don’t post comments. I posted before about a blog I was banned from because of comments posted that did not agree with what the author had to say. Another blog I read, Our Green Year,  which chronicles the journey of Craig and Layla Baird as they undergo a personal green tranformation. They have started a companion blog called the Our Green Year Journal where they catalogue the green things they do on a daily basis. They are not allowing comments on this blog as they state it is only a ‘journal (look towards the end of the entry).’

This makes no sense to me. The point of this blog and I assume the accompanying journal is to educate and to provide an example of all the green things they do everyday. I began to notice some inconsistencies between what they say they do on the main blog and what they list they do on the journal. The first major thing I noticed was the reference to chicken, turkey and ham deli meats when they said that they if they were eating meat it was bison. So, I asked the question about the deli meat and questioned how green it was and if they thought it was sustainable. Instead of posting my question they just added it on, in red, at the bottom of the post. It does not matter that, according to Layla, they are only using these ‘deli’ meats to ‘supplement’ their diet. The bottom line is they said they were only eating bison. Besides assuring me that the deli meat is organic they did not address the question of sustainability.

I also have other questions. For example they say that they are going to reuse everything before they recycle it. Yet in their journal posts they just talk about recycling packaging materials. They also talk about bringing plastic containers for things like take out – why don’t they do this for their deli meat that they have wrapped in paper? On Day 39 they talk about reusing items that can be recycled first. Yet almost every entry on the Journal says ‘packaging materials recycled.’ Where is the reusing? On Day 49 they talk about re-using receipts before recycling them yet the Journal does not indicate this activity either.

The burning question I was really hoping the journal would answer is how they find time to do all of the ‘green’ things they have stated they have incorporated into their lifestyle – here is a list of only some of the things that have yet to show up on the Journal:

Day 7: They volunteered with the Green Party. With a Federal Election underway the Journal has not reflected this activity.
Day 11: Layla started to make tin can pen jars to sell through the blog. Has she made any since the Journal started?
Day 21: Apparently the Bairds receive lots of books in the mail and need to recycle (or in their case, re-use first) a lot of packaging material. The Journal has not been up for that long so perhaps they have not received any books or reused any packing material.
Day 23: The Bairds commit to mowing the lawn with a manual push mower. Perhaps their lawn does not need to be mowed even though it is still quite warm.
Day 26: Craig and Layla commit to 5-minute showers with an egg timer! They dutifully record their showering times on the Journal (although, I have to secretly wonder if one of them ever cheats and takes a 6.3 minute shower, but I digress…). They also commit to catching the water that is run before the temperature is correct in a bucket and using it to water the garden. This activity is not recorded. What are they going to do with that extra water in the winter?
Day 27: Are the Bairds still drinking coffee the ‘green’ way?
Day 28: and what about that dandelion tea?
Day 29: composting inside – is this still happening?
Day 34: Saw the end of the dryer in the Baird household. Yet the journal does not indicate them hanging their clothes out to dry. Perhaps they haven’t done laundry yet as they were going to wear their clothes a little longer as they explain in a future blog.
Day 48: Have we been doing any container gardening in the house to clean the air inside?
Day 49: Perhaps the Bairds are not eating much bread. They committed to making their own on this day and this activity is not reflected in the Journal.
Day 56: are they still carrying around their portable bottle composters wherever they go?
Day 60: Craig posted about making their own soda pop. I guess they don’t drink that much as they have not made it yet according to the Journal.
Day 64: I guess you don’t use that much body wash if you only take a five-minute shower.
Day 69: How are they doing on the ‘one-bag’ challenge?
Day 72: I guess they don’t eat much yogurt either.
Day 82: One of my favourite days! I think the Bairds jumped the shark here…now they are going to wash their clothes by hand!!!! But they are having trouble finding a washboard. There has not been any laundry being done on the Journal. I guess they have a lot of clothes!
Day 85: Have they had the scythe out lately? Or maybe the grass and weeds don’t grow.
Day 90: Craig and Layla are now collecting the morning dew!!! Are they doing this every day? You sure can’t tell from the Journal.
Day 100: For people who claim not to eat much meat, almost every entry into the journal sees them buying some sort of meat. None of it was bison.
Day 114: Another post on how little meat they eat. Personally, I don’t care if you want to eat meat. However, when you say you are not eating much meat because of its impact on the environment and then eat meat almost every day there is a bit of a credibility gap. The claim to be almost vegan yet they buy locally sourced eggs and organic cream for butter. Why the disconnect?
Day 122: Eating cold food and another reference to deli meat.
Day 129: Having given up potato chips on another day, the Bairds are now making their own pita chips.

Now, here is my question, with all those ‘green’ tasks they have undertaken when do they find time to work or sleep? I am not sure what their goal is besides writing a book. It is certainly not education as evidenced by their refusal to publish reader comments and questions on the Journal blog. I have also posted similar questions to the main blog and they have not been posted either.

I began reading the Our Green Year blog as a way to learn about some things we could possibly do in our house to reduce our impact on the environment. Many green blogs out there are great. They talk realistically about the challenges and pitfalls of going and staying green. It is a shame that the Our Green Blog and the Our Green Year Journal do not fall into this category.

Getting banned from other people’s blogs

Well, Deb and I have managed to get ourselves banned from this blog. Why you might ask? Well it appears that Deb’s passion for dogs ‘offended’ the author and I was banned too because we share the same ip address. The author was feeling ‘dissed’, because her dog Junebug was not happy to see her after an almost two month abscence and she was wondering whether or not she should just leave the dog in its current place. I commented that perhaps the dog was punishing her and that she would be sad if she was left there.

Deb read the post and commented as such:

Okay, so what was the point of this little story? You are selfish? You are irresponsible? You have a dog for all the wrong reasons? Junebug is no longer your dog? Junebug decided to remain loyal to her family, the family you have dumped her with time and again?

If you have one ounce of humanity in your egomaniacal little soul, you will walk away, leave Junebug with her family, and not look back. You will, for perhaps the first time in your life, think of Junebug’s needs first.

Oh, and the next time you think about obtaining a living being to be your security blanket, the next time you want an animal so that you can play with her/his emotions in order to make yourself feel good, the next time you want to hurt a dog over and over again by dumping and reclaiming him/her, don’t. Just don’t.

Dissed? I think not. It’s not even payback. It’s just you getting called on your abominable behaviour.

Good luck, Junebug. I hope you and your family have a long, happy life together.

Here is a link to Zuzu’s next post on the matter where she informs us we have been banned.

Now normally I would not bring a discussion like this to my blog I would keep at it the original site. But seeing as I can’t comment there I have no choice but to bring it here. Here is what I would write if I were allowed to comment on the other site:

You will have to excuse Deb’s passion. You see we have 9 dogs and all but one of them is a rescued dog. We have a dog who has been in a pen for 15 years. We have two dogs who 17 and 19 years old who have lost their homes for various reasons like cancer and incontinence. We have a dog who came to us as a foster almost 10 years ago who was so shy they were going to put him down. We have another dog who is aggressive and who likely would have been euthanized because of her behaviour towards other dogs. We have a blind, brain-injured dog who was thrown out of a moving vehicle in a Macdonald’s bag, like the trash. We are tired of cleaning up other peoples’ messes when it comes to their dogs. Sometimes that frustration boils over when confronted with a post like yours. You are treating the dog as property rather than a living, breathing, feeling animal. So yes, perhaps she was a little harsh. Was she wrong? Hell no.

I wonder if zuzu will have the cajones to post the link to here. Let the games begin.

Is it really getting worse (and other items from the blogosphere)?

In light of my difficulties with the CBC (to which no one has yet responded) I have been asking feminist women I know if things seem to be getting worse. By ‘things’ I mean racism, sexism, open misogyny, sizism, ableism etc. The general consensus seems to be yes, it is getting worse. Then I started asking why. Why are things getting worse? We have a good economy and relative prosperity – if you belong to one of the privileged groups. The answer that seemed to make the most sense to me was war. Our soldiers are dying in Afghanistan. American and the ‘coalition of the willing’ are losing soldiers in Iraq with no end in sight. The number civilian casualties in Iraq is huge. Oh, and there is genocide going on in Darfur.

It seems that being fat is one area where many people feel that it is ok to discriminate. A woman in Britain, who weighed 245 pounds died because the paramedics were too busy cracking fat jokes to actually get her to the hospital. I would bet that many professional athletes (think football players) might weigh 245 pounds. I fail to understand why they could not move her to the hospital.

Still on the issue of weight there was a study released that did not make the media. Why is this you ask? Well, because it did not confirm general beliefs about healthy eating. In a nutshell, there was an 8 year study done on post-menopausal which tried to determine the benefits of healthy eating. The split the women into 2 groups – one group followed a low fat, ‘healthy’ diet and the other group ate what they wanted. They found no statistical difference in rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer etc. Another surprising result was that there was no difference in weight. Yup, that’s right. While the healthy eating group initially lost some weight they had gained it back years before the end of the study. What does all this mean? I am not really sure. I would say that for most people weight is not a simple matter.

One more interesting thing about weight. One blogger has completed a BMI project. Basically, she took pictures of women and calculated their BMI. It really shows that the BMI is an inaccurate and arbitrary measurement. Fascinating.

From Shakespeare’s Sister: Did you know that “when sexual arousal reaches a certain point, the person goes insane?” This is quite the little gem of misogyny and homophobia from Oral Roberts. And we wonder why American Republicans are so screwed up they have no idea when they are engaging in homosexual behaviour.

One other update: Mr. Lube did send me a cheque to reimburse me for the cab ride home after they drained my transmission by mistake.