Hot Dogs…

Allow me to introduce (or to some of you re-introduce) Ms. Jillita Horton.

According to Ms. Horton’s bio:  “I’m a certified personal trainer, and writer: My specialty is medical articles that include interviews with prominent physicians and surgeons.”  Ms. Horton has a website called (ahem……)

I’m familiar with Ms. Horton.  Another blogger I’m familiar with had already written about her, a great piece called “Jillita Horton’s HAES Hate And Fat Fear”, where the author (Annabel, aka “The Cranky One”) discussed her own response to Jillita Horton’s article called “Why HAES Intuitive Eating Approach Promotes Obesity.”  I’m not linking to her article, and the reason will become apparent soon enough.

Ms. Horton had written another one of her articles this week called “Gym Intimidation : Real Or Imagined?  And How To Defeat Fear”, which she promotes by saying  “Below are links to articles that deal with aspects of the so-called gym intimidation of BOTH women and men. How real is it? Is most of it perceived? There are ways to beat this fear that you haven’t even thought of, but once you learn of them, you’ll realize, “Hey! That’s my new approach!”

Well, I’d read most of the articles she linked to, and most made it sound like fat bashing at the gym is non-existent, or that the fat person at the gym needs to make certain adjustments based on how the rest of the world may treat them.  For me, that isn’t was size/fat acceptance is about.  I had written a blog recently covering the same topic called “Body Judgments & Awkward Gym Moments”.

I felt a need to respond with MY perspective, which as someone who was obese at an earlier age, was qualified to do, and acknowledge that it existed.  She has a comments section on her blog, and I added my two cents, indicating that I had a contrary view, and linked to my own blog.  Well, less than 2 hours later, I received an e-mail from Ms. Horton, who said the following:

“How dare you put your competition on my blog? Do you think for a second that I WON’T delete it ? Guess what: I get an alert every time I get a comment, you idiot.”

Okay, I’ve been called an idiot once or twice in…….well, I’ve been called an idiot lots of times in my life, so it doesn’t exactly hurt my feelings when someone says it….but what is it with this “competition” stuff?  I linked to my blog because it was pertinent to the discussion.  It disturbed me that she deleted the comment, especially since the comments part of her blog are not moderated at the front end.  It made me feel like while she welcomed discussion, she only wanted dialogue that supported her “medical” contentions (sees heads nodding all over the internet in agreement with her…..)

I wanted to e-mail her back but interestingly enough, the e-mail addy was a generic one, and when I googled to see if I could find one, I discovered that there was none to be found, despite her authoring articles on multiple websites.  Next, I took to Facebook.  Nope, nothing there.  Then to Twitter, where I did find her, but again, it appears that she moderates her Twitter page, as there are no tweets to her from anyone, just her own.

So, idiot that I am, I decided it would be a good idea to reach out to her again on her website, under the same article, and I posted the following message to her:

Ms. Horton.
I don’t care if this message remains here or not, as it’s meant for YOU and no one else.
Last night I posted a contrary view to this article, with a link to my blog page.  You removed it, and sent me an e-mail stating the following:
“How dare you put your competition on my blog? Do you think for a second that I WON’T delete it ? Guess what: I get an alert every time I get a comment, you idiot.”
I see that you don’t understand that someone who presents a contrary view with a link isn’t spam at all, but I suppose that you might be a little paranoid about someone posting that they disagree with you.  Unfortunately life is like that, and we won’t all agree on things.  Hopefully you’ll learn that at some point in life, but it’s also important to learn how to handle it.  As you well know, I have a blog page, and while I limit comments so as not to dissect issues of semantics, I encourage contrary views, especially when they are backed up with some reference or the writer’s personal links.
Contrary views don’t make a person an idiot, nor do links to personal blog pages.  Your blog is your home, and you’re welcome to throw out “guests”, but when the guest is simply offering another idea, you come across as a bad host.
I suppose I’ll just have to use my blog to discuss your “articles” moving forward, but don’t worry, you’ll be welcome to comment on them.
Have a great day!

Nothing offensive here, right?  I didn’t call her an idiot, didn’t insult her, simply discussed the issue at hand, which is why she would not allow a contrary view to appear on her page, with a link that supported the contrary view.  Well of course the comment was removed from her page as well, and today I received the following from her:
You totally misinterpreted my reply to your spam on my blog.
#1. You repeatedly referred to your original post as a “contrary” post.
This assumes you thought I saw it as contrary, which I did NOT.
#2. Nowhere in my reply did I point out that your post was “contrary.”
#3. Nowhere in my reply did I point out that I do not welcome contrary
#4. My reply to you was all about taking traffic away from my blog (and
thus potential Adsense revenue) by posting YOUR blog address on my blog.
The point in #4 was the ONLY point of my reply to you. You are no different
than other spammers posting their blog or site’s address in the comments
If you ran a hotdog stand and someone decided to put one up right next to
yours, how would you feel? They’re taking money away from you. This is
exactly what happens when someone feels they must post their site address on my
If you want to make “contrary” comments, be my guest. But it’s pretty
rotten of you to post your blog address at the same time.
Every time someone does this I delete it. Why would I want the hotdog stand
next to me to take away my business? Too bad you don’t get this basic
business concept.
And if you post this message on my blog, I’ll simply delete it. Remember, I
get an alert every time I get a comment.

You say my views weren’t contrary, but let me ask, if you didn’t mind a view that disagreed, why didn’t you just remove the link to my blog, and let my statement stand with it’s contrary view?  Oh that’s right, you don’t like “spam”, I guess even if it’s important to the point that was being made.

So, I decided to look around her website a little more, and didn’t find opposing views anywhere.  It suddenly appeared to me that Ms. Horton is one of those bloggers who acts like they welcome dialogue, but only the kind who support their views.  Now, I don’t take issue with that, but don’t say that you welcome discourse when in fact you don’t.

The funny thing is that she views my blog as competition.  I have a day job, I also work on my pro wrestling promotion several nights a week, so writing is not the way I make my living.  I suppose that Ms. Horton does, and feels like a little blog like mine is somehow going to detract from her writing.  I could never be an “expert” like Ms. Horton.  After all, she’s a certified personal trainer, oh and publisher of medical articles that include interviews with prominent physicians and surgeons.

Here’s a newsflash for you.  I’m sorry, I conducted many interviews with many famous pro wrestlers when I was co-host of my radio/internet show. That didn’t qualify me to be a pro wrestler, and this doesn’t qualify you to give out medical advice, and interviewing doctors & surgeons does not make you any more a medical expert than I am.  Here’s the difference, I don’t call myself one, whereas you somehow attempt to qualify yourself as such.   You continue to attempt to re-write medical history by  not allowing contrary opinions to take place on your website, despite having a comments section.

Let’s touch on your hot dog stand vs. mine.  Yours is for profit, mine isn’t.  You make money from your hot dog sales, and rely on people visiting your hot dog stand to make a living. To do that, you have to put up a big sign, with bright lights that say “HOT DOGS- HERE!!!!”   I, on the other hand, give my hot dogs away free, and always will.  It’s because I care about the people who visit my hot dog stand.  I don’t need to sensationalize my hot dogs, or put up the big sign.  If they’re good enough, people will find me.  And guess what?  Many have.

As I often say, don’t believe me, see for yourself.  Visit her website and read some of the posts, and tell me I’m wrong, if you truly feel that way.  I’m not saying she’s wrong about all the she writes….quite the contrary (there’s that word again!), but I think that her sense of sensationalism, combined with her personal issues that include censorship, renders her website as useless.  Better yet, find an article that you disagree with, and post a comment on the page.  Tell her Phil Varlese sent you…

And that is coming from the little hot dog stand down the road from yours.


**UPDATE 1/4/14**

Every now and then someone decides that my blogs are completely off base, and feel the need to take me to task.  I received a comment on my “Edumacation” page from one of those someones concerning this particular blog.  This person remains anonymous, they wouldn’t even include an e-mail address so that I could personally respond.  Here was their message:

Why doesn’t JH just delete your blog link if she doesn’t want “competition” for her blog? Well, let’s see…maybe it’s because Blogger doesn’t allow users this kind of control?  At least not the basic Blogger set-up? Have you ever worked with Blogger? It has limitations, and one of them is that the owner of the blog absolutely CANNOT alter comments. Either they get deleted in whole, or are left un-altered. Please be more open minded. This consideration isn’t that far-fetched.

I don’t know if this anonymous responder is a blogger or not.  I can tell you that before I began blogging, I checked into virtually every blog site under the sun, and chose WordPress for many reasons, one of which is the ability to edit blog comments.  For me, I wanted to be able to censor comments that might include profanity, hate speech, and things that would insult my readers..  I’m of the opinion that Ms. Horton, who seems to be an intelligent person, has chosen wisely, based on her needs.  One of those needs I suppose is to eliminate comments on her blogs in their entirety.

Blog pages are not democracies.  Someone who has a problem with MY blog is welcome to post a response on my page (pending my review, as described above).  I’ve never deleted a comment without publishing it.  In Ms. Horton’s case, she’s done the opposite…..seen a comment she didn’t like, and not only deleted it, but sent me a private message AFTER she deleted the comment.  I suppose that consideration only goes one way…

By the way, Blogger does in fact offer the same option to moderate comments that WordPress does, which means to me that by leaving her comments to be posted without moderation, Ms. Horton never expected anyone to challenge her “knowledge”, and was quite upset when it happened.  That’s what usually happens when someone can’t back up their thoughts in debate, and expect that people will simply be sheep and follow their words.  I didn’t, and was censored.

I welcome dissenting opinions and dialogue on my blogs.


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