Getting worked up over words

I really should know better.

There are certain non-fiction subjects that I love to read about, and although at this point I can sometimes predict where the author is going with certain discussions, I almost always learn something new in the process.  The problem is that these same subjects can touch on my “soapbox” issues and get me very fired up.

I’m currently reading an older book on one of those topics, a book that deals mainly with some of the people and facts of the subject.  I knew that the author would get to the controversial part at some point; that point arrived today.

Now I’m irritated about the whole thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree wholeheartedly with the author.  I’m not irritated about his writing, or his stance.  He does an excellent job of cogently laying out the facts and supporting the side of the argument that I am on.  The irritation comes from the fact that the topic is even a controversy at all.

I’m also annoyed with myself.  I know that the subject gets me worked up, and that the controversy exists, and I shouldn’t let it get to me.  I don’t want to give up reading on the topic, so I guess I should either find a good debate partner or figure out a way to keep the reading from getting me worked up.

What subjects get you fired up and ready for a debate?  Do you still read about them?

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Contemplating Controversy

There is a topic that I have been contemplating blogging about for a few weeks now that I am hesitant to address because it hovers near to the realm of controversy.  This post is not about the topic; rather, it is about discussing controversial topics on blogs.

A part of me wants to write about the topic.  It is applicable to the premise of this blog and I know that I could address it appropriately.

Another reason (albeit a bit more selfish) to write about controversy of any kind is to generate buzz.  People talk about blogs that they disagree with just as often (if not more so) as ones they simply enjoy.

One major downside is the potential to irritate and/or alienate readers.  If you like my blog in general but disagree with my post, will you stop reading?  This is a risk I would take writing a post that dances with a subject about which people feel strongly.

Another difficulty is level of expertise.  If I write about something that no one disagrees with, no one will question me on my info.  However, if I write something that provokes debate, I need to be prepared to explain myself.  Am I armed with enough knowledge so I don’t look like an idiot?

Now you can see why I have simply been contemplating writing the post, rather than actually writing it.  What are your thoughts?