Okay, first off, the rant. It’s RUE (rhymes with Sue) tan (rhymes with fan).
Not Ruttin’ rhymes with nothin’, but said the country twang way like nuttin’.
"Whatcha doin' Billy Bob?"
The name is French. What the hell were they thinking in the 13 Colonies when they changed Rutant to Ruttan? That I’d open of a furniture shop called Ruttan’s Rattan? Not bloody likely.
I’ve moaned on here before about how long it takes me to read the average book. It seems to be double to triple the time of typical readers. The latest Rankin took me about 16 hours (at least Ian knows what he spent months working on wasn’t brushed off in an afternoon here) and that’s about standard for me.
The more review copies come in, the more books I choose to spend my money on that remain unread, the more I wonder how to get time back for reading.
And I’ve figured it out. Stop reading blogs.
Okay, now, seriously. I stick around the blogs because I love keeping in touch with my network of friends. Yes, it means sometimes people talk about me elsewhere and maybe it helps with my profile. I don’t know. I mean, all of you ended up here somehow, right? And there are a lot of you I’ve never met in person.
But for what seems like a prolonged time now I’m having trouble making it around to the blogs. Even more trouble commenting occasionally on some.
This morning, I got up, and had a topic in mind to blog about, but it was similar to something I’d blogged about before. You find yourself wondering, short of sharing all the intimate details of your life, how you can really hit new terrain year in and year out on the blogs.
And here’s an example of where laying it all on the blogs went bad:
10. Litigation log: Man sues sexual partner who publishes all on her blog
Robert Steinbuch is suing his girlfriend who discussed intimate details of their sex life in her online diary. A Capitol Hill staffer when the publication occurred, Steinbuch responded with a lawsuit.
Steinbuch has since accepted a teaching job in Arkansas, leaving Washington and girlfriend Jessica Cutler's "Washingtonienne" Web log behind.
But now, Steinbuch's case over the embarrassing, sexually charged blog appears headed for an embarrassing, sexually charged trial.
Lurid testimony about spanking, handcuffs and prostitution aside, the Washingtonienne case could help establish whether people who keep online diaries are obligated to protect the privacy of the people they interact with offline.
Cutler, a former aide to Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, says she created the blog in 2004 to keep a few friends up to date on her social life. On her blog, she described juggling sexual relationships with six men. One of the men was Steinbuch, a counsel to DeWine on the Judiciary Committee. Cutler called him the "current favorite" and said he resembled George Clooney, liked spanking and disliked condoms. "He's very upfront about sex," she wrote. "He likes talking dirty and stuff, and he told me that he likes submissive women."
When Ana Marie Cox, then the editor of the popular gossip Web site Wonkette.com, discovered and linked to Cutler's blog, the story picked up more audience than does a typical best-seller. Cutler was fired and Steinbuch says he was publicly humiliated. He wants more than $20 million in damages.
The trial is now in the discovery stage. Steinbuch wants to know how much money Cutler received from the man she called her "sugar daddy." Cutler wants Steinbuch's student evaluations from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law School, where he teaches.
Steinbuch recently added Wonkette’s Cox as a defendant in the case.
Attorney Jonathan Rosen says what Steinbuch wants is the restoration of his good name. He’s embarrassed that students in his legal ethics class search the Internet and learn about the blog, Rosen said.
To win, Steinbuch will have to prove that the details of their sexual relationship were private and publishing them was highly offensive. Billips argues that Cutler never intended to make the blog public but, in the information age, data is easily copied and distributed beyond its intended audience.
Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said he may teach the Washingtonienne case this spring during his class at Georgetown Law School. "Anybody who wants to reveal their own private life has a right to do that. It's a different question when you reveal someone else's private life," he said, adding that simply calling something a diary doesn't make it one. "It's not sitting in a nice, leather-bound book under a pillow. It's online where a million people can find it."
Since being fired, Cutler moved back to New York, wrote a novel based on the scandal, posed nude for Playboy and started a new Web site, where she solicits donations "for slutty clothes and drugs."
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman told attorneys for both sides, "I don't know why we're here in federal court to begin with. I don't know why this guy thought it was smart to file a lawsuit and lay out all of his private, intimate details." (Source: Associated Press and various newspaper accounts)
I would have sent you there, except there’s no direct link to this story.
A lot of us talk about it from time to time. Anne’s pondering her blog again.
Let’s face it. People only have so many hours in the day. And part of me got thinking about it because Mark Billingham sent out his first newsletter in nine months. And look how he takes himself off the hook.
It’s been nine months since the last newsletter, which would be pretty slack, even for someone to whom relatively little ever happened. While it is tempting to fall back on the lame old excuses of schooldays and try to convince you that I had actually written several very good newsletters which were destroyed by pets, I can only trot out the usual stuff about the pressures of work, the demands of a family…and an early draft being eaten by the dog.
I’m consoling myself with the thought that your own lives cannot have been affected in any profound sense by the absence of this newsletter. If anybody has been sobbing over their keyboard every day, forlornly scanning their inbox and toying with ending it all, I can only apologise, and beg you to get: (A) help, (B) laid, (C) out of the house a bit more.
Sheesh! And I feel guilty for not blogging for a day?!
But I can’t quit now, because the ‘hey there’s a dead guy’ blog is too funny, too tell it like it is…
Too good to pass up. Damn. Some day, I want to be part of a cool group blog like that. Sigh.
So, do you guys ever find it hard to keep up? Meanwhile, there are places to win free books, in case you decide to take that quit reading blogs suggestion seriously.
Lesa’s giving books away. So are the folk over at Reviewing The Evidence.