Truth in advertising

When I saw the envelope from the ABA in this morning’s mail, I figured it was just the latest dunning letter asking me to pay for fourteen years’ back bar association membership dues. But it turned out to be from the American Booksellers Association.

It seems that now all my books have to carry this advisory notice on the front cover:


Now I need to find a lawyer. I mean, a competent one. Does anyone know Maud Newton’s number?

The Link, The Whole Link and Nothing But the Link

Rittenhouse: “If you link to ‘Wonkette’ through your blogroll you cannot and will not enjoy, for what that might be worth, a link from The Rittenhouse Review.”

He claims he’s not serious. But given the focus on ad hominen and his failure to offer a single reasonable argument, I suspect he’s saving face. Allow me to clarify the linkage process.

Wonkette (and The Antic Muse) is linked on the left because the site meets the goods. I link ’em because I like ’em. There is no quid pro quo. That’s not the point.

The beef I have with James Martin Capozzola is that he seems to view the basic process of linking as somehow exclusionary, when, in fact, it’s more inclusive than anything else. While Sturgeon’s Law can certainly apply to blogs, there are so many of them out there that, even if 10% of them were excellent, the list would be long and unmanageable. To include everyone would require a time commitment that well beyond the realms of healthy human commitment.

There is no Machiavellian scheming or Oliver Stone conspiracy theory. There is no secret society, whereby one person links to another, and another person does not. A link on the left is based solely on merit or friendship or both. A non-linked blog is probably one I’m not aware of.

[1/23/06 UPDATE: And I should also note that many of the people on the blogroll are, in fact, people who loathe me for reasons I cannot entirely discern. I should point out that being a fairly forgiving person, I’ve never entirely understood the concept of hate at first sight. I understand being reluctant to talk to certain people because (a) they are high maintenance, (b) they are, in all interactions, a nuisance and (c) they are doing something which you perceive as damaging to your core values. But completely damning someone without trying to talk with them? Granted, I can be an emotional and intensely loyal fellow to my friends. But the idealist in me also believes that people can violently disagree with each other and still maintain a civil relationship. And I’m not certain how I got on this subject, but it’s probably me being introspective again (damn solipsism!) and contemplating the connection between being simultaneously forgiving and aggressive and whether it affects the blogroll. Perhaps Rittenhouse’s claims might hold some validity after all.]