The problem with self promotion is that it can make you look like a self-centered jackass. Case in point: Columbia, SC, attorney Bill Connor.
Connor, an associate with the Murphy-Grantland law firm, has spent much of the past year promoting himself and his recent tour of duty in Afghanistan, which included, as he’ll tell most anyone who’ll listen, a brush with Prince Harry.
Not only did Connor manage to get himself profiled in a variety of publications such as the Orangeburg Times & Democrat and The State, he was the subject of an outdoor advertising campaign and even wrote a book, titled “Articles from War.”
“Articles from War,” which includes the ego-affirming subtitle “The Writings of Lt. Col. Bill Connor, J.D.,” is both Connor’s homage to himself and, one suspects, the groundwork for his future political aspirations.
And if it wasn’t enough to pen a vanity press publication and drop the names of US Rep. Joe Wilson, Lt. Gen. John Le Moyne and Brig. Gen. Mitchell Zais, Connor appears to have taken it upon himself to serve as his own press agent, as well.
Here’s online retailing giant Amazon.com’s description of the book:
“Articles from War is the unique war memoir, written through articles back home, of a lawyer called to war as an American Infantry officer who fought alongside British royalty.”
The blurb about Connor not only reiterates his military service, including the much ballyhooed brush with Prince Harry, but also details about his education, family and church:
“Bill Connor is a Citadel graduate, Lawyer, Reserve Infantry Lt. Colonel and former Regular Army Infantry Officer, with three tours in the Middle East. He volunteered to serve with South Carolina’s 218th Infantry Brigade and commanded the US advisory efforts in Helmand Province, Afghanistan where he served in combat with Prince Harry. He is a graduate of Law School at University of South Carolina and attorney with Murphy-Grantland law firm in Columbia, SC. He and wife, Susan, have three children: Peyton, Brenna, and Will, and are members of Christ s Church of The Carolinas.”
Perhaps most revealing is the single review of the work:
“This is a compelling book. The stories of Prince Harry in the war zone (particularly from an American) make this book a “one of a kind”. The combat action and description of life for US Advisors in Afghanistan is exciting and eye-opening. The idea of telling the story through articles from Afghanistan is quite unique. It makes it easy for the reader to digest this book one article at a time and quickly pick up where he left off. Overall, excellent.”
And the author of this review? Amazon.com lists it as “W. Connor V.” That would most likely be William M. Connor, V, the name Bill Connor is listed under on his law firm’s website. Not surprisingly, “W. Connor V” gave Bill Connor’s “Articles from War” 5 stars, calling it a great memoir.
Alas, “W. Connor V” appears to be one of the few fans of “Articles from War.” The book is ranked No. 1,619,618 in sales by Amazon.com, as of Jan. 23, 2009. By comparison, “Atlanta Nights” by Travis Tea, a work described by some as the worst book ever written, comes in at 307,649.
And there’s even a Bill Connor website for those who can’t get enough of ol’ Bill through his book, newspaper articles or billboard advertisements.
Part of the problem with the political process and society as a whole today is that while the truly accomplished have the good manners not to toot their own horns, grasping opportunists are all too happy to fill the void and all but break their arms patting themselves on their backs.
Hundreds of thousands of brave American men and women have served overseas not to further their professional and political careers, but because it was their jobs and they believed it the right thing to do.
They didn’t return to the US to begin a self-serving public relations blitz directed at informing the world about how wonderful and important they were. They came back, kept their mouths shut and got on with their lives.
Indeed, it would appear Mr. Connor could learn a thing or two from Matthew 6:5-6, which reads:
“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close your door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees you in secret will repay you.”
That seems a bit far fetched. The State, like most every daily newspaper in the US, may be struggling, but it’s not about to go under. It’s still turning a profit, albeit a reduced one, and it still has a virtual monopoly on the Columbia market, even if ad sales are off dramatically.
That’s not to say that McClatchy will make it through the year. The State’s parent is trading at less than a dollar a share and the buzzards appear to be circling. But one way or another, expect The State to be around for some time to come.
And as bad a reputation as The State has in some circles, consider what it would mean for South Carolina if the paper were no longer around to keep tabs on state and local government, education and other topics of interest to the public.
Campus police at East Carolina University used pepper spray to break up a snowball fight between students earlier this week.
Police were called to a dormitory three times Tuesday as more than 200 students pelted each other with snowballs as a rare snowstorm dropped several inches of snow in Eastern North Carolina, The Daily Reflectorof Greenville, NC, reported Thursday.
Some students said they were, gasp, hit hard by snowballs. Junior Brandon Davis said said a girl was knocked to the ground after being hit in the face with a snowball thrown from 10 feet away, while another student cried after getting hit in the eye.
No word on whether counselors were called in to aid students who may have been subjected to profane language, although campus officials were seen standing by with hot cocoa with marshmallows.
Hey, geniuses, here’s a good way to avoid getting hit with snowballs: don’t get involved in a snowball fight.
The Telegraph reports that Mengele, who was the resident medic at notorious Nazi death camp Auschwitz and who fled at war’s end to South America, continued his genetic experiments with twins in a small Brazilian town in the 1960s, according to a book by Jorge Carnarasa.
Mengele’s work resulted in a startling number of multiple births, Carnarsa claims.
In “Mengele: the Angel of Death in South America,” Carnarasa asserts that in 1963 Mengele began making regular trips to a predominantly German community in Brazil called Candido Godoi. Soon thereafter, the birthrate of twins began to spike, the book reports.
“I think Candido Godoi may have been Mengele’s laboratory, where he finally managed to fulfil his dreams of creating a master race of blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryans,” The Telegraph quotes Carnarasa as saying.
“There is testimony that he attended women, followed their pregnancies, treated them with new types of drugs and preparations, that he talked of artificial insemination in human beings, and that he continued working with animals, proclaiming that he was capable of getting cows to produce male twins,” Carnarasa tells The Telegraph.
Mengele is believed to have died in 1979 while swimming off the coast of Brazil. He was never brought to justice.