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.”