Enough about you, let’s talk about me…

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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.”

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9 thoughts on “Enough about you, let’s talk about me…

  1. I’m tired of hearing about him already. And I think I just heard of him. Unless he was the subject of a brief story on getting stinky, published back in The State — about November, 2007.

    I bet he has never really EARNED that stinky.

    • Thanks, Mab. I’ve been enjoying your responses around the SC blogsphere. Keep up the good work.

  2. I laughed when I read his book. He would have been more accurate to liken himself to Steven Pressfield, a great writer of historical fiction. I knew Connor in Afghanistan. His service with Prince Harry lasted about the same amount of time it took you to read this post. LTC Connor should be commended for his service to country in both the military and civilian sectors. He should be cautioned against hubris and liberal interpretations of his service. Proverbs 11:2.

    • I have a world of respect for any man or woman who puts their life on the line for their country, but it seems tacky and self serving to return home and crow about your “accomplishments.”

      It’s also disrespectful to your fellow comrades who have the good sense not to pat themselves on the back every chance they get but understand they were simply doing their duty.

      A real hero is secure enough in his accomplishments to let others speak for him, that is, if he’s willing to let others talk about his exploits at all.

  3. The purpose of this book was not to boast his own name. The profits from this book went to a local Christian school so that they would be able to provide scholarships for students. I am very excited about the work that the Lord is doing through Mr. Connor and will do through him.

  4. Pingback: Bill Connor is all about … Bill Connor « The Cotton Boll Conspiracy

  5. Pingback: Trifle with Bill Connor at your own peril « The Cotton Boll Conspiracy

  6. This guy is unbelievable. He won’t go away. Have you seen the new “Combat Veteran” stickers added to his posters? Have you read this piece from his own web site? http://voteconnor.com/index.php/2010/05/a-desperate-battle-pitting-pistols-against-rpgs/
    Ask some seasoned vets about the wisdom of trying to suppress RPG or machine gun fire with a 9mm from a vehicle by lowering the ballistic glass that protects the crew compartment of the vehicle. I can’t decide what is more disturbing the fact that he made the terrible decision to put his crew/vehicle at risk to earn a badge or the fact that he uses this as part of his propaganda. For those of you who don’t see the issue… the windows on up armored vehicles are designed to withstand strikes from bullets and some RPG impacts. When you lower that window, you expose the interior of the vehicle to fire therefore potentially placing the entire crew at risk. That is understandable if you are able to place effective fire with a comparable weapon system to destroy the target. This scenario was shooting a PISTOL from a moving vehicle against a a weapon system that is seconds could have killed his entire crew. Wasn’t there, but gotta tell you this is not good decision making then or now. The only way to make this a worse idea is if he used a sling shot or was taking pictures…

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