Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bonfire of the Inanities

The above picture is exactly what you think it is: A bunch of copies of Bill O'Reilly's new book, predictably and ridiculously titled Pinheads and Patriots, being torched. What's interesting is exactly who the ones doing the torching are.

This is what was posted on the Tumblr account that put up the picture:

"Some jerk sent us two boxes of this awful book (SPOILER ALERT: George Washington - Patriot; George Soros - Pinhead) instead of anything soldiers at a remote outpost in Afghanistan might need, like, say, food or soap. Just burned the whole lot of them on my Commander's orders."

Yes, apparently it was a group of U.S. soldiers behind this little bonfire.

Now of course because the soldier in question goes by the screen name "Everqueer," he'll be able to be handily dismissed by O'Reilly and the bitter septuagenarians who makes up 97% of his audience. (The other 3%, I'd imagine, are people who simply died in front of the television.) But there's still something startling and surreal about a) seeing the tables turned and a conservative demagogue's book being burned for a change, and b) knowing that it seemingly came at the hands of our traditionally inviolable troops.

Needless to say, the soldier behind this has already received more than a few complaints, which led him to post a follow-up message:

"The motivation behind the order to burn them was not mentioned in the original post, we are in an extraordinarily remote location. We don't have a post office here, so sending them back wasn't an option. Extra space is scarce and alternatives that a few mentioned, like recycling, are nonexistent...I'm aware of the historical implications of book-burning. I won't say I didn't take pleasure in removing a few copies of this bigoted twerp's writings from circulation, but the reason for doing so was military necessity."

Like this guy, it's tough to cheer the burning of a book -- and yet I can't help but admit that while I'm stoic on the outside when it comes to this, somewhere deep inside myself I'm doing the Snoopy dance. If nothing else, I'd love for this to be a lesson to right-wing jerks everywhere who presumptuously believe that they and they alone have the right to co-opt our military -- that all our men and women in uniform share their narrow worldview.

Seriously, the person who thought it was a great idea to send a bunch of Bill O'Reilly books to Afghanistan -- that our troops over there at the far end of the world dodging bullets would just eat them up? That guy's an asshole.


Anonymouse said...

We got weird stuff sent to us when I was deployed. Some of it was pretty cool, like this knitters club from Ohio that kitted foot warmers for the entire division. They were actually pretty sweet to have in the berthing on the carrier. They even sent us this photo of all the old ladies that did the knitting which we hung in the berthing so we sent them back a group photo of about 30 of us wearing them in the berthing.

But then we get the books like the bible, copies of Dianetics, or the latest crap from some bizarre right winger. Best, one time some a-hole sent us a load of books and DVD's from that Alex Jones prick. I still don't understand how he was allowed to send this too us because it was the largest package I ever saw sent to us out to sea.

What was annoying was this dude was basically taking up a lot of space on a mail plane, displacing everybody's personal mail. I never understood what this nutbag expected us to do with this shit.

Don't get me wrong, 9 times out of 10, we would get some really cool stuff from random people, like letters from kids or just boxes of soap and candies and shit that were really uplifting to moral.

vera lynn said...

I did a happy dance inside too....I would never burn a book, ever. But if there were one....and I would like to add how sad it is that everything is left/right in this country. corporate media really has lowered the bar on everything.

Matt Osborne said...

Speaking as a politics junkie, the only book I wanted on deployment was another scifi novel. Want to give troops something to read? Send your used pulp paperbacks. Not kidding. You can keep your screeds, we don't want those. We're trying to *ESCAPE* the real world, thanks.

Vermillion said...

Unless the book is titled

1) "How Not To Get Your Ass Blown Off" (with Kevlar book lining!)

2) "100 Ways To Serve Roadkill/Collateral Damage-Kill"

3) "5000 Pages of Toliet Paper"

sending that many copies of any book to a known war zone is borderline malicious in its narcissism.

I get sending mementos and other care packages. That is great. But really, this is just....ugh.

I can't think of a single word in this massive whore of a language we call Modern English that fits this situation any better than that.


P.S. Did you hear about this asshole who, out of spite for...everyone apparently, set loose his (probably illegal) exotic animal collection in his Ohio neighborhood before killing himself? Nearly 50 animals, and when I say "exotic", I mean fucking LIONS and TIGERS and shit. It is insane.

CNNfan said...

Bill O'Reilly,

This is a code red fandom alert.
So may fans have an exclusive
interview at

1. An autographed photo
to post on our homepage
2. A letter to fans

Look for email from for more advice about fans. In the meantime, please ask FOX PR for a reference for me. Tell them I just perfectly passed a state and federal background check, and physical exam, for which I have a raised seal government document with serial number. So, they can save $120 bucks! I am a squeaky clean US citizen. And my mother loves you.

Vermillion said...


Oh, yeah.

One of the coolest things I ever heard of was when a group of RPG companies did care packages for the troops, and offering customers the ability to contribute stuff like books and dice to send as well. Pen and paper gaming is really popular in the military, and quite a few people in the industry are former military themselves.

I am confident I will never hear about a soldier burning his Hackmaster GM screen because it's useless.

Dammit, I am nerding up the joint AGAIN!!!

TheReaperD said...

The other happy thing to think of is that the probable reason why so many copies were sent to our troops was because the publisher couldn't sell the fucking things so they had to give them away.

pea said...

Hey, Chez - d'you still have a link for this guy? We'd love to send him soap. And food. And maybe even books that they'd like to read (like yours!).

Nick said...

Always appreciated candy/snacks & paperbacks when i was on the line.

Michael said...

Pen & Paper, candy/snacks & paperbacks. The troops love em!

smitmaul said...

Who in the fucking hell thought sending a boxload of this was a good idea? One copy, in a box with some chips and snacks, okay. But just a boxload of bullshit?