Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Unfit for Publication

There is a new book out called Unfit for Command. I'm not going to link to a description of it, or even dignify the authors by mentioning them. You've probably heard of it. It's a hatchet job of John Kerry's military service in Viet Nam, written by some men who claim to have served with him. These men, with the support of some very rich Bush backers (wait - "very rich Bush backers" is redundant, no?) have also produced a television commercial.

We've received a lot of calls about the book. I don't think the volume of calls reflects the popularity of the book so much as it does the scarcity. The original print run was relatively small, and most stores have sold out. And unlike the plethora of anti-Bush books out there (all selling satisfyingly well, thank you), this is really the first anti-Kerry book to hit the scene.

I admit it. I have a hard time maintaining my cheery demeanor when responding to requests for this book. When I think really hard about the issue of calling into question the service of man who actually went to Viet Nam, in the hopes of electing a man who can't even provide a satisfactory account of his whereabouts during his Guard stint - I get so fucking angry I think my head will explode. I come from a military family, and I remember my Dad leaving for his two tours in Viet Nam, so this shit means something to me.

At least once a week, someone will ask for a manager to complain about the anti-Bush books. They are convinced that Big Bookstore is promoting these books and placing them prominently on display as part of a liberal conspiracy to unseat Bush. I listened to one woman tell a manager that we were "revolting" and "repugnant" because of this issue. We try to explain, very nicely, that Big Bookstore could really not give a shit. I like to say that if there were a sudden resurgence of interest in Mein Kampf and it suddenly shot to the top of the bestseller list, Big Bookstore would immediately sticker it 30% off and make a huge front of store display. Then we'd try to figure out a way to have an author event.


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