John Ramsey Miller
There’s this new book, O, about President Obama that was written by an anonymous author, just as the book PRIMARY COLORS was published with the author being the anonymous columnist Joe Klein. I mean PC was supposed to be fiction, right? It wasn’t actually about Bill Clinton, who was one of the best Republican presidents ever. I’m sure it’s a marketing ploy (since who needs another book about a sitting president?) just as I’m sure the publisher will swear that the reason for the anonymous tag is to insure truthfulness. I’m sure that was done because Obama would have the NSA black-baggers disappear the author if they could somehow discover who he or she is. Because it’s a huge secret on the order of who really killed JFK. I can think of lots of books that should have been written anonymously, like THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gibran or anything by Stephenie Meyer. Jus a’ kidding Steph. Seriously, anonymous is a punk-out. Stand up and take your medicine.
When I was young, my father was a Methodist minister, so I was a hellion of the first order. (stop me if I’ve told you this before). I didn’t get into trouble, I lived in trouble. I believed it was my calling. I got caught at it with amazing regularity due to my youth and inexperience, but I got better at evading detection as I grew older. Luckily I aged out of hell raising as an art form, having done no lasting damage to anyone, or to myself. The point of this confession is to say that after having done something actionable, someone sent my father a letter detailing my marauding one evening. It was perfectly written and should have convicted me to a severe grounding, except for the fact that they had signed the letter, “A concerned citizen”. After reading it to me, my father tore up the letter and tossed it into the trash, saying that if the person didn’t have the spine to sign the letter, he could not take it seriously. Being a liberal, I suspect he felt that I had the right to be confronted by my accuser. I also suspect that a Baptist minister would have, in similar circumstance, whipped his son, happy to take the word of a cowardly vigilante.
Another reason I’m talking about “anons” is because my daughter-in-law has a beauty salon and it’s a first class operation, and she’s a very talented hair stylist. She even does my hair with all my cowlicks––that’s how good she is. She is listed on a local site that highlights commercial businesses of note, and there’s a place for customer comments underneath, and you get stars just like an Amazon rating system. Well she was nominated for “Beauty Shop of the Year” and the next day someone wrote a nasty review saying that she smelled like cigarettes, dressed in trashy outfits, talked behind her customers backs, made lewd jokes about passersby, left “bleed marks” from a bad dye job, etc… It was signed anonymous. My son’s wife, the most wonderful and hard working person I know, has fifteen excellent reviews below that one. She is sure the comment was left by her main competitor because some of the detractor’s comments included beauty shop trade terms, too technical for a patron to use. There’s this beautician who hates my daughter-in-law due to losing a huge wedding party of a bride and her bridesmaids gig–but that’s another story involving my youngest son who’s getting married in June. But she’ll never know and she can’t get the comment taken off even though it’s totally a lie. And, it’s a small southern town we live in.
I agree with my father, who died on my birthday three years ago. Anybody who won’t sign their name and take responsibility for their words, is more than likely a coward and is probably just throwing monkey crap through the bars at the audience. If you can’t use your name due to the fact that you might be fired or set upon, then I say keep your damned opinion to yourself and live with it.
I tend to say idiotic things that I shouldn’t say and put my name on it. I once traded six columns to my local newspaper in exchange for an antique granite body slab that came out of a funeral home. What I wrote lit fires all over the community, but that’s another story. My wife (and more than a few others) tell me that some of my critical social filters must be clogged with dust balls. I am cognizant of the fact that a lot of my opinions would be best left unshared, or anonymous, but I’m not apt to do anything at this point in my life that makes sense.
By the way, as of last week my first novel THE LAST FAMILY, published in 1996 is now an eBook, which means that all of my novels are available in electronic format from Bantam/Dell. And I don’t have to worry about the pages yellowing.