Friday, November 21, 2008

A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity

As the book jacket of A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity says, “this time it’s personal.” Bill O’Reilly, the man so many folks love to hate (please don’t get Barney Frank started), this time around explains how he came to be the man he is. While it is doubtful that his detractors will read the book, those who admire O’Reilly, or at the least find him to be entertaining, will probably enjoy this one.

Bill O’Reilly, born in 1949, seems to have always been a bit of a rebel despite his upbringing by Depression era parents. Many of his core beliefs, such as spending wisely and saving for the future, come from that upbringing and, in fact, the core belief central to his makeup, a strong feeling that people should be treated fairly in life and that evil must be confronted and challenged, comes from watching his own parents struggle to make their way.

O’Reilly watched his father trade job security for a lifetime of stagnation in a job that never rewarded him the way he deserved to be rewarded and, as a result, the younger O’Reilly chose to be the free agent that he is today. Being an independent, as O’Reilly calls himself, allows him to look at both sides of an issue without having to worry about official party lines or whom he might offend by his position on any particular issue. His willingness to challenge those with whom he disagrees, especially those he believes to be playing unfairly or unethically, makes O’Reilly into an equal-opportunity offender. Most of the time, he has the Democratic faithful screaming for his head; at other times, the screaming comes from Republican Party faithful.

A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity is filled with stories from O’Reilly’s childhood and early career, stories that give insight into how one rebellious, non-conformist kid with a low attention span became the anti-evil crusader he is today. Whether it was designing a plot to get even with a neighbor who confiscated his group’s rubber ball when it went onto his property or driving the nuns at his Catholic school to distraction, O’Reilly was developing the nonconformist personality that he uses so effectively today.

But there is more to the man, much more. He has a sentimental side, and a hardcore loyalty to his oldest friends, that he seldom displays in public. Friends come and go in life, usually because circumstances change and neither side makes the special effort required to maintain contact over the years. O’Reilly refuses to let that happen. He feels a special bond with the people he grew up around and those he met at university or early on in his public career, and he is determined to maintain those friendships, often organizing group events that bring together a dozen or two people at a time.

The bottom line for Bill O’Reilly is that he absolutely detests unfairness and those who make their way in life by taking advantage of others. He is a firm believer in self-reliance but he knows that self-reliance works only in a social and economic system that is based on fairness. He hates the world of special privileges and, when he finds people gaming the system, he calls them out, a habit that makes a lot of people very uncomfortable.

O’Reilly lives by a simple philosophy, really. He believes that “you either fight active evil or you accept it. Doing nothing is acceptance. There is no in-between.” As he puts it, “When it is all over, when you are dead...your legacy will be defined by two simple questions: How many wrongs did you right, and how many people did you help when they needed it?”

Like him, take him or leave him, love him, or hate him, it’s hard to argue with that philosophy.

Rated at: 4.0


  1. "it’s hard to argue with that philosophy"

    Which is why, if I am ever lucky enough to meet Bill O'Reilly, I will punch him square in the face as hard as I can. If all goes according to plan, I will dislodge his jaw and he'll have to have it wired shut.

    Fighting active evil, indeed.

  2. Yeah, that's the answer to disagreeing with someone.

    I have to tell you that I would be more impressed with your threat if you hadn't made it anonymously.

  3. Sam,

    I have to stay anon when I'm discussing B&N policy. Why? B/c I love my job.

    Hopefully you can use the info that I provided to challenge your local SM to be a better public servant. When you speak to him again, ask "Why doesn't your store shortlist remainders to meet customer demand?"

    When he gives you the runaround, tell him that you know, for a fact, that B&N doesn't stop it's managers from meeting any customer need.

    If he is still resistant, call B&N customer service @ 800.422.7717 and explain your story to them. Tell them about the difference between the stores in your market and let them know how douchey the SM was to you.

    You'll get results if you persist. I guarantee it.


    PS. Bill O'Reilly is the kind of guy who makes you feel it's OK to "fight" when you are defending yourself, and then cries foul when others defend themselves. He is an aggressive, factually-challenged bully. He screams "shut up" at his guests < > and then denies it ever happened.

    The sooner his kind is eliminated from public discourse, the better we all shall be.

  4. Thanks for the additional info regarding B&N. I was in the stores yesterday and planned to mention the problem again but the store manager I needed to see was not in the store. I went to the other location later in the day and found a Denise Mina book marked down, bought the Wally Lamb bestseller, and found the John Harvey novel I posted about a few days ago.

    I find myself much more willing to shop for full-price books after picking up a bargain or two. That's why I think the other doofuss is making such a mistake by not stocking more of the markdowns.

    As for O'Reilly, I tend to agree with him more often than not. Even when he's on the other side of an issue than I am, though, I find his confrontational approach to almost always be just fine. That's, I suppose, because I enjoy seeing certain egotistical types have their mistakes and unethical behavior thrown back in their faces. I especially enjoyed his confrontation with Barney Frank, one of the biggest hypocrites in Congress (that's quite an achievement because most of them are hypocrites to one degree or another). Don't get me wrong - the man irritates me plenty of times and I am totally aware that he has a huge ego. I just see his willingness to play hardball by attacking both sides, both parties, as refreshing.

  5. Goodness in action,
    compassionate deeds, do
    help people. As do kind words
    of encouragement. I believe
    that evil has no desire nor can tolerate being anywhere
    near a loving conciousness. I
    suspose that is why it seems to be
    peeking out all through O'Rielly's
    perverse spinning of facts in the zone of his egomanical battles & behaviors. Kate H.

  6. when i'm off duty, i make sure i watch the o'rielly factor on weekdays.i like his ideas and comments about politicians and the system.i became a huge fan of his that i asked my folks in the US to buy me a hardcover ed of a bold fresh piece of humanity.can't wait to get my hands of the book and read it.

  7. I hope you've received and enjoyed your copy of the book by now, Anonymous.

    Where are you, by the way?