Upon receiving a box of Bill O'Reilly's Pinheads and Patriots, a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan conducted a book burning--but it wasn't political, he swears. The unnamed soldier goes by Everqueer on Tumblr and for the most part posts on the stuff that people post on Tumblr: what they're reading, stuff he's listening to, with occasional dispatches from life in Afghanistan, like this photo of warming up for baseball and a weather report. But two days ago he posted the picture above and explained that copies of the books had been shown up at their base unsolicited (perhaps as part of O'Reilly's effort to get people to donate them to the troops) and that they had decided to burn them: "Some jerk sent us two boxes of this awful book 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."
For those who do not like O'Reilly, the story went viral. There are over 2,300 notes on the original post and Gawker, Daily Intel and Politico have all picked up the story this afternoon. But in an attempt at preventing things from getting out of hand, one supposes, Everqueer posted a clarification that burning dozens of O'Reilly's books was not a protest against the Fox News star. He explains in a separate post, "The motivation behind the order to burn them was not political. As 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. ... All waste is burned on the base and in town; wood and paper goes in that barrel." But he admits that he wasn't entirely displeased with his commander's order. "I won't say I didn't take pleasure in removing a few copies of this bigoted twerp's writing from circulation, but the reason for doing so was a military necessity."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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