by Julie Whitehead
Planet Weekly Contributor
The very cover of Jack Criss’ Ready, Aim, Right! Editorials, Essays, and Reviews 1990-2004 (Quail Ridge Press) conveys a hyperbolic picture of the rhetoric inside – you see Criss with a Dirty Harry scowl aiming a ballpoint pen and standing in a peculiar battle stance. There seems to be a whole “the-pen-is-mightier-than-the-sword” vibe going on here – but it is a largely accurate representation of the type of aggressiveness Criss brings to his writing, as we see in the opening essay, “Civility by the Wayside,” first published in the April 2001 Delta Business Journal:
“It’s a shame and disgrace when the wonders of modern technology are used to produce such an abundance of Neanderthal products and traits. But that is the world we live in. We either act to change our corner of it, or be overrun by all the junk. As a father, writer, and businessperson, I plan to fight back. Are you with me?”
Similar denunciations of crass culture, politics, and business practices follow in various chapters, all culled from the editorial pages of the Jackson Business Journal, the Delta Business Journal, and Metro Business Journal, where Criss has held various editorial positions over the years. But readers shouldn’t stereotype Criss as a Bible-thumping red-state conservative theocrat – further reading reveals a distaste for conservatives who preach censorship under the rubric of family values and a taste for such private pleasures as Dewar’s on the rocks and an occasional issue of Playboy. Read more...