This article was first published in Radar magazine in March, 2008
Backed by an army of punked-out teens, cult Russian novelist Eduard Limonov dedicated himself to taking on Vladimir Putin. Will death threats and nutty supermodels derail his democratic revolution?
It’s 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning in June when I arrive at the home of Russian opposition leader Eduard Limonov. It’s shaping up to be another grimy, humid summer day in Moscow. We need to get an early start if we’re going to make our flight to St. Petersburg, where Garry Kasparov, the chess legend who recently joined the political fray, and Limonov, Russia’s most infamous literary celebrity, are planning to lead a protest against the country’s autocratic president, Vladimir Putin. Together the two head up a ragtag coalition of anti-Kremlin parties known as Other Russia. (more…)
This article was originally published in The eXile on September 17, 2004
Exile editor Mark Ames exposes a rare fawning side while interviewing his lyrical hero, Mark E. Smith of The Fall, while Smith, who is notorious for abusing journalists (even reportedly putting a cigarette out in the eyeball of one Brit journo), reveals a charming, disarming side. Particularly in the number of times he addresses Ames by his first name, giving the interview a kind of Paintwork/Dale Carnegie sensibility. (more…)
This article first appeared in The eXile on November 11, 2003
TBILISI, GEORGIA – If you want to understand what’s really going on beneath the current election crisis in the former Soviet republic of Georgia — a struggle that threatens to push the country back into the kind of civil war which killed tens of thousands from 1989 through 1993 – then you need to pull the camera back. Way back, to the global level.
That’s because Georgia is a battleground not just between local political factions vying for power, but also between the geostrategic interests of America and Russia, between competing Big Oil interests, and between the forces of globalization and the forces which defy globalization (chaos, tradition, isolation). (more…)
This article was first published at NSFWCORP.com
While researching my ongoing series of articles for Not Safe for Work Corporation on the relationship between the Romney family and the Mormon Church and their reactionary politics, I came across a shocker.
In 1979 and 1980, at the height of the battle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, Mitt Romney’s father, former Gov. George Romney—the supposedly “liberal” “cool” Republican who was destroyed by Nixon’s dirty tricks—publicly denounced supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment as “moral perverts,” labeling the movement a homosexual conspiracy to destroy the American family. (more…)
You poor Obamabots only just discovered a few nights ago what a crushingly dull technocrat Barack Obama is—but you’re still making the mistake of assuming that his snoozer performance against Mitt Romney during Wednesday’s debate was some sort of aberration. As Mark Ames argued way way back in this February 1, 2008 write-up for Alternet, Obama always was a neoliberal dullard— you people were just too starry-eyed and desperate-to-believe to see Obama for what he really was, and is. So blame yourselves for being 4-1/2 years too late to reality—and blame yourselves for not listening to Mr. Ames when you had the chance to save yourself some embarrassment.
Posted: October 6th, 2012
From today’s edition of NSFW Corp
SALT LAKE CITY, UT—I have some explaining to do. As you know, I went missing for roughly 36 hours — no phone, no email, no nothing — roughly from the time of Clinton’s Satanic speech Wednesday night until the time which you receive this. First, let me tell you that I am fine, alive, and though a bit shaken up and haggard looking from sleeplessness, I was not mistreated or molested in any way.
In my last panicked correspondence to the outside world, I was begging the NSFW Corp’s Paul Carr to arrange some sort of commando mission to Charlotte to rescue our man-on-the-ground there, James Kotecki. I was terrified that the Tracy Flickites who gathered in their numbers in Charlotte would get into James’ brain and swallow his soul. That if James so much as fell asleep for five minutes, the Flickites would sneak a pod next to our Convention Correspondent’s bed, and he’d wake up full of hope and optimism. Or worse. (more…)
From today’s edition of the NSFW Corp:
The early news reports made Jeffrey Johnson out to be a deranged monster: After pumping five bullets into the supervisor who’d fired him from his job at the Empire State Building, Johnson supposedly went on a wild shooting rampage out on 5th Avenue, firing randomly at innocent bystanders, wounding nine before cops took him down using their anti-terrorism training. (more…)
This article was first published in the Daily Banter
Every week, it seems there’s another tragic story about a suicide or murder-suicides linked to foreclosure trauma. Some of the more spectacular murder-by-foreclosure stories the past few years have been collected by a blog called “Greenspan’s Body Count”—others, myself included, have been writing about these terrible stories of class warfare being waged by the only side fighting it, and winning it, as Warren Buffett rightly said. (more…)
This story was first published in the defunct Radar magazine on March 7, 2008
How “liberal” is newly-anointed Russian President-elect Dmitry Medvedev, the one so many people are saying represents a possible thaw in post-Putinpolitics? My Moscow newspaper just found out the hard way—one of Russia’s leading printing presses censored us yesterday over a page-six photo essay that we’d headlined “Fucking For Medvedev.” (more…)
Published in today’s edition of NSFW Corp:
Back in early July, I got an agitated email from a friend of mine from the group Faith No More right after they played a concert in Moscow with Pussy Riot. Bill, the band’s bass player, was trying to make sense of the weird experience he’d just had in Moscow:
“I don’t know if you heard, but we played in Moscow the day before yesterday, and we had Pussy Riot do a little bit for the encore. It was pretty insane…” (more…)
Published in today’s edition of NSFW Corp:
It’s been a few hours since I stormed out of the Georgetown AMC Loews cineplex. I went there to see “The Campaign”, the new Zach Galifianakis “comedy” that just opened, and I lasted almost an hour in my seat before throwing my popcorn and bolting the theater.
“The Campaign” isn’t the worst — as in terrifying scary shit-bad worst — film I’ve seen since moving back to the Free World a few years ago. That honor would have to go to “Sex and the City 2”. I lasted about 40 minutes through that film, telling myself the whole time, “If Pat Tillman could face terrorists, you can face Sex and the City 2, Ames!” over and over. Until it finally dawned on me: “Pat Tillman had it easy compared to this! Kandahar is like Club Med compared to Sex and the City 2!” and I ran screaming.
“The Campaign” is a different kettle of fish puke. There’s a weirdly unfunny flatness permeating the entire film: flat writing, flat jokes, flat directing, and above all, Zach Galifianakis’ non-presence, a flatness so flat it’s like convex comedy…
To read the rest of this article click here (open viewing).
This review of was published at Not Safe For Work Corp, where I’m acting as editor-at-large. You should subscribe http://www.nsfwcorp.com/subscribe
Still like to know more? The eXile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia co-authored by Mark Ames and Matt Taibbi (Grove).
Click the cover & buy the book!
To celebrate today’s announcement that Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan will in a few months’ time be a heartbeat from the presidency—and to honor this special moment, marking the final syphilitic pus-spasms of America’s decline and fall–we are reposting for your edification Mark Ames’ 2010 article about the man behind the Rand: Ayn Rand’s unrequited adoration of a notorious serial killer, William Edward Hickman. Yes, Vice President-to-be Paul Ryan owes his entire “moral” worldview to a lowly groupie of serial killers, a 1920’s prototype of today’s “Joker” wannabees. Yes folks, in a few months’ time Americans will finally be able to stand up and declare: “We are all serial-killer groupies now.” (more…)
Posted: August 11th, 2012
This piece was originally published at Not Safe For Work Corp
I’ve always hated Michael McFaul — and he don’t like me much neither.
We’ve carried on a sort of hate-hate relationship going back to the mid-1990s, when McFaul was former President Bill Clinton’s chief propagandist in Moscow, cheerfully assuring every foreign correspondent that Boris Yeltsin was the Thomas Jefferson of our day. (more…)
We just got this brutal video from an eXiled reader in Spain (HT: Àngel): Spanish riot police savagely attacking anti-austerity protesters in Madrid, without any apparent provocation. So far, the number of injured is at least 76 and growing, according to Àngel. The protests were fueled by today’s announcement of the largest austerity cuts in Spain since the days of fascist dictator General Franco—meaning the bankers are going in for the kill in Spain, despite false PR reports of bankers easing up on their demands.
The following article first appeared in Punch!, the pop culture iPad app, available free for download here. If you own an iPad, you should read this article at the Punch! app, which has all kinds of awesome media embedded, a quiz on Mormons vs. Scientology, video clips and great layout and so on. We don’t own iPads because you people haven’t donated yours to us, so we can only dream. For those of you who didn’t condemn themselves to journalism’s humiliating poverty—or for those of you “journalists” on the take from the Koch brothers or tobacco companies, or PHARMA, or you generally suck so badly that you’re paid well and can afford iPads—enjoy it on your iPad. While you still can.
“I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world.”
–Joseph Smith, Jr.
CHAPTER ONE: ‘I Suck, Please Slay Me’
When Punch! first assigned me this story — a review of A Mormon President, a DVD docudrama about Mormon founder Joseph Smith and his disastrous run for president in 1844 — I assured my editor he’d have a comic gem with timely political relevance delivered to his inbox before he could say “TK.” (more…)
This article was first published at The Daily Banter
Progressive intellectuals have been acting very bipolar towards labor lately, characterized by wild mood swings ranging from the “We’re sorry we abandoned labor, how could we!” sentiment during last year’s Wisconsin uprising against Koch waterboy Scott Walker, to the recent “labor is dead/it’s all labor’s fault” snarling after the recall vote against Gov. Walker failed. (more…)
Oklahoma oligarch Aubrey McClendon with his niece-in-law, swimsuit model Kate Upton
This article was first published in the Daily Banter
At the end of the 1990s, after the total collapse of the mass-privatization experiment in Boris Yeltin’s Russia, some of the more earnest free-market proselytizers tried making sense of it all. The unprecedented collapse of Russia’s economy and its capital markets, the wholesale looting, the quiet extermination of millions of Russians from the shock and destitution (Russian male life expectancy plummeted from 68 years to 56 years)—the terrible consequences of imposing radical libertarian free-market ideas on an alien culture—turned out worse than any worst-case-scenario imagined by the free-market true-believers. (more…)
This article was first published in The Daily Banter
Last month, shareholders finally rebelled against Citigroup, the worst of the Too Big To Fail bailout disasters, by filing a lawsuit against outgoing chairman Dick Parsons and handful of executives for stuffing their pockets while running the bank into the ground.
Anyone familiar with Dick Parsons’ past could have told you his term as Citigroup’s chairman would end like this: Shareholder lawsuits, executive pay scandals, and corporate failure on a colossal scale. It’s the Dick Parsons Management Style. In each of the three companies Parsons was appointed to lead, they all failed spectacularly, and somehow Parsons and a handful of top executives always walked away from the yellow-tape crime scenes unscathed. (more…)
The New York Times, 1971: “Traffic disrupters, your time is through!”
Today’s May Day protests are the first May Day protests on such a large scale “in memory.” Not that Americans have a memory to speak of. Here’s something to jar that memory loose: Newspaper clippings of the big May Day protest in Washington DC back in 1971, when federal troops and police herded 7,000 protestors into an open-air stadium prison.
This article was originally published in The Nation.
It began as a fairly straight-forward story about a shareholder lawsuit: The Koch brothers, Charles and David, who together own 50 percent of the libertarian Cato Institute, filed suit to recover a 25 percent stake held by longtime chairman William Niskanen, who died last autumn and whose widow has yet to relinquish those shares. (more…)