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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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).
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…)
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…)
“If you sit quietly at the edge of a river, eventually you will see the bodies of your enemies float by.”
—Mark “Chopper” Read
Last autumn, Andrew Breitbart picked a fight with me. Breitbart bragged to the world about how he was going to destroy me. Breitbart went after me on behalf of the Koch oligarchy, who’d launched a multimillion-dollar PR counter-offensive to smear journalists who investigated them, including Jane Mayer of the New Yorker. Breitbart got the contract on me, and he had no doubt in his little pea brained mind he was going to destroy me. Breitbart was so sure he was going to ruin me, he bragged about it to everyone. He even told a journalist to tell Taibbi, “Breitbart is about to destroy your former eXile partner Mark Ames.” He was gloating in-advance. Then the very morning he attacked me, I hit back. And he tucked tail and fled like a bitch.
Now Andrew Breitbart is dead. Gee, whod’ya think won that little war? (more…)
As readers of The eXiled know, we operate a leading Washington DC political PR firm, “Our Founding Fathers Global Strategies LLC”, specializing in crisis-management and strategic communications for our negative-net-worth clientele. “Our Founding Fathers GS LLC” has devised a comeback plan for Mitt Romney to reignite his flagging campaign, which we offer gratis, pro bono.
Adam Curtis, the British filmmaker whose many great films and blog posts for the BBC we’ve been ramming down our readers’ throats (in the parlance of our times) lo these past few years, has a new piece about Russian politics, punk and avant-garde that is a must-read. It’s the only work I’ve ever read that makes sense of Edward Limonov—the former eXile columnist and leader of the radical opposition—and places Limonov and his Kremlin nemesis, Vladislav Surkov, in the context of Russia’s post-Communist politics, and Russia’s wild punk rock avant-garde. (more…)
With violence and government crackdowns making headlines from so many familiar parts of the world, there’s hardly been a peep in the media about the biggest and ugliest massacre of all: Last Friday in Kazakhstan, riot police slaughtered up 70 striking oil workers, wounding somewhere between 500 and 800, and arresting scores. Almost as soon as the massacre went down in the western regional city of Zhanaozen, the Kazakh authorities cut off access to twitter and cell phone coverage–effectively cutting the region off from the rest of the world, relegating the massacre into the small news wire print. (more…)
There are a lot of reasons why Russians–young Russians, young Muscovites in particular–poured out into the streets last Saturday to protest rampant election fraud in the Duma vote. For the past couple of decades, young Muscovites couldn’t be bothered with politics of any sort–they’ve been dealing with fraud-riddled elections going back to 1996, or 1993–take your pick of post-Soviet elections. (more…)
With Russians on the streets protesting yet another fraud-riddled election, and Hillary Clinton lecturing the Kremlin on the evils of election fraud, we are reposting this important background story on Russian election fraud, and how the West, led by Hillary’s husband Bill, enabled and whitewashed Russia’s 1996 fraud-riddled, stolen elections, which assured that the hugely unpopular Boris Yeltsin, “the butcher of Chechnya” and the creator of Russia’s oligarchy, would remain in power for another term–thanks to the Chechens overwhelmingly “voting” “for” Yeltsin by an overwhelming 73% vote (of 1 million votes even though there were only an estimated 500,000 voting-aged people living in Chechnya at the time of the 1996 presidential elections). Yeltsin’s Western-backed victory allowed him to pick his own successor, Vladimir Putin, in 2000–and here we are today. Among the top whitewashers of 1996′s stolen elections was none other than Michael McFaul, President Obama’s nominee to become the new US Ambassador to Russia.
This article by Alexander Zaitchik and Mark Ames, about the West’s active complicity in Russian election fraud, in creating the template still used today by Putin, was first published in The eXile on November 30, 2007, on the eve of Russia’s 2007 Duma elections, the last time Russians voted in parliamentary elections until this past Sunday.(more…)
Since no one else in the pro-drug camp will say it, allow me: Ron Paul is a drug war asshole. He’s a con artist playing a shell game with our liberties with his slippery proposal that the answer to this savage 40-year war on individual liberty is to transfer the power to destroy lives from one authority (federal) to another equally cruel authority (state). In doing so, Dr. Paul has shifted the moral debate about the drug war from one of barbarism and injustice to his crusty old Confederate gripe about states’ rights versus federal authority. (more…)
An American correspondent stationed in Moscow just forwarded me a WikiLeaked diplomatic cable about me, The eXile, and the Kremlin media-stomping in mid-2008 that killed my newspaper and sent me fleeing home. The June 16, 2008 US Embassy cable–marked “CONFIDENTIAL”–correctly put the crackdown on The eXile in the context of a wider (and scarier) crackdown on other Russian media outlets that coincided with the handover of power from Vladimir Putin to the newly-”elected” President Dmitry Medvedev. The cable was given the highly-ironic header “MEDVEDEV ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND THE RULE OF LAW.” (more…)
Before heading back to Moscow in June 2008 to face the Kremlin “audit” of The eXile, which I knew meant the death of the newspaper at the very least, I worked out a deal with my editors at Radar magazine to blog about it for an American audience. I hoped at the very least that it might give me a bit of protection. (more…)
Hello Jim, it’s your mother here. I didn’t want to write this. And I apologize for sending this to The eXiled, but I didn’t know how else to reach you. Jimmy, please listen to me just this one time. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please, I beg you. Why, a mother asks, did you write a groveling letter to Mark Ames that began, “Unlike Matt Taibbi, you’re a good writer”? Jimmy, you’re more confused today at age 50 than when I used to smack you around at age 5. You’re a talentless meathead and a failed Broadway actor with a chip on your shoulder, and it hurts me to see you flaunt it. You’re too vain, and too thick in the skull, to recognize what a complete ass you’re making of yourself today. Jimmy, you’re 50 years old. The 1990s are over. In 5 years you’ll qualify for senior citizens’ discounts. Please, Jimmy, please stop it. Stop being a masochist and hurting yourself. You aren’t a redneck. You aren’t scaring anyone. You aren’t impressing anyone. Mr. Ames seems like a nice Jewish fellow, why do you have to bother him, the way you pestered me and your father? Of course we hit you. You wouldn’t stop whining all the time. You wrote all about it in your “Rape” magazine. Clearly, I should have beaten you a lot more, Jimmy. I failed to prevent you from becoming a 50-year-old monkey, and for that I am sorry.
If President Obama’s SOTU address left you feeling vaguely suicidal but you’re not sure why, a quick comparison to the previous Great Depression president’s SOTU address might clear it up and help you to your logical conclusion. Here is an excerpt from FDR’s 1935 State of the Union speech:
Let us for a moment strip from our simple purpose the confusion that results from a multiplicity of detail and from millions of written and spoken words.
We find our population suffering from old inequalities, little changed by past sporadic remedies. In spite of our efforts and in spite of our talk we have not weeded out the overpriviledged and we have not effectively lifted up the underpriviledged. Both of these manifestations of injustice have retarded happiness. No wise man has any intention of destroying what is known as the “profit motive”, because by the profit motive we mean the right by work to earn a decent livelihood for ourselves and our families. (more…)
Reader John M. sent us one of The eXile’s fabled “lost basement tapes”: our 1998 post-crisis Christmas charity song, “Send Them Crack” by “Bandit-Aid”: a giant fuck-you from all of us in Russia to the IMF, World Bank and all the corrupt “aid” donors who fucked Russia up so completely in the 1990s. Thanks John, we were pretty sure this song disappeared into the void, along with our memories of that era. For the uninitiated, you can now listen to an eXile classic number for the whole family. We put together a celebrity-studded Russian/expat crew to sing a charity song (roster and lyrics below) that’s a kind of love letter, circa 1998, from Russians/expats to America that says, “We’re really sorry that the USA’s capital city is so fucked up–here, here’s some crack, it’s on us, don’t mention it.” And to rub it in, we had the Russians sing “Send Them Crack” in intentionally mangled English–because that was our way of returning the thanks for all the stolen aid money in the 1990s. Below, we’re reprinting the lyrics along with the original press release that includes the cast of singers.
And now, behold the eXile’s 1998 Christmas Song! What a difference a decade makes, folks: O the irony!…
The nonviolent teach-in at a church in Colombia Heights just begged to be sneered at. You couldn’t help it. Here in the church basement, hundreds of protest-eager students ranging from Phish groupies to Tower Records clerks were being prepped for slaughter by a pair of bull-dyke mentors and their lanky male sidekicks, all elders of the great Seattle riots. Since there were several such teach-ins across Washington D.C. for days leading up to the anti-IMF protests, you could assume that thousands were being trained for non-violent action, facing down not only America’s entire security forces apparatus (FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Park Rangers, D.C. Metropolitan Police, and the National Guard to name a few), but also the enmity of the mainstream press, as well as Washington’s vile, physically-repulsive professional class. The poor Vegan hippies were going to get stomped on by the greatest state police apparatus that the world has ever known, and they had no idea. (more…)
Notice to readers: We are scrapping the Great Living Americans nominating process due to your miserable failure, and hereby revoke your suggestion privileges. The eXiled has also initiated a review of our policies regarding the solicitation of reader input to make sure that a similar tragedy will never happen again. You people depress us.
In honor of Independence Day, I’d like to return to the topic of Great Americans, or the lack thereof. In an earlier article, I mentioned the Civil War era as a remarkable generator of Great Americans, including Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, William Tecumseh Sherman, Harriet Tubman, John Brown, and Ambrose Bierce. I noted that it’s much harder to come up with a list of Great Americans living today. (I nominated Muhammad Ali, Cesar Milan, and the Coen Brothers.)
I asked for nominees, and readers responded with the following:
Here’s a little something to consider for all you folks who’ve been trying to watch the World’s Greatest Sporting Event–otherwise known as the World Cup–over the course of the last week. The following is a short list of some of the official mascots of the World Cup in the latter half of this century. 1990: Ciao, an abstract object (Italy). 1986: Pique, a chili pepper (Mexico). 1982: Naranjito, an orange (Spain). 1978: Gauchito, a boy (Argentina). 1974: Tip and Tap, two boys (West Germany). 1970: Juanito, a boy (Mexico). 1966: World Cup Willie, a lion (England).
An abstract object, a chili pepper, an orange, a boy, two boys, a boy, and a lion named “World Cup Willie”…Is this sports or a NAMBLA convention? (more…)
This article was first published in The eXile on November 5, 2007 FRESNO, CA — By the time you finish this column you will be able to destroy huge buildings, kill hundreds of people in a few minutes, and strike terror…
I think I’ve finally found a religion I can convert to. I’m thinking of turning Sikh. And we’ll just slide right by all the puns popping into your little heads, if you don’t mind. The Sikhs are just the coolest warrior tribe around. Take their scripture.
This article is a War Nerd Classic Christians are stone killers. You put a Christian and a lion in an arena and I’ll bet Toyotas to Subarus the Christian’ll have the lion for lunch. Just look around you: lions are…
But let’s take the question seriously for a second here: who won in Iraq? To answer it, you have to start with a close-up of the region, then change magnification to look at the world picture. At a regional level the big winner is obvious: Iran. In fact, Iran wins so big in this war that I’ve already said that Dick Cheney’s DNA should be checked out by a reputable lab, because he has to be a Persian mole.
There are actual American heroes. Not a lot, and you don’t hear much about them, but there are a few. I don’t mean working moms who spend their Saturdays spooning soup into winos. I mean classic citizen-soldiers who get it right every…
Some of the weirdest, longest wars around have been on the other side of the Big River, but for some reason most American war nerds would rather read about Eurasian battles. Not sure why, except I remember when I was…
Ever since SHAME's launch just a few months ago, it's been running like a buzz saw through the media establishment . . . all it needs is support from readers and fans like you to keep up the pace. Can you help?