TONY’S MANSION, SOUTHERN FLORIDA–Djou know something, mang? The other day, I’m watchin my giant 120-inch flat-screen TV, and thees fat guy look right and me and he say something that make me understand a fahkin meaning of a fahkin freedom, mang. Thees fat guy, he say, “I tell djou somethin’ mang, djou vote for me for a fahkin President of a fahkin Djounited State, I gonna kill that fahkin cockaroach, Fidel Castro.” (more…)
From The eXiled’s Australasia Correspondent
PERTH, AUSTRALIA–You have to give David Foster Wallace some credit – he was better at making his fans bash themselves than any other writer of the Pynchon school. His magnum opus, Infinite Jest, is a 1000-page novel full of intestinally-shaped sentences and fine-print notes on calculus, organic chemistry and VCR programming. Normally, when a book like that comes out, people realise its purpose right away: terrorising B.A. students into meek submission. Wallace, however, found a very shrewd way to counter this by pretending that his work was really “a late-night conversation with really good friends, when the bullshit stops and the masks come off.” So instead of menacing the reader in the old Joycean way, Wallace chums it up whenever the technical stuff appears, acting like he really doesn’t mean to discourage anyone. Swapping lecture theatre dread for tutorial group paternalism – that’s the aesthetic in a nutshell. (And even if he IS being dense on purpose, it’s all for our own good of course.) (more…)
“I intend to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer.”
U. S. Grant at Spotsylvania Court House
I’m switching tactics today. No more of those cumbersome massed offensives, meaning columns four or five thousand words long that take weeks to research. From now on I’m going to blog every day. Scout’s honor. (I was one too—well, a Cub Scout, got as far as Webelos. The rule was, if you went further than that you were a fag.)
It comes down to logistics, like it usually does. I can’t sustain these massed offensives anymore, these 5000 word columns that take weeks to research. That assassination column nearly assassinated me, so many angles to consider, and even then, no sooner was it up than people were posting objections, absolutely right objections too, about stuff I’d left out. (more…)
The eXiled’s special Drug War Correspondent
MONTERREY, NUEVO LEÓN–Here we go again, a new year and a fresh new wave of narco-war porn to go along with it.
If you’ve been paying close attention to the drug war in Monterrey (and if you’re reading this you must have) you will have noticed that the new year has only meant more violence, more drugs and more black SUVs shooting it out in the streets, 3-sided full-bore firefights between rival narco gangs and the army, pretty much like a Michael Bay movie.
Life in Monterrey right now is like living in the set of Bad Boys 2. Non-stop car-chases and multiple shootouts, but no point to it, no reason for the apparently random, senseless violence. Shit, MTV should make a reality show based on Monterrey or even better, a “Tampico Shores” show, only in this version we get to watch the entire cast having their bodies dissolved in acid.
That’s what it looks like from here, anyway. But I´ve come to figuring out how to follow this mess and make some sense of the violence. (more…)
Posted: February 1st, 2011
This is the 5th installment of John Dolan’s work-in-progress “Stupid (Or, How To Lose Money Running A Speed Lab).” Read the previous installment “Every Flake A 20 Dollar Bill” by clicking here.
Butler knelt by the beaker while the white flakes drifted down, chanting “every one a $20 bill.” There didn’t seem to me to be as many as there were supposed to be, a light snow at the bottom of whatever toxic liquid was in the beaker. But he was the Chem Major, not me.
And the sooner we finished the final sacrament the sooner we could pack up the Frankenstein glassware and pour the leftover poisons down the sink and get out of there.
I did feel bad about leaving my parents’ property steeped with the cat-pee smell of speed cookery. Even asked Butler to help me wipe the walls down, but he had to tend to the product. We bagged it, still wet and yellower than I’d expected, more like a paste than powder. He double- and triple-bagged it, put it inside his Clark Kent sportcoat and headed back to Berkeley. (more…)
MONTERREY, MEXICO — Another day, another shootout. Forget about the tropical storm that hit the Pacific just now, it’s raining bullets in this biatch.
It seems that every day there is another firefight in this or that part of the city, and frankly I’m getting sick of it. Every day, a copy of a copy of a copy. It’s tiring, exhausting—that’s what the drug war is beginning to feel like. A drag, kinda like the Iraq war for you gringos. (more…)
Posted: October 29th, 2009
Yesterday, the New York Times reported on the arrest of one Jamal Yousef of the Syrian military, who tried to trade a buttload of machine guns and high grade explosives in exchange for 2,000 lbs. of high grade cocaína. (more…)
Posted: August 20th, 2009
Today’s Topic: In semi-praise of Down by the River.
Statement of the Grand Inquisitor: As we have ruled earlier, there are few good books. Down by the River by Charles Bowden, a meandering and disorganized collection of facts, soundbites and stories about the opaque world of Mexican drug cartels, barely makes that list. It does so not by virtue of its poetic style and profound obliqueness that reads like something out of McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, but by offering up a steady stream of fun Mexican drug trade trivia. Books about drug cartels generally don’t need a master stylist to make them interesting–they need a patient stenographer to put the stories and facts in one place. And Down by the River manages to do exactly that. If you’re into the drug violence erupting in Mexico but are hard up for answers, this book is for you.
Posted: January 21st, 2009