(Lately we’ve been hearing a lot of crazy talk about a “nuclear-free world.” So what better time than now to rerun an eXile classic by Dr. Dolan–an elegy penned before its time, to the nuclear winter which never arrived, and now is gone forever. Amen.)
There are no nihilists — but suppose there were. What would they say?
Once you dare to consider this question, the answer seems obvious: if there were any real nihilists, they would praise nuclear weapons as the means to bring an end to the world via nuclear winter. They would sing hymns to the warheads, seeing in them the first weapon we have ever obtained against the universe which has brought us into being to suffer and die. Even if these imaginary nihilists were too squeamish to advocate nuclear winter outright, they would be compelled to praise nuclear winter as the first real CHOICE any organism has ever had about whether to continue in the fated cycle of birth, pain, and death. (more…)
“If you’re going to talk truthfully about the world, you might as well start with the bottom line: killing people in your way.” Listen to the first episode of our new eXiled Radio hosted by John Dolan. In this premiere, Dolan strolls around the 20th century’s great killing fields with Philip Short, author ofMao: A Lifeand Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare.
Most Recent Photograph of That Guy That Plath Popped Out
(bottom right; circa 1962)
Sylvia Plath’s son died yesterday. That’s how it was reported, even by the BBC. The dead man’s name was Nicholas Hughes, not Plath, but in death we learn which parent really mattered. For the record, he was also the son of a poet far greater than Plath, a man named Ted Hughes.
Hughes has been snubbed and despised for most of my lifetime, on both sides of the Atlantic. The American response is typically simple-minded and moralistic: “He killed poor Sylvia!” The British scorn for Hughes is (also typically) bitchy and disingenuous. But the result has been a boycott of serious appreciation of his work throughout the English-speaking world, and so powerful in England that they’re willing to lose the services of the best man on their team rather than give Hughes his due, while cheering their cheesiest and most worthless literary lights, like the pitifully untalented W. H. Auden. (more…)
That was how he died, Professor Robert Beloof, my first mentor: crushed by a hippie van.
In Portland, yet. It was a ridiculous way to die, and Beloof was, let’s face it, a ridiculous man. But it was also a very uncanny, fey manner of death for a Berkeley professor made and broken by the hippie era. You almost want to say something pompous, like “We were all run over by that VW van,” carve that on the headstone of the whole place. (more…)
It was 11:00 am on Saturday morning when I woke up and jumped out of bed in panic. I realized that the night before, I had parked my car in a 2-hour parking zone around the corner from my house. I ran outside barefoot, in a rumpled T-shirt and boxer shorts. But I was too late. A neat white envelope stuck out from underneath a wiper blade. I missed the fucker by only a few minutes and was busy cursing my bad luck under my morning breath and looking around for the meter maid when I heard a voice at my shoulder. “I’m too much of a pussy, but if I had the guts, I’d block out all the personal information on the tickets I get, wrap them around a rock and break a window in some city government building. That way, these assholes know exactly what my money is going to be used for. Repairing that busted window,” a neighbor of mine said with hate in his eyes, and then bent down to scoop up his pit bull’s steaming pile of shit. (more…)
In this slight, self-indulgent memoir, Bill O’Reilly tells us how he got so “bold” and “fresh.” A humble man, he attributes his success to his own innate greatness, with honorable mention going to his solidly rock-headed upbringing in Levittown, N.Y. For all his generous praise of Levittown, O’Reilly is very clear that most of the credit should go to himself: “Looking back, the reason I have succeeded in life is that I relied on myself.”
Today’s question comes from an anonymous reader with political ambitions. Send in your own questions, concerns and worries to email@example.com. Team eXiled is here to help.
I’ve been reading with great interest Dr. John Dolan’s and Yasha Levine’s articles concerning drugs, and I’d like your learned advice.
I’m starting my career in politics, not because I follow an ideology or because it’s my calling, but simply because I’m lazy and it’s a far better to be a parasite in an assembly or parliament than to be a office slave.(more…)
Yea, the Lord has heard thine prayers, and He, in His infinite Sadism, has answered thee: back on sale, newly printed up, is the record of The eXile’s early beginnings. It’s The eXile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia (Grove), first published in 2000. Click the cover to order it through amazon, or order buy it from your favorite overpriced neighborhood bookseller. (more…)
Yasha Levine is the former editor of The eXile and founding editor of The eXiled. Levine’s articles have appeared in Wired, Slate, Penthouse, Time magazine and elsewhere. Levine currently lives in a trailer home in Victorville, California, with his two guns, and is currently working on a book.
Gary Brecher writes the “War Nerd” column. Brecher has been published in The American Conservative and Alternet, and is the author of the book “The War Nerd.” Brecher has been cited on FoxNews, and was once accused by neocon historian Victor Davis Hanson—guru to Dick Cheney and “Scooter” Libby—of setting fire to Hanson’s vineyards. Brecher has been interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio and on Chuck Mertz’s “This Is Hell” radio show. He lives in Fresno, California.
Eileen Jones is the world’s greatest movie reviewer. She teaches film theory at UC Berkeley.
John Dolan, who taught The eXile editors how to write, is the author of Pleasant Hell, along with several books of poetry and a book about the ruthless Darwinian struggle for fame among 18th century England’s poets, “Poetic Occasion from Milton to Wordsworth.”
I saw a jet trail in the sky this morning and wondered why there aren’t so many of them any more. And instantly started grinding through the useless, absorbing little inquisitions that keep the mind from wasting its time on lesser matters like making a living. I’ve learned to be wary of the first, natural hypothesis of any 53-year old mammal’s brain, which is simply that the world is going to Hell, damn it. I’ve learned to squint around that little mental cataract and formulate slightly more rigorous options, little lists of possible responses like the heads-up display that leads the Terminator to choose “Fuck you, asshole.” Standing at the top of the alley, the dog sniffing the weeds beside me, I came up with three quick possibilities for the scarcity of jet trails:
1. Jet trails must be some sort of condensation of hot exhaust in cold air; so, because of global warming, the outer air isn’t as cold so condensation doesn’t form.
2. Better engines and jet fuel mixes mean less exhaust; hence, fewer jet trails.
3. There are as many jet trails as ever, idiot. You’re just getting old and whiney: “When I was a boy, there were jet trails so thick the woolly mammoths used to trip over them….” Shut up and keep walking. (more…)
Hezbollah explains ‘Arab Spring’ to residents of West Beirut
Now that the Beijing games have wound up, we can get on to a sporting event with real significance: a Neocon Olympics to decide the most grossly wrong, stupid prediction by a Neocon pundit post-Iraq. Of course, it’s a very rich field. Being totally wrong about absolutely everything is the Neocons’ job, and they’ve been working overtime on it. Their proudest moment had to be in the lead-up to the Iraq war when Kenneth Adelmanassured America that democratizing Iraq would be “a cakewalk.” Indeed, early Neocons like Adelman and Richard Perle (who predicted that Iraq would settle down “at the first whiff of gunpowder”) set the bar for disastrously wrong predictions so high that some have suggested that the trophy be retired in their honor. (more…)
One month ago, our newspaper The eXile got stomped into extinction by some ham-fisted Russian government officials, who decided that since there’s a new president in the Kremlin who’s talking up some nonsense about a new “liberal era,” what better way to show your boss that you understand what he means by “liberal”—with a big wink-wink—than to shut down the only good thing that Russia (more…)
One of the great mysteries of the twentieth century was the way Britain got away with pillaging nearly every country on the planet without suffering any retribution. I’ve spent a long, bitter time brooding over this experimental proof that there’s no such thing as karma. But karma takes hard work. As Caroline Elkins’s bravely revealas, covering up the slaughter of some 300,000 ethnic Kikuyu of Kenya, the torture of hundreds of thousands more, and the internment of the entire Kikuyu population, in mid-20th-century Kenya could be hidden by doing one simple thing: burning all the evidence. (more…)
First, a public confession: as several readers pointed out, I made a disgraceful error in my article “Frey’s Fall” (eXile #230), when I mis-identified Ralph Wiggum as “Ralph Wiggins.” There is, of course, no “Wiggins” in the Simpsons. There can be no excuse for this sort of failure. The only question is deciding my punishment. If I were a Frey-sized target, we could ask Oprah to have me on, so she could spit in my face in front of a live audience. But as many Frey fans were at pains to remind me, I don’t deserve an honor like that, because I’ll never sell enough books to merit Oprah’s spittle. (more…)
Christopher Hitchens is out to save America. He’s brought the cross of St. George–Orwell, that is–along on the crusade. He’s everywhere in the American media lately, lending his accent and vast self-importance to the cause of Freedom.
You might wonder why imports like Hitchens are center-stage in the U.S. these days. You’d think a country of 300 million could find somebody to make a coherent case for the war in Iraq. But you’d be wrong. Ever hear ‘em try? Bush sounds like an Okie fruit picker on glue; Cheney mumbles like a hanging judge at the end of a long day; and Rove, their PR chief, won’t talk on mic because he knows he’d come across like the scoutmaster trying to explain why he had to share a tent with your son. We’re hopeless. (more…)
This article was first published in The eXile in September 2005.
A funny thing happened while I was surfing rightwing sites like Free Republic and Little Green Footballs this week: I discovered that Mark Steyn, the world’s only warmongering Canadian journalist, has actually managed to fool the gullible readers of these blogs. And there are thousands of these right-wing blogs, all featuring grumpy-looking bald eagles, 3-d American flags and Christian dating services — into accepting him as an American patriot.
I guess I should explain first what I was doing dipping into ideological porn like FR and LGF. First of all, I like to look at these sites when things are going badly for the Right. I like to watch them writhe, and they’ve been writhing very nicely lately.
Besides, I used to be one of those people. Yep, I was an American patriot back in the 90s. That’s how I first encountered Steyn. He was the author of one of the most viciously anti-American articles ever written: an article so steeped in America-hatred that I actually got involved in a letter-writing campaign against Steyn almost a decade ago. His article was first published in London’s Sunday Times in August 1996. The title will give you an idea of the tone of this little gem: “Welcome to the United States of Losers and Bozos.”
Mark Steyn: neo-con Hobbit
The article started by mocking the US authorities’ bumbling response to the bombing in Atlanta: “Federal agents are not discreet. They run around in fancy combat gear, they yell ‘Go, go, go, go, go,’ and they attract a lot of attention…The evidence suggests they have more than enough [power and money], but that they don’t know how to use them.”
Could this possibly be the same Mark Steyn who joined the big homoerotic swoon for men in uniform after 9/11? Just listen to the new Steyn going all gooey about America the Beautiful in the column “Primal,” published right after September 22, 2001:
“If you want a word for the mood of this immediate aftermath, try ‘primal’. In a feminized culture, guys were back — big burly firemen evoking Iwo Jima and raising the flag atop the ruins of the World Trade Center. Watching tanks rumble down the street, Manhattanites were amazed to discover that the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue really is an armoury, and not just, as it is to most New Yorkers these days, a heritage site you can rent for art and antique shows. On the steps of the Capitol, members of Congress broke into a spontaneous performance of ‘God Bless America’. ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is about an historic event, ‘America The Beautiful’ is about the topography, but, when it comes to the nation, Irving Berlin said it simplest and said it best: ‘God Bless America, Land that I love.’”
Sorry, Steyn, but uh…could you stop lying? You don’t love America. You hate America as only an Anglophile Canadian Tory can. And as Steyn’s 1996 Atlanta article revealed, his hate isn’t restricted to a few scapegoats; he hates ordinary Americans with a special rancor:
“[In] Atlanta…Incredibly fit people on steroids were cheered by incredibly fat people on cheeseburgers, and delighted by this arrangement, the Games’ sponsors — the purveyors of Coke and Big Macs and other performance de-enhancing products — maintain an iron grip.”
What’s this? Not only does Steyn use the “fat stupid American” cliche favored by Old Europe social-democrats, but he denounces corporate sponsorship like a Belgian Maoist.
Worse yet, he actually equates American enterprise with terrorism: “The ads for Nike and other products offer obnoxious, aggressive sportsmen opining, for example, that there’s no such thing as ‘winning silver’…In their advocacy of total war, winning at any price, the end justifying the means, the philosophy of the commercials is virtually indistinguishable from your average terrorist group’s credo.”
Whoa, Markie! Did you actually SAY that? My, my, what will your fans at Free Republic and Little Green Footballs say when they find out you actually equated America’s drive to be Number One in sports with Al Qaeda?
Steyn is so consumed with hate that he even makes fun of the name of the woman killed in the Atlanta Olympic bombing: “It’s as if the unfolding events in Georgia were no different from the networks’ moronic daytime soap operas…Alice Hawthorne, whose death in Atlanta provided such an exciting plot twist to CBS, named both her younger daughter, Fallon, and her thriving business, Fallon’s Ice Cream and Hot Dog Stand, after a character in Dynasty.”
Ha ha, those black people have such funny names, huh?
So much for compassion for the victims of terrorism, one of the major planks of Steyn’s post 9/ll reinvention of himself as American patriot.
Steyn’s rant ends with one of the nastiest displays of sheer joy at America’s humiliation you’ll ever find. Not content to gloat over the Atlanta bombing, he drags in Oklahoma City and even the JFK assassination as proof of America’s stupidity:
“Forget the militia, the ayatollahs, Colonel Gaddafi, the only conspiracy that fits is a conspiracy of dunces, of boners and losers and no-hopers. At Atlanta, Oklahoma City, all the way back to that prototype bozo in the Dallas Book Depository three decades ago…That’s the humiliation of Atlanta: in front of the Russians and Chinese, the Cubans and Bosnians, they blew it, and they blew it not to professionals, but to some two-bit punk with a homemade pipe bomb.”
Whoo! It’s not every day you find hatred that vicious. Even America’s worst enemies didn’t gloat outright over the killing of JFK and the slaughter of day-care kids in Oklahoma City. But there’s Steyn not only celebrating America’s worst hours but rubbing it in by reminding us that it happened in front of all our avowed enemies: the Russians, Cubans and Chinese.
Steyn’s Atlanta rant was written for a British audience and first appeared in the Telegraph, favorite reading of bitter old Tories. It was reprinted in a New Zealand newspaper, the Sunday Star-Times, where I read it on August 11, 1996. Though I can’t claim to be a noisy American patriot like you Steyn fans, I was angry enough to write a letter to the Telegraph. I took some time composing it; it was designed to inculcate a healthy humility in any British readers tempted to join in Steyn’s protracted gloat. I remember my letter pretty much word-for-word:
“I was surprised to find Mark Steyn’s crowing over the Atlanta bomb in a British newspaper, given the way IRA bombers have been able to attack British cities with utter impunity. As clumsy as the Americans may have been at Atlanta, they have yet to see their great cities flattened by the underclass of their most benighted province. To witness a security failure on that scale, one must look to Britain. Therefore one might have expected British journalists to react to the Atlanta bombing with compassionate humility, rather than Steyn’s shrill gloating.”
That letter got quite a reaction. Every constipated retired colonel and thwarted Vicar’s sister from Dover to York took pen in hand to curse me, my country, and my nonexistent progeny. And since the only address they had for me was the NZ university where I was teaching, all that hastily-scrawled hate mail came through the department secretary.
Most of my correspondents confined their abuse to the letters, but some slipped unflattering epithets into the address on the envelope. It got so bad that the secretary started wincing when she handed me my mail. Several of the letters were suspiciously bulgy. I never opened those at all; whatever those people were sending me, I was pretty sure I didn’t want it.
And now here’s Mister Steyn, all famous and rich telling Americans how much he loves their fat, stupid asses. It’s been a very lucrative lie for him. No doubt he only reveals his true hatred for our country to a few safe friends, after a few drinks. The land that he doesn’t love has made him famous; how satisfying it must be for Steyn to reflect that, in their utterly gullible, naive acceptance of his false flattery, “the United States of Losers and Bozos” has revealed itself to be every bit as stupid as he suspected.
This article was first published in The eXile in September 2005.
James Frey is a liar. A bad one. And hugely successful.
You can discover just how bad a liar he is by reading his second novel, My Friend Leonard. And you can hear all about Frey’s latest successes on his website, which he has christened, with typical modesty, Big Jim Industries
Longtime eXile fans may remember that I wrote a less-than-flattering review of Frey’s first novel, A Million Little Pieces. Frey’s site actually includes a very funny exchange among his fans about my review. (You can find it under the heading “A Million Pieces of Shit” under “Messages.) (more…)
When I watched the second Addams Family movie, I knew there’d be a “blockbuster biography” of Mao coming soon. The key scene comes as the Addams are trying to decide what to name their baby. Rejecting other, overexposed dictators like Stalin and Hitler, they pick “Mao.”
That was it, the writing on the sten-gazeta: time for some enterprising literary entrepreneur to grind out a big fat book showing us all what a monster the Great Helmsman really was.
Even so, it’s a shock to see how mechanically Jung Chang and her husband, Jon Halliday, have carried out their assignment — and how eagerly the reviewers have endorsed the product. Every critic from Santa Barbara to Glasgow has joined the “Down with Mao!” chant, waving this big green book in an elbow-destroying parody of the Red Guards who used to whack capitalist roaders with Mao’s little red one. (more…)
This article was originally published in The eXile on November 13, 2002.
No, we’ve been censored, by, of all people, David Johnson, a squeamish Quaker who runs the once-highly-influential Johnson’s Russia List… acting on the orders of his sponsor, a Democrat Party wonk and Stanford professor whose dedication to promoting democracy in the former Soviet Union is matched only by his relentless four-year campaign to censor and marginalize the eXile.
Johnson hadn’t posted an eXile article in months. I didn’t pay attention because his list isn’t important to us the way it used to be. The JRL has fallen into relative obscurity (it seems he begins at least one mailing a month with a pleading note like “Is this too much?” or “Any comments?” or “Would appreciate some feedback from JRL recipients”) and our newspaper is less focused on Russia than a few years ago. But recently I noticed that even our Russia pieces weren’t making it onto the list. That seemed wrong. I wanted to find out. (more…)
I‘m a harasser. Put the cuffs on me; I harassed the working class. And it wasn’t even fun. It’s not like I groped some factory girl as she leaned over a sweaty sewing machine. That would have been a harassment worth risking. All I did was post an email reply to a “Call for Papers” on the work of “Jim Daniel, Working-Class Poet.” (more…)
I can tell you God’s plan for this place very concisely: God created this place as a critique of me.
- John Dolan
I hate this time of the year. Being stuck in the Moscow heat is like unpaid overtime work. Have I mentioned how much I sweat? It’s bad, and it’s ready to come back. Like Mike from last issue’s Tipper’s Tips, any being that has had the misfortune of having my Moroccan torso pumping away on top of them has had to endure gutter drains of sweat… What a sight I must make! I’d hate to have me on top of me! Looking up at me! How many times have I heard:
Last Sunday I was grumbling about how there are so many great books about war and not that many great war movies. That got a lot of readers lobbing in their suggestions for good war movies. One reminded me that…
Today’s Civil War Caturday (by the way, that’s pronounced “Kivil War Katurday”), right in the middle of Easter. Got me thinking about my religion, if I have one now, and I realized I do, kind of: The Monitor and the…
Seems like I ought to do something religious today, so I picked a battle from the the ultimate military expression of religious devotion: The Thirty Years War (1618-1648), Europe’s way of debating the Catholic vs. Protestant thing by counting corpses.
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?