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Made in Yugoslavia
By Vladimir Jokanovic

Translated by Zeljana Zovko and Cathy Porter
Picador, 2001

Ah, we’re already nostalgic for the little wars of the nineties, especially the colorful Balkan popups, with their quaint rituals and goofy flags. Remember those warm breezy days when the Balkans were popping with small-arms fire? Remember how avidly the lovable hairy villagers returned to their ancient customs, supressed by the commies? Remember those warmhearted village-to-village ambushes all day every day, except when the slivovitz hangovers made them sensitive to loud noises? It was a triumph of the human spirit, the way they nourished their village snobbery, kept it bubbling at throat-slitting temperature, through the dark years of Tito’s peace. (more…)

Posted: November 4th, 2001

The Opium Poppy

Three men convicted of producing the class B controlled drug opium were each jailed… In each man’s case Judge McDonald took two years’ jail as the starting point for sentence.

Otago Daily Times
(April 17, 2001)

It takes radio signals more than a decade to reach this offworld colony. (Something about the speed of light.) So, having lived through the eighties at Reagan’s ground zero, I get to live through them again out here. The worst of all Reagan’s horrors, the Drug War, is just hitting its stride here, even as it’s losing steam back in Vampire Central. Back there, even bloodsucking monsters like Henry Hyde are deciding they might have been a bit excessive in mandating the death penalty for anyone caught with a quarter-gram of powder. Hyde got a cameo role in Traffic and, like any red-blooded American, changed his convictions instantly in exchange for a bit part, a moment being petted poolside by a bevy of Malibu Stacies. A repellent tableau, certainly; but if that’s all it takes, why not find a bit part for every Republican drug warrior? Have Soros fund huge fake Hollywood parties for every slavering Phalangist in DC! Rent a few blondes, a cheesy Elks Hall, deck it out with limos and fake cameras! Stage an entire fake Academy Awards ceremony at which Hyde, Jesse Helms and Ashcroft are the leading contenders for Best Actor, nominated for their role in dueling anti-DEA epics! Let them make tearful acceptance speeches that go on for hours, if only they’ll stop sending harmless nerds to a lifetime as the maytag of D Block. (more…)

Posted: March 7th, 2001