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Unfiled March 20, 2003
Prince of Parasites: the Guinea Worm
Page 2 of 2
The God of Pain must have chuckled himself sick when he finished designing this creature. There was no way for pre-20th-c. cultures to begin to guess where the infection started, let alone how to stop it. For a thousand human generations, the worms prospered while their hosts screamed in pain and horror.

Best of all, the Worm could reinfect a host every year -- because, though agonizingly painful, the parasite isn't usually fatal. It's exactly the sort of thing Schopenhauer's evil Creator-God would have relished: a perpetual pain-machine, completely self-sufficient, reseeding itself more and more widely every time another wretched African wife, slave or concubine limped to the stagnant village pond to draw water for her master. A beating awaits her when she arrives, because the pain of the swollen worm-hole makes it hard to walk and she takes longer than her master/husband considers acceptable. Besides, the worm protruding from her leg has made her repulsive to him, and the entire village attributes her misfortune to some unspecified misconduct.

But the Pain God is fair, in his Hellish manner: her pain will soon be shared by her Master and the rest of the clan, because the water she carries contains millions of water-fleas, each of which swarms with the larvae of the Worm. In a few minutes, the little parasites will be wriggling into her family's bellies, preparing to burst the skin and spew more horror on the world.

"God's plan"? Why, God's plan is obvious in this simple scene of African village life. God's plan is exactly as Schopenhauer described it: carefully-engineered pain machines, self-sustaining, spreading ever wider and deeper through the world. In this sense, the Guinea Worm doesn't "call God's plan into question"; the Worm is the very incarnation of God's plan.

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
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Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

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Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
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eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
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Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
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Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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