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Vlad's Daily Gloat


The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sashas...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Shwarma Shuttle Expo This hopped-up "Kopeika" Lada shows off its rubber-burning power to an awed provincial audience...
May 11, 2008 in eXile TV

He Loves Me ... He Loves Me Not ... He Loves Me! Why does this woman wear her shiner...
May 1, 2008 in Face Control

Punk Legend Yegor Letov Dies
Mark Ames ( Email ) on February 21, 2008

Yegor Letov, singer-songwriter for the legendary Omsk punk group Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Civil Defense), died of heart failure as we put our last issue to bed Tuesday night. He was 43 years old.

Russia's first and only real punk rocker

Punk may have started in New York and London, but the bravest spawn of all was Letov and his followers. When he began in the 1980s, Letov shunned the artsy irony of other anti-establishment bands in favor of raw violence and reckless confrontation against the blandness of the Soviet Union and the vapid optimism of Gorbachev's perestroika. He left every band and every dissident in the dust, and they never forgave him for it.

The first time I saw Grazhdanskaya Oborona play was just a couple of months after Yeltsin shelled his parliament and declared martial law. Actually I didn't see the concert because busloads of OMON troops arrived at the same time as we did. The concert was one of the first opposition gatherings in Moscow, and it quickly devolved into a riot. Cops fired shotguns and attacked bottle-throwing kids with batons, but the kids kept charging them, burning a tram and smashing windows. One punk would get his face broken and bloody, only to be dragged away by his friends, doused with cheap beer, then sent back charging against the line of OMON cops and to certain glorious doom...

One thing about Grazhdanskaya Oborona's teenie-punk fans is that they were always far braver and crazier than their poseur counterparts in the West. Letov himself was the incarnation of what Edward Limonov calls "Russian Maximalism:" the tendency to take things to their extreme. Perhaps that is why Letov and Limonov hooked up for awhile in Limonov's National-Bolshevik Party during the 1990s. While proto-punker Richard Hell confessed that he was afraid to wear his famous "Please Kill Me" t-shirt on the streets of mid-1970s New York, Letov and his followers were charging riot cops in a police state for the sheer life-affirming joy of it.

Letov was one of the great geniuses of Russian literature, and perhaps their last one, given today's hackneyed crop of Sorokins and Pelevins. Letov's art frightened the middlebrows and philistines both in Russia and in the West, leading to accusations that he was even a "fascist," that ol' favorite bogeyman for the dullest of philistine minds (such as this Soviet bureaucratic denunciation of Letov by Dora Apel). Get set now for a belated and nauseating appreciation of Yetor Letov, along with the usual tsk-tsk caveats about how he took things too far.

We'll have more about Letov in the next issue.

--Mark Ames

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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 Moscows 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
Feature Story By The eXile
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.

Your Letters
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
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
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
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
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: Hollywoods Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
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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