Mankind's only alternative 21   MAR.   23  
Mankind's only alternative

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

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 Sasha’s...
May 15, 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

Blogs RSS feed

The War Nerd September 7, 2007
WAR NERD: Kamikaze Math
One plane for one carrier, and other lessons from Tojo’s Air Force By Gary Brecher Browse author Email

War is like it says in the Book of John: "In that house there are many mansions." And the best war mansions are the ones nobody ever visits - like old war paperbacks you find for 50 cents at storefront bookstores, the kind that smell like mould and make the rent on old porn mags.

That's where I found my current favourite book, I Was A Kamikaze, by Ryuji Nagatsuka.

I bought the book for two reasons: the title and the cover art. The cover art was like a letter from home for me, the kind of art they just don't do any more: a Zero zooming down toward a U.S. aircraft carrier. It's the details that make battle paintings so wonderful to look at, and this one had all the classics: the ragged AA holes in the Zero's tail flaps, the bigger gashes in the wing fabric, and the brown oil smoke trailing from the fuselage. If you're any kind of a man at all, you were once the kind of boy who used to trace those bullet holes with your fingertips while making little kaSHOO! noises from the AA shells zipping past. I know I used to spend hours lying in bed eating Oreos and looking at covers like this, trying to figure out whether this particular Kamikaze was going to hit his target or end up as a big waterspout, going down cursing like a Japanese Yosemite Sam just yards short of the U.S. flight deck.

"I Was a Kamikaze Squadron Mascot" by Kutize Puppy

And then there was the title. How can you not buy a book called I Was A Kamikaze? That is what they call in the communications business "A Grabber." Not to mention a riddle: whaddaya mean, I "WAS" a kamikaze? You don't see too many suicide bombers with their grandkids on their knee telling war stories.

Turns out Nagatsuka, the author, was a cadet pilot in the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force who survived the war because his unit's big mission was scrubbed on account of bad weather, and by the time they found enough fuel to try again, the war had ended. You'd think the pilots would have had a hard time pretending they were sincerely disappointed not to blow themselves up: "Gosh darn that pesky rain! I was so looking forward to being blown into teriyaki!" - but you'd be wrong. Nagtsuka is a diehard believer in the Imperial way of seeing things, and the way he tells it, he and his comrades really were sorry they didn't get to die.

Decline and fall: From kamikaze moms to neon tourists

That's the real fun of reading a book like this: soaking up the feel of a totally weird world. And they don't come much weirder than Japan, pre-1945. That world is gone, gone, gone. We totally gelded the Germans and the Japanese, turned them into shuffling tourists. That's why people are always doing "Boys from Brazil" books and movies about the revival of Nazism: because the fact is there's nothing as dead as the Nazis and Imperial Japan. Jurassic Park will happen before those dinosaurs come back.

Everybody should read books like this just to see how dirt-dull and namby-pamby our world is compared to the zoo of a world we had in the first half of the good ol' 20th century.

What we have now is a Nerf multi-culture, where people chow down on Japanese or Ethiopian or whatever food but make damn sure that the Japanese and Ethiopians and everyone else are turning into Ohioans as fast as we can squeeze them.

Ethiopian food not bombs: Africa's greatest warrior culture as yuppie party food

SHARE:  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Gary Brecher
Browse author
Email Gary at, but, more importantly, buy his book.

666: The Number Of The Bust :

Ukrainians In the Mist : Gorilla tactics in the campaign for Ukraine's highest office

Credit Nation On The Brink? : Blowing credit bubbles in Russia’s financial sector

20 Reasons Why We’re Ashamed To Be American :


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
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: Hollywood’s 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...


    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442