Mankind's only alternative 28   JAN.   23  
Mankind's only alternative
War Nerd RSS

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

Book Review October 16, 2003
Zhirik + Vanya 4 Ever
By John Dolan Browse author Email
Page 2 of 4
Of course, "as a citizen of Russia" marks the point at which Zhirinovskii returns to explicitly political rhetoric. But even this is delivered in grand Whitmanesque periods derived from Old Testament Jeremaiad:

"Vanya, it's bitter to me, very bitter, to see you, my boy, whose grandfathers and fathers created this great state; you, whose people went into space; today going to slaughter in the Caucasus like a sheep.

"The knife is at your throat! An ordinary kitchen knife. Or some kind of hunting knife. These beasts are cutting the Russian soldier's throat!"

He's a good poet, Zhirinovskii, when he bothers -- as he does in the first two or three pages of this pamphlet. He picks the right detail. Here it's that knife. First he goes out of his way to emphasize the humiliation in the Russian soldier being slaughtered with an ordinary kitchen knife. Then he switches suddenly to imply it's an alien, Caucasian, outlandish knife of some sort. He turns the helpless Russian soldier into a literal sheep sacrificed in some bloodsoaked Muslim rite -- a halal casualty. It also evokes the gruesome videos of Russian hostages getting beheaded by Chechen kidnappers in the period before the Second Chechen War.

Poor Vanya moves quickly through Zhirinovskii's wild sketches of various horrible fates: dying of fake vodka or enduring the shame of having his daughter, sister or wife passed from one lecherous foreigner to another, then watching helplessly as his country's assets are sold or simply stolen.

Zhirinovskii then makes the crucial promise, in one of many all-caps key assertions: "WE WILL MAKE THEM PAY FOR EVERYTHING."

You're thinking rivers of blood, but he's coy about that, at least here: "We will not take up the Kalashnikov. We will press a button, an Internet button, an audit button...."

I expected some plan of action to follow this invocation of righteous anger. But Zhirinovskii's next section is an autobiographical sketched called "A Boy was Born..." I remember Zhirinovskii doing something very similar in a TV commercial. Standing at the window of his childhood apartment, he leans against the glass and sighs, "Mama would cry...Mama was always crying."

Zhirinovskii presents himself as a permanently unhappy boy and man. I have to say, I liked that. It made for a nice change--a depressive politician who cites Dostoevskii and Tolstoy to prove that he had a right to be miserably unhappy as a child.

Little Zhirik (or did they call him "Zhidik"?) did not play well with others: "Children rarely like each other," he declares. He's a Russian child in Almaty, growing up among Central Asians and learning his Russian nationalism the hard way. In this version of his life, Zhirinovskii completely omits his "jurist" father. (For good reason, as we'll see when he gets to the Jewish Question.) In this version, he has no father at all: "Ah, Vanya, it's a heavy burden to be fatherless." Zhirinovskii has dropped his diction markedly for this confession. No more grand anaphoric series; this is more like a half-drunken monologue. But he's very good at keeping the self-pity modulated. After all, a Russian boy born in 1946 was very likely to be fatherless. In Podrostok Savyenko, Limonov recounts his shame at NOT being fatherless -- being, rather, the only boy in his building whose father had committed the morally dubious act of surviving the war. It's as modest a claim to woe as, say, being a child of divorce in contemporary America.

So Zhirinovskii's careful not to overdo it. In fact, he's after bigger game, quickly shifting from his actual, absent father to Stalin as "father of the nation," and the contending claims of Rurik and Nikolai II to national paternity.

All harmless enough, I thought, if rather dull.

And then, very suddenly, he veers suddenly to a savage, stupid screech that contaminates the whole text, a paranoiac diatribe against -- you guessed it--the Jews. I shouldn't've been shocked, but I was. It was just plain gross.

SHARE:  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit

Browse author

Moscow Nitelife Roundup :
Will you be her pension?
Diktionary : eXile word of the day
Putin is a Gangster
The Economist: The World’s Sleaziest Magazine :

Going Postal :


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