'The War Nerd'
| 'The War Nerd' |
Denver, Colorado, USA
Known for his outré and dark sense of humour, he discusses current wars and other military conflicts from the perspective of a "war fan".
John Dolan, writing under the pseudonym 'Gary Brecher' aka 'The War Nerd', is an American author and journalist. Known for his outré and dark sense of humour, which often is misinterpreted, the War Nerd gives a deeply informed analysis, discussing current wars and other military conflicts from the perspective of a "war fan".
'The War Nerd'
Dolan started writing the War Nerd columns when he was co-editor of the eXile, an avant-garde English speaking alternative media newspaper in Moscow. After the newspaper's license was revoked and he had to leave Russia, he was a regular contributor to NSFWCorp and then from 2013 to 2015 to PandoDaily, again both as Dolan and Brecher.
Dolan was born in Denver, Colorado in 1955. Dolan taught and studied at UC Berkeley, where he completed a PhD thesis on the literary works of the Marquis de Sade. He has published poems in many U.S. and New Zealand literary journals and his first collection won the Berkeley Poetry Prize in 1988.
In 1993, he moved to Dunedin, New Zealand, where he lectured at the University of Otago. During his time in Dunedin, Dolan contributed to the Otago literary journal Deep South. He is married to his former student, the author, reviewer, poet and essayist Katherine Liddy, a New Zealander 24 years his junior.
In 2001, Dolan resigned his academic post, and moved to Moscow to become co-editor of the eXile, a bi-weekly English-language publication based in the Russian city. He relocated to Canada to teach at the University of Victoria in Canada in 2006. He claims to have been fired for encouraging students to criticize British environmentalist George Monbiot in 2008.
Until spring 2010, Dolan was an associate professor of English composition and literature at the American University of Iraq - Sulaimani.
He subsequently taught English as a Second Language in Najran, Saudi Arabia, until he was fired for one of the War Nerd Articles, and shortly after from East Timor, where he was fired for writing an article on the Indonesian occupation of Timor. He has also been living in Europe, where he was finishing work on his retelling of The Iliad.
Victorian Britain carried out several of the biggest genocides in human history. It was also a high point of virtuous literature. Because they were smart about language. They didn’t rant about the evil of their victims or gloat about massacring them, at least not in their public writings. They wrote virtuous novels, virtuous poems. And left a body count which may well end up the biggest in world history. Open genocidal ranting is small-time stuff compared to the rhetorical nuke perfected by Victoria’s genocidaires: silence. The Victorian Empire was the high point of this technology, which is why it still gets a pass most of the time
How did this happen? Why is it still happening? What are the lessons for those studying literature, propaganda, and ideology? They’re very grim lessons, as it happens. While grad students comb texts for improper remarks, they miss the real point: the vast silence, and the paint-job of virtue that helps distract us. Silence, not Nazi-style boasting. That’s the key. We should be looking for omissions, not gaffes. Gaffes are for hicks like Hitler. Silence is the grown-up way to hide vast genocides.
It makes no sense. I’ll just say that right up front. The reason it doesn’t seem to make any sense is that it doesn’t. There are no secret reasons here, no top-security considerations that justify any of this. It’s corruption, pure and simple. The sooner you understand that the US defense industry has nothing at all to do with defending America, and everything to do with making Dick Cheney’s buddies even richer, the more quickly you’ll be able to understand what’s going on.
The F-35 is a crawling abortion from the JSF ("Joint Strike Fighter") program, which was supposed to produce a single aircraft that both USAF and USN could use, just like the F-4 Phantom...and we know how well that worked out.
If you promise not to laugh, I’ll explain the three services’ different demands for the F-35’s design. I swear to you, this is like the story of the Three Bears, if each bowl of porridge cost a trillion tax dollars. OK, here’s how it goes: The USAF wants the F-35A, a relatively straightforward model that can land on ordinary runways.
But that wasn’t good enough for the Marines, because they’re still in love with their bullshit Harrier jump-jet toys. So the USMC demanded that its version of the F-35, the F-35B, have the ability to hover like a helicopter and take off and land vertically, like those cute and totally useless Harriers from back in the day.
And then the Navy chimed in to demand that its version, the F-35C, be reconfigured to take off and land on aircraft carriers. That’s almost too perfect: A useless, hugely expensive aircraft designed to land on an even more useless and expensive surface vessel. It’s a good quick explanation on why everyone in America who isn’t a personal friend of Dick Cheney is having such a hard time right now.
Every one of these design variants imposes a cost on the basic design, which is why the F-35 looks like a General Motors product from the bad old days. 
A Quote by 'The War Nerd'
|Frederick Lugard||“Read the Wikipedia page on Frederick Lugard and you'd hardly know you were reading about one of the great monsters of history. There isn't even the inevitable Wiki "Notice of Quibbles" or whatever they call'em. The same Anglo academics who comb every Central European writer's works for suspect nouns completely fail to notice their own genocidal horrors. So far, only a few writers from the Subcontinent (Sen,Tharoor) and Africa (Achebe) have sliced through the Empire's post-mortem PR armor. The damn thing's been dead for decades and it still intimidates or bamboozles these American academics (with a few honorable exceptions like Caroline Elkins).”|
- The War Nerd Iliad (Paperback) – by John Dolan (Adapter). October 2, 2017. ISBN 978-1627310505.