Don’t Fear the Military Technothriller
An award-winning short story by a top U.S. Navy intelligence officer serves as a thinly-veiled warning. The Navy, and the country it serves, must better prepare for war with China. And if they don’t, America will lose aircraft carriers, destroyers, presumably thousands of sailors … and the war. Capt.... Read more
This 1964 Swiss Army Propaganda Film Got an Oscar Nod
Dutch director John Fernhout’s short film Wehrhafte Schweiz — that’s Fortified Switzerland in English — is a magnificent depiction of the Swiss armed forces in action in the early 1960s. Filmed at a cost of between one and three million Swiss Francs, the 20-minute-long film features the combined arms... Read more
‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ and the End of the New Left
It’s 1899 in America and the West is dying. Cowboys, rustlers and outlaws of all types are falling to the thresher of progress and westward expansion. Federal law enforcement isn’t yet a thing, but agents for the Pinkerton detective agency are hunting the remnants of America’s criminal gangs to... Read more
No Nazi Zombie Movie Should Be as Boring as ‘Overlord’ Is
Nazis and the occult are like peas and carrots—they just go well together. From Return to Castle Wolfenstein to Dead Snow, there’s a grand tradition of the undead Third Reich trampling through American pop culture. There’s been multiple movies about Nazi zombies, but none with as high a budget... Read more
Nuclear Arms Control as Metaphor in ‘The Expanse’
This post contains spoilers for all three seasons of The Expanse. The United States pulled out of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and kicked off a new nuclear arms race. America and Russia are modernizing their arsenals by reducing the number of warheads and reshaping what remains into far more... Read more
Video Games Have Always Trivialized Violence and ‘Fallout 76’ Is No Different
The world established in the video game series Fallout isn’t one any of us would want to live in. In an alternate timeline where the 1950s never ended and nuclear technology took prominence over miniaturized electronics, China and America fought a great war that ended in nuclear hellfire. It’s... Read more
‘Assassination Nation’ Digs Up the Roots of America’s Second Civil War
Teenage girls catch a lot of shit today. Turn on YouTube, go see a hacky comedian, or read any number of blogs and you’ll turn up a bunch of bad opinions about how teenage girls are the patient zero of modern society’s perceived narcissism epidemic. Men with fedoras swirl... Read more
See the Beautiful Stained Glass at the U.S. Air Force’s Mushroom Cloud Chapel
This story originally appeared on Sept. 14, 2014. Glass has a curious relationship with nuclear energy. That’s why it’s fitting to find a stained-glass depiction of a mushroom cloud in a U.S. Air Force chapel. The Strategic Air Command Chapel at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska, is... Read more
‘The ‘Stan’ Is a Collection of Short Comics About a Long War
There was a time, around 2013 or so, that I secretly worried that the Afghanistan war might end. Yeah, that’s an odd concern for a political liberal and self-avowed pacifist. One who, to boot, had by that time been a war correspondent for eight long years in conflict zones... Read more
‘Peppermint’ Is the Shittiest Punisher Movie I’ve Ever Seen
In 2012, Thomas Jane starred in Dirty Laundry—a 10-minute short film where he played Frank Castle, the Punisher, and brutalized criminals with a Jack Daniels bottle. It’s fun. This was a full eight years after Jane had played Castle in a pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe version of The Punisher. The... Read more
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