Pando

Introducing the War Nerd Wednesday podcast

In addition to reading The War Nerd's columns on Pando, you can support his Patreon radio show

By Mark Ames , written on August 19, 2015

From The The War Nerd Desk

For years now, fans of The War Nerd have been banging on my e-door—and anyone else’s who’ll listen—demanding some way they can directly support the Nerd’s work.

You’d think we’d’ve done this long ago, come up with that way. But the thing about the War Nerd is that he’s the Real Deal. Not one of those phony hyper-professional war entrepreneurs who long ago figured out how to monetize his slick pseudo-knowledge about the world of war. The War Nerd, aka Gary Brecher (aka John Dolan) has spent far too much of his life deep inside library books and old magazines on wars and battles, hardware and histories, to turn it into a business for himself.

That authenticity makes for great reading, as we all know. But as we glean every now and then from the War Nerd’s painful, not-really-picaresque globe-hopping, living out that authenticity is not much fun in the first person. Fun for us to read; miserable and scary for him to experience. An authentic war nerd’s life can drain a man; it can kill you, slowly but surely. 

Which none of us would care about much, except that that the War Nerd is hands-down the most enjoyable, smartest, funniest, and deadliest writer in the English language today.

Now you have two ways of supporting the War Nerd: Becoming a member of Pando, which is supporting the War Nerd’s day job, where his columns have and will continue to run regularly every month. And directly, by subscribing to the new (independent of Pando) Radio War Nerd podcast that we’re launching today on Patreon.

I’m joining the War Nerd, proud to be his second banana, his Johnny LeRue as it were. We’ve known each other—the War Nerd and I— going on, well, more years than either of us care to divulge. That makes it easier for us to talk about what we like best, and what the War Nerd knows better than anyone in the written language: War. 

And now, I turn it over to The War Nerd...

Well, I’m back in the world, the part of it that has Internet.

First, I want to thank everyone who responded to my squeal of terror from Timor (which means terror, as a classics-trained reader told me) with offers of support. Mark Ames and I have been talking about how to offer you a regular, reliable way to get War Nerd live updates, on top of my regular War Nerd columns for Pando. 

We decided to keep it simple and revive the War Nerd Wednesdays audio show. And we have a name for it: “Radio War Nerd”. Nothing fancy; just the wars, ma’am. It’ll run on your donations, like all guerrilla campaigns. (Although unlike all guerrilla finances, your support really is voluntary, not “voluntary” or else.)

So, starting on August 19th, Mark and I will be discussing the latest organized carnage on the air, dissecting and riffing upon all the world’s wars with you. We’ll start the show off biweekly, and all you volunteers who donate to the Cause will receive regular War Nerd intelligence dispatches in your Inbox. This project is totally independent of Pando so it depends completely on you to arm & equip Radio War Nerd. As I said, I’ll still be filing regular long-form columns at Pando, just about the only thing keeping me alive at this point. But the good folks at Pando, Paul and Sarah, have given Mark and me the green light to spin off a separate, regular War Nerd audio show. And that’s just what we’ll do, with your help.

We’re still working on the format, but we want to find a way to give everybody the chance to join the blather. Today’s wars are too weird, numerous, and hilarious to cover only in print form. You also need to talk back at them as they bubble up. That’s what we have in mind: an hour of “interactive” (gotta use that word), disrespectful analysis, with the occasional inappropriate joke.

We’re gonna start out doing this every two weeks. If resources allow, we’ll do more. That’s where you volunteers for duty come in. It’s not like there’s a shortage of grotesque hilarity; we could do it two hours a day if we had the stamina and free time. And the means. We’ll come up with a support plan soon. There’s a lot of math and such to consider. 

For now, you have been warned: We’re back.