In Praise of Vice Magazine: Round 2

If you thought my love affair with VICE Magazine was over, think again. Here’s another round of captivating stories by them:

How to Sell Drugs

“Ever wonder how to sell $100,000 worth of drugs in a week? We learned the secrets of the biggest drug dealer in NYC – a man who will deliver any substance you want, 24/7. He told us everything – from where he gets his drugs to how his crew operates. Come with us as we take a rare look into the dangerous life of a NYC drug delivery-man.”

Journalists vs. Hezbollah Fighters in Paintball

A group of Western journalists arranged a paintball game with a group of Hezbollah fighters in an effort to know their subject better. Unfortunately for the journalists, the game soon becomes more than just a game for the Hezbollah fighters.

We figured they’d cheat; they were Hezbollah, after all. But none of us-a team of four Western journalists-thought we’d be dodging military-grade flash bangs when we initiated this “friendly” paintball match.

The battle takes place underground in a grungy, bunker-like basement underneath a Beirut strip mall. When the grenades go off it’s like being caught out in a ferocious thunderstorm: blinding flashes of hot white light, blasts of sound that reverberate deep inside my ears.

As my eyesight returns and readjusts to the dim arena light, I poke out from my position behind a low cinder-block wall. Two large men in green jumpsuits are bearing down on me. I have them right in my sights, but they seem unfazed — even as I open fire from close range, peppering each with several clear, obvious hits. I expect them to freeze, maybe even acknowledge that this softie American journalist handily overcame their flash-bang trickery and knocked them out of the game. Perhaps they’ll even smile and pat me on the back as they walk off the playing field in a display of good sportsmanship (after cheating, of course).

Instead, they shoot me three times, point-blank, right in the groin.

Did the journos think Hezbollah hadn’t played paintball or fought in a combat zone before?

Pakistan’s Real Life Superhero

“Meet Pakistan’s most-principled patriarch, Abdul Sattar Edhi. He feeds the hungry, cares for the sick, and defies the Taliban, bringing a message of love and peace to Karachi. When we were filming The Vice Guide to Karachi, things kept taking one dark turn after another, but when we met Edhi, one of Pakistan’s living legends, he managed to give us hope.”

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