Anybody who is in touch with the podcast scene will no doubt have heard of Chapo Trap House, one of the most popular politics podcasts making waves on your local Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes or any other music sharing website. Founded by Will Menaker, Matt Christman, Felix Biederman, Amber A’Lee Frost and Virgil Texas, the podcast started on March 12, 2016 when their first podcast was released and as of now there are 261 episodes, with every other episode being released on their official Patreon page. They now have even published their own book, “The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason.” What makes Chapo Trap House different from every other left-leaning podcast out there on the digital sea is that this show represents what the show hosts refer to as “the dirtbag left.” What does that mean in practice? It means that the show gives biting social commentary about modern American socio-politics and satirizes liberals, conservatives, Trump, the military-industrial complex, Wall Street capitalists and the far-right, all from a socialist perspective.
When listening to the Chapo Gang, it’s hard not to laugh at their satirical take on “enlightened centrists” on one hand and then Elon Musk on the other. Their razor sharp wit mixed with vulgar language comes off as crude and maybe even goes too far to some listeners, but despite all of that, it’s hard not to laugh along with them. When they are not lampooning someone or something in their episodes, they also try to give a take on American politics that maybe some Americans feel, but nobody that they know or know of can properly articulate. They express ideas of Americans’ frustrations of being marginalized, the mediocre state of the jobs market, out-of-touch politicians, the hoarding of wealth by only a small percentage of Americans, the lack of proper healthcare for many, the staggering amount of money in politics, school shootings every year and many more ideas that are weighing on the minds of many Americans. It’s this expression of deep-seated frustration with the current status-quo that Chapo Trap House presents and then frames from a perspective that has not been properly expressed in traditional media of network television or major newspaper or magazine publications.
With an audience that is growing with every new episode being approached by more mainstream news outlets for interviews and now out with their own book, the Chapo Trap House presents a mix of hilarious social and political satire that is insightful, witty, thought-provoking, original and worth listening to.
Kelly Baker is a fourth-year student majoring in English writing with minors in journalism and film criticism. KB819687@wcupa.edu