Brocialist Podcast Interviews Weird Twitter Personality Turned YPG Soldier, Results Are Surreal

Chapo Trap House is one of the more frustrating leftist entities on the internet. On the one hand, it’s one of the few listenable left-of-liberal podcasts, a kind of memed-out Slate Political Gabfest if the wonderful Emily Bazelon were the most conservative of the bunch and noted Bloomberg-worshipper David Plotz were finally sent to the gulag for which he is destined. On the other hand, Chapo’s loudest and most energetic voice, Felix Biederman, is an MMA enthusiast whose go-to pejoratives are “autist” and “low-T.” When he’s at his worst, Biederman’s rebarbative ethos can infect entire episodes. But he also seems to have read everything and is capable, at times, of genuine brilliance. The result is equal parts Dissent and 4chan.

Case in point: this bizarre and absolutely fucking riveting interview with Brace Belden, AKA Twitter’s @PissPigGranddad (current display name: LENIN_LOVER69), a socialist twitter personality who is really putting his labor vouchers where his mouth is. Belden is a former Bay Area florist and anti-Keillor activist who joined the YPG to fight ISIS and try to build a utopian state in Syrian Kurdistan. “It’s pretty much a Stalinist state,” Belden says, “which is fucking tight.” Chapo co-host Will Menaker is for the most part a thoughtful, well-prepared interviewer. Biederman, on the other hand, seems to short-circuit almost immediately, committing hard for the duration of the interview to a disastrous, tone deaf gag in which he pretends to conflate warfare and videogames.

BELDEN: There’s mostly mines out here. That’s the thing to watch out for. And mines fucking suck, man. Those things aren’t cool at all.
BIEDERMAN: Well, actually, I mean, I could give you a lot of advice. But on this specifically I can give you some pretty good advice. If you press the crawl button, which I think is either X, square, or if you’re on the XBOX it’s A, you can take the mine and put it in your inventory. But you have to crawl over it.
BELDEN: We actually have these sabotage squads that are mostly women, because their hands are smaller, but they do that, and it fucking sucks for them, man. It’s a dangerous job.

Menaker plays it straight for most of the interview, but he can’t help having a little fun of his own with his final question, which concerns Belden’s penchant for posing with stray puppies:

MENAKER: My last question for you is of course about the dogs in Syria. Are they good boys?
BELDEN: Oh, completely. There’s no such thing as a bad one. Incredibly good boys. The thing is that there are a lot of shepherds around here, and they just have like a shit ton of dogs, but now all the shepherds are dead, because pretty much everyone here is dead.

Fuck.

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