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A critique on culture contesting celebrities’ fragile claims of abuse to technocrates’ mirky intentions, the podcast Red Scare has been called “gleefully offensive” (The Telegraph)  led by “the podcast world’s laziest provocateurs” (Jezebel). Anna Khachiyan and Dasha Nekrasova, the show’s two Russian millennial immigrant hosts, speak freely on whatever comes up on the docket carving out a disparate ditch within cultural discourse and ignoring a younger generation's aggressive call to self censorship and language regulation. The girls use their banter to amplify what the mainstream corporate media suppresses. A twenty four hour news cycle knows it cannot hold the viewer's attention on facts alone and so the broadcast of information gives way to poor theater regurgitated in split screen spats and soundbytes with the network’s integrity at the mercy of large corporations’ brand outcomes. A real dystopian kind of chill. 


The girls make no apologies with their viewpoints or language and so whatever offense a listener may feel, they’ll have to unpack that for themselves. Scapegoat semi public figures in the guise of culturally informed and fashionable downtown New York City gals, the girls simply don’t comply with that younger generation’s constitution and perhaps it’s their deliberate refusal that has generated them a large fanbase. Among that fanbase, young gay men. Both as the girl’s friends who sometimes make an appearance to discuss fashion and other topics, but also as caller-ins during the show’s loveline episodes. It doesn't seem to bother this homosexual sect of their fanbase that the girls make frequent use of the term “faggot” or often refer to gross events as “being gay”. 


This reminds me of the once highly contentious relationship Azelia Banks had with her public. She too has made use of the word “faggot” and although I wont belabor her much publicized controversy, it is curious that her gay fanbase had an underpar response to the expected conveyorbelt dose of cancellation. Her shot at mainstream success was essentially over. But is Banks the type of artist and are Nekrasova and Khachiyan the type of figures poised for mainstream success? Hard to tell with the girls but the pod has room to grow. 


I attended a Bank’s show in the summer of 2018 after she had already received much backlash for her homophobic chops. A line to get into the concert had wrapped the block and was descending into a parking garage when I noticed that my friends and I were not the only queens who showed up. The entire audience was a bunch of disaffected sissies. Peculiar because we were supposed to have all canceled her by then. What the hysteria of outrage culture seemed to misunderstand regarding Bank’s pejoratives is gays and heterosexual women already have a specific mutually beneficial relationship and aren’t perhaps enthusiastic about having to explain what the benefits are. Maybe it’s that these women accept the femininity directly displayed in gay men and in turn gay men accept a woman’s sexuality without desiring them. It’s hardly an enigma to observe that gay men and heterosexual women are meandering in some symbiotic understanding whether mother and son or fag and hag. 


Sure it might be easy to expel Red Scare altogether based on the girls’ word choice, except if you’re actually invested in their take on things. It would’ve been easy to expel Banks altogether unless you were actually inspired by her music. So a particle of their fundamental expression is hardly a determinate, at least for some gays, when deciphering if the content in its entirety is safe enough. 


Queer theory has provided explanations considering gay men’s connection to women and one could ruminate introspectivley if they value this kind of theory. Using derogatives within subversive commentary and the historical perspective of homosexuals as subversive might be the nuanced symbiosis between gay and girl that ignores any prescibed intent on being offensive. It's possible to care less about how they are expressing versus interest in what they are expressing. Not to be mistaken for some latent internalized homophobia. The Red Scare girls get this and even though capitalism doesn't escape their witty judgment, they’ve certainly capitalized on it. 

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