The massively popular podcast Chapo Trap House often references Lovecraft in their recordings about politics. Because what better describes American politics than an ancient leviathan that lives underground, will someday wipe out all there is, and offers humanity zero hope of overcoming it?
For those uninitiated, Chapo Trap House is the vanguard of the “dirtbag left,” a term coined by Chapo’s only female member, Amber Lee Frost. In addition to Frost, the gang includes Will Menaker, Matt Christman, Felix Biederman and Virgil Texas. They made a name for themselves tearing apart centrists, capitalism and Hollywood blockbusters alike. They boast more than 30,000 patrons despite constant criticism for being Bernie Bros (true), all white men (not true) and being generally hateful toward the Democratic establishment (extremely true).
But those who dismiss them as “irony boys” miss the dirtbag left’s ability to tap into the undercurrent of emerging progressive rage. They speak to a growing audience irritated with the feckless Democratic Party and toothless leftist commentators — there is no “We go high, they go low” in the Trap House. They specialize in low blows, and as a Grey Wolf (the ironically too-cool name they gave their subscribers), I appreciate their ability to be pissed off.
Their love of Lovecraft has led them to run a series of podcasts where they play the game Call of Cthulhu in front of a live audience. They first tackled Lovecraft in episode 74, titled “Table Top Game Theory, Episode I,” where they connect Lovecraft to the world of the alt-right by making one of their characters a phrenologist and involving the ancient ones in the pizzagate conspiracy. With the house of horrors the news has offered lately, one can only guess what scandal will inspire them. The possibilities are as endless as the city of R’lyeh.
Watch the members of Chapo Trap House play Call of Cthulhu on Aug 23 at the Columbus Theatre as part of NecronomiCon. For more information, chapotraphouse.com