Image via ‘Humorless Queers’ Facebook
In terms of facing monolithic power structures, taking on the finance industry and the surveillance state is like standing up to two slimy Goliaths who hide sketchy things in fine print and tap your phone conversations. But neither Alexis Goldstein, communications director for the nonprofit The Other 98%, nor Kade Crockford, director of the ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project, seem very much intimidated by this fact.
Fierce and fearless, Goldstein and Crockford have paired up for a monthly podcast called “Humorless Queers,” which in its first five episodes has already addressed the Tsarnaev trial, yet another way that Citigroup earned the moniker “Shittygroup,” license plate readers, and much more. The show’s name comes from the familiar stereotype that activists are somber, and are in general a buzzkill; but employed here, the “humorless” approach works ironic wonders on multiple layers, as the podcast is both hilarious in nature and terrifying in subject matter.
Even more important than the funny stuff are the voices: Unlike most members of the media, both Crockford and Goldstein identify as queer. As Goldstein wrote me in an email, they were “frustrated that analysis of both Wall Street and Mass Surveillance is largely dominated by white, straight, cisgender men.” Which part of what makes this show, which can be very technical, easy to listen to: Goldstein and Crockford aren’t blasting pedantic, condescending pundit trash. They’re just a couple of queers talking about the stuff they care about. Which is pretty rad.