What does the future of the left look like? Can we post our way to the vanguard? Matt Christman is on the frontlines of the posting wars every day as a co-host of the most popular leftist—and perhaps the most popular outright—podcast, Chapo Trap House. The Port City Socialist sat down with Christman to talk about the historical legacy of racial violence and capitalism, online expectations v.s. real-world conditions, and the current state of American politics in the wake of last year’s uprisings against police brutality and a failed historic Amazon union vote. Chapo Trap House can be found on all streaming platforms and Patreon, and Christman can be found @Cushbomb on Twitter.
PCS: Alright, so the first thing we wanted to talk to you about — we’re based in Wilmington, North Carolina, which is the site of a successful coup in 1898, the only one on American soil, that overthrew a unified poor white-black allied government. It seems like a white supremacist coup should be a little bit more poignant but generally it isn’t. People don’t really talk about it. This is kind of a broad question, but drawing from that well why do you think it’s so difficult for people to connect the struggle of working-class white people and black people to the sort of class divisions that we see today throughout the South and more broadly the United States?
Matt Christman: I mean, I think the number one reason is just the successful application of segregation — actual living segregation. People don’t have an experience of each other, like on a social level. There is a distinct separation, and that makes it more difficult for people to imagine bridging that divide.
PCS: How would you characterize the slave state of the south in terms of economics? Obviously the pre-Civil War South was heavily capitalist, exporting massive amounts of goods, but the relations of production are almost quasi-feudal. Do you think this destruction of these quasi-feudal relations allowed for the South to remain capitalist while appearing to the outside as if they had radically changed? Sort of like how the bourgeois revolutions in Europe gave the facade of progress while just subjecting the populace to more totalizing relations of production.
MC: Yeah, I mean, that was the end result of the abolition of slavery, to abstract the social coercion of class relations, to take them away from private and intimate regimes of power to public and alienated ones. The thing is that it was felt as that by all participants. The shape of the sharecropping system that emerged in the South after the Civil War that replaced plantation slave labor was felt as a liberation at first by many former slaves, because it meant that the pace of work and the amount of work that a family would do would be dictated by the family and not by the slave owner, but in reality it was still the market dictating the amount of labor. But that is an obscured, mystified relationship, which, yeah, gives the impression to everyone involved — not just, you know, guilt-wracked middle class northerners — of an advancement in liberty, even though all that’s what’s actually happening was a deepening of the coercive relationship because by losing its face you lose the ability to recognize it.
PCS: As a follow up, would you say that that sort of explains why the Republicans were so fervently anti-slavery, but were still proponents of industrial capitalism?
MC: The thing is, that there is a sort of a left lost cause justification that says, you know, “Forget about all that high-flown stuff about abolishing slavery. What northern abolitionists really wanted was just to deepen capitalism.” And that was true for some of them, but it was not universally true. It was true of the faction of Republicans that ended up winning the struggle over Reconstruction and over the recreation of the American economy after the Civil War, but it was by no means the only strand. There were plenty of people — Thaddeus Stevens, Benjamin Butler — who recognized the full implications of emancipation, which is that capitalism and wage slavery and the minimal state that had been the sine qua non of liberty in America, in the American consciousness, before the civil war was no longer viable and required a new understanding of liberty that had a social component that it never existed before and they tried to build it. It’s just, there wasn’t sufficient constituency and there wasn’t sufficient popular movement to push forward and assert that.
PCS: Switching gears a little bit to more contemporary news, should we take any lessons away from the Amazon union vote and, if so, what would you think they are?
MC: I would say that the main lesson is just that, as always, the Internet is not real life and things are a lot — objects in mirror may appear farther than they are. Just the fact that you’re able to go online and sort of see currents of belief and activism emerge gives you an idea that they have a motive force in the world that is maybe not actually true and that it’s a lot more work than a lot of people feel comfortable recognizing just because of how dire everything is. I think that the fact that there was a union vote and a union organizing campaign that got to the level it did in Alabama means that there are things coming into existence. There is a class politics being articulated but it’s still very, very, very early and what most people are engaging with is this sort of simulated politics that is in advance of a real thing, and is actually in many ways disconnected from the real thing. But that shouldn’t really be cause for sadness so much as a license to detach yourself from a lot of the invested political arguments that we kind of fixate on to distract ourselves from what feels like hopelessness around us and also to give us an illusion of engagement in politics.
PCS: I guess that’s something you talk about like a lot on your streams and even on Chapo that, as it becomes more difficult to get involved on a material level, we sort of abstract those struggles and that organization onto the social media world.
MC: Yeah, and then what we see there stands in for progress that we’re not seeing in real life, and then we sort of take for granted that that movement is connected to real progress but that’s not necessarily the case.
PCS: It seems to me like this might be a sort of left analog to the liberal impulse to say, “Look at how good things are. Look at all this representation in movies.” Does that seem like a fair comparison there?
MC: Yeah, in that in both of those phenomena, you see people wanting to hypnotize themselves basically into a position where progress is being made because if you’re aware enough, if you’re aware of simultaneously the dire straits that we’re in in every sense, socially, culturally ecologically and then also have the distance from your own life from anything that resembles a coherent response to that, then there is going to be a universal impulse to find in the firmament something to pull out to in order to soothe yourself, to reassure yourself that there is, if not in front of us, somewhere progress being made.
PCS: As a follow up to that, you’ve talked about the dangers of the Internet and the solipsism that comes with it, with social media, so how do we — and I know this is a really hard question to answer in one answer — how do we build solidarity when we live our entire lives through that lens of social media?
MC: Well there’s no real prescription for it because it has to be built in your life and everybody’s life is different and the things that get prescribed online are disconnected from people’s lived experiences. I think the main thing is to not bring things from the Internet to your life so much as engage in your life with as open a mind and heart as possible, and then, when opportunities in your life to articulate politics or to display solidarity occur, then you can go online to find an instrumental, useful thing to apply to that, as opposed to finding all of your political purpose and ideas and praxis concepts online and then trying to apply them to a life that isn’t necessarily going to relate to any of them.
PCS: You’ve been talking a lot about gnosticism lately. You’ve been using the metaphor of the demiurge to talk about the way that you’ve been perceiving the world, and I was curious the extent to which that perspective informs or interacts with your Marxism or if you see them as completely distinct beliefs.
MC: I think, for me, the gnostic stuff is a good metaphor for the illusory nature of many of the structuring elements of our lives, stuff that does feel impervious to change, stuff that feels built into the world. It really isn’t –– like, we do live in a demiurgic reality created by all previous generations and people living now reinforcing these illusory concepts that are generated by a capitalist system and that there is, therefore, the possibility for those structures to be transcended — and that’s where the Marxism comes in.
PCS: I guess Marxism or the dialectic is the way to escape from this demiurgic and emanatory existence?
MC: Yeah, yeah, pretty much.
PCS: I wanted to talk a little bit about local or statewide like North Carolina stuff. So there’s the contingency of the liberal Chapel Hill/Raleigh and the general city-type Liberals and then there’s the rural Conservatives, which you see in the not super populated areas. My question is sort of: how do we circumvent those two groups to create or to achieve broadly supported progressive goals — something like marijuana legislation or legalization?
MC: I don’t know enough about North Carolina to give specific prescriptions, but I —
PCS: I mean even general prescriptions would be awesome.
MC: I mean I’d say as much as you can to avoid the existing language and structures of the presiding political formations because one thing that this spectacalized politics has done for us is that it has made it so that people who are already politically engaged and define themselves politically.have pre programmed responses to anything that they encounter that conforms to politics as they understand it. It’s a sorting mechanism to tell the good stuff and the bad stuff. And that means that any political messaging campaign or or organizing effort that uses the vocabulary of one of them will pretty much by definition turn off the other because they are defined against each other. So I think that the future of any kind of effective politics is going to be something that’s going to come orthogonally to the presiding political debates and arguments and issues and ideological self-definitions.
PCS: I just want to follow that up and I don’t want to dredge up the past or keep beating a dead horse, but would you say that that could potentially account for part of the success of the Bernie campaign, then? That sort of refusal to his historical refusal to be a Democrat and to speak that language and to necessarily play in that game.
MC: I mean, it was not successful enough, but the degree to which Bernie was able to break open the political deadlock was the degree to which he was able to speak in a language that transcended the existing political categories and yeah if Bernie was going to succeed, and if anything that comes after Bernie is going to have to going to succeed it’s going to have to build on that and an articulate it even more, and that means — and the big challenge there — is that that means engaging with people who are currently not politically defined because the people who are everyday become harder and harder to reach outside of the bubble that they have created for themselves.
PCS: That makes a lot of sense and that sort of reminds me of something else you’ve talked about before, which is the gulf between the college-educated professional classes and everyone else, and you’ve said before that it’s not useful to think about the rural/urban divide in the way that it used to be, and the way that we should think about politics now is college education versus non-college educated. That seemed to me like a fairly natural outgrowth of what you just elucidated so I’m curious if you could expand on that a bit more or even if you still believe that?
MC: Well it’s less — I think its geographic, not really college, because the people who are politically engaged in this country by and large, are college graduates. Republicans and Democrats, they are college graduates, the people who are the most exploited in this country are the least politicized because politics has become a reserve of college-educated people — a place for them to vent their senses already their sense of anxiety, that they’re not getting the life that they were expecting or assumed to be theirs, whereas people lower-end people who never went to college, who doesn’t have college in their family history — which is a big predeterminer — don’t really have that expectation to lose, and they also don’t have illusions about political efficacy and political influence that people who go to college do. I mean in a very real respect they’re less propagandized and less idealized because they see the state more for what it is, than people who by virtue of going to college are taught that they are have a role to play in this process of deliberation and then they go about their lives, assuming that there is something to do. And I think the more determining factor within the political conflict is between the college-educated people who either live in inner-ring suburbs and make a lot of money or their kids who moved to cities, and then the college-educated people or wealthy non-college educated people — their parents largely — who stay in sort of hinterlands, concentrated around regional capital concentrations, you know your boaters, your franchisees, your extraction industry and things like that.
The smaller bourgeoisie and those and those two geographic areas create their own political cultures, mostly around people who are either wealthy and went to college or are downwardly mobile and went to college, and those who are wealthy and didn’t go to college, but the people who don’t have money and didn’t go to college are for the most part, not part of it, and their lives are getting worse and worse their life expectancy is dropping. The racial divergence in income and life expectancy is reducing and being replaced by a huge divergence based on college education. And I think the implication of that is that the people who are currently politically engaged are the last people in America who are going to truly feel a class-based exploitation and they’re going to — until that moment — continue to filter their politics through these cultural grievances. And that’s why I think that meaningful politics is going to come outside of this and among people who have — for all the right — reasons written off politics completely.
PCS: The overwhelming consensus among a lot of the rural voters or working-class voters is that politics doesn’t matter, it can’t affect them, it can’t do anything for them, it’s not supposed to do anything for them. So I guess what I’m asking is: do you think that there is a potential for some type of political radicalization outside of the established categories there?
MC: I mean, I think there has to be. I mean not just because we have no hope without one but because things do keep getting worse and a lot of the bread and circuses that we’ve been accustomed to are being taken away and, that is going to have an effect it’s just it’s not an effect that can be anticipated, predicted, or really, in my opinion, shaped within the political discourse.
PCS: So, when you say the bread and circuses, you’ve talked before about how like the trade-off in America is we don’t really have meaningful relationships with the people around us, we don’t have meaningful relationships with the with our jobs, we don’t have meaningful relationships anymore, but the upside to that is we’re able to buy a lot, we’re able to consume a lot, we’re able to go out to Applebee’s. So I’m curious when you say the bread and circuses are sort of disappearing, does that apply to everyone, or is that specifically the people who feel like they have something to lose?
MC: Those are the people who are going to feel it more intensely. And there’s just the general increasing pressure, and the pressure has to go somewhere. There’s no guarantee it’s going to go anywhere politically productive. Most of the time it doesn’t go anywhere politically productive as it doesn’t now. But as things change, as conditions change, people’s relationships, people’s understanding of the world, what they’re willing to risk, what they’re willing to lose, what they think they have to lose, it’s going to change too. And we just have to be aware of that process and to be less fixated on effecting change, than in responding to change. And I think that’s hard for a lot of people, especially people have been brought up thinking that their opinion matters, that there’s real purpose to figuring out a political point of view and then applying it to the world, that fantasy of agency is very deeply embedded in people, regardless of their political views in this country and it really is a challenge to accept that you are really at the whim of events. You are still, of course, charged morally with responding to every event as they occur, but that for most of us our lives are positioned where we can only really ever hope to respond and not to shape. And I think a lot of us are putting ourselves out of the fight by fixating on narrow technical questions of ideology, on fantasies of activism and effectiveness, by engaging and political spectacle, that leave us unequipped to respond to changing conditions as they present themselves to us.
PCS: I don’t know. I think if I just keep posting the vanguard’s going to come.
MC: We’re going to post our way to a vanguard party.
PCS: Sort of what you were saying earlier, that usually that political activity from the pressure usually doesn’t go in the correct direction or the right direction, I’m sort of wondering, has your definition of fascism changed? You had said it was when colonial power uses the colonial tactics it developed overseas internally or in metropole. Has your definition of fascism changed at all, since you made that statement?
MC: That definition has explanatory weight when you’re talking about what the mechanisms of authoritarianism within a degraded capitalist system look like, but I’d say the fascism, it needs to be historically situated in a way that that [definition] doesn’t really get across because I really think that one of the essences of fascism, as we understand it emotionally, and as we have tried to apply it to the moment that we’re in now, is a is a historically contingent element of mass political participation, which is the defining feature of interwar fascism in Europe and which was capitalism’s response to the emergence of a mass working-class politics in an era of capital crisis. We now live in a thoroughly post-fascist era and a post-fascist society where that public participation that publicly politicized, engaged citizenry has been replaced by a citizenry of consumers who are even though they believe themselves to be political — they believe themselves to be political in the same way, they believe themselves to be brand-loyal. It doesn’t translate into action.
Even the things that people like to point to as examples of contemporary fascism truly are fringe movements in a way that was not true in the interwar era and that’s because you’re talking about the most, sort of, alienated febrile tendrils of middle class precarity, reenacting historical forms that they recognize and that whose meaning they’re trying to appropriate but which just does not resonate in the current moment and while we are seeing the return of imperial methods of control to the metropole, they’re not being articulated by a mass party with mass participation, they’re being articulated through mostly through technology and bureaucracy, which has replaced the mass politics of the 20th century.
PCS: So, in that same episode where you’re talking about fascism, you talked about how fascism conceives of society as like a corporate body. Do you think that neoliberalism, in general, is antithetical to that conception of the corporate body that is inherent to fascism?
MC: Yeah, we now live under a paradigm of total atomization and total individual individualization and the depoliticization of the individual. Over time — I mean America always had less than Europe — but over time we’ve had the notions of political participation and what constitutes the political slowly removed, to the point that there’s very little now that is political beyond a fandom and a consumer experience and an identity formation, but one of many that are all part of our individual bundle of consumer preferences that make up our individual American identities and that has replaced the idea of a corporate citizenship. Now we have fully atomized citizenship, where the will of the people is articulated not through their participation in politics, but through their participation in market relationships.
PCS: So, politics is almost essentially completely reduced to aesthetics, and nothing else?
MC: Basically yeah, I mean people don’t believe that because of how passionate politics is and they see people fighting in the streets, and see people charging the White House, but those are all more akin to the violence of sports than they are to the violence of the fascist era. Because there are no presiding structures for any of this to go into. It is people activating themselves out of a need to reinforce their political identity — but is as an individual. And so they act individually and then the aggregate of these actions has these emanations, but they cannot be — because there’s no structure — they cannot be directed to any political purpose and it all ends up just venting off into the atmosphere.
PCS: So what kind of structure do you think would be capable of harnessing that energy then, for good or bad?
MC: My suspicion is it would have to come from labor. It would have to come from people organizing themselves in the context of their shared experience of wage labor and exploitation, which is the old Marxist analysis, and we live in a world that’s been really transformed and mediated in a way that Conventional Marxism didn’t really account for but I don’t see any structures to have emerged in the aftermath of that that are any more fertile so I guess got to go with Labor again, as boring, as it is.
PCS: I think labor is always a good horse to bet on, but I suppose my follow up to that would be to sort of tie this back to what you said earlier about Marxism being a sort of bridge from the demiurgic society to the real, lived one. If we take class to be something that can actually break through that and actually demystify these abstracted social relations that we’re currently living under — this is going to sound like a really stupid and facile question — but what would it take to actually realize that? Not necessarily like what we do, but how would we even begin to get there? Is this just like you’re saying: we go log off and actually go outside, or is there something larger that has to happen first?
MC: I think it’s going to be people coming to a reckoning with their condition, and the insufficiency of their life as it’s presented, not just the world that we’re being told is all we have to expect, but also our interior lives, our interior sense of possibility. I think there’s going to have to be a real spiritual revolution, which of course is the classic cope of the defeated revolutionary in all social milieus, but I think that’s because it’s true, because we haven’t seen it doesn’t mean that it’s still not possible and also necessary because we are on the track we’re on, and we are doomed to see this further atomization because capitalism’s incentive structure of control is premised on everyone acting out for the themselves, for what their short term rational idea of self-interest is. And with that, as the carrot and stick, I don’t think there’s any way that we can break out of anything. I mean even a collapse of material conditions will probably only be met with a violent attempt to find a scapegoat. We’re going to have to — to a point of social inflection — reconceive of our self interest in a way that expands beyond the individual.
PCS: Right, and that makes a lot of sense, and you had said that’s kind of the whole central idea of Marxism isn’t it? That we have a sort of shared experience and a shared exploitation, but that brings up another question: you mentioned spirituality, and you’ve been talking about spirituality a lot. And it seems to me like that’s something that a lot of people on the left, such that it is, tend to shy away from and tend to have, if not an apathy, an outright antipathy towards spirituality and I was curious what you think might potentially explain that tendency?
MC: I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that religion in general, in this country, is something that people on the left have had a negative relationship to in their own lives, they see it as contributing to exploitation, and contributing to separation because of its sectarian nature, and I think that that’s totally understandable. I also think, frankly, that people are, even on the Left, motivated primarily by a narrow self-interest. They just think that socialism is part of that, either because it allows them to feel like they’re better people, that they’re better people than the other middle class people who are just heedlessly consuming, or that they think that they might actually contribute to a more sustainable future then that gives them a sense of meaning. But either way, they’re operating from a very limited sense of material self-interest, and when you are thinking that way — as someone who thought that way most of my life — I can tell you appeals to spirituality, religion, they’re threatening because they threaten your prerogative as an individual, and also alienating because they are speaking really in a register of human experience that you do not have a vocabulary for.
PCS: Does it seem fair then to say we’ve all — even people who consider themselves to be socialists, on the left — sort of accepted the logic of neoliberalism and capitalism and individualism and just sort of applied that logic to a nominally left-wing or Marxist framework?
MC: Yeah, I mean I think that was true of me, and I think it’s true of most people — it’s our default mode. The only thing we can hope for is that because we’re living in such an extraordinary time of pressure and change that that is going to have an effect on people.
PCS: So, speaking of change on pressure um so last summer the the huge Black Lives Matter uprisings uprisings happened and we haven’t really seen any change at all, and we have that this case that happened on April 11th, with Duante Wright who was killed, do you have any thoughts on that? A lot of people are searching now and there’s been a ton of thinkpieces about “Abolish the Police” and I just wanted to get your take on any of that.
MC: I mean, I think that you see the cycle, where there is a police outrage, people want to express their anger, frustration, there’s a demand for a better world, or demand for humanity whatever. But because we have no frameworks to express that beyond individual choices, we make collectively individual choices to protest, to fight the cops if they show up if we’re there, or to post about it, but they cannot cohere into anything that can be sustained beyond something that gets co-opted by existing politics and the existing structures, because they’re the only agents involved, because those are the only forces that can apply an organized response and the rest of us are just doing our individual actions unbound by any discipline or coordination. I mean, I know that there are groups, and I know that there are organizations, but they are also isolated in their own sense. I mean, none of them cohere into anything that can sustain things beyond the individual interest of those involved, which over time wanes by definition. As police violence increases people have less of a desire to be hurt for something that probably isn’t going to get any better anyway —if they’re honest with themselves — and as there is no direction to go, and as there’s no progress to be seen, these things rob people of the investment, and also just you know, this stuff starts with outrage and anger and emotion, but those things over time cool as other events happen, as time intercedes. And I think that that cycle is unlikely to break anytime soon, because there is no framework to build capacity in these responses. And that’s not anyone’s fault and I don’t blame anyone for that, but I think that it’s the only reasonable analysis of the phenomenon and the cycle that we keep seeing repeated.
PCS: Sort of like the overarching Black Lives Matter organization took in a ton of profits and basically didn’t give any to the chapters — it was a central organizing body, but there was no real structure in place to where they could actually do anything with that.
MC: I don’t think there could have been anyway, because that money came because people saw something horrible, and they wanted to do something, and so they went online to give money and they’re going to go where they see a thing that looks like it’s going to help, and there’s no way for anyone to know what’s going on behind the scenes. There’s no accountability — a word people love to use — for any of the money and so there can’t be any expectation that it’s going to result in anything other than the most, honestly, the most cynical people being the quickest to exploit the moment.
PCS: Similar to how the Democrats exploited #MeToo and then threw it away as soon as Joe Biden was basically the chosen candidate.
MC: Yeah, exactly because there’s no alternative, these are those structures, these are the organized forces we have in this society and we have not challenged them from below, in any meaningful way. We have given ourselves an illusion of progress, and we’ve given ourselves rituals of protest to perform, but we have not found any real points of contact friction and pressure to apply to get anything other than lip service.
PCS: So if we say that everything is sort of subsumed into spectacle, which I think is pretty self-evident and true, what would it look like to mount some sort of meaningful challenge to capitalism, to individualism, to whatever whatever we happen to oppose?
MC: I don’t know… I mean.
PCS: Fair enough.
MC: The thing about it is it will have to come outside of our existing — away from our existing structures, because these things are designed to be busy boxes they’re designed for people to invest their time and energy into to avoid the reality of life. Anything that is going to really challenge this order is going to be — in many respects — unrecognizable because it’s not going to be able to it’s not going to use those those things that only exists to dissipate energy; they will not be useful to any movement that’s going to be seeking to actually be a coherent challenge to capitalism.
PCS: So, I guess, then my follow up — because I recognize that that’s a lot for anyone to have to try and answer — would be: something like the Amazon union vote — and I know we tend to invest a lot in one event — do you think that it’s fair to do that, or do you think that that would again just be putting faith into symbolism?
MC: I would say that the size of the defeat of the campaign and the amount of unfair and frankly illegal pressure that were in that campaign means that if they had succeeded, by definition, it would be a sign that there is more robustness, that there’s more advocacy in that movement. And that appears to be the case, but what happened is what always looked like it was going to happen. If you assume that we are at a very low level of capacity, we’re really just kind of confirming that. If it had gone differently then, yeah, that would mean that we were at a much higher level capacity than I would have imagined.
PCS: That makes sense and I guess you’re right in retrospect. It was probably hasty for people to get so emotionally involved. All of us at Port City Socialist were really cheering for it and we’re very far away. But I guess my question is — because we’ve been going to pretty bleak places — does it mean anything that was as big a deal as it was that Amazon felt as threatened as they did that they needed to crack down in these illegal ways? That maybe the Bernie Sanders campaign was actually scaring the Democratic Party enough that they needed to force everyone else to drop out and prop up Joe Biden’s corpse? Do we think that these are things worth celebrating? Is it good that we’ve gotten to the point where we can be excited for them, even if they fail, and even if we have an idea that they will, or is this just another way to get our hopes up over spectacle?
MC: I think it’s totally human, understandable, and unavoidable and necessary to have things to care about and focus on, to imagine as part of a future, just so that you can be on the lookout for what’s around you that might be something similar, to be able to recognize patterns when they emerge. The challenge is just to keep things in perspective. That, and to avoid the headlong rush to validate the moment. And the way to avoid that is really just to, at every point, interrogate your own motives about why you’re believing what you believe about a given situation and to what degree that’s based on the real conditions you’re witnessing and to what degree it is wishful thinking. And that is a question that we all have to ask ourselves and we’re not going to get the answer from going online, because every incentive there is to make everything the most caricature version of itself, one way or the other, depending on the motives of the people doing it, other people talking about it.
PCS: For the final question, we are based in Wilmington, North Carolina, so we have a very special question: what is your favorite regional barbecue?
MC: [laughs] North Carolina is the vinegar, right? South Carolina is the mustard? I really like Memphis dry rub, I have to say.
PCS: That was a nice “fuck you” to us. We deserved it.
MC: I like mustard too, though! Vinegar as well, I take ‘em all. My idea with barbecue is, yes, delicious. Stop all the fighting. The stuff it’s tasty. If it’s there, eat some.
PCS: Have you ever had vegan barbecue?
MC: I don’t think so.
PCS: It actually kind of slaps, I gotta be honest — it’s pretty good.
MC: What is the “meat”?
PCS: It’s seitan.
MC: I’ve had seitan, yeah.
PCS: I love it.
MC: I’ve heard of the jackfruit stuff.
PCS: It’s got a weird texture. It’s not ideal.