Popaganda: Faking It

On today’s show, we’ll be talking about one of my favorite subjects: the act of faking it. Why do we do it, and what does it mean when we accuse others of doing it? And what does the impostor tell us about the boundaries we erect in order to define ourselves and our place in the world? To answer those questions, we’ll take on the Portsmouth Sinfonia, the phenomenon of the “fake geek girl,” Rachel Dolezal, and the awful—but perhaps enlightening—film White Chicks.

We have two guests on the show this week: first, I talk with Michi Trota, managing editor of the two-time Hugo Award-winning Uncanny Magazine, about how to it feels to be pushed out of a community is supposed to be all about celebrating outcasts. Then I speak with Amalia Nicholson—a content producer and cohost of the podcast Borrowed Interest, a show that focuses on the experiences of Black women in advertising—about everyone’s favorite Wayans Brothers movie (besides Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, of course).


  • The Portsmouth Sinfonia’s rendition of “Also sprach Zarathustra.”
  • Read Ijeoma Oluo’s essential interview with Rachel Dolezal.
  • For more on the “fake geek girl,” check out this great panel from Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo 2013 about the “fake geek girl” with Laura Koroski, Karlyn Meyer, Dawn Xiana Moon, Erin Tipton, and Michi Trota, with Carlye Frank as moderator.


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Soleil Ho
by Soleil Ho
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Soleil cooks for a living and writes sometimes. When she was in kindergarten, she reviewed a book for Reading Rainbow that she didn’t actually read. She cohosts Racist Sandwich, a podcast on food, race, class, and gender.

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