FOF #1834 – The Russian Vodka War

Jul 29, 2013 · 1985 views

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In response to the Russian government’s horrific crackdown on it’s LGBT people, activists are asking bars across the world to boycott Russian made vodka.

Joining us is blogger Nico Lang who has plenty to say about the impending Russian Vodka War, the whole vodka marketing racket and all the sizzling hot news–


  1. Jake says:

    I find it strange that the French guy didn’t sleep with Nico after pestering him to return to France. Did the French guy think Nico would come over just to watch more sitcoms? What a let down.

  2. excellent show!!

    re: orange. LOVE LOVE LOVE the show. I’m not sure if Nico’s criticism of the show is fair. His criticism is spot on when it comes to society in general. However, I don’t think Tastey is prepared to write a memoir of her time then get a movie/tv deal. That is definitely a criticism of so many things (education system, classism, racism, etc.). I think the shows captures that quite well, i.e. what Nico sees as a criticism I see as genius. That fact that I’ve asked myself why does it has to be the debutante who writes the story is what I find brilliant. In the end I think we’re both saying the same thing.

    A small point. Nico mentions that no one thinks Piper is their favorite character and is therefore a criticism of the show. Is the lead character ever the favorite? Will and Grace: Karen; Voyager: 7of9; Seinfeld: Kramer; etc.

    I hate the term people of color (character of color from today’s show). I grew up outside of the US and heard it for the first time when I was a freshman or sophomore in university. My first thought was “isn’t white a color too”. My second thought was “where does my 100% Mexican mom fit, who is white? (fausto, white, blue eyes, 100% latin, where does he fit it?)” My third thought was People of color, colored people. Why does a preposition change the baggage? If colored people is offensive I find people of color equally offensive. If people of color is acceptable does that mean yellow remains acceptable along with white, brown and black?

    My solution? Take color out of it: American of Asian/Latin/European/African descent. another option, instead people of color, non-european.

    ok…off my box. great show! i love breaking out in laughter on the train.

  3. Than says:

    What do people boycotting Stoli think is going to happen? Today we boycott Stoli and tomorrow gay equality in Russia? That’s as irrational as thinking boycotting Chick Fil A would lead to gay equality here. To the extent we have gay equality here, it wasn’t because of the CFA boycott. In fact, CFA’s sales were boosted by the boycott. Boycotts don’t work. I admire the desire to do something, but that needs to be channeled into something more constructive.

    Stoli’s piss anyway. Try Reyka small batch, Icelandic vodka filtered over volcanic lava rock, heaven.

  4. Curtis says:

    The boycott of Stoli has been hugely successful in bringing an enormous amount of attention to the situation in Russia, and in giving LGBT folks on the ground a simple, easy actionable thing to do to connect them to the situation that actually involves a real product that actually is at the center of much of LGBT life. That attention and participation is an opportunity to get people involved in deeper levels of participation in political solutions. There will never be a political solution without a groundswell of popular public attention and energy around the issue.

    With all due respect to Nikolai Alekseev, but trying to get more than 3 dozen people involved in blocking travel visas for obscure Russian politicians is just not going to gather any steam on it’s own terms and merits. However the “sexiness” of the Stoli boycott, the energy it creates may result, if leveraged correctly in being able to generate a significant amount of attention and pressure that can result in the travel visa solution.

  5. Curtis says:

    We shouldn’t discourage the boycott unless we are prepared to generate the kind of groundswell of attention the boycott has created. If you don’t think the boycott will have impact, then find your own way of participating. Shitting on the boycott and being a voice of negativity about it is actually the worst possible thing you can spend your energies on in relationship to this humanitarian crisis.

    It is just possible that there can be several ways for members of the community to get involved. Approaching this from a “Yes and” position is going to generate more participation than saying “stop, this is useless”, especially when there is actually real excitement over the boycott and tons of attention being put on the issue.

    Nobody is claiming that the Stoli boycott is the one and only monolithic solution, it is a means to generate energy. Find a way to funnel that energy.

  6. Curtis says:

    Why Stoli, because it is a popular product actually used and consumed by queers. Boycotting Russian oil is pointless because we aren’t as a community pulling up to a gas station and ordering ourselves a tank of one variety of oil over the other. That comparison is facile.

  7. Curtis says:

    I wish your guest would examine his own white privilege in being able to have a career writing his thoughts. This line of thinking makes me crazy. It’s like your saying that white people should all just shut up and have nothing to say ever because racism exists.

    Fausto is right, movies are being financed for Asians and children. Spike Lee can’t get funding, but neither can Steven Spielberg or Stephen Soderbergh or a wide range of film makers who are interested in making non-action serious films for an adult audience. Blaming Spike Lee’s problems on racism is reductive and ignores the complex reality of the current state of the film industry.

  8. Bryce says:

    I believe a boycott can work. Think the Montgomery Bus Boycotts of the 60s. The thing is, this all reminds me of what Brian mentioned in a previous podcast. Pat on the backtivism. During the Civil Rights movement, people were willing to risk their lives and their livelihoods for the big fight. Fast-forward to 2013, we think that by not eating at Chik-Fil-A, wearing a hoodie for a day and boycotting Russian-made alcohol is the same as refusing to give up our seat to a white person on a bus. It’s not. I believe our generation has it’s heart in the right place but since we are a generation that has never really experienced any upheaval, we don’t know how to successfully combat it.I don’t think Nico was speaking out of white privilege. I’m black and I agreed with everything he said. We don’t always have to take our cues from Dan Savage or Anderson Cooper. At least Nico had an alternative, maybe one that’s a bit lofty but at least he threw something out there.

    Overall I enjoyed this podcast. I liked the cerebralness of it all. The mainstream has always emphasized the gay stereotypes of being fabulous and over the top so it was refreshing to hear from someone who is an academic. Yes LGBT can be intellectuals. I realize some people will be turned off by that – no one likes a no it all – but Nico appeared to be well-informed and I appreciated his view points along with Marc and Fausto’s.

    GREAT SHOW you guys! Please have more guests like Nico on! Variety is the spice of life.

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