Milo Yiannopoulos is a perfect example of how people of disparate backgrounds and temperaments can come together over a common cause. I don’t remember the exact moment I first heard of him. I just remember that what caught my attention was the fact that he labeled himself a “Dangerous Faggot”. That alone was enough to give him at least a moment’s listen. As he spoke it was clear to me that he really is dangerous.
What a complex notion that is! For years western culture has considered homosexuals to be dangerous to society, to morals, to common decency and the natural order of things. Most certainly this is one reason the left attached themselves to gay rights as a cause. So, here, finally for all to see was a homosexual that really was dangerous and promised to upset the status quo; only Milo wasn’t out to upend the hardworking decent folk but rather the left. He was dangerous alright, but not to you and I and not to society.
Along the way Milo made a lot of friends and many enemies.
Milo poked a stick at the left which is bad enough but this was made worse by the fact that he represented a class of person traditionally on their side. He should have been one of them and he wasn’t. He is the walking embodiment of insult to injury. Made all the worse by the fact that so many people on the opposite side of the political spectrum than the left appreciate him, like him even.
This platypus is a perfect example of this. There is so much about Milo that is dissimilar to me. I’m one who doesn’t swear, doesn’t use crass language (even when the company isn’t mixed) and I’m not at all keen on discussing sex (a thing I consider private) in public.
It’s not that I’m a prudypus or anything, I’ve got spurs and all, but a little decorum please. Still, Milo stands as an oddly compelling totem to a different point of view. So different as to be interesting and so similar as to be comforting.
Such paradoxes of humanity come along seldom, and even less so in what is, most assuredly, a natural state. How could one turn away from such?
One of the moments I felt sure that Milo was being honest (though certainly there is a level of play acting in his shtick) was in discussing homosexuality. He said he wished there was a cure and, in a heartfelt moment, expressed the cost of homosexuality to him personally. That kind of talk isn’t for show. That kind of talk is a moment of honestly that endears an audience to the speaker. It also allows those in his audience who, for religious reasons, are uncomfortable with homosexuality. Though the subject is far less taboo than it once was the majority of religious people still consider it a sin. Despite the example of Jesus, who hung around with the sinners, a lot of religious people still find this very uncomfortable. They are unsure of where the line is between supporting the sin and supporting the sinner. Milo gave them an out (pun intended) from which they could safely say, he’s conflicted as well, so it’s okay for me to be. How deep that conflict in Milo goes is beside the point, what matters is the perception which allows acceptance.
Then Milo got a sweet book deal from a major and prestigious publishing house. Now he would no longer be confined to YouTube or the Internet. Now he would be respectable because even if you are a Dangerous Faggot, that’s what a book does for you. Only “someone” ever writes a book after all. Then something happened on the way to the printer, an old podcast surfaced during which Milo spoke of being raped by a priest. Milo was 13 at the time of the crime. He didn’t consider it a crime because he wanted the sex and enjoyed it. He didn’t consider himself a victim.
The complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex. In the homosexual world particularly. Some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming of age relationships, the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are, and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable and sort of a rock where they can’t speak to their parents.
The main steam media grabbed onto that and ran with it. The firestorm that followed was too much for the publisher, the book deal was canceled. Milo also resigned his job at Breitbart. That’s what the left does, they dig out the flaw in a flawed individual and exploit it. Leftism is the least forgiving ideology I know. Even those whom they claim to forgive must continue to pay for that forgiveness with loyalty. When it comes to flawed Milo, the left, it seemed, had won!
“You didn’t really think I was going anywhere, did you?”
The above question is the opening line to Dangerous, Milo’s recently published book.
But wait, wasn’t the book deal canceled?
Yes, it was. Milo found a way.
I am not a big fan of non-fiction. I prefer to while away my reading time on pulp fiction, especially of the science fiction variety. Still, despite my lack of love for the genre I still consume what I assume is far more non-fiction than is healthy for an individual’s brain and sanity to consume. When I do I prefer it to be of a philosophical bent. Even if that philosophy is covered by layers of gayness and immaturity. Yes, Milo is immature. That’s not a slight. I’m sure he’d have it no other way. Still, he is clever and thoughtful, which edge him toward maturity. There are two Milos as it were. The flamboyant, cursing, black-loving-gay-man, and the worried Milo that uses the former to cover his genuine fear for his culture and his way of life.
USA Today’s Jocelyn McClurg wrote a review of the book in which she labeled it, “boring”. The rest of her review seems more a critique of Milo himself than of the book he’s written. It drips with a judgmental attitude that I don’t think she even tried to hide. This is my review. In the above paragraphs I talked about the man, in the below, I discuss the book mostly and the man when the book does so as well.
My review, for those who don’t want to read so many words is simple:
I found the book to be interesting and easy to read. By easy I don’t mean that it used simple language that a child could manage. I mean that I didn’t have to force myself to continue to the next chapter. Once I start a book, I finish it. Sometimes that requires discipline. Those books are hard. They lack the joy of reading. Dangerous flowed easily to my mind.
If you need know nothing more than that to decide the book is worth reading, that’s the short review. The more lengthy version, is below.
It’s about Britain and America.
Early on Milo makes it clear he’s an American. Not by citizenship but by love of country. He writes, “America isn’t about where you’re from. It’s about how grateful you are to be in the greatest country on earth. I love America, and love what it stands for.” He later laments that in his own country there is no First Amendment protection, no ability to say the kinds of things he says on college campuses here in America. Here, he explains, he can push back against political correctness and be a “free-speech fundamentalist defending the public’s right to express themselves however they please.”
Milo has been compared to Oscar Wilde on many occasions. Though I imagine even Milo would confess to being a thin shadow of Wilde the comparison isn’t entirely unjustified. Milo write something very interesting to me,
“In my mind,” he explains, “I play the role gays were always meant to in polite society: I test the absolute limits of acceptability.”
Indeed he does.
As I stated above that fact alone is what drew me to Milo. Here was someone worth watching just to see the electromagnetic pulse he created and the ensuing black out of logic the social-justice warriors and leftists suffered as a result.
His problem with the Left
Milo’s issues with the left are, for me, summed up very neatly early on, “Social taboos for the past fifteen years [I argue it’s longer than that] have all come from the progressive left. They’re a hideously ugly army of scolds…” I get the feeling that for Milo being a “scold” is really one of the worst things one could be. It’s a term that seems to indicate something without merit, a vapid sort of being, akin to the busybodies of old.
What USA today’s reviewer complains about, I find hilarious. Nine out of the eleven chapter titles follow a formula of “Why [fill in the blank] Hates Me”. In this Milo has his most Oscar Wilde moment. Why pretend you aren’t the topic of conversation and loathing when you are?
To be sure the reason they all hate him is because he hated them first but not AT first.
Milo writes about his youth, the sex, the drugs, and the boundary pushing. To the right-wing reader that will all seem uncomfortably leftist. He did whatever he was told not to. Soon enough the leftist sway in academia provided him with something to push back and rebel against. Don’t read Atlas Shrugged! One could not commit that mortal sin. So, of course, Milo did and he wanted to be Dagny Taggart so bad. Milo writes that he began to see the left differently after that. From personal experience I will interject that this is the result of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. So perfectly does today’s left match with what Ayn Rand wrote that it’s inevitable that the curtain is pulled back and the true left laid bare.
As I turned the pages I started to see a pattern in the writing and it caused me to realized something important.
Here is one example of what I consider to be eye-opening text:
The fight for women’s rights started in the late 19th century, and focused almost completely on women’s suffrage. Although these brave women were hideously ugly, they were pioneers and even heroes. This is generally known as the first wave of feminism.
What a great way to introduce the reader to boring facts. It’s likely the book’s target audience are those college-aged young men and women who have a budding interest in politics and life. That interest has likely, in many if not most cases, not flowered enough for them to see historical facts as something other than schoolwork. For them, these kinds of things represent the burden of education and not the joy of learning. Still, Milo understands it seems, that to really get what he’s selling one must have all the facts too. The facts, and footnotes, are in there. They are amply intermixed with humor, snark, and emotion.
I feel certain that even those who have never heard of Milo (both of them) will still enjoy reading Dangerous. His writing is much better than his public speaking which is the thing he’s really become known for.
Some Chapters are Pat.
I think it doesn’t take much imagination for someone to comprehend the root of a chapter titled, “Why Muslims Hate Me”. The reasons are exactly what you would expect them to be. No surprises where. Still Milo does a good job with the explanation. By making himself the center of the book Milo is able to personalize each aimed hatred. The above mentioned chapter begins, “I’d really hate to be thrown off a roof.” That’s a great line and one that immediately tells the reader, when it comes to radical Islam, Milo has a horse in the race (a large black horse, no doubt).
Why do establishment gays hate Milo, why does the media, why do leftists? These are all pretty much what one would expect.
Some Chapters are Not Pat.
While some of the reasoning is expected, some isn’t. Chapters like “Why Establishment Republicans Hate Me”. This is an interesting chapter you’ll want to read. Milo makes it clear that the new conservative (which he is one, oddly enough) has little time for politics.
“I mean, yes, the fact that raising tax rates past a certain point actually decreases tax revenue is very interesting, but proselytizing that message is not our number-one priority.”
This echoes a message I’ve commented on time and time again against one-note pages on Facebook. I see so many pages which should have a deeper cause focus on superficial aspects of their ideology instead of the minutia giving way to substance and purpose it’s the other way around. Milo writes how this has become a very Republican and conservative problem.
It’s a crazy dichotomy unveiled in this chapter that I find so interesting to ponder. Milo says the message isn’t about politics, it’s about culture and the conservatives have forgotten the culture war. They have, in essence seeded defeat. There’s the suggestion that establishment Republicans don’t even want to win. The dichotomy I speak of is that this message of preserving culture comes from a gay man. Not very long ago he was the culture conservatives were fighting to keep at bay. If they had not conceded defeat in that arena Milo would not be possible.
In this chapter Milo even admits, “[speaking of alt-right]…these kids sometimes go too far, and that not all the taboos they want to break are in need of breaking. There’s a reason why anti-Semitism and racism are not acceptable, and never should be.” This from someone who is constantly labeled as alt-right himself.
Of course Milo loves Trump whom he affectionately (and hilariously) calls, “Daddy”. This fact alone, he explains, has garnered him much hate from the establishment. Milo laments the almost chattering hen attitude of what he terms “debate club conservatives”. I picture a flock of women in Victorian dress as he quotes John Kasich, “I will not vote for a nominee that has behaved in a manner that reflects so poorly on our country” and mothers who say they have to cover their kids’ ears. While the right cries about a lack of dignity Milo laments that Republicans have come to feel it’s better to “lose with dignity than to win without it.” He most certainly wants them to win. This isn’t because he feels they are perfect or because he supports their every move but rather because he feels they are a much better alternative than the so-called progressive left.
There are certainly aspects of the book, and Milo, that I don’t like (being boring isn’t one of them). Milo’s propensity to mock people for how they look (ugly, fat) doesn’t serve as much of a purpose as he thinks it does. I understand why he does it. The left champions diversity to the degree that they force acceptance of the unacceptable. Milo isn’t denying there are all body types and all levels of attractiveness but rather stating, in his absurd way, that he’s not going to embrace them all just because they exist and he’s told to. It goes back to the days of his youth when he would do the opposite of what he was told. Tell him not to “fat shame” and that’s exactly what he’s going to do. That – and – there is likely a part of him that has decided to be honest to a fault. Many people have opinions they keep to themselves in polite society. If your Great Aunt Martha is a cow, you keep that to yourself, but Milo doesn’t.
We’re having a culture war, says Milo, and if there are casualties along the way, well, war is hell. He writes, “My motto is laughter and war.”
How does the book end? In a way, it hasn’t because Milo continues on, but the actual pages end with a charge to be dangerous. For Milo that means saying the things you aren’t supposed to say. This is the ammunition in the culture war and the target is, “…the poor misinformed nose-ringed protesters holding a sign that reads, “NO MORE HATE.” It isn’t hate Milo is promoting of course. To say that is a trick of his adversaries. Milo explains that this charge is nothing more than an attempt to shame people into silence. When you read Dangerous, you’ll see how well that worked out for them as far as Milo is concerned. If there is a point to the book, that is it, don’t be silent because someone tells you to be silent.
If you want the field guide to this particular culture war read Dangerous.