Monday, February 20, 2017


I see Milo Yiannopoulos' friends have turned on him. Just kidding -- they were never his friends; just a bunch of conservatives and libertarians who took him up because, one, he hated things they also hated (liberals, women, the transgendered, et alia); two, he celebrated things they also celebrated, primarily the vicious, spiteful treatment of anyone weaker than themselves; and three, because he was ostentatiously gay -- indeed an old-fashioned caricature of homosexuality straight out of the Liberace playbook -- and allowed himself to be associated with them, which gave conservatives and libertarians two things they thought would advantage them in the dreary Culture Wars they're always pursuing: glamour and victim status.

Looking through my few writings about him, I find some tellings details. When Harry Potter actress Emma Watson stood up for feminism at the United Nations, a bunch of wingnuts laced into her, and Yiannopoulos was right in there with his Breitbart essay, "THE UN'S RISIBLE #HEFORSHE CAMPAIGN: POINTLESS SELF-FLAGELLATION FOR SEX-STARVED BETA MALES":
Emma Watson, the UN’s chosen cheerleader, who of course takes radical steps to avoid conforming to male ideas of female beauty, as the picture above illustrates, gave a speech to launch this otiose initiative while wearing perhaps the most expensive, figure-hugging overcoat I think I have ever seen. Is this the sort of person from whom we now take lectures on the sexualisation of women’s bodies?

I hate to be crude, but is it possible the Harry Potter star wears those ten-thousand dollar outfits, with jackets cut perfectly to accentuate every curve of her body, her hair snipped and tousled by the most exclusive stylists in the world, because she in fact really rather likes, and financially profits from, the idea of men waving their wands at her?
She wore nice clothes; she was asking for it. We hear this kind of sick glurge from wingnuts all the time, and even people who never heard of Freud or Germaine Greer know what brackish swamps of sexual frustration it comes from. But when Milo did it, you couldn't just say it was because he wanted to hate-fuck little Hermione, and conservatives loved having him for cover. Here was a he-man woman-hater with a gay pass!

And that went double for Gamergate, that festival of rape and death threats by suckling Pepes. Yiannopoulos was all the way up in that with essays like "FEMINIST BULLIES TEARING THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY APART." Once again he could say the things straight choads were embarrassed, or vaguely felt they were supposed to be embarrassed, to say: "These women purposefully court – and then exploit – boisterous, unpleasant reactions from astonished male gamers and use them to attract attention to themselves..." You heard Milo -- she was leading us on! "Let’s be honest. We’re all used to feeling a niggling suspicion that 'death threats' sent to female agitators aren’t all they’re cracked up to be." Bitch lied, she set us up! Listen to our sassy gay friend!

It makes perfect sense that Yiannopoulos became a patron saint of libertarians like Robby Soave of Reason, who lovingly described how Milo mao-maoed the liberal fascists. "No, Yiannopoulos isn't disparaging gays (though he wouldn't care if they were upset)," Soave wrote: "he is gay himself, a fact to which he makes frequent (and X-rated) references." Boo-ya, libtards, who's got the sassy gay friend now! And Yiannopoulos's spectacular public appearances -- crowded as they were with opportunistic reporters, excited neo-Nazis, and black bloc protesters -- to Soave suggested "that some students are sick to death of the liberal orthodoxies being drilled into them during every waking moment of their time in school. What if millions of Americans feel the same way?"

As you may have guessed, that was where Soave connected Yiannopoulos with Trump --  because they were both against Political Correctness, which Soave found refreshing and perhaps redemptive. "Trump's backers despise the political correctness of liberal elites," he said. ." least with Trump, they can enjoy the show and collect some small measure of vengeance against their PC overlords."

Well, Trump did win, and so did Milo, for a while. But Trump has an advantage over Milo: that of actual power. Both men get over with outrageous shtick -- they're  contrarians, provocateurs! Their backers despise the political correctness of liberal elites, it says here!  And when they go too far, usually they just have to say you didn't hear them right, and they can go on their merry way, confident their followers will blame whatever outrage they've caused on Fake News.

Milo tried to do that with his pedo-tapes (in "a note for idiots" -- ha, that Milo!) -- but found that he was suddenly no longer the Right's sassy gay friend. Not because he had sex with children himself -- there's no evidence he did; interestingly, it seems he was the one exploited as a child --  but because, from the conservatives' perspective, he did something worse: He embarrassed them. It was fine when he was whooping up those wanton cruelties and bigotries a normal American can get away with. But pedophilia is a Hard Limit, at least socially.

Conservatives could have done a love-the-sinner, hate-the-sin thing, but that would have required charity, and bitter experience has taught us all that in America this is not a Christian precept.  They could have said that though Yiannopoulos had put himself beyond the pale, his principles were still sound, and they could put aside his failings the way intellectuals put aside the anti-Semitism of Mencken or the racism of Larkin, and cleave instead to his aesthetic legacy; but when his book deal and CPAC spot evaporated, it became obvious that there was nothing like a principle or an aesthetic legacy at all left to defend -- just a savage clown show that no one wanted to see anymore. (Even Soave is edging away from him. Did I say "even"? Ha, I meant "of course.")

Remember this if you remember nothing else about what happened, for Milo sure knows it: even if they let you into their clubhouse, these people are not your friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment