Banning Milo, Finale?

When Milo Yiannopolous appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher and called President Trump “not really a Republican like most people think” I knew he would raise some hackles. Once word broke that MILO would speak at CPAC, a conference full of conservative speakers, something told me a hit job was about to go down.

I didn’t think it would happen as fast as it did. Almost overnight a group called the “Reagan Battalion,” a Twitter feed claiming to be a blog for conservative news and thought, released a two minute, highly edited video of MILO claiming to endorse sex with boys. The Regan Battalion’s clip, taken at face value, practically made MILO the keynote speaker for NAMBLA, not CPAC.

Once people noticed the clip contained mashed up footage from the Rubin Report and the Joe Rogan Experience, plus a clip from another source, the Regan Battalion got called out on their shit really quickly. The response was to release the “unedited” clip from another source, a YouTube show called the “Drunken Peasants,” where MILO goes to great length discussing in his typical shock and awe fashion aspects of gay culture that could be seen, in a certain light, as condoning sexual relationships between men and underage boys.

He does advocate for precision in language during that video, though, and makes it very clear that he is not advocating pedophilia, nor does he think sexual relations between grown men and young boys are okay at all. Still, the shock and gallows humor the “Dangerous Faggot” brings to the table every time he makes an appearance was a touch too far this time.

CPAC promptly disinvited MILO from their speaker list. Simon and Schuster dropped publication of “Dangerous” after weeks of standing by Yiannopolous and calls for boycotts of the imprint. Numerous thinkpieces quickly sprang to judgment over how the party of family values had been taken in by an impish, click bait driven troll.  After all, if you can trust any political affiliation to police themselves, it’s conservatives, and one thing they don’t like en masse are kid touchers.

I wasn’t ready to rush to judgment when all this started coming out, because it smelled like a hit job. One of my acquaintances remarked “A casual stroll will suffice.” When I finally did take a few minutes to watch the video, I didn’t see a thing that advocated pedophilia and remarked to my acquaintance MILO actually seemed to discuss certain aspects of gay culture I didn’t understand, so I couldn’t rush to judgment on whether it advocated for criminal activity or not.

The world found where MILO stood at three PM yesterday. He did everything one would expect a person in his position to do. There was an explanation of his position on the videos. He discussed his experiences as a victim of child abuse, and how it affected his life. He expressed great regret for his imprecision in language, and acknowledged that his word choice could be construed to at least “condone” child abuse, which he deeply regretted.

Then came time for public atonement. He stepped down from Breitbart, stating he didn’t want any spectacle around him to detract from the great work they were doing. “Dangerous” would still see publication this year, and ten percent of all book royalties would go to child abuse charities. And MILO would now focus his efforts on a new media company, speaking tour, and “education and entertainment” as a performer.

At the conclusion of his remarks, MILO pointed the attention at the people and motivation behind what was going on with this latest ginned up outrage.

But let’s be clear what is happening here. This is a cynical media witch hunt from people who don’t care about children. They care about destroying me and my career, and by extension my allies. They know that although I made some outrageous statements, I’ve never actually done anything wrong. These videos have been out there for more than a year. The media held this story back because they don’t care about victims, they only care about bringing me down. They will fail.

And he’s right, in a lot of respects. Once the conservative press heard him call the President “not a real Republican” it was time for MILO’s downfall. Something had to be done to stop him, and if it meant faking allegations of endorsing pedophilia then so be it. The “provocateur” had to go, because the party of “family values” couldn’t take a gay Jewish Brit with a fondness for black dudes getting more attention than their chosen figureheads.

Will this be the end of MILO? Some of my friends and acquaintances think he won’t bounce back from this debacle. I think he’s got a bit more left in him than most people think, and that his fanbase will rally behind him stronger than ever before now that he’s “come out” as a child abuse victim.  It will take time, and it will certainly cost a lot of money and energy on his end, but Milo Yiannopolous will come back.

And the “establishment Republicans” who felt it necessary to throw Milo under the bus need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and figure out why this character assassination attempt was necessary. Yes, he’s a self promoting ass, but he managed to hand you more of the LGBTQ vote than many others had. His college talks brought the millennial vote out in droves for your party, because Milo told them “If you want to piss people off, if you want to be cool…you have to be conservative.”

The Left is the party that got really good at throwing people under the bus, and they specialize in hit jobs like this. Don’t go to the Left’s playbook when you’re considering ways to get someone you don’t like out of an influence sphere.

Is there a War of Words in America?

Dave Rubin declared in a recent “Direct Message” segment of his hit YouTube show “The Rubin Report” the “War on Free Speech” has officially begun. I’m putting the video below so you can listen to Dave’s arguments for yourself.

Are we in a society where the War on Free Speech is underway? With riots like that at UC Berkeley over Milo Yiannopolous’s appearance are we truly in a “war” on free speech? I’m going to respectfully disagree with Dave and say there is no “free speech war” unless we choose to make it happen.

Because it’s important to define terms, and Dave knows words mean something, let’s go with the Merriam-Webster definition of “war.”

Definition of war

  1. 1(1):  a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2):  a period of such armed conflict (3)state of warb:  the art or science of warfare c(1)obsolete:  weapons and equipment for war (2) archaic:  soldiers armed and equipped for war

  2. 2a:  a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism b:  a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end <a class war><a war against disease>

Well, crap. It would seem I’ve trapped myself with this definition,wouldn’t it? After all, isn’t what happened at UC Berkeley and UW Seattle “open and declared armed hostile conflict?” At worst, are we not in a “struggle or competition between opposing forces…for a particular end?”

I would submit that if we’re in a free speech “war” there’s no other nation or state that’s declared hostile conflict over things American citizens have said. That may change when our President twits something out that pisses off a particular nation-state, but right now those who would declare our current turmoil a “free speech war” are abusing the language in the same ways Fox News and other outlets declare a “war” on Christmas with Starbucks cups.

Now the second definition becomes a bit more problematic to refute. It seems there’s a “struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end.” On one side, you have the “social justice warriors” demanding diversity and inclusion for all. The other side, well let’s call them the “anti-pc” crowd. Both have conflicting views on free speech and how it is best utilized. Does that make it a conflict worthy of the term “war?”

My response is “no.” It’s a conflict, but “war” is a strong word. It connotes open and hard conflict between opposing sides. While we’re seeing small skirmishes break out among opposing views, this really isn’t a “war” in the sense of the term. Until there’s an all out battle “declared” by one side or another it’s just a series of decisions whether we self-censor or we risk something by saying what we really mean.

Start with Justine Sacco and her horrendous joke about being safe from AIDS in South Africa because she was white. The Social Justice mobs landed on her in a frenzy. By the time she landed in South Africa she had no job, no hotel room, and no way of getting back absent her own resources.

That was a sort of cultural turning point, I think, for the alleged “war” on free speech. This was the time when an ill-conceived twit could cost you a job. Now people had to set their Facebook settings to “private” so prospective employers wouldn’t find a political opinion someone found offensive. Blog posts were carefully written so as to keep the Internet Hate Machine from coming down on a person.

If there was a war on free speech, it was a bloodless war, and it’s already been fought.

The violence we’re seeing right now is an extension of what happens when one side gets tired of losing battles and pushes back. Conservative and libertarian types are pushing back against the “progressive” groupthink and saying “what you do and say doesn’t matter anymore.” Worse still, they’re using progressive tactics against those who would silence them, and it’s causing the “progressive” movement to come unhinged.

One recent example is MILO’s demands people stop calling him a white nationalist and threatening lawsuits if publishers don’t print a retraction. This is a progressive play, taken straight from about a decade’s worth of their own tactics. Yet when a conservative speaker like MILO uses it, the progressives laugh and call him a “special snowflake” seeking a “safe space.”

None of them understand the plays being called, and they’ve used them for ages. The fact these plays are working on them now doesn’t make it any easier for then to recognize.

No outside force is causing a “war” on free speech. If anyone’s doing it, we’re doing it to ourselves out of fear for losing something important, like a job, income streams, or friends. Until we can reach a climate where everyone can listen again without needing to agree on everything we’re going to continue this silent conflict, potentially for the rest of our days.

That’s why the film is called “Silenced: Our War On Free Speech.”

 

Understanding MILO, Understanding Donald (Update)

The world learned yesterday MILO, the self styled “Dangerous Faggot” landed a quarter million dollar book deal. A bunch of people lost their collective ever loving minds over this. As of this writing MILO’s book, “Dangerous,” sits as the number two best seller in all of Amazon. The crazy part is his book won’t be out until March of 2017! How does someone who describes himself as a “virtuous troll” achieve such instant success over a book that isn’t in print?

Understanding the cultural phenomenon that is MILO means understanding the America that elected a reality television star President. You may love it or hate it, but you’ll have a better grasp of the America that allegedly rejected “progressive” values. Taking a moment to examine the events of the last twenty-four hours surrounding MILO’s book deal will help you get a better grasp of where America stands culturally as we move forward into the new year.

MILO represents a rejection of identity politics. 

Identity politics have been quite the rage. It’s common to see someone start a social media post labeling themselves “As a” before launching into an argument or stating a position. When your “As a” label is offended, it gives you a chance to express your outrage and call someone a racist, sexist, transohomophobic bigot. That outrage sets the internet social justice posse in motion, silencing you for your viewpoint. It makes you think twice before you hit “post” or say something in public.

MILO is part of the cultural nexus that holds up the viper of identity politics, cuts off its head, and throws both pieces of the snake into two separate fields. His “Dangerous Faggot” college tour holds talks with themes like “Feminism is Cancer,” “Fat Shaming Works,” “Why Do So Many Lesbians Fake Hate Crimes?” and other ridiculously outlandish topics. The stated purpose of each talk is to make people laugh, piss people off, and maybe make people think.

It would be easy for people to dismiss him if he were simply a white guy. Under the mantle of identity politics, he gets a following for being a gay Jewish Briton with a German mother who has a propensity for dating black guys. It also makes him damned near bulletproof from the Social Justice mobs.

People love him for his outlandish antics, and his talks are often to standing room only crowds as a result. When college campuses pull off a stunt that either shuts down a talk or cancels it completely, it makes headlines. Shouting him down only amplifies his voice to the people that want to hear him.

Silencing MILO only makes his voice stronger, and people hate that. 

The “Heckler’s Veto” is a common tactic for those who want to silence someone with whom they disagree. Shouting someone down produces no honest conversations that lead to productive exchanges over big ideas. Yet society continues to do this and ask for “honest conversations” at the same time. You can’t have an honest discussion if you’re unwilling to listen to the ideas and concepts you can’t stand to hear.

Silencing MILO, for some reason, only makes his voice that much stronger. It’s the real life equivalent of Obi-Wan Kenobi telling Darth Vader “Strike me down, Lord Vader, and I shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine.” When Twitter suspended MILO’s @Nero account during the Republican National Convention he dominated press row the next day. Every time a campus shuts down or protests one of his talks it’s a newsworthy story.

This is why MILO’s book deal dominated the media world for twenty four hours and put his book at number two on all of Amazon. Announcing an alleged quarter million dollar advance for a book due in March caused an incredible number of celebrities to decry Simon and Schuster for “normalizing hatred.” The Chicago Review of Books announced it wouldn’t review a single S&S release in 2017.

The effect of this was an insane number of pre-orders for a book that’s going to launch with a $26 hardcover price. A comparable hardcover sells for approximately $17. This is what people mean when they speak of voting with their money. People want to hear what MILO has to say so much they were willing to launch money at him three months before his book ships.

Understanding MILO means understanding America in 2017. 

If you take a moment to examine the meteoric success of MILO, you will understand why we have Donald Trump in the White House. Both men represent a group of people tired of being told they were a bunch of things they weren’t, like racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobic, bigoted, ableist, or whatever label you could put on them. Both men listened to the America that was mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore. Both men took time to listen to those more concerned about rising health care costs and lack of employment than discussions of which bathroom or pronoun to use.

Both men were unapologetic in their actions. Both men said and did whatever the hell they wanted without fear of repercussion. When people tried to shut both men down the public that was mad as hell lashed back with time, money, and energy most thought never existed.

Examine MILO. Instead of trying to shut him up, take a moment to understand why he dominates public discourse. When you understand that, you’ll understand America in the coming year.

Watch American Milo here.

MILO is in Silenced: Our War on Free Speech.

His YouTube Channel is a repository of his college talks.

UPDATE: “Dangerous” is now the number one book in all of Amazon. The self-styled “Most Fabulous Supervillain on the Internet” strolled past Carrie Fisher’s “The Princess Diarist.”

Score one for the bad guys.