It’s been a long time since I posted – frankly, I’ve been a little busy lately. That being said, you know that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to engage in a little Schadenfreude at the Godfather of Gamergate’s world collapsing.
In many ways, Milo was the epitome of the nonsense anti-PC “you should be able to say anything” mentality that assholes on the internet use to be abusive, racist, sexist asses. He is, effectively, a living 8chan thread, and it is somewhat satisfying to see even conservatives react in horror when Milo’s world view is exposed to sunlight, even if doing so highlighted the fact that ‘the line’ is not racism, sexism, anti-semitism, blatant dishonest journalism or just being a giant asshole for the sake of being one. Nope, ‘the line’ is suggesting that men preying on children is somehow healthy for the children. Well, at least there’s ONE belief that everyone on the right and left can agree on, and that is that this is fucking skeevy as shit.
I, for one, am glad that Bill Maher invited Milo onto his show, even if I don’t think Maher deserves as much credit as Maher thinks he does. Yes, Maher showed his true colors by giving flaccid agreement to Milo’s blatant, appalling fearmongering on the subject of transphobia (fun fact: pretty much every ‘fact’ Milo stated in that interview was tortured like a Jack Bauer prisoner in hour 23). But it also resulted in Larry Wilmore dismantling Milo like a tinkertoy, which is the sort of thing that happens to a not-very-smart person when he tries to tell a much smarter person that he’s stupid. And to think, I really thought that schadenfreude sandwich would be the highlight of my three day weekend.
Not so! You see, CPAC (a conservative hatefest wankathon) had recently named him their Keynote Speaker. They did so because he’s a bastion of free speech who has a tendency to leave a trail of anger and disgust everywhere it goes, whether its claiming victory for inciting antifas to protest him so violently that his speech was cancelled, or whether it’s his own followers shooting protesters on weak claims of self-defense. It’s also worth noting that CPAC isn’t nearly as free speech as they claim – Chris Christie was not invited in 2013 because he hugged the Kenyan President, and the Log Cabin Republicans have been trying to get a speech at CPAC forever – apparently, gays can only speak at CPAC if they’re willing to be the court jester.
Still, as hypocritical as I might find CPAC (oh, and I do), there’s definitely a bunch of Republicans out there who take it, and the cause of conservatism, very seriously. Among those is apparently a group called the Reagan Battalion, a group of right-wing activists who actually seem to be intent on holding conservatives to account. They started linking to videos, more than a year old, that involved Milo proudly advocating men ‘helping’ young gay boys below the age of consent. These weren’t new: Anti-Gamergate advocates had been trying to call attention to Milo’s worst statements for years. However, quite frankly, Milo fed on this criticism. It took him climbing, Icarus-like, out of twitter and closer to the mainstream for him to fall, and it took some friendly fire from conservatives to finally push him.
Beyond this, Laurie Penny’s article on the subject is most excellent. As is Ross Douthat’s from a conservative perspective. But the far more important article is this article arguing that Milo was just playing off the Tucker Max outrage marketing playbook, and that we should all stop falling for it. Advice that I will endeavor to take to heart.
You know, after enjoying the schadenfreude just a bit more.