The editors notes for Milo's book are amazing.

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evilthecat:
You know what would defeat Milo (and I'm not advocating it), cripple his legs. Let him wheel himself into convention centres in a wheelchair and then try to defeat people in argument without being able to rely on a rhetorical posture of strength, because that's not going to happen. Given that I'm not totally down with crippling people though, we can probably get away with just enforcing better standards of political debate, so that people who have nothing to say don't get to spend public money saying nothing at the expense of people who do.

The other alternative is to get the biggest, meanest, most posturing troll we can find from the depths of the extreme left and let them loose on Milo and his supporters. Someone who's even worse in terms of using posturing, insults and ridicule to demean their opponents and de-railing debates to score cheap rhetorical points and who's fully on board with long sustained campaigns of harassment against people that aren't immediately 'trolled' by the initial posturing and ridicule. Milo is only top dog as long as his opponents retain a shred of the decency that Milo lacks after all.

The problem there is, obviously, that if the 'Left' gets their own Milo, then we'd have no quality left in political debates. The reason the alt-right comes of as strong is that its' adherents tend to have far lower standards of behavior and debate then their opponents. Doesn't matter if the alt-righter is called Milo, Huntington or Donald.

StatusNil:
Anyone in the current year recognize the responsibility of setting the tone anymore, or should we all just go #full ape for our respective teams?

Do you? Because you don't seem too good at setting the tone.

You actually have something of a point when you call people out for saying that Milo should kill himself. That's in bad taste, even if Milo is a walking embodyment of bad taste himself. But that point gets rather diluted by your general tone. Your post is long, at times rather pretentious, is riddled with unneccesary capital letters, contains loads of small stabs in all kinds of directions and contains an unneccesary defense of gamergate.

Why not make a single good point in a post with such a lenght that it'll actually be read and such a tone that you haven't given those who don't really like you five reasons to dismiss your points?

He really is an awful writer. It's not that it's propaganda, of course it is, it's that it's not even good propaganda. He gets one side right, depicting the enemy as both weak and pathetic and somehow still an all powerful, controlling force that needs to be beaten but he never manages to depict his own side as superior. Rather, he sounds exactly like what he es: A spiteful, angry aging queen with not much in the way of intelligence or charisma.

evilthecat:
*snip*

This. Just this.

You succinctly described the situation. That kind of thing is the reason I keep leaving R&P every few weeks, because that's exactly what happens here, never mind the professional assholes like Milo/Shapiro.

It's like you're playing basketball (No touchy or they demand you get a Foul) and they're playing full contact Lacrosse and put emphasis on the "full contact" part.

Gethsemani:
The other alternative is to get the biggest, meanest, most posturing troll we can find from the depths of the extreme left and let them loose on Milo and his supporters. Someone who's even worse in terms of using posturing, insults and ridicule to demean their opponents and de-railing debates to score cheap rhetorical points and who's fully on board with long sustained campaigns of harassment against people that aren't immediately 'trolled' by the initial posturing and ridicule. Milo is only top dog as long as his opponents retain a shred of the decency that Milo lacks after all.

These people already have a response to that. They immediately point at that person and go "SEE ALL THE LEFT ARE VIOLENT JUST LOOK AT THAT GUY!" and proceed to let their followers harass, dox, and swat them while they block them. Hell, Kyle Kulinski usually just comes armed with facts and he gets blocked and they pretend he doesn't exist.

Hell, I've seen the first part of that here in R&P already. There's at least one guy who's got the opinion that "All leftists are the really violent ones and are the ones REALLY using violence". Hell, back when MovieBob had his twitter meltdown and made the mistake of using the word "subhuman" to refer to the people harassing and doxing people online, they turned around and photoshopped him into a nazi picture and were like "SEE HE JUST AS BAD AS THEM HAHAHAHAHAHA".

These alt-right types pretend to be the tough guys just "sayin' it like it is, dontchu step on my free speech by protesting me! If you block me, you're afraid of me, loser!", but the second anyone delivers a single perceived microaggression, they turn into the biggest, most aggressive snowflakes on the planet.

bastardofmelbourne:

Adam Jensen:
Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out why people give a fuck about this guy?

Because he works very, very, very hard to get everybody's attention, and he is willing to call you a cuck in order to do it.

Ignore it might work on an annoying actual child, but for most problems of consequence, it has the opposite effect. Ignoring the problems inhumans like Milo present is a big reason WHY things like Milo is a problem.

StatusNil:
It would be cool to see that editor stop wasting his time trying to change Milo Yiannopoulos into something he's clearly not...

Depends on the required remit, though, doesn't it. Publishers don't generally just ask authors for "a book" with no criteria, because companies and their imprints publish specific types of book. Consequently, if you believe you're commissioning an at least minimally credible political non-fiction work and instead get a mostly incoherent abusive rant, you too might fill it with a lot of editorial criticism.

Gethsemani:
The other alternative is to get the biggest, meanest, most posturing troll we can find from the depths of the extreme left and let them loose on Milo and his supporters.

That too.

I think a big failure liberals and moderates are prone to is falling into the assumption that the better argument always wins, or that you can take down a bad faith argument by countering it with a good argument. It's why people love stuff like this:

https://www.indy100.com/article/climate-change-global-warming-lorrie-goldstein-twitter-mic-drop-7476856

And fair enough, it's satisfying, but it doesn't work. These people aren't afraid of being proven wrong, if they believed that evidence or reason could demonstrate the existence of climate change, they wouldn't be climate change deniers in the first place. We have to accept that Lorrie Goldstein's entire point in that post may have been to bait people into giving him these kinds of serious responses and that in fact even this knowledgable and well written response is part of the "fun".

Which is where Sartre helps, I think. These people don't fear being wrong, but they do fear looking weak. We shouldn't be trying to argue with Milo, we shouldn't care about trying to win his supporters over or convince them, because the only way this will happen is if they grow up from their self-imposed childhood. Instead, we should treat them with the smirking contempt they deserve. We should seek always to shame and humilate them until they're afraid to be seen in public. We should single them out and bully them individually and relentlessly over trivial things. Heck, I'd go so far as to say the main issue with Black Bloc's strategy isn't that they were violent, but that they didn't bring enough cameras..

Obviously, the alt-right would pull the "so much for the tolerant left" card, but the only reason they do that is because they've learned it works. They're used to being able to frame political conflicts as a quest to bring the "normies" over to their side by playing a game of who looks the most reasonable.. but the reality (which they already know, subconsciously if not consciously) is that "normal" people almost never side with the weak. That's why they never fear that having Milo show up to an event and single out an individual trans person who isn't even present might "alienate the normies", because they know that the very act of public humilation can strip that person of sympathy.

The problem is..

Gethsemani:
The problem there is, obviously, that if the 'Left' gets their own Milo, then we'd have no quality left in political debates. The reason the alt-right comes of as strong is that its' adherents tend to have far lower standards of behavior and debate then their opponents. Doesn't matter if the alt-righter is called Milo, Huntington or Donald.

Exactly..

Also, because to a certain extent they can get away with more. When I wrote that comment about putting Milo in a wheelchair, it didn't escape me that it was really ableist thing to say. I chose to go through with it anyway because I think it reflects a real point, being physically disabled shouldn't have any bearing on whether you can adopt a rhetorical posture of strength, but it does, because adopting that posture isn't just saying the right things but also being the right person. We can create a rhetorical strategy which would work at humiliating Milo and his supporters by deliberately arguing in bad faith, pandering to the lowest common denominator or staying constantly on the offence, but not everyone would be equally able to use it just by the very nature of who they are and how that is read as strong or vulnerable.

Which is why it's probably best if we just aim to enforce a higher standard of debate to begin with.

Saelune:
Ignore it might work on an annoying actual child, but for most problems of consequence, it has the opposite effect. Ignoring the problems inhumans like Milo present is a big reason WHY things like Milo is a problem.

Milo derives his popularity primarily from the manufactured controversy surrounding his many public appearances and outrageous statements. He is a troll. If you argue with him, he will claim victory. If you insult him, he will claim victory. If you protest against him, he will claim victory. If you riot, he will claim victory. If you barge on stage and pummel him unconscious, Rick-and-Morty style, he will claim victory through the blood and broken teeth.

Think about it. For a guy like Milo, what's scarier - an angry mob of rioters baying for his blood, or an empty lecture theatre?

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
Ignore it might work on an annoying actual child, but for most problems of consequence, it has the opposite effect. Ignoring the problems inhumans like Milo present is a big reason WHY things like Milo is a problem.

Milo derives his popularity primarily from the manufactured controversy surrounding his many public appearances and outrageous statements. He is a troll. If you argue with him, he will claim victory. If you insult him, he will claim victory. If you protest against him, he will claim victory. If you riot, he will claim victory. If you barge on stage and pummel him unconscious, Rick-and-Morty style, he will claim victory through the blood and broken teeth.

Think about it. For a guy like Milo, what's scarier - an angry mob of rioters baying for his blood, or an empty lecture theatre?

I don't care if Milo claims victory or not. His ego, and the ego of his devotees, doesn't affect me and doesn't affect others. What does affect people is targeted harassment: and when he was on twitter Milo was very effective in setting up targets for the trolls. Ignoring him didn't work. Just ask anyone that was on the receiving end. What worked was shutting him down. Pushing him off his platforms, marginalising him, calling him out. So he want's to gloat? He can gloat. I don't want him "scared." I don't care what scares him. I want people safe.

The "ignore him" approach doesn't work. Its one of the primary lessons of goobergate: don't let them control the narrative.

bastardofmelbourne:
Milo derives his popularity primarily from the manufactured controversy surrounding his many public appearances and outrageous statements.

Milo had a sort of career long before anyone on the left knew who he was. I mean, sure, maybe lying on national TV in a debate with Boy George or writing abusive letters to journalists (who will go on to have much more credible careers) because they dared to ask to be paid for work they did for your latest failed magazine isn't the most edifying career and can't really compare to being gay native informant in chief to the American right, but to attribute Milo's success to manufactured controversy is really letting Breitbart, and to a lesser extent the Catholic Herald and all the other publications he's written for off the hook.

There was a time when certain sections of the right wing British press saw Milo as exactly the kind of original, provocative voice of conservatism which they needed, and on a few very, very rare occasions when the stars align and he dares to be sincere or to act in good faith, I can see how they were kind of right. However, that good feeling quickly dried up as it became apparent he was an abusive, ADD afflicted narcissist who was a nightmare to work with. He has always had fans though, he always inexplicably had people who needed him for the same reason the American right needs him today, to be their figurative gay best friend and tell them it's totally fine that they hate queers and black people and other minorities, because he does and he's a faggot himself, don't you know..

The idea that Milo is popular because of the reaction to what he says, rather than the fact that the right just straight up loves to hear him say it, is probably the most hilariously transparent lie Milo has ever tried to sell, and that's saying something.

bastardofmelbourne:
Think about it. For a guy like Milo, what's scarier - an angry mob of rioters baying for his blood, or an empty lecture theatre?

The mob of angry rioters, obviously. Milo's an idiot, but give him some credit, he's not that much of an idiot.

There's a reason why a lot of queer people end up on the left, and there's a reason why we try to look out for each other. When I was a kid, I was put in hospital several times. A friend of mine narrowly escaped being stabbed to death on a night out. Another friend of mine once had a brick thrown at their head. Another was rejected by their parents and ended up homeless. Another was a victim of corrective sexual assault. These experiences change you as a person quite fundamentally, you become acutely aware that other people don't see you as human in the same way they see themselves as human. You understand that whatever kindness or tolerance you're given is always conditional, and there will always be something you have to give in return to justify your existence. Sadly, yeah, that is scary. Being beaten up as a one off is easy, once you know it's going to happen and you don't have any choice, then it just becomes a matter of staying alive until the end. The hard and scary bit comes days later when you're trying to leave the house but you suddenly find you're trembling so hard you can't put your shoes on. The hard part is never knowing if this is going to be the day someone takes offence to your existence, and never ever being able to escape that. It's a good deal worse than facing an empty room.

But trust me, Milo isn't a strong person, he isn't the kind of person who will face down hordes of bikelock armed antifa supersoldiers fuelled by the raw power of soy based phytoestrogens and claim victory through blood and broken teeth (at least, not while still sounding convincing). If he genuinely was such a person, then he wouldn't simultaneously be a coward who thinks that pandering to the violent hatred of his audience will ever be enough to be spared it when the time comes. He wouldn't hinge a large part of his belief system on the idea that violence would force gay people back into the closet (because he would understand that not everyone lives in the wretched terror of violence that requires always siding with power, that as terrible as violence is some things are simply worse, and that some of us have experience to back that up).

bastardofmelbourne:

Saelune:
Ignore it might work on an annoying actual child, but for most problems of consequence, it has the opposite effect. Ignoring the problems inhumans like Milo present is a big reason WHY things like Milo is a problem.

Milo derives his popularity primarily from the manufactured controversy surrounding his many public appearances and outrageous statements. He is a troll. If you argue with him, he will claim victory. If you insult him, he will claim victory. If you protest against him, he will claim victory. If you riot, he will claim victory. If you barge on stage and pummel him unconscious, Rick-and-Morty style, he will claim victory through the blood and broken teeth.

Think about it. For a guy like Milo, what's scarier - an angry mob of rioters baying for his blood, or an empty lecture theatre?

Historically, ignoring violent extremists or people calling for violent extremism tends not to work very well.

Thaluikhain:

Historically, ignoring violent extremists or people calling for violent extremism tends not to work very well.

Well it depends, Donald Trump did gain a lot from all the (negative) attention he got. As for Milo he seems like someone who would be a nobody if no opposition gave him any attention. The only thing he deserves attention for is the calls for harassment or trolling of individuals. His "speeches" and whatnot are better to be ignored. This way people will only know him for being an asshole and not someone who's being rejected by the "progressive establishment" for his political views (like Trump). That's especially true since the last election has shown that once you get that "victim" status you'll gather a lot of support from people who are (very) wary of said establishment.

generals3:

Thaluikhain:

Historically, ignoring violent extremists or people calling for violent extremism tends not to work very well.

Well it depends, Donald Trump did gain a lot from all the (negative) attention he got. As for Milo he seems like someone who would be a nobody if no opposition gave him any attention. The only thing he deserves attention for is the calls for harassment or trolling of individuals. His "speeches" and whatnot are better to be ignored. This way people will only know him for being an asshole and not someone who's being rejected by the "progressive establishment" for his political views (like Trump). That's especially true since the last election has shown that once you get that "victim" status you'll gather a lot of support from people who are (very) wary of said establishment.

There's truth in that, yeah. Though, getting negative press isn't needed to get you victim status (alternative facts and all), it certainly helps.

Gethsemani:

The problem there is, obviously, that if the 'Left' gets their own Milo, then we'd have no quality left in political debates. The reason the alt-right comes of as strong is that its' adherents tend to have far lower standards of behavior and debate then their opponents. Doesn't matter if the alt-righter is called Milo, Huntington or Donald.

...

Seriously?

...

And where, pray, is this "quality left" hiding among the hordes of chanting No-Platformers and social media inquisitions? Is it the ones labelling everyone who doesn't show enough enthusiasm for their racket subhuman vermin, or indeed insentient filth and waste matter? Perhaps it's those people whooping it up in their interesting headgear when decrepit vaudevillians like "Madonna" shriek about bombing the White House? I'd sincerely like to know. Because it seems everyone who tries to remain civil gets "called out" as a crypto-Nazi, or an enabler thereof at the very least. Hell, it's now considered excellent Light Entertainment to call a political figure's mouth a "cockholster" for a rival statesman.

I've said it before, and now I'm saying it again: if Milo Yiannopoulos was mocking the right people, he'd be a beloved host of a late night comedy talk show on one of the major networks. Though perhaps considered a little tame by the hip young left of quality.

bastardofmelbourne:

RikuoAmero:
If this guy is so weak as everyone else is saying, so not worth one's time...why is he so feared? Why all the effort to make damn sure he doesn't sell his book, doesn't speak at engagements?

Might as well ask Milo the same thing about Linda Sarsour.

It's almost as if he doesn't care about free speech at all!

Can you do something for me please? Please quote either from that article or elsewhere where Milo actively tries to prevent Sarsour from speaking or publishing.
I can't quote it since I'm writing this on a tablet but the article you gave had Milo saying something about him WANTING Sarsour to speak, for people to hear her.

StatusNil:

...

Seriously?

...

And where, pray, is this "quality left" hiding among the hordes of chanting No-Platformers and social media inquisitions? Is it the ones labelling everyone who doesn't show enough enthusiasm for their racket subhuman vermin, or indeed insentient filth and waste matter? Perhaps it's those people whooping it up in their interesting headgear when decrepit vaudevillians like "Madonna" shriek about bombing the White House? I'd sincerely like to know. Because it seems everyone who tries to remain civil gets "called out" as a crypto-Nazi, or an enabler thereof at the very least. Hell, it's now considered excellent Light Entertainment to call a political figure's mouth a "cockholster" for a rival statesman.

I've said it before, and now I'm saying it again: if Milo Yiannopoulos was mocking the right people, he'd be a beloved host of a late night comedy talk show on one of the major networks. Though perhaps considered a little tame by the hip young left of quality.

Find me an opinion maker of any sort on the left that's at least semi-famous and has used a rhetoric similar to Milo's. Not just some random celebrity or internet person, but someone who consistently gets a platform and resources to spread their political message.

There's a definitive and obvious difference between calling someone you disagree with a nazi/commie/sjw/liberal carebear (a rhetorical fallacy at the most) and advocating open violence against a group of people (ie. Milo's "beat the fags back into the closet").

StatusNil:

Seriously?

...

And where, pray, is this "quality left" hiding among the hordes of chanting No-Platformers and social media inquisitions?

If you're genuinely forming your view of an entire wing of the political spectrum based on some campus campaigns and social media presences, then that's so monumentally reductionist, so blatantly and self-evidently ludicrous, it's not even worth entertaining.

generals3:

Thaluikhain:

Historically, ignoring violent extremists or people calling for violent extremism tends not to work very well.

Well it depends, Donald Trump did gain a lot from all the (negative) attention he got. As for Milo he seems like someone who would be a nobody if no opposition gave him any attention.

It's not the attention he gets which makes him not a nobody, it's the money and exposure he gets from people interested not so much in hearing his message but in having him deliver it to others. There is an extensive media ecosystem poised exclusively to promote far right views, and it exists largely because rich people know that the far right won't reorganize the economy overmuch, and they'd much rather that the rage caused by capitalism be displaced against powerless scapegoats rather than the real problem. Far right ideology accomplishes this displacement admirably. Honest centrists have the problem of trying to defend a terrible system rationally and directly, while the "just trolling" far right bloviators have no scruple about doing so irrationally and dishonestly.

Indeed, they don't even have to defend the system: they can simply lie about opposing it. And of course there are innumerable arguments to the effect of "but we haven't made our society dystopian enough yet for the real virtues of capitalism to shine through and magically lift everyone out of poverty!" The honest centrist can't credibly make those arguments; but the less shrewd sometimes do, if pressed, because defending capitalism is the overriding principle and like Hindenburg they'll embrace the far right if it means the socialists and communists don't get to win.

image

Seanchaidh:

It's not the attention he gets which makes him not a nobody, it's the money and exposure he gets from people interested not so much in hearing his message but in having him deliver it to others. There is an extensive media ecosystem poised exclusively to promote far right views, and it exists largely because rich people know that the far right won't reorganize the economy overmuch, and they'd much rather that the rage caused by capitalism be displaced against powerless scapegoats rather than the real problem. Far right ideology accomplishes this displacement admirably. Honest centrists have the problem of trying to defend a terrible system rationally and directly, while the "just trolling" far right bloviators have no scruple about doing so irrationally and dishonestly.

It helps that the "Liberal" American Right Democrats voters can just prop up the far-right to set the bar so low they can get away with so much and still claim to be left wing, by logic that by current US Standards, Nixon was a communist by founding the EPA.

"Shouldn't we sit down and talk about nationalising the prison system or re-evaluating our approach to law enforcement?"

"Oh not now, Trump just make a joke about his cock! The Racist!"

RikuoAmero:
Can you do something for me please? Please quote either from that article or elsewhere where Milo actively tries to prevent Sarsour from speaking or publishing.
I can't quote it since I'm writing this on a tablet but the article you gave had Milo saying something about him WANTING Sarsour to speak, for people to hear her.

If he wanted Sarsour to speak, what was he protesting? Her existence?

I don't even like Linda Sarsour, but seriously. How is it that left-wing people protesting Milo speaking at a university is an attack on free speech, but right-wing people protesting Linda Sarsour speaking at a university is a defence of it?

It's nonsense. Milo does not care about free speech. Milo says he cares about free speech, usually when talking to journalists who press him on the hypocrisy, but when it comes down to the actual speech that Milo wants to see freed, he only ever bothers to defend speech that he already agrees with.

starbear:
I don't care if Milo claims victory or not. His ego, and the ego of his devotees, doesn't affect me and doesn't affect others. What does affect people is targeted harassment: and when he was on twitter Milo was very effective in setting up targets for the trolls. Ignoring him didn't work. Just ask anyone that was on the receiving end. What worked was shutting him down. Pushing him off his platforms, marginalising him, calling him out. So he want's to gloat? He can gloat. I don't want him "scared." I don't care what scares him. I want people safe.

The "ignore him" approach doesn't work. Its one of the primary lessons of goobergate: don't let them control the narrative.

By trying to shut him down, you're engaging with the narrative he controls. He wants people protesting him. He wants that because it makes him seem like the victim, and it's that manufactured victimhood that energises his audience.

Look at this video. This comes from Milo's talk at the University of Washington in Seattle, just after he was told that someone outside had been shot. I know it's Milo and it's hard to watch him speak without vomiting, but it's only a couple of minutes long. The kicker is that the person who was shot was an antifascist protester. The shooter was a Milo fan who had posted on Facebook about how he and his wife were going to the protest intending to start a fight.

When Milo says he won't "let them win," in response to the shooting, he gets a standing ovation that lasts for a minute. The expectation amongst people attending was that one of their own had been shot. That was the narrative Milo was selling. That was the narrative he controls, and it is the narrative you feed into when you talk about pushing him off his platform and ensuring that he doesn't get to speak.

You want to control the narrative, you need to not get trolled. Now, if we're talking calm, informed opposition - like me, when I calmly inform others that Milo is a shit-stained condom of a person not worth the secondhand semen he contains - then we're on the same page. That's fine. Tell people Milo is an idiot; tell them why he's wrong, walk through it step by step. Defuse him. But the shit that went on in Berkeley early this last year? The baseball bats and the guys in masks? That's what he wants to see. That's never going to work. It's like pushing down on the lid of a kettle to keep it from boiling over.

Thaluikhain:
Historically, ignoring violent extremists or people calling for violent extremism tends not to work very well.

I am not saying "ignore people who are advocating a crime." I am saying to ignore people who are trolling for attention; the people canny enough to avoid ever openly advocating something criminal.

Those people can incite criminal action, but they do it indirectly, by stirring up opposition in order to create a defensive mentality in their supporters and to earn the sympathy of otherwise-neutral onlookers. Historically, this is what the Nazis did in the 20s and early 30s with the German communist party; they sent gangs out to go provoke the communists into brutal street fights, and then pointed at the violence in the streets as a justification for their extremist platform. It was a tactic that got their foot into the halls of power, and it's a tactic that Milo and his buddies in the alt-right seek to revive.

Stir shit up, get people angry, pretend it's all a joke, and then when someone gets hurt, blame the other side and use the dead as a token to get the public's sympathy. That's their little bullshit magic trick.

Gethsemani:

Find me an opinion maker of any sort on the left that's at least semi-famous and has used a rhetoric similar to Milo's. Not just some random celebrity or internet person, but someone who consistently gets a platform and resources to spread their political message.

There's a definitive and obvious difference between calling someone you disagree with a nazi/commie/sjw/liberal carebear (a rhetorical fallacy at the most) and advocating open violence against a group of people (ie. Milo's "beat the fags back into the closet").

I asked you first, that is to find me an opinion maker on the left who engages in any serious dialogue outside the "progressive" bubble instead of silencing and vilifying, and doesn't get thrown into the ol' Deplorable Basket by what is allegedly "their side". Can you? And isn't Milo Yiannopoulos pretty much just "some random celebrity or internet person" himself? He's hardly the "right wing" Establishment, as you might have noticed when he was taken down by said establishment. Hell, he never even got to pal around with his big crush The Donald in person, unlike all the Hollywood types with Obama. Or Lena freaking Dunham with Hillary. Lena. Dunham.

And that obviously satirical column... I honestly can't tell if you're being disingenuous, or if it's some kind of Swedish earnestness thing that is preventing you from recognizing it as such. You think John Betjeman was thoroughly pleased when Luftwaffe bombs started falling on Slough a couple of years after he published a poem ostensibly calling for such an event? Or that Morrissey is much vexed that the town from Everyday is Like Sunday hasn't been nuked yet?

Let's just stop rehearsing that worn-out canard. Surely it's self-evident that a flamboyantly gay man saying gays "should be beaten back into the closet" is a deliberate, ironic paradox. What he's doing is romanticizing the underground past of male homosexual culture, as contrasted with what he considers the hysterically conformist marriage-obsessed bourgeois phase many of his peers are promoting. Because he's such a rebel. And that's about the size of it.

Seanchaidh:
There is an extensive media ecosystem poised exclusively to promote far right views, and it exists largely because rich people know that the far right won't reorganize the economy overmuch, and they'd much rather that the rage caused by capitalism be displaced against powerless scapegoats rather than the real problem.

That's simply not true. Anyone notice how tightly all your favorite Corporate Entities have latched onto the "diversity and inclusivity" cant that's supposedly so "left wing"? That's because they view that as the optimal way to organize their target markets, by transforming the individual consumers into pseudocommunities like the "fandoms" of media empires. This is a process of collectivization of consumerism, and frankly I'm greatly dismayed that not many people seem to notice it at all.

Compared to the media pushing this ideology, where exactly is this "extensive media ecosystem" that promotes "far right" views? Or are you saying it is still only poised to do so, which it will any day now?

bastardofmelbourne:
Historically, this is what the Nazis did in the 20s and early 30s with the German communist party; they sent gangs out to go provoke the communists into brutal street fights, and then pointed at the violence in the streets as a justification for their extremist platform.

Hmmm. Because the revolutionary Communists needed "provocation" to disrupt their peaceful ways?

They were working to overthrow the Weimar Republic too. That's the problem, not many were defending it. Maybe there's a lesson to draw there.

StatusNil:

Let's just stop rehearsing that worn-out canard. Surely it's self-evident that a flamboyantly gay man saying gays "should be beaten back into the closet" is a deliberate, ironic paradox. What he's doing is romanticizing the underground past of male homosexual culture, as contrasted with what he considers the hysterically conformist marriage-obsessed bourgeois phase many of his peers are promoting. Because he's such a rebel. And that's about the size of it.

Wanting equal marriage rights is "hysterically conformist"? This is just an argument against equal rights based on ridiculous stereotyping. That's not irony: it's shoddy logic and prejudiced, but completely earnest.

People just find it difficult to believe that somebody can trot out such nonsensical, bigoted tripe, and assume he must be being ironic. No, look beyond the "beating" hyperbole he used, and he's still arguing against equal rights.

StatusNil:

Hmmm. Because the revolutionary Communists needed "provocation" to disrupt their peaceful ways?

They were working to overthrow the Weimar Republic too. That's the problem, not many were defending it. Maybe there's a lesson to draw there.

The lesson to draw is that you didn't pay attention in history. The KPD did not pursue violent revolution after about 1923, and contested elections through the Reichstag instead.

bastardofmelbourne:

By trying to shut him down, you're engaging with the narrative he controls. He wants people protesting him. He wants that because it makes him seem like the victim, and it's that manufactured victimhood that energises his audience.

You've missed the point. We aren't trying to shut him down.

We are shutting him down.

Ignoring him on twitter didn't stop the waves of harassment and abuse that Milo flamed and encouraged. Getting him kicked off the platform did.

Look at this video. This comes from Milo's talk at the University of Washington in Seattle, just after he was told that someone outside had been shot. I know it's Milo and it's hard to watch him speak without vomiting, but it's only a couple of minutes long. The kicker is that the person who was shot was an antifascist protester. The shooter was a Milo fan who had posted on Facebook about how he and his wife were going to the protest intending to start a fight.

When Milo says he won't "let them win," in response to the shooting, he gets a standing ovation that lasts for a minute. The expectation amongst people attending was that one of their own had been shot. That was the narrative Milo was selling. That was the narrative he controls, and it is the narrative you feed into when you talk about pushing him off his platform and ensuring that he doesn't get to speak.

Do you not realize you've fallen for the narrative that Milo is selling, hook line and sinker?

You want people to moderate their behaviour in response to things that Milo says and does. You are giving him power: not taking it away. If people want to protest Milo: in a free society how exactly are you going to stop them? People are going to do what they want to do.

Of course Milo is going to lie. Of course Milo's fans are going to give him a standing ovation. Milo is going to spin a narrative. And his followers are going to fall for it. What we can do though is not to give his narrative strength. Telling people who have been hurt/harassed/abused by either Milo directly or his surrogates to suck it up, shut up and stay at home works as much in Milo's favour as people going out to protest him. He will spin anything that happens as a net-positive to him. So the very least we can do is not to take his side in the propaganda war.

You want to control the narrative, you need to not get trolled. Now, if we're talking calm, informed opposition - like me, when I calmly inform others that Milo is a shit-stained condom of a person not worth the secondhand semen he contains - then we're on the same page. That's fine. Tell people Milo is an idiot; tell them why he's wrong, walk through it step by step. Defuse him. But the shit that went on in Berkeley early this last year? The baseball bats and the guys in masks? That's what he wants to see. That's never going to work. It's like pushing down on the lid of a kettle to keep it from boiling over.

Conflating people with "baseball bats and masks" with people yelling and holding signs is just another part of the Milo narrative you've fallen for. Just stop doing that already. People who hurt other people or destroy property should be arrested and treated accordingly. But they should not be conflated with people who are merely protesting.

You might be the calmest and most informed person in the world. Congratulations. I'm pretty calm and informed as well. I've also never been responsible for any lasting social change in the world, I've had no direct influence on the direction of the country (apart from voting) and I use my skills and my status of being "informed" to argue with people on the internet. But there are other people out there, many with less power, privilege or influence than me who are out there making a real difference. Most don't protest because they "got trolled." Many are protesting because they've seen what happens when you don't protest: when voices like Milo get normalised, accepted, and made mainstream.

You say its "never going to work." That's Milo's narrative. The reality is that it does work: it has worked. Milo's 15 minutes at Berkeley cost them $800,000. If the price of "free speech" is well over half a million dollars then a lot of venues (that aren't obligated to take him) will have second thoughts about booking him. That isn't a bad thing.

StatusNil:

And where, pray, is this "quality left" hiding among the hordes of chanting No-Platformers and social media inquisitions?

On the subject of Milo and deplatforming, I would remind you that no leftist or liberal protest against him ever achieved anything except adding to his brand. He was never silenced until the conservatives at CPAC decided that he'd served his purpose and was starting to embarrass them. And it was the conservative wing of Simon and Schuster who rejected his publishing deal. And the news outlet that originally popularized the pedophilia advocacy story was the (extremely right-wing) Daily Mail.

Milo was shut down by conservatives and right-wingers who decided that he was an inconvenience, not by liberals and leftists who were afraid of him.

Silvanus:

Wanting equal marriage rights is "hysterically conformist"? This is just an argument against equal rights based on ridiculous stereotyping. That's not irony: it's shoddy logic and prejudiced, but completely earnest.

People just find it difficult to believe that somebody can trot out such nonsensical, bigoted tripe, and assume he must be being ironic. No, look beyond the "beating" hyperbole he used, and he's still arguing against equal rights.

Marriage, dude. It's about marriage, and the alleged attendant neediness for bourgeois respectability. What is marriage? An archaic institution to secure the legitimacy of a bloodline that at a much later date, not coincidentally around the same time as the ascendance of the bourgeoisie, came to accumulate vast sentimental significance. Back in the day, all the rebellious "bohemian" types were always scoffing at and rejecting it, and as I see it, Mr. Yiannopoulos is affecting a similar pose.

You may well find that offensively self-absorbed at the expense of what you see as a deserved rite [sic], but there's no need to treat it as a literal (in the literal sense) call to perpetrate violence against gay individuals.

StatusNil:

Marriage, dude. It's about marriage, and the alleged attendant neediness for bourgeois respectability. What is marriage? An archaic institution to secure the legitimacy of a bloodline that at a much later date, not coincidentally around the same time as the ascendance of the bourgeoisie, came to accumulate vast sentimental significance. Back in the day, all the rebellious "bohemian" types were always scoffing at and rejecting it, and as I see it, Mr. Yiannopoulos is affecting a similar pose.

I fully agree with this, and if it turns that Milo actually does have the same reasoned critique of the institution of marriage (which I rather doubt, though) then it might be the one truly intelligent and "politically incorrect" (in the sense of being iconoclastic and rebellious) position that he's ever taken in his life.

But if that's truly what he thinks, then why the fuck would he align himself with the Republicans?

renegade7:

On the subject of Milo and deplatforming, I would remind you that no leftist or liberal protest against him ever achieved anything except adding to his brand. He was never silenced until the conservatives at CPAC decided that he'd served his purpose and was starting to embarrass them. And it was the conservative wing of Simon and Schuster who rejected his publishing deal. And the news outlet that originally popularized the pedophilia advocacy story was the (extremely right-wing) Daily Mail.

Milo was shut down by conservatives and right-wingers who decided that he was an inconvenience, not by liberals and leftists who were afraid of him.

True, but that's kind of what I've been saying. When "The Left" acts like they do, they will inevitably promote exactly the kind of opposition that thrives on the wildly disproportionate hysteria being invoked, instead of being cowed by it in the manner of more genteel types. Almost as if that was a deliberate strategy against opposition... I know I personally, and many of my fellow "alt-right trolls" from the "dark corners of the Internet" would much prefer the involvement of some actual grown-up, who could make, like, coherent arguments and that kind of advanced shit. But 'twas not the case, so the next best thing is not to intimidated by the broadsides of hyperbolic invective.

Thinking about it, even I could actually don an SS uniform and run around beating frail minority ladies up with a swastika club - and probably worse - and there's nothing worse to say about me than has already been proclaimed from on high in so many words. I just happen to lack any inclination to do so for some reason. Like not actually being a Nazi lunatic or something.

StatusNil:

Marriage, dude. It's about marriage, and the alleged attendant neediness for bourgeois respectability. What is marriage? An archaic institution to secure the legitimacy of a bloodline that at a much later date, not coincidentally around the same time as the ascendance of the bourgeoisie, came to accumulate vast sentimental significance. Back in the day, all the rebellious "bohemian" types were always scoffing at and rejecting it, and as I see it, Mr. Yiannopoulos is affecting a similar pose.

Absolute bollocks, is he. He's not arguing for abolition of marriage; he's arguing that marriage should be open to some people and not to others, on the basis of sexuality.

The whole "bourgeois" thing is a poorly-thought out, irrational window dressing, disguising a position based on unequal legal standing.

StatusNil:

You may well find that offensively self-absorbed at the expense of what you see as a deserved rite [sic], but there's no need to treat it as a literal (in the literal sense) call to perpetrate violence against gay individuals.

I never treated anything as a call to violence. You just made that up.

I treated it as bigoted, which it is.

I see the usual crowd is out to defend the integrity of a self-described troll.

After a lot of reflection, I've come to see Milo as symptomatic of how thoroughly neo-liberal capitalism has commoditized fucking everything. Now psychological validation for untenable political platforms is its own industry. Fox News, Alex Jones, Mike Cernovich, et al are just snake oil salesmen who have found a time, place and market for their bullshit that can make them very wealthy or at least affluent.

Milo's mistake was apologizing before someone put his balls in a legal vice. He built his image as a right-wing provocateur on being an iconoclast who reveled in the hatred he received from his critics and never apologized for anything. He never played defense and absolutely refused to let anyone else have any control over the direction of the conversation. And then he made some ill-advised "jokes" about pedophilia and apologized when they came to light in the mainstream. Just like that, the magic was gone. Fearing for their brands, the right wing business empires cut ties with him and I imagine at least some of his fans felt disillusioned to see their hero apologizing to the same people he professes to hate.

Personally, I see this brand of populist neo-fascism or whatever you want to call Donald Trump and the alt-right as speeding toward a brick wall. Leaving aside the demographics issues (the sting of which the Republican party is already starting to confront), these propagandists and talking heads are playing a game of escalation. Unsurprising considering demagoguery is built on stoking emotional fervor rather than rational conviction. Still, in the game of escalation, it eventually collapses under its own weight. Milo said a lot of shocking things, yeah. But he's competing for ears and eyeballs in a market where Trump is having Twitter tantrums, Alex Jones is raving about demonic cannibal lesbians (the name of my new punk band, by the way), Stephen Molyneux is insisting Star Wars: TLJ is an allegory for how white men have it worse than literally everyone else and the editor-in-chief of Breitbart is admitting on the record that he thought the allegations against Roy Moore were probably true but winning a Senate seat was more important.

Demagoguery is pretty timeless, but individual demagogues have a shelf life. You can only get so outrageous before it starts biting you in the ass.

Silvanus:

I never treated anything as a call to violence. You just made that up.

I treated it as bigoted, which it is.

Right, but Gethsemani did earlier, when she brought it up. This is a multilateral discussion.

Besides, haven't your club evolved a hive consciousness yet? I know we have, back in the Troll Den in the Dark Corner. That's why it's so eminently reasonable to hold me accountable for whatever some rando happens to say on the Internet, as many do.

StatusNil:

I know I personally, and many of my fellow "alt-right trolls" from the "dark corners of the Internet" would much prefer the involvement of some actual grown-up, who could make, like, coherent arguments and that kind of advanced shit.

Arguments about what? What aspect of alt-right philosophy can a coherent argument even be made out of?

The alt-right has been around in force since mid-2014. It's had three and a half years to put forward mature and coherent arguments. The fact that it hasn't should kind of tell you something.

Trump supporters criticizing people for not acting like 'grown ups' is as hypocritical as it gets.

StatusNil:

I asked you first, that is to find me an opinion maker on the left who engages in any serious dialogue outside the "progressive" bubble instead of silencing and vilifying, and doesn't get thrown into the ol' Deplorable Basket by what is allegedly "their side". Can you?

All your grandstanding and word wrangling aside, this is not how a debate works, and I am certain you know it. You made a claim about "the left", I asked you to prove its' validity. You didn't, instead wanting me to find some proof of people on the left that are reconciliatory. Then you went on a tangent about how Milo was not really representable of the alt-right because reasons, despite them being more than happy to give him a platform for years (you know being an editor at Breitbart, being an invited speaker and honor guest at their events etc.).

But my first point still stands, until you can find me someone on "the left" that's on the level of Milo, we have to accept that he and people like him are symptomatic of the alt-right, not political discourse in general.

StatusNil:
Marriage, dude. It's about marriage, and the alleged attendant neediness for bourgeois respectability. What is marriage? An archaic institution to secure the legitimacy of a bloodline that at a much later date, not coincidentally around the same time as the ascendance of the bourgeoisie, came to accumulate vast sentimental significance. Back in the day, all the rebellious "bohemian" types were always scoffing at and rejecting it, and as I see it, Mr. Yiannopoulos is affecting a similar pose.

Bullshit.

You've obviously not even read Milo's op ed. His points are that gay men should marry women and have babies and keep their sexuality a secret for various reasons (one of which is to prevent a Muslim population bomb). Nowhere in said piece does he make an argument against marriage, only open homosexuality. And while I was wrong, he doesn't call for open violence, only outright bullying, I think it doesn't diminish the severity of having a popular writer of the alt-right make an open call for bullying homosexuals.

StatusNil:

Seanchaidh:
There is an extensive media ecosystem poised exclusively to promote far right views, and it exists largely because rich people know that the far right won't reorganize the economy overmuch, and they'd much rather that the rage caused by capitalism be displaced against powerless scapegoats rather than the real problem.

That's simply not true.

'Tis.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/no-one-knows-what-the-powerful-mercers-really-want/514529/

The center right is a larger part of the wealthy-backed media landscape; the public relations conscious part (yes, for the most part corporations don't like to be thought of as supporting awful racism). But the far right media landscape is there too. What, do you think Rush Limbaugh doesn't exist? The closest you'll find for a real left perspective is fucking Democracy Now!, TYT, or RT America, and aside perhaps from RT America, they are nowhere near so unconditionally well-funded.

Bastardofmelbourne, when you asked what Milo was protesting Sarsour for if he is serious about wanting her to be able to speak...this just shows how language itself has been warped.
One can protest, say nasty things about other people, all the while allowing them the opportunity to speak.
I'm reminded of a thunderf00t video from seven or eight years ago. He's a YouTube atheist and he literally sits down to talk with Westboro Baptist church. He had previously criticised them and did so again afterward. At no point did he try to prevent the church from speaking.

So again I ask you when and where has Milo attempted to prevent Sarsour from speaking? As in, has he done anything like what happened during his college tour. Something anything at all to ensure that Sarsour is unable to speak.

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