Dangerous Books, 2017
Meanwhile, look who’s finally gotten off the big red chair and wants to come play with us again after being such a bad boy. As promised, Milo Yiannopoulos has finally released his book Dangerous after it had been canceled by his would-be publisher Simon and Schuster earlier this year. In case you don’t remember, last February, Milo’s brilliant rising star as a political personality and all-around, button-pushing, attention-seeking gadlfy turned into a sputtering, twin-prop, World-War-I-era airplane and came crashing down in a billow of smoke with Milo in the cockpit sporting Heat Miser hair, flowing Isadora Duncan scarf, and goggles.
Of course, this happened the moment it was revealed he had once spoken lightly of the sexual abuse he received at the hands of a priest when he was only thirteen old. For a man who is both promiscuously conservative and staunchly gay, this was a little too much for his career to weather. He was accused of promoting sex with children, and the subsequent shame forced him to resign as an editor at Breitbart and take a half-year hiatus from public life. The Dangerous Faggot tour had come to a screeching, ignominious halt, and many on the Left, who had felt constant pressure from this flamboyant provocateur and tireless Trump-booster all throughout 2016, rejoiced.
Meanwhile, the Alt Right yawned.
So, the book. Can you imagine a book called “Dangerous” being penned by Milo Yiannopoulos and not being all about Milo Yiannopoulos?
I would compare Milo’s colossal ego to a vast black hole in the middle of the universe sucking everything in a million light-year radius into its proud, pitchy, maw, but that would invite too many dick jokes for this respectable corner of the Alt Right. (Don’t worry, the book features several). Anyway, after three (!) separate introductions (with one convincingly arguing Milo’s honest opposition to pedophilia), Milo embarks upon what will become the central theme of the book:
Why <insert group that hates Milo Yiannopoulos here> hates Milo Yiannopoulos.
So, according to Milo, his enemies include the progressive Left, the Alt Right, Twitter, feminists, Black Lives Matter, the media, establishment gays, establishment Republicans, and Muslims. Yes, he has a chapter on why each one of these groups hate him. And what do all these chapters have in common? Why, Milo, of course.
Thing is, Milo actually gets away with such unabashed solipsism, making Dangerous an engaging, engrossing, and at times hilarious read. He gets away with it for three main reasons: He’s smart, he’s prepared, and, most importantly, he is interesting. As I pointed out in my earlier piece on him, Milo is like the heroic anti-hero in a great tragicomic play whose plot is unfolding before our very eyes. It’s hard to pull away because regardless of where you stand politically, you still want to find out how this damn story ends.
Of course, to do this, one would presumably have to first leave one’s political convictions at the door since, odds are, one is already a member of one of the groups which hates Milo. Earlier, I had joked about having to remove my Alt Right armband and White Nationalist monocle before being able to appreciate Milo, and I believe that still stands. For the Alt Right, a little negative capability goes a long way when it comes to Milo. Also, we should not take him too seriously since he is not, and will never be, one of us.
Then again, we’re not his intended audience. Any reasonably well-informed person on the Alt Right will see many of the punches in Dangerous coming and will learn little. However, this book will do a tremendous amount of good red- (er, pink-) pilling politically ambiguous college students who are still susceptible to the specious wiles of socialism, feminism, and cultural-Marxism. And Milo busts his hump on every page demonstrating how conservatives are now the cool, hip, edgy kids on campus, just like the lefties were in the 1960s. As far as indoctrination into the world of the Right, you could do a lot worse.
His best chapters, in my opinion, are the ones dealing with the establishment Republicans and Islam. In the former case—and I could be wrong about this—I detect some real original thinking. Milo, offers copious footnotes in Dangerous, but not too many when detailing the cuckiness of conservatives. In this chapter, he holds up the self-defeating never-Trumpism of Ben Shapiro and the bizarre political turnaround of Glen Beck as examples of how conservatives like to do everything but fight. As a result, the Right has lost the culture wars by default to the Left, and don’t even seem broken up about it.
Indeed, the few establishment conservatives who do care about campus issues—and attract huge online followings of young people in doing so—privately admit their success is met with bemusement by fellow beltway conservatives, who wonder what the fuss is about, and why more people aren’t interested in the latest appropriations bill or Russian naval maneuvers in the North Sea. Young conservatives, who are on the front lines of leftist intolerance every day, fell asleep during that last sentence.
So, it’s not like Milo isn’t interested in the supply-side economics which made Ronald Reagan so successful. Such humdrum topics just don’t top his priority list—despite how fascinating he finds the Laffer Curve. He knows what young, sane individuals need these days—namely, a chance and a reason to rebel—and he gives it to them. He points out quite eloquently how all of our electoral victories will be meaningless without victory in the culture war. But what makes this chapter so interesting is how, after mopping the floor with the stodgy establishment GOP for their laziness, greed, and cowardly political correctness (something we’ve heard many times before) Milo then outlines how we actually need such figures to work in tandem with streetwise, conservative hellraisers like himself. It’s as if he’s scrunching up his ego long enough to actually share the stage with someone else, a delightful reminder that even Milo doesn’t take Milo seriously all the time.
The chapter on Islam, on the other hand, is remarkable for its pure pugnaciousness. After giving us the ugly run down of the immigration crisis in Europe, Milo tears into the Left not only for allying itself with these barbarous invaders but for turning its back on its own liberal principles from years ago. Milo spends pages on the Charlie Hebdo massacre of 2015 and author Salmon Rushdie’s analysis of it to conclude how morally bankrupt the Left has become.
Again, not a new idea, but Milo’s forceful rendition of what he would like to become the great Muslim Passion Play is downright inspiring. He speaks frankly of defeating Islam and compares it to communism during the Cold War. Regardless of what folks think about Milo personally, it is refreshing to know we have such a powerful and fearless ally in our cultural and military wars against Islam.
Milo’s chapters on the progressive Left and feminism are equally excellent, if hardly surprising. Of course, this isn’t Milo’s fault. These fields constitute his wheelhouse, after all. One would expect devastating take downs of feminism and the Left in these chapters, and Milo certainly delivers. In fact, he smacks Left-wingers so hard I almost feel sorry for them. Here’s a taste:
The modern Left is an ouroboros, the ancient Egyptian serpent that eats its own tail, constantly consuming itself in a twisted, never-ending cycle of victimhood, hatred and name-calling. No matter how nice they are to you when they’re focusing on your particular group’s causes, leftists will always, in the end, ﬁnd a way to shame you about some alleged “privilege.”
Yes, sometimes he makes pointing out fake news and media mendacity into a bigger victory that it really is. On the other hand, somebody needs to keep banging the drum on this, and it might as well be Milo. Keeping in mind the intended audience, this is perfectly appropriate.
Then comes the “Why the Alt Right Hates Me” chapter, which, I must admit, had me tensing up before reading. “Here it comes,” I thought, “Milo’s devastating attack on me and my political corner of the world. We’re going to get sliced into bloody ribbons by this man’s razer-sharp wit.” But you know what? The chapter was quite tame and ( . . . armband and monocle . . . beckoning . . . must resist . . .) unconvincing.
Milo introduces the topic by outlining the history behind his influential 2016 Breitbart article on the Alt Right called “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right,” and then moves on to bash the Left. He also spills a lot of ink on the less-than-relevant topic of how he often gets mistaken as a leader of the Alt Right.
When he finally gets around to putting the Alt Right in his blonde, poofy cross-hairs, his argument consists of two prongs: 1) Andrew Anglin says mean things about him, and 2) the “fringe” has taken over the Alt Right. He then proclaims the Alt Right “dead” and announces that “[i]t increasingly looks like the only people left in the alt-right movement are Holocaust-deniers, Richard Spencer fans, and Daily Stormer readers.”
Milo, darling, this just isn’t true. You wrote the introduction to SJWs Always Lie by Vox Freaking Day, for Kek’s sake. You should know better. Vox is front and center Alt Right, and presumably a big fan of yours. Would he agree with this assessment? How about Jared Taylor or Peter Brimelow or Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents? The Alt Right? Dead? Really? I understand you’re distinguishing the Alt Right from the Alt Lite or Alt West. You’ve said enough nice things about Stefan Molyneux to make that clear. But still . . .
Do you have the numbers on the website traffic, donations, and book sales from major Alt Right organizations to actually prove such a claim?
Didn’t think so.
Anyway, when one compares the Alt Right chapter to his others, it becomes clear that Milo’s heart is not really in attacking the Right. It’s brief, not terribly funny, and in it, he is not the fag-zilla he purports himself to be everywhere else in his book. It’s his weakest chapter, but I say this for Milo’s sake (because I like Milo). He could have done his research and uncovered all sorts of ugly warts on the Alt Right. Unfortunately for him, however, none of these warts has anything to do with hating Milo Yiannopoulos.
From my personal perspective, this was the most gratifying chapter in the book since it proved that he really doesn’t have much on the Alt Right at all. We withstood his backhanded bitch slap and came out stronger than before. If this is the best he has against us, then the Alt Right is doing all right indeed. (Thank you, Milo!)
One the great charms of this book is Milo’s chatty tone. It’s fluid and consistent and makes the breezy passages fun and the heavier passages, well, less heavy. Milo has a way of slipping dense history or philosophical ideas into a reader’s mind without any heavy lifting on the reader’s part. I never had to re-read a sentence in Dangerous, yet never did seem to be fluff. The man’s prose is as effortless and facile as his public speaking. He may as well have dictated the whole thing.
Another charm is Milo’s sacrilegious (and quite famous) sense of humor. Some jokes are better than other, of course, but a quite a few had me laughing out loud. One, from the Black Lives Matter chapter, goes like this:
I’ve lost count of the number of black guys I have personally lifted out of poverty. (Admittedly, I send them back the next day in an Uber).
There’s an even better one in the establishment gays chapter which pokes deliciously cruel fun at lesbians. You’ll have to buy the book to discover that one for yourselves. All I will say about it is that it turns out that gay men and lesbians don’t really like each other very much. Who knew?
And while we get to know Milo much better in Dangerous, it seems that his flaws are also the book’s flaws. For example, this book is all about the here and now. Milo Yiannopoulos wears cultural ephemera around his pasty white neck like a pink feather boa. Sure, he cuts a fabulous image, but in ten years, is anyone really going to care about Shaun King or Trigglypuff or Milo’s Twitter feud with Leslie Jones, or why he thinks a half-naked Lena Dunham looks like a manatee? In a sense, Milo is elevating the pettiest of his enemies to his level just by mentioning them repeatedly in print, and I am not sure this is a good thing. Of course, none of it bothers me personally since I am aware of these cultural tidbits and get the jokes (although, I had no idea that Milo and Gavin McInnes once kissed at a press conference—something I wish Milo had omitted from his book because now the image will haunt my dreams forever). But imagine how well jokes about hanging chads or Dude, Where’s My Car or choking the one-eyed cleric would go over these days.
There is a book by Dinesh D’Souza from 2002 called Letters to a Young Conservative which strives to do many of the same things Dangerous does. It’s undoubtedly inferior to Dangerous because it lacks all the admirable qualities described above and is somewhat stodgy and condescending besides. However, it may indeed have greater lasting power since it eschews all the distracting cultural noise that Milo revels in on almost every page of Dangerous.
Another thing: Milo comes across as a gadfly for the sake of being a gadfly. For example, he proclaims homosexuality to be morally wrong and then says he likes being wrong. Now, this is perfectly fine from a reader’s standpoint (although, one has to wonder about Milo’s). It’s one of the things that makes Milo so interesting, but it is also a point Milo brings home ad nauseam in Dangerous. Basically, dubbing himself the next Cinncinatus because there is an inherent contradiction in standing up for conservative values while on bended knee fellating black men gets kind of old. He probably could have shed four or five pages of this sort of thing and come out better in the end.
The most important contradiction about Milo, however, and one that will most inform the Alt Right about him, is that he seems like a man of the Right, but he isn’t. This is a trick of convergent evolution, like the flying squirrel and the flying marsupial being so phenotypically similar yet so genotypically distant. Milo is a classic liberal. Yet since he lives in a world which has shifted the Overton Window so far to the Left, he often finds himself agreeing the Right because both he and the Right have been left out that window. But unlike the Right which wishes to swing that window back all the way to the Right like a pendulum, Milo is interested in pulling it only as far as the center and keeping it there. Here’s a passage which demonstrates what I mean:
Black Lives Matter hates me, and I hate them. But I don’t hate them because they pose a threat to white people. I hate them because they do precisely the opposite of what they claim to do. They cause more black lives to be lost, not less. And they do so by attacking the one group of people trying to help their communities.
The people who really ought to hate Black Lives Matter are black people.
Nobody on the Alt Right could have written such silliness. We hate Black Lives Matter because they hate us. It’s a survival thing in a low-burn war. From an Alt Right perspective, we care about BLM hypocrisy less than their desire to kill us and steal our stuff. Sure, it’s unfortunate that BLM actually causes more blacks to die, but the Alt Right is much more concerned about the tens of thousands of white people that blacks have murdered since the Civil Rights movement (not to mention the ethnic cleansing of our once-great inner cities and a whole lot of other terrible things blacks have done to us). We kind of take it personally that that all happened and are keen on preventing it from happening again. And the best way to do this is for the races to separate, regardless of how much Milo wishes they could fraternize.
In essence, the Alt Right is primarily about race, and race, for whatever reason, just isn’t Milo’s thing. Although I don’t blame Milo for this, it is the fundamental reason why I often disagree with him. As with most on the Alt Lite, I find his centrist, libtertarian-styled philosophy to be consistent and laudable, but ultimately unworkable given the tribal character of human beings, especially those of the non-white variety. Milo may care about the black lives that don’t matter to his Black Lives Matter enemies, but he seems less interested in whether this interracial care is reciprocated. Clearly, it isn’t.
Dangerous, more than anything, demonstrates that Milo Yiannopoulos and the Alt Right are more (ahem) bedfellows than true allies . . . at least at this point in history. I know it’s not ideal, but it is still not nothing. As long as we have similar enemies in the Left and Islam, this will fortunately continue. And don’t forget, Milo is honest enough to admit that white males are the architects of western culture. For me, at least, that really means a lot. And who cares if he is gay and brags about debauching non-whites all the time? Milo will never be clamoring for entry into a white ethnostate. Not while there’s an Israel he can flee to. So does it really matter? For me, the positives about Milo far outweigh the negatives.
So until that happy day when we find ourselves wrangling with Milo or one of his successors over how the Overton Window has shifted too far to the right, the best thing the Alt Right can do about Milo Yiannopoulos is to stay out of his way and enjoy the show.
Because, really, it’s a hell of a show.