|My favorite picture of Milo. Video capture by me.|
One of the guests on the program this week was Milo Yiannopoulos, a right-wing "star" of rather recent vintage. He's some sort of big-wig at Breitbart "News," and considers himself a (at best) provocateur, and (in reality) a troll, something he sort of owns as his "thing." He--like his (allegedly) female counterpart Ann Coulter--lives for controversy. He absolutely thrives on getting a rise out of people, pissing them off, and making news for saying or doing (or causing) something dreadful. He thinks of himself as clever, funny and cute. He has a fraction of the wattage on any of those attributes that he thinks he has.
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The fact that Milo is flamboyantly gay, and yet has a fan base (and preferred political alignment with) people who would otherwise hate him, is also likely an irony that delights him. This write-up of him, for instance wouldn't ruffle his feathers at all, in fact it's probably too kind to even rise to his attention if he saw it. And this week, he was a guest on Bill Maher's show, which led to the public disassociation of prospective guest, writer Jeremy Scahill. Milo digs that as well. And while I applaud Scahill's effort, it's also counter-productive. The way to go was how both Larry Wilmore and Malcom Nance responded to Milo on this clip. Though Milo himself said he'd be literally masturbating to the attention later. Seriously.
But Milo also kind of inadvertently proved a point. And it was backed up by Bill's final New Rule, which was basically that anything is OKIYAR (okay if you are Republican). ANYTHING. In Milo's case, it's fine to be, as Wilmore said, "a douchey little ass," if it's in the service of conservatism. He pisses off the right people. He makes the right people complain and cause a shitstorm. And though it may just be a side effect, it distracts people from the serious stuff. The exact same thing is happening with Donald Trump, and it may be equally inadvertent.
It may be by their very nature that both just crave any attention, and in many cases, negative attention is easier. And again, pisses off all the "right" people. But while left-wing ire is boiling over on their antics, serious shit is either happening, or being ignored. And, we're also "proving a point," at least to the skewed perspective of Trump, Yiannopolous, and their twisted fans. See, if you watched Milo on Bill's show, he actually said that Democrats/liberals are the "party of Lena Dunham." In reality, most liberals and Democrats have little or only tangential notions of who Dunham is. The right, per usual, takes their exaggerated imagery of what it means to be a liberal, paints all liberals as that, and then tailors their rhetoric around it. Ever wonder why conservatives often seem like they're operating from a completely different reality? It's because they've created one. One where we all bow in allegiance to some obscure HBO actress, where we all have "safe spaces," and "triggers," and are all delicate "snowflakes" and "buttercups."
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Reality is quite different. And if Malcolm Nance is right, and this whole Russia thing is the biggest scandal in American history? Trump may find himself a pariah, and Milo and his fans and ilk just about as bad. Here's hoping. Oh, and by the way, I concur with both Nance and Wilmore: Milo can go fuck himself. But I'm sure he'd both love the sentiment, and the literal act.
He's an asshole. And not in a good way.