Milo Yiannopoulos’ new book “Dangerous,” (the title alludes to his recent, self named college speaking appearances “The Dangerous Faggot Tour”) is both at once what one would expect from him, as well as something more serious and substantive than his derivative, often tedious, gay camp routine would suggest. Above all, it is a determined attempt to revive his damaged brand and, for the most part, it succeeds, at least for now.
The book has eleven straightforward, easy to read chapters, the title of each which references Milo. The first ten are “Why X hates me,” which includes the progressive left, the Alt-Right, Twitter, Feminists (“these are the worst women humanity has to offer”), Black Lives Matter, the Media, Establishment Gays, Establishment Republicans, Muslims and why Gamers don’t hate him. The final chapter is “Why My College Tours Are So Awesome.”
This is a Milo-centric book and it helps to look past the self-absorption price of admission to get to the good parts of it. Those parts, I found, were the least focused on Milo and more on the political, cultural and media environments of the moment. They are worth reading and thinking about, even though that means putting up with Milo’s shtick.
Some of Milo’s keenest insights deal with politics in the Age of Trump, who he refers to as “Daddy.” For some reason, this never gets old and I find myself always laughing. Those abiding points of humor, which drive progressives and the media crazy, is one aspect of his shtick that I hope Milo never loses.
The first chapter on the progressive left is helpful for conservatives in understanding that these aren’t their fathers’ liberals. Milo efficiently explains why and gives a quick overview of Antonio Gramsci as well as the Frankfurt School. This knowledge really is power.
Milo assesses plainly the abject failure of republican politics. He previously had noted how the Democratic Party simply abandoned its working class base, preferring instead “a very different electoral coalition: latte-sipping metropolitan voters, fairytale dwelling antiwar activists, ugly women (sigh), and minorities.” His assessment of identity politics is scathing, acidic even, showing that when he removes himself as the focus of discussion, he has trenchant and insightful observations to make.
Milo quotes Thomas Sowell at the outset of his waterboarding chapter on the Republican establishment: “Right after liberal Democrats, the most dangerous politicians are country club Republicans.” Milo says that this quote “isn’t just a pithy saying. It’s completely true.” He’s right.
He believes “conservatives lost in arenas that were more important than electoral politics: art, academia, and pop culture. Despite momentary political victories, the values spread by Hollywood eventually influence the ballots cast in voting booths. Conservatives lost culture, and until we win it back our political victories will only be temporary setbacks against the steady advance of leftist principles.”
This overstates the case somewhat but in the main is accurate. Camille Paglia would be inclined to say that much of culture tilts left because of what it has become (a thing very much degraded in her view).
But Milo is inarguably correct in claiming that bleating about “muh principles,” or “muh Constitution,” coupled with a 14 page, single spaced policy position on the Exim-Import Bank, simply won’t carry the day. This tends to be the approach, alas, of much of the Minnesota Republican establishment, with predictable results.
I’m happy to report that Milo sees Tucker Carlson’s show the same way that I do: something new, vital and important. I say Tucker is red pilling America one hour each weeknight. Milo agrees and goes on to say more:
“His show is great, that’s why he got Bill O’Reilly’s job. FOX News has provided the roadmap for conservative media organizations seeking to rescue themselves from decline: bring in someone who isn’t a total cuck.
Politics isn’t won by commanding the facts, but by connecting with people’s experiences. That’s why it’s so important for conservatives to re-engage with culture and entertainment, which are the commanding heights of people’s experiences in the modern world. All our brilliant political victories will come to an end if we don’t win the culture war. Indeed, the fact that Donald Trump’s signature election promise— enforcing immigration laws—was seen as so controversial is a testament to how well progressives have ingrained their views on our culture. As recently as the 1990s, such a suggestion was completely mainstream. This is how progressives manage to keep winning the battle for America’s soul, despite occasional temporary setbacks on Election Day.
And that’s why, in a society increasingly frustrated by political correctness, conservatives need to grit their teeth and come to terms with the necessity of gauche, bragging provocateurs like Donald Trump…and me.”
By all means, then, buy this book. Milo sold 100,000 copies of “Dangerous” in the first twelve hours of sales, including pre-orders, wiping out Amazon’s stock which is due to be replenished any day now. Doubtless he’ll sell many more copies than that, but the initial launch more than answers the question whether Milo is still relevant, still a brand.
My own hope is that once the flamboyant, “look at me” phase of his career is over (much like Elton John putting away his feather boas and oversized glasses when he turned forty) Milo will remain something more than a brand: a force.