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Yiannopoulos’ enablers deserve contempt – and must be confronted | Owen Jones 

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“They were fine with his bigotry, his in-your-face, two-fingers-up transphobia, Islamophobia and misogyny. It took his defence of relationships between “older men” and “younger boys” for their queasiness to set in. The case of Milo Yiannopoulos is indeed a parable of our time. But who do I mean by “they”? In this case, both his associates and his enablers. His associates are the ascendant racist and neo-fascist movements of our time. He was a means to repackage their hatred for a certain demographic: as edgy, trendy, cool. Performative fascism, if you like. That’s why they call themselves the “alt-right”, after all: allowing them to cloak themselves not as a renaissance of fascist movements that have produced only human carnage in their previous incarnations, but as a sexy in-group and subculture that all the new cool kids are part of.”

Full text: Milo Yiannopoulos’s enablers deserve contempt – and must be confronted | Owen Jones | Opinion | The Guardian

Excellent article by Owen. Am I surprised? No. The problem with the polemicist, especially the Yiannopoulos variety, is that the polemics are artificial constructs. He’s not an intellectual or idealist pushing the boundaries and making people look at things from new angles. He’s being crass in the hopes of shocking people enough to create outrage. Said outrage being his only currency. Inevitably the system fails because to remain relevant the polemicist always has to go further- and one day he goes so far he falls into the abyss.

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33 comments on “Yiannopoulos’ enablers deserve contempt – and must be confronted | Owen Jones 

  1. Hariod Brawn
    February 21, 2017

    It’s a relatively new phenomenon, isn’t it — outrage as entertainment? Like that Katy what’s her name? I have to admit to being amused myself at how he disarms his interlocutors. I somehow suspect him getting ditched by his publishers today isn’t going to stop him accumulating a fortune.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really? I’ve always had the impression people were gentle because it’s so obvious he’s a complete mess. And I don’t mean a mess like someone who’s flaky or sometimes depressed- but who lives on the edge. Willing to do anything to feel wanted, to be applauded, to be part of the in-group.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 21, 2017

        I’ve only seen a handful of videos of him, including the recent interview with Bill Maher, but all interlocutors seemed compelled to level the same accusations against him, and none came out of it very well. But that’s not to say his views are necessarily correct, and one thinks of Chris Hitchens who ‘attacked’ women for being unfunny and who supported the Iraq war, but who was always entertaining in his polemic. You may be correct in your psychological analysis; I’ve really very little to judge him by. What he does is to mix quite rational positions in with stuff that’s at best dubious, so people are confused as to where he stands. You would agree with him on all the Safe Space & Triggering stuff, for example, and his position that Islam is the problem, not just so-called Radical Islam, seems very close to that of Sam Harris, who’s highly respected, of course (notwithstanding his critics over his stance on that.) There’s a video in the following link of just what I mean in what I’ve said here. He kills the interviewer, and yet it’s a mix of the highly dubious and seemingly reasonable:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39026870

        Like

      • I’m going on his own statements. He says he was an unhappy child with a bad relationship with his mother. No contact with his father. Dropped out of school, went bankrupt, there was the gamergate incident. Six months don’t go by without him being part of some sort of negative incident.
        I have the impression that if he knew how to achieve what he wants in another way, he’d do it. Do people really choose to be vandals or is it the result of something else?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oops, sorry I missed this: “You would agree with him on all the Safe Space & Triggering stuff, for example, and his position that Islam is the problem, not just so-called Radical Islam.”
        Not quite. My position is much more nuanced. I don’t have a problem with any privately practiced religion. As long as it’s something a person does themselves, applies to their own life- I don’t particularly care.
        I find the concept of a safe space childish, but if someone feels the need to isolate themselves, who am I to interfere?

        Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 21, 2017

        Well yes, it’s the result of your ‘something else’ in his case and that of Katy what’s-her-face. It’s the result of them wanting to get rich, as I first suggested. Any other theories?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Certainly; but if rich=x then what does x mean to them? The desire to be rich/successful/famous is nothing but substitutory. Break it down enough and you’re back at the basics, to survive and to be loved.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 21, 2017

        I think that’s a very good point, Pink. Still, getting at first causes isn’t always a straightforward business. We might say someone like Trump seeks the paternal approval and love he never received in measures he felt deserved of, so he seeks it vicariously insofar as he sees people admiring his golden palaces and imagining they approve similarly of him. [Funnily enough, Milo Yiannopoulos refers to Trump as his ‘daddy’.] But equally, I know a man who’s obsessed with wealth accumulation who absolutely is not motivated by the need for love and survival — he’s a multi-millionaire sociopath who doesn’t ever experience the giving or receiving of love (he’s incapable of it), and for him its wealth accumulation for the sake of it, along with the exercise of power as a correlate. He’s prone to become violent if he’s obstructed in these aims. So I don’t know what’s behind Yiannopoulos’ outrageous showbiz shtick as a first cause, but I think we can safely say that he does desire wealth, even if there are deeper psychological motivations in play behind that desire. He may be terribly conflicted, indeed he sounds so. He hangs out with white supremacists whilst only dating black guys. But yes, we can come back to agreeing that all neurotypical people want security and to be loved.

        Like

      • I can see how your point would apply to a sociopath or a psychopath- but not to the average person. That doesn’t mean I don’t find what he or others do absolutely disgusting- but I think the disarming effect in Yiannopoulos (which you referred to) is connected to this vulnerability that’s just under the surface. There’s a certain desperation about him that he can’t seem to conceal.

        Liked by 2 people

      • metan
        February 22, 2017

        Like a child acting out. Behaving terribly because they can’t put into words what is really wrong.

        Or, alternatively, a dog doing the same wrong thing over and over because negative attention is better than no attention!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Absolutely. I still haven’t encountered a person who would prefer to be disliked instead of liked.

        Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 22, 2017

        Pink, on your comment that begins ‘Oops sorry’, you’ve misattributed my words in that only the stuff about Safe Spaces and Triggering referred to you having agreement with Yiannopoulos. The remainder of that single sentence was:

        “. . . and his position that Islam is the problem, not just so-called Radical Islam, seems very close to that of Sam Harris, who’s highly respected, of course (notwithstanding his critics over his stance on that.)”

        I’ve no idea whether you agree with Sam Harris on that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oops again 🙂 No, I don’t agree with Sam Harris at all. In fact I think the evidence overwhelmingly contradicts his position.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 22, 2017

        Agreed, and I think Harris dug himself into something of an academically philosophical pit with that business about making a nuclear first strike against a Jihadist state. Still, he has huge numbers of supporters on that, and is considered (rightly) one of America’s foremost intellectuals. So, my point was that Yiannopoulos’ takes positions that accord with reasonable people — like yourself and Sam Harris — and then mixes that in with his other stuff. That’s a dangerous mix for people who can’t distinguish his nonsense from what is reasonable. Thankfully, his ‘daddy’ in Mar-a-Lago isn’t as clever and Machiavellian.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry to say I think Sam Harris has lost much of his credibility. The anti-islam thing may have started as a publicity ploy, but he turned into something which was simply racism in disguise. Suddenly there were no lines between Arab, Islamic or terrorist and that’s just hogwash.

        Liked by 2 people

      • agrudzinsky
        February 25, 2017

        Creating outrage is a lucrative business these days. Harris does the same. He deliberately makes statements that upset not only Muslims or religious people in general, but also his fellow philosophers and scientists. Too many people win their bread this way, unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hugely lucrative. Just note how often he got invited to speak on tv/radio after he adopted that gimmick.

        Like

      • agrudzinsky
        February 25, 2017

        I’d also note that this is a global trend. Trump uses this tactic to gain political capital as well. I’ve read that Yanukovich in Ukraine got elected using the same tactic of polarizing the society. The result of this tactic is now very obvious in Ukraine. Perhaps, the similarity is not accidental since Paul Manafort was his campaign manager as well as Trump’s. In Russia, Putin got his insane approval rating by demonizing the West as well as the liberals. Political talk shows with heated debates between chauvinists and liberals keep people glued to the TV screens which, of course, ensures a steady stream of ad revenue. By the way, people who generate and spread fake news in social media do it for the same reason – ad revenue. Same trends in France and Europe in general. It’s done deliberately.

        Like

  2. foolsmusings
    February 21, 2017

    I think Bill Maher has shown his true colours too. They are both cut from the same cloth. Anything for a buck, even if it means people are getting hurt because of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dpmonahan
    February 21, 2017

    Live by outrage, die by outrage.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. john zande
    February 21, 2017

    I keep seeing this guys name today and have no idea who the hell he is??

    Liked by 2 people

  5. inspiredbythedivine1
    February 21, 2017

    First I ever saw him was on Bill Maher’s show last Friday. Seems to be no more than a buzzing, troll gnat looking for a bright light to buzz around. To me, he had 0 substance and articulated his thoughts in a pompous, nebulous fashion. In other words I was highly unimpressed by him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. persedeplume
    February 21, 2017

    You can catch Milo as a “regular” on BBC’s The Big Questions. I suspect that was his “in” over at Breitbart and beyond. He’s a Brit. More so an unscrupulous opportunist.
    I would tell all the “log cabin” gays that Milo should be their cautionary tale. The right WILL eventually turn on you. And don’t come whining about life isn’t fair when it does.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Linn
    February 22, 2017

    Must say that seeing him in the newspaper this morning made me almost choke on my breakfast, until I started reading. Then I laughed.
    I know it’s childish of me, but seeing him being brought down by a part of his right wing fanbase made my day.
    I suppose some of the so called “rational liberals” will still blame it on leftists though (like everything), even if it was the right wingers that brought him down this time. ^_^

    I still see people everywhere mention how charming he is, which I simply don’t get. Are people that easily fooled? He’s as charming as my cousin’s psycopathic ex boyfriend. I’m not really saying he’s a psycopath of course, but the whole being “charming” while saying horrid things makes my skin crawl.

    It seems like you can say anything you want as long as you hide behind a thin veil of trolling and comedy.
    That’s how Trump did it after all. No one actually thinks he is being serious, and he can get away with everything, even outright lying in front of a live audience and millions of people watching all over the world.
    Being a horrible person is alright these days, because everyone excuses them as if they’re some 12 year old internet troll, even when they’re not just on the Internet, but out in the world causing damage (and some are excused even when they’re the president of the damn US of A).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. agrudzinsky
    February 25, 2017

    Milo’s tactics to make money driving wedges into the cracks in society only work if people read his crap. I think, being deliberately apolitical and ignoring the news and the social media should become a new form of political activism. Not reading the fascist ideas and not participating in the heated debates about them is, perhaps, the most effective way to stop their spread. People refusing to debate Milo on TV do the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. searchingforslater
    February 26, 2017

    It’s astonishing how quickly he came and went. Two weeks ago I’d never heard of him. One week ago his face was everywhere. More than the orange face. Now he’s over.

    Liked by 1 person

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