We’re all expected to despise Milo Yiannopoulos for his Breitbart-endorsed opinions and antagonistic attitude toward Lena Dunham-like feminists but — honestly? — I just couldn’t work up the animus as I watched his Bill Maher interview last weekend.
Some (many?) of his views have a cruel, obnoxious taint but Milo himself (it has to be admitted) is mildly likable. He just lost his Simon & Schuster book deal and resigned from Breitbart because of a recently surfaced video in which he said that sexual relationships between older guys and young boys occasionally have their upsides. Milo says this stuff to provoke, of course, but a big-league film director once shared the same thing with me — i.e., that he began having sex with men when he was 10 or 11, and that it wasn’t such a bad thing.
I just think that the suppression of a controversial person’s views, however odious they may seem, doesn’t reflect well on the p.c. brownshirt brigade.
From a 2.15 Publisher’s Weekly piece by Thomas Flannery, Jr.: “Milo is provocative and charismatic, which has put a huge target on his back. His book is called ‘Dangerous’ because, to many people, a gay Jew who doesn’t kowtow to the party line, jeopardizes long-held beliefs that liberals are the party of inclusion, and the other guys are the party of hatred.
“This disruption of the status quo has left many feeling threatened. When protesters try to silence Milo, when they show up to his events and physically threaten him, or scream and smear fake blood all over themselves, or riot and destroy property, they are using tactics I, as a self-described progressive, have always chided others for using. I won’t stand for it when religious groups try to silence transgender supporters, and I won’t stand for it when so-called progressives try to silence conservative voices.
“I am proud of Milo Yiannopoulos and believe in his core message that political correctness is causing more harm than good. As a gay man, I am proud of Milo Yiannopoulos for saying things about gay culture I have often thought but never before heard uttered in public. And that to me is my job as a literary agent: to find writers with talent, new ideas, and the platforms to share them with the world.
“You may not like what Milo has to say or how he says it. But as a member of the publishing community, you should be extremely cautious of your willingness to shut down a book you haven’t even read. Unless, of course, you’re scared you might agree with him.”