“Look at him, a rhinestone in the rough.” — Dorothy Parker
For those blessed few who have managed to avoid the many different hairstyles of Breitbart’s Sassy Gay Friend, this analysis will be the time lapse demise of an internet superstar. Watching Milo’s rise and explosion in the atmosphere entertained and repulsed masses for months, which is admirable considering who the 45th president is.
I am not a fan of Milo’s “body of work.” Call it a casualty of being the owner and operator of a soul, but I don’t generally have a warm and fuzzy forgiving heart for boastful bigots who encourage hate crimes and put people I love and people like myself at profound risk. However, Milo’s self inflicted topple is a rather interesting double standard within the republican party. It was not the Pinko Commi Monsters who took down Milo, nor penis fearing feminists, but rather conservatives. Simon and Schuster didn’t cut ties with him over bookstores not supplying their wares, nor when it lost the book of the New York Times Bestselling author Roxane Gay who wrote the collection Bad Feminist. CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, an event I had no knowledge of until they cut ties with Milo earlier this week, was ready to go to the mattresses for him until a video defending pederasty “resurfaced” this weekend (is it really resurfacing if it was not even remotely hidden and Milo went on Bill Maher’s Big Bag of Bullshit defending those comments that the gnat attention span of college republicans had forgotten about). No, Milo fell on his own sword — the internet. Everything Milo said (and has probably ever said) was horrific, but I couldn’t help but recall that in 2016 Donald J. Pissbaby (you know, our president) was accused of walking in on the dressing room of teenage pageant contestants. That was the man that was elected. Shouldn’t Milo be given a cabinet position from this whole enterprise instead of having his career destroyed?
So why was Milo’s stance so controversial to a party that generally adopts a“boys will be boys” attitude? How was it, in the wake of his profound racism, sexism, transphobia, ableism, and Islamaphobia that pederasty was the bridge too far? My theory? High power conservatives didn’t want to hear about rape they couldn’t jerk off to. They can fetishize teenage girls and demand itemized receipts from rape victims, pulling apart their stories based on attire and their location. Women are encouraged to sell their most severe traumas for $50 with clickbait titles, but one of the most under-reported types of rape was something conservative men couldn’t sexualize without feeling uncomfortable. In one fell swoop, Milo went from token minority to sacrificial lamb. The Alt-Reich has lost one of its brightest, most synthetic stars. Because the trouble with stars is we only really see them once they’ve exploded.
And where are all those Men’s Right Activists who mention the rape of men?Where is there loud, patronizing voice? Why are they not defending Milo, a victim of sexual assault? Is Milo really a victim of sexual assault? I make it a habit of believing people who say they are victims of sexual crimes so I’m going to assume that yes, he is. And if he is not a victim of sexual assault, he’s still a victim of rape culture as well as one of its endorsers. Young queer boys are often victims of older men who groom them and end up navigating the horrific space of being aroused and attracted to the gender of their abuser.Talk about inherently triggering. Add in the myth that homosexuality breeds pedophilia and you’ve got yourself the recipe for a horrific lot in life. However, the type of sexual relationship he endorsed (which is statutory rape) is just too queer for the conservative sensibility. It’s not that it’s too “rapey,” it was just too real. Add in the reference to abuse within a Christian institution andsuddenly Milo didn’t deserve free speech anymore. He had earned it when he was racist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic, sexist, anti-Semitic, and fatphobic. But one too many discussions about sucking dick and they show you the door. The Nazis no longer find you endearing.
Consider the lengths the man will go to be popular. The depths and the amount of active dismantling of his own humanity (both in political and social clout and internally) for the valuable commodity of attention. I don’t even think he was in it for money. He was seeking notoriety and approval from a political party going through the clammy, sweaty transition from old angry white men to young angry white men. Considering gamergaters as pathetic and sad and then turning on his heel when he saw the attention and capital to be made on harassment. He was a tech editor for Breitbart because to old, angry white men he seemed knowledgeable about the internet. Rather, Milo was knowledgeable about outrage culture and fragile white male ego. I can hear his inner monologue with every swish of his hips. He waltzes into his ten year high school reunion ready to show all of the kids who didn’t like him in high school, declaring he invented post-its and that he isn’t a white supremacist. Breitbart has him to thank, though. He was their whole brand. Whatever will they do now that their Boy King is dead?
If you’re Steve Bannon, probably nothing. While Milo’s Breitbart exit press conference, while dressed like Backstreet Boy Harry Potter, spoke glowingly of the puppeteer of our new administration, Bannon remains notably silent about Milo. Considering that Bannon has Milo to thank for his seat, his affluence, and his political clout, I wonder if he’ll help the man who he used as a ladder. Milo’s tireless dedication to outrage, controversy, and notoriety, which required a work ethic I frankly envy, shoehorned Bannon onto Pissbaby’s radar and into his head, feeding off the billionaire’s body and bursting from him like a botfly.
I’ve only felt sympathy for Milo once and I deeply resented it. It came at the hands of Joe Rogan, another bastion of propriety who “interviewed” Milo for his podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience. Joe Rogan calls himself a libertarian and has supporter Ron Paul which in Hollywood, as the internet likes to joke, is being a conservative who likes to smoke weed. Joe goaded Milo, in the name of being pro-gay, into admitting if he could be straight he would be and then had the nerve to condemn him for it. As a queer living in a heteronormative society, the same one Joe Rogan Straight Libertarian lives in, this set my teeth on edge. Sure, we got federal permission to marry eons ago in 2014 while still being incredibly at risk for poverty and death in every other respect, but it’s adorable to pretend that queer people have equality, let alone self-esteem. It has been the only time I’ve seen Milo’s underbelly and been moved in any way but I saw why conservatives love him. Who doesn’t love a fag who also hates fags? Those are the Ideal Conservative Fags and if they hate Muslims too? Pretty sure that’s token friend bingo.
Sympathy isn’t what Milo deserves. I imagine he’ll pull a Glenn Beck in a few years, shedding crocodile tears about the error of his ways. Maybe they’ll be real but I doubt I’ll care. Perhaps it’s my cold, snowflake heart but I rarely melt at the emotions of the oppressive class. Milo’s gift to us all would be to sink into oblivion and be instantly forgotten, a footnote in a pop culture textbook buried in the back of the library near where the roof leaks. But Milo is a warning to oppressed people who pander, he is a warning to white feminists, white women in general, cis male queers, and assorted other people who have tried to beat the game by stroking the fragility of the status quo. Cool Girling comes with a cost, and eventually you’ll plant your foot somewhere and disappear without a trace, only your picture and more scandalous quotes will remain and you’ll be used by white male senators to pass new, horrific legislation. “See!” they’ll cry, “See? A lady or a queer or a person of color said it, so it must be fine for me!” and any capacity for empathy and nuance will be stripped from your bones. They’ll take your words and your voice the second they can. You’ll look really good on the poster, you’re the approving blurb on Whitewashed History, and all you’ll have to show for it is citation in an argument to strip you of your rights. When you work against the best interests of the people in charge, when you threaten their bottom line, you get fired.And Milo should be fired.
Preferably into the sun.