What did you expect? In a piece I wrote for this humble largely unread blog back in 2015 called, “Social Media, Murder and the Decline of Decorum” I proposed that the end of civil discourse was nigh. Kids, it’s here. Milo has been dropped by CPAC, has lost his book deal and was coaxed (I’m sure) to fall on his own sword over at Trumpbart. How did this happen? What could possibly bring down someone as brash and unfeeling as Milo? Answer: his own words. So how is this a signal that the end of conversation is here? Because we’re talking about Milo in the first place.
I am not going to lay out the entire story of what went down or what he talked about which led to his recent downfall. You can do that here. I am going to touch on the point that I had made during the election. Trumpism, at its core, was and is a visceral response to the smugness of liberalism which Americans were forced to endure for the past eight years. Anger seethed and the floodgates opened. Any, ‘movement’ based on anger is doomed to eat itself alive. Milo started off his public life by debating feminism and gamergate on talk shows and taped forums. In the beginning, he was hysterical, erudite, intelligent and didn’t care about who or what he was offending. He was great. Then, enter Trump. Of course Milo would latch his wagon to Trump’s rising star. Trump was being dragged through the mud by the mainstream media nightly and Milo saw a perfect chance to up his profile. People either love him or hate him which translates into readers, listeners and viewers. We love to watch people we agree with. We equally love to watch people we can’t stand. Confused? See; Kardashian. The sky was the limit for Milo after the election proved his prognostications to be correct. Hell, he was even invited to and appeared on Bill Maher’s weekly circle-jerk last Friday! Yeah, Milo was on his way to a level of stardom which he had always wanted.
Then someone found a video of him talking about relationships between older men and young boys. Allen Ginsberg rejoices in his boring, pedantic, prosaic grave.
So whats the point I’m trying to make? Easy. This is what happens when you let discourse become the pet projects of the extreme ends of any political party. The whiny losers in the ski masks who break windows during “demonstrations”, the eye-rollingly delusional women who obliquely defend violence towards people they disagree with, the guys who decide that open carry makes their worlds impenetrable from evil, are all speaking for us now. Don’t believe me? Then why is Milo news? Aside from what happened at Berkeley, why is he news? Maybe because we cover people like him too much. Maybe because we listen to people we agree with in order to justify our own opinions rather than challenge them. Or maybe it is because we are just pretty damn dim on the whole and we want others to articulate our points for us even if we’re not sure we fully agree with them. When that happens, you get Milo and Baked Alaska and Maher and Shaun King and all the rest of the worthless assholes who regularly assault our senses.
We let it happen. We deserve it. Can we fix it? Of course, but it might take a while. So screw it, let’s just see what else is on.