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February 20, 2017

Milo Officially "Uninvited" as Speaker at CPAC

CPAC is now in the strange position of having invited someone precisely because he was not permitted to speak on college campuses due to his controversial statements, and yet now having banned him from speaking there due to his controversial statements.

As you probably know, Establishment conservatives hoping to tank him began circulating a tape of an appearance on the Joe Rogan show early last year, in which he talked about having given oral sex to an older priest when he was 14, and making jokes (as he does) about that having improved his skills in that area. Then an appearance on another show was dug up, where he talked about younger "boys" (he says he meant "young men") have sex with older men a fair amount in gay circles.

It should be noted that as far as his "pro-pedophilia" remarks, he was actually the young person being preyed upon (though he denies he was preyed upon, calling himself, perhaps just sardonically, the "sexual predator" in the encounter), and not the person (the older man) who is actually charged with the moral and legal duty to not have sex with a 14 year old.

Nonetheless, some say that he's spouting "NAMBLA talking points" and people whose opinions I respect, like Niedermeyer's Dead Horse, takes a look at this in a fairly objective way and seems to try to give Milo every break she can, but seems to find there's just too many strikes here, and the batter is fairly called out.

I think that's a reasonable take -- though, in saying so, I don't think it's complete.

I would say an important additional dimension here is that if they can do it to him, they can do it to you too.

And they seem to be really doing it:


I saw an unconfirmed claim -- and I stress, unconfirmed -- that even Breitbart is considering severing times.

I doubt that, but who knows. The way this works is that the Outrage Mob gins up its hatred quickly, giving no one a chance to actually think slowly and carefully about these things -- and they should be thought slowly and carefully about, because what's being engineered here is possibly an irrevocable negative hit on someone -- and then people feel pressure to react instantly precisely the way the mob wants because God Forbid we stand up to the mob and say, "Stop your baying, and give adult men and women of rational mind and good spirit a chance to actually think," then maybe they'll turn on us next.

Proud anger travels twice around the world before cool reflection has even slipped on its first sock.

FWIW, Milo offers a written statement in defense of himself here, and, it seems, a more chastened, more frightened video response here, perhaps as he realized how serious the mob was about collecting this week's scalp from his head.

I'm not a fan of Milo's and have rarely cited him. I won't get into the "why" of that here, for similar reasons that I didn't get into why I wasn't a fan of Pam Gellar's after the shooting at her Draw Mohammad event, when the Social Justice Warriors of the left and the right saw fit to mob up on her hours after she'd been shot upon by a jihadi.

Yeah I've got a few problems with him -- but let's leave that for another day. I haven't seen it necessary to have one opinion or another about Milo so far, so I don't know if I have to suddenly burst forth with a lot of Strongly Held Opinions I Just Formed Six Minutes Ago today.

Another day when, you know, he's not in the eye of the Social Media Scalp-Hunting Hurricane.

I just think that when the whole world sets its sights on one lonely target, it's not really terribly useful or moral of me to join in the collective attack.

I don't think the world will end if a couple of voices here or there caution, "Maybe we shouldn't rush to extirpate him from the face of the earth with just these three seconds of contemplation."

I have no bias in favor of Milo, and that indeed my bias tends to run the other way. (To the extent I have any bias -- I'm not really a follower or fan. I can't render much of an opinion on Milo because, in all honesty, I am not familiar with his writing, except through the occasional quotation provided by his enemies.)

But I do think Milo has done some good work in exposing the increasing intolerance and hateful mob mentality of our twitterfied, outrage-addicted society.

Whether that outweighs the sins he is said to have committed, I don't know.

I suspect most people don't. I suspect his fans know a fair amount about him, and his detractors and scalp-hunters know a bit less, and I think pretty much everyone else is like "Is Milo that lemonheaded gay guy who's on YouTube a lot?"

But I just have the same sick feeling:

And here we go again.

For what it's worth, several people whose opinions I respect include those at, get this, this very blog, are taking Milo to task for his statements, and I can't disagree with them in any kind of authoritative way.

I could dispute them, that is, I could put up a "Well what about this?" sort of semi-defense, but I wouldn't have terribly much emotional or intellectual chips invested in the defense itself. It would not be a "I'm definitely right, you're definitely wrong" kind of thing.

And to be honest, I have myself mixed opinions about the precious few of Milo's statements I've heard. There's some stuff I've seen (out of context) about the Jews I had quite a negative reaction to, but then, I don't know the context.

All that said, I do have an interest, and that interest is less about Milo than this same sick game of Pick the Day's Hate Object and Destroy It.

Is it my scalp they'll be coming for next week?

Who knows -- maybe this very post you're reading right now will be cited as the reason Ace Must Now Be Purged to Maintain the Purity of the Body of the Church of Twitter.

As I think The Joker said, there's an element of fairness in pure random cruelty. If it's kind of random thing, the way we all take our place at the Wheel of Punishment and hope our name doesn't come up, maybe it is fair.

So long as we all understand and agree in advance that our names are up there too.

One can dispute his claims and criticize the callowness and the occasional meanness and casual offensiveness of his statements without taking the next step of deciding that we're going to mob up together to destroy his life just because we're kinda bored and not doin' much else on a slow news day.

Or can we?

I don't know that we can any longer.

This is where we are; this is what we are. Perhaps this is what we've always been -- perhaps we just needed a technological innovation of social media to enable us to focus and purify our hatred into a polarized speck of white-hot dissolving heat.

Maybe we just needed this one stupid little tool so that we could take this week's pleasure in inflicting cruelty on strangers, like a sadistic kid just needs a magnifying glass to focus the sun's rays on a random ant.

#HasJustineLandedYet?

Note: As I said above, I am calling for time to consider this. I'm not a Milologist and I don't know the context of all his statements or the full Oppo Dump on the statements claimed to be racist, anti-semitic, or now, pro-pedophilia.

Maybe the people calling for his scalp know these things with much higher accuracy than I do, and do have enough of a case against him to make this call.

Maybe -- but all I've seen are these disjointed twitter links and thin, took-me-five-minutes-to-write-this news briefs which are themselves just compilations of the disjointed twitter links.

I do not see the sort of written out, thought out indictment in essay form, with all counter-arguments considered and answered and all evidence amassed, that would make me feel comfortable about saying "Let's smear this queer."

If someone writes that, and it makes the case, sure, I'll say the case is made and the punishment should be executed. (Maybe -- gotta tell you, I'm a Consistent Advocate of Free Expression and I'm not tribal on the point as many are. By which I mean: I'm not a fan of the rightwing Social Justice Mafia's scalp-hunting any more than I am the leftwing. In fact, I think I like the former less, as I find the former disappointing and illusions-shattering.)

But I haven't seen it yet. If someone wants to write it, I'd personally like to read it. I don't really read the guy and don't know much about him except he's controversial and has offered spurious (to my mind) defenses of the alt-right.

But even though I found those defenses spurious and calculatedly naive, I can't say I'm outraged by someone attempting to make the case that we should be more free to speak, not less.

My strongly-held opinion on that point is that we are too limited in what we are free to say without be scalped, boycotted, or fired, not too damn "free" and in need of further abridgments to make sure other people's Spaces are Safe.

Even if the defense of freedom of expression in question is frequently disingenuous, I still gotta say... I'm not terribly bothered by a disingenuous effort to push back against the Speech Police.

Other than that one article -- which I didn't finish; had enough of it after a few paragraphs -- I really do not know what all the fuss is about this guy, on either the pro- or con- side.

I'm ignorant. I guess that makes me a good candidate for a jury.

So what is the case? I need to actually hear the case before rendering any kind of verdict.

If I head must roll, fine, but let's kind of have all the facts out in the open and debated first, huh? I don't want to see yet another scalping based on little more than "We don't like this guy on Twitter so now he gets his."

Explain it to me like I'm a child, who knows nothing, and not someone who is on Twitter and the listservs all day who knows all the crimes this turbulent internet celebrity is guilty of.


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posted by Ace at 05:53 PM

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