I was just watching The Young Turks review the situation at Berkeley concerning the riot on Wednesday, February 2nd and it reminded me to congratulate the college Left on being so gullible that they are selling Internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos’ new book called Dangerous.
If the Left didn’t protest, no one would care about this guy! I debated even writing about him by name (The Young Turks refuse to name him), but then the cat’s out of the bag. It’s now news. This has been my problem with too much protesting instead of thoughtful, targeted protesting. And I’m not referring to those so-called protestors in masks either. I am calling out the peaceful protestors for stupidity. I didn’t even know who this asshole was until the protest in Washington State where someone actually got shot.
Here’s the thing: speech is not violence. Violence is violence. In order to live in the United States and enjoy our right to free speech, you have to let assholes talk too. This means sexists, racists, homophobes, transphobes, Islamophobes, and any other phobes the Left is against. Shutting down a conservative or even far right forum either violently or nonviolently is in most situations counterproductive.
The irony here, and I can only guess that this is due to the inexperience of the young protestors, is this is how provocative entertainment in the eighties to early nineties used to sell itself. The gullible Right combined with the gullible Left often protested horror movies, books, porn, heavy metal music and TV shows which sold products that otherwise would have been ignored. Some examples are Tipper Gore and the PMRC against heavy metal and rap and the outcry against Martin Scorsese’s Last Temptation of Christ. I honestly believe religious objectors to Last Temptation made it more of a critical success than it was (there is some goofy acting in that film) and if they had not brought so much attention to it the film would have bombed more financially than it did. It’s almost like by protesting it they gave the film respectability. I’m not saying the film is bad, I own it. What I’m saying is that it was elevated to a higher status because of the protest.
Since then, the Christian right seems to have learned the lesson. Either that or there is such a flood of objectionable entertainment that it’s too overwhelming to protest. We do have pointless boycotts by the Right against companies like Target, Starbucks and Amazon, but they fizzle out pretty quick and again, they probably raise sales by bringing attention to left wing cause supporters. And let’s face it, most shoppers are apolitical when it comes to their purchases. I know a gay co-worker who eats at Chick Fil A–taste is more important than homophobia!
Authors secretly want their works to be banned or protested because, first of all, it validates their creative efforts as important; and second, it sells the product. Protestors, please realize you are being baited for these reasons.
The other problem with the college Left in regards to Trolling Milo is they can’t use the basic tactic of calling him racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. He’s a gay Brit. Now that doesn’t mean he isn’t any of those things, but once people see him and find out he’s gay they think the Left is overreacting and doesn’t know what they’re talking about–the perception is the college Left call’s everyone racist and homophobic these days!
I did read through why Twitter banned Milo and yes, he was acting like some sort of gay diva trashing on Ghostbuster’s star Leslie Jones because she wasn’t a sexy black man (I assume he likes Ernie Hudson). It was ridiculously juvenile. Leslie Jones had a justified right to complain and I think banning such bad behavior by Twitter was not a free speech issue as Milo’s minion trolls whined (Twitter is a private company, not the government–go troll elsewhere).
So the lesson learned, and hopefully the college Left on any remaining campuses where Milo may attempt to speak understands finally, is this: sometimes it is better to ignore an asshole then to bring attention to him. The Young Turks had a great suggestion: the night Milo speaks, bring in a competing speaker. Take away his mojo with someone more interesting and more intelligent.