Tending to oppose SJW excesses, safe spaces, trigger warnings and whatnot, I have now myself finally been triggered, by Bill Maher of all people. On his last show, Maher had Milo Yiannopoulos on, which is not particularly noteworthy in and of itself. It makes sense to bring on such a guest on a show like Maher’s. But at one point (click here) Maher likened Milo to ”a young gay Christopher Hitchens”, a proposition so absurd as to border on the obscene.
The similarities are superficial but might as well be stated for the record. Both are British “intellectuals”, one more so than the other, who have made it in the United States and who are considered to be somewhat politically incorrect. The differences however, are severe. Hitchens’ main approach to discourse was to state what he meant straight out like an honest man, whereas Milo engages in hyperbole and vulgarity which, upon being resisted, can always be retracted as a joke. Consider the tweet in the screenshot to the right, it is very representative of what I mean.
Obviously one doesn’t have to be obsessively literalist all the time, but I claim the Milo machine is only capable of running on one single gear. This lies at the core of why I dislike Milo, everything he does is centered around “triggering” leftists, SJWs and assorted goofballs. While worthwhile work, surely that should be an effect of rather than the sole objective of trying to conduct a real conversation and making one’s actual points? Though he was funny and capable of cracking a joke or two, I cannot imagine Christopher Hitchens tweeting some random vulgarity and then when the reactions starts coming saying that he was only trolling to teach people to chill. Someone might argue that Milo doesn’t do this either, that he to actually means what he says, but look at that tweet again and reconsider that idea.
It is a simple matter of credibility, even when I agree with a lot of what he is saying, which certainly happens, I cannot trust that Milo is serious, I cannot trust that he is not just playing a character, giggling all the while at what he is getting away with behind the backs of the rubes financing his ego trip. It is possible to make important intellectual points and be funny while appearing way more sincere than Milo. Incidentally, there is an English opinion-monger who does this, that I recommend everyone not already familiar with to check out. I am talking about the youtuber known as Sargon of Akkad. Sargon is admittedly a friend of Milo’s, and Milo and he are liked by many of the same people, but I am not one of them.
TL, DR: Not only is Milo not to be likened to a young Christopher Hitchens, he should also be seen less as an important thinker and more as a clown.