I want to like Milo Yiannopoulos. I really do.
Milo’s work as a journalist and provocateur is a big reason why nationalism and the dissident right have made the strides that they have. He was the first major journalist to give a fair shake to GamerGate, and his outspoken support for Donald Trump when he began his presidential run three years ago was a boost to the movement. His open faggotry was annoying, but the guy was legitimately funny and good at driving the left insane.
I can’t even get upset over his supposed “defense” of pedophilia, because all sodomites are pedophiles. Contrary to the claim that homosexuality purely comes from nature, many gay men are gay because they were molested at a young age, and the trauma of that experience leads them to become molesters themselves. When the gay rights movement began in earnest several decades ago, one of their top demands was lowering the age of consent, and a big part of why homonationalists like Grindr Greg Johnson are so enamored with Europe is because ages of consent are much lower here, as low as thirteen in some countries. Crucifying Milo for being honest enough to admit what every homo believes is the height of priggishness.
Unfortunately for the Dangerous Faggot, that incident defanged him permanently. He had a chance to redeem himself in the wake of the pedo controversy by turning the tables and revealing how the “gay community” is built on the systemic sexual abuse of young boys, particularly boys from broken homes. He could have broken the conditioning. Instead, he did the equivalent of hiding behind his mom’s skirt when the other boys arrived to beat him up, like every gay man does.
Milo is finished. He’s not coming back. He was forced out of Breitbart following the pedo incident, the Mercers cut him off last fall, and he was forced to pay back the advance Simon and Schuster gave him for his book. His operations are losing money due to his coke-fueled, high-octane lifestyle, and the left has stopped caring what he says or does. The weight of countless broken promises, such as his Privilege Fund and the book he was writing about GamerGate that never materialized, hangs from his neck. And now he’s reduced to giving speeches in places like Hungary, desperately trying to buy more time for his fifteen minutes of fame.
Last Friday, Milo Yiannopoulos gave a speech in Budapest with the decidedly un-Milo title “Risks and Opportunities in the 21st Century,” paid for by a foundation connected to the Hungarian government. It was part of the “Future of Europe” conference, a multi-day extravaganza where various right-wing figures both foreign and domestic came to the city to warn about the dangers of globalism while the rest of us ate duck breast fusilli and drank wine on the taxpayer’s dime. After two days of presentations by Steve Bannon, Douglas Murray, David Goldman, and other major nationalist figures, Milo’s speech was billed as the biggest event of them all. Would the Dangerous Faggot reclaim his crown?
Sadly, the answer was no. I was at the speech, and it was a genuinely depressing affair. While Milo is still witty and quick on his feet, his bag of tricks is empty. He’s a stand-up comedian who repeats the same jokes over and over, oblivious to the fact that they’re no longer funny, though the aggressively mulched minds who attend his dwindling events might suggest otherwise. The arc of the Milo universe is long and headed down, down, down.
In defense of Milo, the entirety of the alt-lite suffers from this problem. Figures like Paul Joseph Watson, Jack Posobiec, and Candace Owens have desperately tried to carve out a niche of being edgy, but not too edgy. The alt-lite is where you go when you’re not starchy enough to work for Conservatism, Inc. but you think the “neo-Nazis” of the alt-right are icky. As a result, it lacks an ideological center and is constantly being pulled apart by both sides, which is evident in how some alt-lite figures are starting to drift back towards the left.
A big part of why Milo and his ilk were funny was not just because of what they said, but the left’s hysterical reaction to them. The frisson of trolling is about offending the easily offended, and the more anodyne the trolling, the funnier it is. For example, the social media manager of my new site Terror House Magazine recently trolled a bunch of leftists by making a blatantly fake Tweet about killing pitbulls. Milo is, by any reasonable standard, a political moderate: he’s pro-gay rights, pro-abortion, and is not terribly religious. His objections to feminism and leftism are similar to Jordan Peterson’s and the other emissaries of the Intellectual Dork Web: he’s not against these ideologies, he just thinks they’ve gone too far. In a sane society, Milo would occupy the same space on the political spectrum that the Revolutionary Communist Party is currently at.
But the left isn’t taking the bait anymore. From 2013 to 2016, left-wingers had become so hypersensitive that merely remarking about how women with excessive confidence or tattoos were unattractive was enough to get you gang-stalked and flooded with hate mail. But we’ve overused the penicillin of trolling to the point where the leftist bacteria in our societies have become immune to it. The snowflakes are melting, the safe spaces are being torn down, and the energy on the left is shifting to “dirtbag” groups like Chapo Trap House, who are unafraid to trade barbs with dank memesters in between repping the Democratic Socialists of America.
In this world, Milo and the alt-lite no longer serve a purpose. This was evident in the near-total obscurity in which his Budapest speech took place. To be fair, Hungarians by and large don’t know who he is and the Hungarian left is too terrified to leave their houses after dark, so the likelihood of a Chicago- or Berkeley-style attack on Milo’s speech was remote (and the Hungarian police would have shut it down anyway). But the international fake news media barely noticed that the Dangerous Faggot was repairing to a country that they regularly smear as “authoritarian” and “fascistic.” The spotlights have moved on.
The speech itself hovered between serviceable and cringeworthy. Milo was introduced by some local Hungarian figure who I didn’t recognize, who had a bizarre shtick of pulling off his T-shirt every other minute to reveal a new shirt with a dumb slogan. He started out with “Make Liberals Liberal Again,” went to “It’s Okay to Be White,” and finished up with “Free Speech,” all while making dumb puns about “asses” and toothless appeals to the West’s “Judeo-Christian” values. The crowd—mostly foreigners—ate it up, proving my point that the average IQ of the right-wing has slid about seven points in the last four years.
Milo’s speech was his typical boilerplate: egregious references to his love of black cock, attacks on the ugliness of feminists, kvetching about Islam. He doesn’t understand that speeches are like comedy routines, not songs: people don’t want to hear the exact same ones over and over again. If you’re the kind of person who listens to the exact same Katy Perry single from 2008 over and over again, you’ll love Milo, and to his credit, he’s at least consistent from a presentational standpoint. But there’s no there there. He’s as hollow and illusory as Patrick Bateman opining on Huey Lewis and the News.
The only genuinely shocking thing Milo said during his speech was when he revealed that his husband was in the audience, but he wouldn’t point him out because he didn’t want the guy to be “assassinated.” Seriously, man? This is Hungary. The number of black men in Budapest at any given time isn’t big enough to fill a Lil Herb show, and the number of gay black men is even smaller. There were also only about 500 people at the event. Are you trying to get the love of your life killed? (Well, he technically is by engaging in sodomy with the guy, but I’m talking purely about this dumbass statement here.)
After Milo’s speech, there was a brief Q&A session where he answered questions sent to him via an email address that was supposedly provided to everyone, even though half the seats in the room didn’t have the slips of paper that it was supposedly printed on. Beyond the weird, creepy fanboy questions—one idiot asked Milo whether he thought Viktor Orbán or Donald Trump was sexier—the only one of note was a commenter asking why Milo did an about-face on gay marriage. Milo hemmed and hawed, finally answering that he used to oppose gay marriage because he didn’t think he’d be able to love another man in the way he loves his husband, which nearly made me leave the auditorium in disgust. After the Q&A session was over, Milo promptly departed the room, instead of hanging around for selfies with his fans like he ordinarily would.
I don’t want to dislike Milo. I’ve hung out with him before and he’s always been gracious to me. But his career as a public figure is at an end. He can’t innovate in a changing world, a world in which enraging people requires more effort than merely calling feminism “cancer,” and where the most trollable characters are protected by censorious algorithms and “hate speech” bans. Like most sodomites, Milo is all style, no substance, and in an increasingly lean world, he has little to offer anyone anymore.