Short of something else happening, this should be the last Yiannopoulos post for the time being. Just to tie up the mini-kerfuffle in Puppydom, who is getting all the blame for this?
In general, there is a undiscriminating mix of complaints against the left and conservatives (apparently scared of the left) for the events. Notably, a common theme was that Milo’s destruction (as it is portrayed) must have been terribly well planned. The notion here is that great effort must have gone into attacking the guy.
Even a cursory look at events (an anti-Trump website tweets out an edited copy of a genuine video) does not look like it required much organisation. This article from vox.com http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/24/14715774/milo-yiannopoulos-cpac-pedophile-video-canada suggests it was a 16-year-old in Canada who prompted the website ‘The Reagan Battalion’ to post out the video. (I’m a little unclear whether she pointed them to the edited version or the longer version).
From that point, the story goes into a patch of cross-partisan-consensus reality. Reagan Battallion is ostensibly a conservative anti-Trump website and it used social media to highlight Milo’s under-aged sex comments in the video and this is what led CPAC to disinvite him etc.
So why, you might ask, is Brad Torgersen attacking somebody else? Specifically Utah libertarian and former presidential candidate Evan McMullin: https://www.facebook.com/brad.torgersen/posts/1803443563015202?pnref=story
Just to be clear about it, and speaking as someone who not only voted for Evan McMullin in November, but encouraged many others to also vote for Evan McMullin too . . . the man has sacrificed my good will and support. What he did was dirty. It doesn’t matter if he thinks his target deserved it, nor how righteous he thinks his cause is. It was dirty. It was cheap. Lying by omission. Perhaps also, false witness? It made me feel like I’d been sold a fraudulent bill of goods, back in October and November. I don’t forget stuff like that. I don’t forget it when somebody fools me in this manner. Especially not someone who claims to walk beneath my church’s banner with me. Go to the Lord, brother. He will probably be more forgiving of you than I will be. And I am not alone. You’re not getting my vote back. Ever.
The root of the Evan McMullin claim lies with an article on The Daily Caller here: http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/21/notorious-never-trump-org-funded-group-behind-milo-controversy/
That article tied The Reagan Battalion to McMullin in two ways: firstly the site supported McMullin over Trump and secondly, the group appears to have been funded by a pro-McMullin political action committee (PAC). Now, you might think that is not only very slim evidence for McMullin’s involvement but also exactly the kind of guilt-by-association that Brad likes to complain about but really we should all be used to this level of double-think now.
The clincher for the pups was not just the Daily Caller article but a tweet by McMullin in reply to a tweet claiming a plot against Milo.
Posobiec Source: $250,000 spent on opposition research on Milo. Hired PI’s and video editors. Evan McMuffin involvement confirmed
McMullin: Never cared much for Nazi punks.
Evan McMullinVerified account@Evan_McMullin
My main reaction is “$250,000!”. Gosh with all the fictional Soros money for protesting or posting anti-Trump comments, plus $250,000 for pointing at a video that’s been circulating for a year, I feel like my current $0 return on saying mean things about Trump is a very poor return on investment.
Anyhoo, the snark from McMullin is, apparently, confirmation that it was him! Yes, yes, it just looks like somebody replying snarkily but that’s sufficient to make the leap from ‘supporters of McMullin posted the video’ to ‘Evan McMullin directly brought about the fall of Milo’. McMullin probably isn’t going to push back to hard against this considering that it makes him appear relatively dangerous and effective.
Still, why attack McMullin when The Reagan Battalion clearly were the main characters in this pseudo-tragedy? Partly because The Reagan Battalion is somewhat shadowy – it isn’t clear who runs the site or what their overall aims are. This article suggest other odd connections http://www.dailydot.com/layer8/reagan-battalion-milo-yiannopoulos-never-trump/ but this article pours some cold water on some of those findings https://mic.com/articles/169118/exclusive-meet-reagan-battalion-the-anonymous-squadron-that-destroyed-milo-s-career#.L6JmuheMx
Either way around, we know that Milo is not short of enemies, everybody to the left of him because the guy is a nasty bully, anti-Trump conservatives because of his associations with the alt-Right & Breitbart, and also other factions of the alt-Right (e.g. the punchable Richard Spencer) for interfactional reasons. Given his schtick is to upset people, this isn’t surprising. To his supporters, such as Brad, this means that the solution to the non-mystery must be The Murder on the Orient Express solution, [SPOLIER] they all did it! Somehow masterminded by Evan McMullin.
So was McMullin involved? For all I know, he could have been. There is no particular evidence that he was and no reason to speculate that he was because the events were quite simple. A publically available video that had been circulating for months is posted in edited form. The edits are not some kind of technological wizardry but a minor task on a laptop. The cost of editing and posting the video would be minimal. The key element was the video coming from a platform that the right audience would see it. Even the vox.com article above feels like it over complicates the story.
So, no, we can’t eliminate the possibility of a wider more complicated plot – it is just that Ockham’s razor suggests we don’t need one to explain events. Perhaps anti-Trump conservatives really are that incompetent at oppo-research (after all they seem to have missed a lot about Trump)? Even the level-head story about the 16-year-old Canadian suggests that the Reagan Battalion had to be led to the story rather than them just doing some very basic leg-work.
Kate Paulk has now written a post at Sarah Hoyt’s blog which, well is not a shining example of coherent argument https://accordingtohoyt.com/2017/02/24/je-suis-milo-yanno-by-kate-paulk/
The ‘je suis’ bit isn’t the most OTT bit, that’s just the first mangled reference.
Because people like them doing everything from looking the other way from the thick smoke rising from crematoriums near the “work camps” with the skeletal workers to joining in the “kick ‘em in the goolies while they’re down” party are the people evil regimes like the Nazis and the Communists need to stay in power. As long as the self-styled good people will look the other way when the fuckers target someone, they can consolidate their hold until they’ve got control of all the levers of power – the media, education, bureaucracy, government…
I’m torn between the absurdity of that paragraph and the mix of horror & outrage. The absurdity is clear and while the readership here don’t need reminding, in the US right now there is a spate of anti-semitic violence, continuing far-right terrorism, anti-semitic dog-whistles (and worse) from the Whitehouse, draconian action from the government targeting Muslims and immigrants, attacks against the independence of the judiciary. ‘When the fuckers target someone’ the fuckers are targeting people – literally with all the power of the state with nary a word of objection from puppy-quarters and a ‘guardedly optimistic‘ from the supposedly anti-state-power Hoyt.
Note: I don’t want to highlight Kate Paulk as an individual here, so much as the broader group whose ideas she is voicing.
But we get to see the mechanics of self-deception at work here. A successful white man loses a speaking gig and a book contract and this is what causes Paulk to bring out the Holocaust references. Not the militarised round-ups of immigrants, not the terror attacks from rightwing nationalists, not an increasingly authoritarian federal government. No, on these topics we get a ‘guardedly optimistic’.
Of course, we’ve seen this before in Puppydom – a predilection to clothe themselves in a theatre of horrors from Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany or Mao’s China, when faced with people simply disagreeing with them. And as always it has both been absurd to the point of being laughable AND horrific in the way they basically steal other people’s suffering and claim that is what is happening to them because…, well usually because somebody disagreed with them.
Paulk gets one aspect right: there are people who evil regimes need to stay in power. They are people who not only ignore what those regimes are doing but shout loudly about other things. They are the people who not only look the other way when the fuckers target someone but demand everybody pay attention to something else and demand that everybody acknowledge that they, because of some small or imagined slight, are the real victims while around them thuggery goes on ignored.
There is a point where Kate Paulk wanders near the truth but by this point, she is so turned around that she doesn’t see how her words apply:
I don’t care whether the target is a nice person or not. I don’t care if the target is the fucking Grand Poo-Bah of the KKK, the Big Wahoonie of the Black Panthers, or the fucking Biggest Bag of the Daeshbags. If you lie to destroy him, you are worse than he is. If you accept those lies, knowing that they are lies, because you disapprove of him, you are worse than he is.
It’s not just lies – it is disdain for the truth. If you accept what you are told and repeat what you are told JUST OUT OF PARTISANSHIP then you are no different than a liar. People have longer memories than a week, we KNOW how Sad Puppies would react if it had been a non-ingroup SF author who had said a fraction of what Milo said.
We saw the pile on of hate against individuals from Puppyland – including attempts to get individuals sacked – simply for the crime of NOT AGREEING with the Puppies or for political comments about them.
No. I can recognise an element of injustice in Milo’s current troubles but it is tiny and essentially the professional hazard that comes with being a professional controversialist. Even in the world of public-figures getting a hard time because of what they said, he’s got off lightly. And even that element of injustice that can be seen is instantly overshadowed by Milo’s own modus-operandi: this kind of shame and humiliation by manipulating public and social media IS WHAT MILO DOES – except his targets are often not people with the same kinds of support systems (or money) that Milo has. You can’t take a principled stand against those who deceive to destroy AND support Milo because HE IS the epitome of those who deceive to destroy.
In the meantime, but I regret to say not the last time, no dear conservatives, you are not somehow the modern day equivalent of the people who died in the Holocaust or the Holdomor or the Cultural Revolution or Cambodia’s Killing Fields. That isn’t the question of the day or the question of the year. The question is are you going to be the people who not only stood by while Jewish cemeteries were vandalised & white supremacists murdered people & while your government militarised your law enforcement, but cried ‘we are the real victims here!’ because the guy you wanted to speak at a conference didn’t get to go? Or, are you going to be the people who when asked afterwards ‘Did you fight this evil’ can say ‘yes’?
I’ll borrow Kate Paulk’s words to end: If you are truly conservative and you care at all about Western civilisation, the United States, or even looking at your festering vile mug in the mirror every morning, why in the fuck are you helping to destroy what you care about? Are you that much of a useless drongo?
Hands up everybody who thought this time in 2015 that following the Puppy antics would lead us to the current situation of the puppy-alliance being the nexus of support for a gay British “journalist” caught in an underage sex scandal which lead him to being disinvited from a conservative conference which the Puppies are blaming on a Utah libertarian who is ex-CIA (and we like the CIA now) and oh, by the way, Donald Trump is President? I feel that despite being SFF fans are imaginations maybe are less creative than reality.
In 2018 we join forces with John C Wright to fight zombie kazoo players.
Just a couple of things from the comments that need elevating up to a post level.
Firstly Chris Gerrib’s review of Forbidden Thoughts http://chris-gerrib.livejournal.com/658314.html
Secondly, Doris V Sutherland points out she had posted a link to the unedited version of the Milo interview over at Space Faring Kitten’s blog last May : https://sfkittens.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/all-foam-no-bite/
Among the various blogs and comment sections you’ll see claims that the appearance of this video was somehow a complex operation – perhaps even involving left-right collusion in some 5-dimensional chess match etc etc. It wasn’t or if it was any such complex operation was unnecessary.
More to the point, the various Puppies (both Rabid and Sad) have had more than a year to come out and defend what Milo was saying in that video (as they now try to do in a kind of talking-not-talking sort of way). Notable that they didn’t.
[Update] and another pro-Milo post at Mad Genius from Kate Paulk https://madgeniusclub.com/2017/02/23/the-inadequacy-of-silence/ basically eveil publishers can’t get away with not publishing stuff because then something something…
The cognitive contortions continue in Puppydom. John C Wright, a man who famously lost his shit over two cartoon characters holding hands (http://www.scifiwright.com/2015/04/perverting-the-story-to-kiddie-propaganda/ ) is still busy trying to work out why he needs to be supporting Milo Yianoppoulis. Luckily he reminds us of one factor in the cross-puppy support for the fading bully. http://www.scifiwright.com/2017/02/milo-and-the-bookstore/
Ah yes, the now unfortunately titled ‘Forbidden Thoughts’ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33790433-forbidden-thoughts featuring Brad R. Torgersen, Brian Niemeier, John C. Wright, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Larry Correia, Nick Cole, Ray Blank, Sarah Hoyt, Tom Kratman, and Vox Day. Oh and with a forward by Milo Yiannopoulos.
That title always sounded to me more like something targeting the erotica end of the market but I guess the people at ‘Superversive Press’ felt it sounds edgy and rebellious. And here lies a lesson branding that I’m sure Mad Genius could do an excellent job of explaining if it wasn’t quite so close to home.
Not surprisingly Brian Niemeier has his own defence of Milo piece http://www.brianniemeier.com/2017/02/milo-witch-hunt.html
And Brad Torgersen has now got a very angry not-talking-about-Milo-while-talking-about Milo piece on his blog. https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/how-the-ctrl-left-make-it-impossible-to-be-a-nice-conservative/ Yes, it is all about how the left are meany heads because they, gasp, call people mean names. Yes, this is from Brad.
Meanwhile, Larry Correia continues to win Puppy-with-the-most-commonsense of the year award and is sensibly staying well away from this nonsense (at least for the time being).
As a relief from that last post’s walk through a cognitive waste dump, here is that website that turns bad drawings of cats into weird photos of cats http://affinelayer.com/pixsrv/
Yeah, I know you’ve all seen it already but ha, look! Cats! Freaky cats! 🙂
Here, I drew a teapot and it made a mutant horror tea pot cat.
There has been a plethora of concern trolling from the centre and centre-right in the US and the Anglosphere about the left protesting about Trump and/or the alt-Right and/or Milotroll*
It goes something like this:
Oh, you awful leftists! Have you not learnt anything! This is how Trump won in the first place!
Let’s step back a moment. What EXACTLY did Trump win in the first place? [Hint: it involved an elephant] ….OK…times up.
In the first place what Trump won was the Republican Party Nomination.
And who did he beat? Terrible leftist protestors? No. He beat a complete spectrum of conservatives – none of whom (except briefly and temporarily, Chris Christie) stood up to him or challenged him. This was on top of years of the centre-right not offering much in a way of challenge to the growing detached-from-reality wing of the GOP.
We all saw in 2016 how the policy of polite engagement and diplomatic appeasement worked as a strategy for the people who now prescribe the same solution for everybody else.
It’s not the left’s job to engage the right or make the right feel comfortable or to address their insecurities, feels, or sense of political decorum.
Trump won ‘in the first place’ because the right sold its principles to religious bigots and fossil fuels.
*[who may be being disappeared by the alt-right as we speak]