To Milo

I don’t know whether you’re aware of Milo Yiannopoulos? He’s one of the chief spokespeople for the ‘alt-right’ (or right wing, Nazi, white suprematist, bigoted xenophobes, fascist sympathisers, but yeah, they’re preferring alt-right these days).  He writes and speaks nonsense for Breitbart amongst others including this piece of well, shite, for want of a better descriptor.

He includes an email address with his ‘writings’ so I thought it would be fun to send this

“Dear Milo

You have courageously added your (business email) address and I imagine this means that you are happy to answer queries on your posts? I mean it would be pointless to publish a contact email and then simply click on the trash button. Cowardly too – and I know you’re not like that.
My issue is this: I think that your satirical pieces are becoming a trifle too broad – I caught your article about feminism, washing machines and the pill recently. I know I’m a bit late to the game with this one, but I have been a wee bit tardy keeping up with essential reading recently. Now I realise that this piece was meant to wind up Feminists and what not, exposing them as ‘humourless’ and ‘prone to victimhood’, but really it just came off as a heavy handed and school-boyish. I mean, it was like you’d written the article to make fun of Breitbart instead, and it’s contributors and readers. Kinda like saying – look how dumb and asinine they are and see how these ‘silly men’ will fall for it and comment underneath with lots of ‘yay, go Milo’.
I mean, I know that you’re a clever and subtle social commentator: I know that you’ve be given the task of infiltrating the right to ensure that no-one ever takes them seriously. I find it extraordinary that anyone would ever take your views on anything seriously – that’s not kind of the point of you is it? You’re there just to prove that it’s impossible to be an intellectual and right wing, a Trump supporter and smart, well-educated and yet so ignorant.
But that Feminism article is in danger of blowing your cover – it’s too broad, too damn silly and self-congratulatory. Let’s face it, even some of the dumb-asses in the Breitbart ‘pen’ are going to see through that, and god knows, they’re really not very bright.
Milo, my friend. No-one is as big a shit-head as you’re pretending to be. NO-ONE. That smug, silly smile you adopt on TV, your views, your support of some of the stupidest men on the planet, Jeez Milo, they’re gonna know and when they find out that you’ve been taking the piss all this time – they are gonna kick your ass.
Wise up, row the dumb back a bit, moderate your stupidity a little, maybe throw in the odd wise comment, and you can keep on hiding your true liberal identity for years to come – and make sure that the right goes back into the toilet bowl of history – where it belongs.
You are a true hero of the left.”
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Bummer

Well if we thought that the fall out from Brexit was a bit shit, that is nothing compared to the morning after the Trump before.

Here we are with a English synonym for fart heading up the world’s favourite democracy, after a campaign in which he showered anyone who wasn’t white and male with shit, and generally made the world simultaneously laugh at the US for their stupidity, and shiver inside if there was a chance he’d win.

Well, win he did. I’ve just had a look at a couple of NYT headlines and it’s apparent that  something went badly wrong (again) with polling because no-one saw that coming. My theory about modern polling is that instead of being a descriptor of how people are feeling in the moment, people are looking to polling as a sort of political weather forecast: so if the political weather is moving rightwards they have the confidence to go out with their political umbrella and vote the crap out of whichever wackjob they fancy…. safe in the knowledge, gleaned from the polls, that they won’t be alone.

Trumps supporters were clearly pissed off with the establishment in the US (just as those who voted for Brexit were largely putting a cross next to ‘fuck you’ on the ballot). Clinton was most likely perceived as a ‘same shit, different day’ candidate and, dear god, a woman to boot. The racism, misogyny, childishness and idiocy of their chosen candidate was not viewed as a problem – indeed it was likely that the more folk were told that they were dumb to pick him, the more likely they were to pick Trump. Nobody likes to be told that they are dumb.

Now there are a few things that we could learn from this (and Brexit). One: that a lot of normal people are not enjoying the benefits of our modern democracies. Their wages have stagnated, often their jobs are insecure, local shops are stuffed with cheap stuff from overseas (which is most likely where the few remaining jobs are heading) and life is not likely to get better for their kids. Two: that when governments, presidents, MP’s, Eurocrats and politicians of every stripe get into power nothing changes  – life stays exactly the same despite promises to the contrary. Three: that the press/media are more than happy to help identify who is to blame in this situation – but they themselves largely comprise members of the establishment or capitalists, who are (let’s face it) unlikely to put themselves forward as the ‘evil ones’. SO.. Five: When the world has a problem with capitalism it had been known to lurch rightwards and seek enemies within.

We could take all this on board and try to change the life chances of the majority, we could share around the benefits of capitalism more equally, we could reign in the powers of the rightwing ideologues who head up the press and media, we could make democracy do what its supposed to do (i.e. represent the people and work for them).

But the chances are that we won’t. Many people in the establishment will take this as confirmation that the voters are indeed as thick as pigshit, and that that if they want to be Trumped (which they clearly do) they are going to be Trumped good and hard. All those turkeys who voted for Christmas are going to find out what happens next (clue – it involves being stuffed and carved). It will give comfort to the racists (that the majority appear to agree with them), hope to misogynists (tremble if you are a woman) and fuel to nationalist paranoia. This is unlikely to end well.

The only consolation to liberals and lefties this morning is that compared to the US, the UK isn’t quite as bad. Yet.