This is our truth, tell us yours
This post could have been called Milo and the Big Pink Microphone.
However, I wanted it to be a little more serious than a post purely about Milo Yiannapoulos’s downfall could be. The opening line of that post, the one about Milo and his defenestration by his friends, would have posed the question ‘can you fall from grace when you’re on your knees sucking the cocks of your powerful idols?’
I didn’t just want to do that post though, not even for the shit and giggles, because there’s another story in here somewhere. Not so much about Milo, but about far right leadership, politics, and yes, the young gays and queers who Milo thinks might benefit from sucking the cocks of older men who might show them the way to be.
Dear reader, if you have followed this blog at all over the last few years, you’ll know that I have, in my youth, also done some time on my knees making various of my orifices available to older men. I have chosen not to criminalize them because I don’t want the criminal justice system to victimize me, but unlike Milo I am under no illusions. I may have been having a whale of a time, and I may have found the first roots of who I am now in my experiments in turning the tables on the men who switched, but it was neither a healthy nor a helpful experience. Milo is just plain wrong about that, because any time you learn that consent can be waived, or ignored, or never obtained in any informed way, it’s an unhealthy,unhelpful experience.
However, in political terms, Milo is having a harsh lesson in the realities of leadership. I’ve talked here before about Leo Abse’s theoretical pairing of narcissism, fellatio and the leadership style of neo-conservatives like Blair and Clinton. If Abse is right, and they were so ideologically malleable because, mainly, they were in politics for the blowjobs, then there has to be someone providing the blowjobs.When the fellatio becomes obvious, someone has to rationalize it too. Milo’s platform was dependent on his willingness to play those roles and help preserve and extend the power of the men he served. The fact that, with one slip of the tongue, he has lost his place should be no surprise; in his gig you’re only any use so long as the performance is believable.
For Milo, who saw himself as a thought leader of the alt-right, the discovery that he was disposable is a horrible shock.Rather like the shock young gays and queers experience, all too often, when they realise they are past their screw by date, and their older lover/ mentor/ teacher /choirmaster has moved on to someone younger, prettier and more to their taste.
So even the metaphor Milo chose to excuse the narcissism of his heroes, that the older men looking for blowjobs were providing an escape route and support for their victims, was unconsciously revealing.
The far right, in common with neo-cons, depends on an elitist, almost heroic world view. Leaders are powerful, mighty, detached, charismatic and different from the rest of us. (Incidentally,if you wonder about this, look at the way some in Britain still slaver over Tony Blair’s every word, and rage against anyone who denies his omnipotence.) In this Wizard of Oz world, the risk that the audience might realise that all there is behind the curtain is an ordinary man obsessed with blowjobs is the greatest risk of all. By introducing even an element of the home-erotic into the discourse, Milo twitched the curtain, and that was enough to see him gone.