On the correct and incorrect types of outrage


I have been waiting for months for a story about Milo Yiannopoulos getting stuck in a lift, so I could write it and title it “The Adventures of Milo and Otis”. Alas… Here I would normally make a joke about someone getting stuck in Milo instead, but jokes about paedophilia are not funny so I won’t.

Some of my friends on the right love Milo, others find him annoying. I never thought much of him (I once called him “the peroxided Ernst Rohm of the alt-right” before he distanced himself from white nationalists), but my feelings about him as a person or as a political agitator are irrelevant to the controversy in which he finds himself embroiled at the moment. Milo has pretty much overnight become a persona non grata after a recording surfaced of him “normalising” being molested by a Catholic priest as a 14 year old, and speaking about positive aspects of relationships between boys and men. He has now been dis-invited from political speaking engagements, and his publisher Simon & Schuster decided not to release his book, which has already been a number 1 Amazon bestseller months before publication.

Whatever you think of Milo’s crime and punishment, I can’t help but to think that the reaction would be different if Milo’s politics were. Roman Polanski, who drugged and sodomised a 13 year girl, is lionised by Hollywood. Woody Allan, who was accused (though never tried) of molesting his 7-year old stepdaughter, is considered a living legend. Lena “voice of the generation” Dunham confessed in her memoirs to playing with her baby sister’s genitals and bribing her with candy for kisses – but don’t worry, experts say that sort of a behaviour is perfectly normal. Jeffrey Epstein, billionaire Clinton pal and donor, ran his “Lolita Express” flights to an “orgy island”. Mohammed, who founded one of the world’s great religions, married a 9 year old – and yes, there were different times in Europe as well – but child marriage is still popular and sanctioned by many of his followers.

Lest someone now thinks I’m defending Milo or condoning paedophilia or pederasty, let me just say that all I’m asking for is consistency. Having sex with children is wrong, regardless whether the perpetrator or advocate (since Milo himself is not a perpetrator) is right-wing or left-wing or no-wing, an artist or a hack, an atheist or a prophet.