Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos
Rarely has a book gained such notoriety before its release. The knives were out and they were sharpened in frenzied anticipation. And it’s not hard to see why. Milo Yiannopoulos doesn’t allow you to feel indifferently about him, it’s either love or hate, there’s no in between.
The story of its polarizing author is a well-known one. A conservative firebrand, Yiannopoulos shocked and awed his way to become one of the most well-known cultural commentators on the planet. Hated equally by both ‘progressives’ and many on the right, he remains an immensely popular and influential figure of the new, anti-establishment right.
With such a big target on his back, it was inevitable that Yiannopoulos and his enemies would one day collide. The warning signs were there, the twitter ban, the protests, the angry periodicals. But these spats were nothing compared to what happened next to the self-styled provocateur.
It all came crashing down earlier this year when a maliciously edited video appeared to show Yiannopoulos condone pedophilia. The subsequent scandal saw the journalist lose his six figure book deal with Simon & Schuster, a prestigious speaking engagement and his job as an editor at Breitbart.
But for Yiannopoulos, the show must go on. He fought back by launching the $12 million dollar media enterprise MILO Inc. and has continued his battle as a “free speech activist”. His first book ‘Dangerous’ tests Yiannopoulos’ ability to succeed on his own while allowing the public to judge him by his own words.
Yiannopoulos, by his own admission, is a strange, seemingly contradictory character. He is an acerbic, exorbitant, gay man who identifies as a traditionalist, conservative, Catholic. While his bitchy and flamboyant public persona appears to be at odds with his mostly straight white male fans.
In a way, ‘Dangerous’ attempts to reconcile these supposedly mutually exclusive positions and show that our conventional attitudes towards liberalism and authoritarianism are outdated and obsolete. He showcases this through his scathing
critique of ‘progressivism’ and how it is damaging the values and ideas of western culture.
The two things that casual observers of Yiannopoulos may find surprising is his eloquent writing style and genuine wit. While its his outrageous antics that grab the headlines, anyone who has watched one of his college talks or media appearances will know that there is deep substance amongst the humour and extravagance.
He combines these two qualities to impressive affect in this scorching attack of ‘cultural marxist’ ideas such as ‘identity politics’ ‘feminism’ and ‘multiculturalism’. He consistently displays an impressive understanding of his subject matter which he dismantles with his inimitable acid tongue.
In the end, ‘Dangerous’ is not anywhere near as shocking as many would make you believe. His opponents want him censored because of his rare ability to expose the ‘regressive left’ to such a large audience. And their attempts to do so reveal more about the dangers of ‘progressivism’ than any of the arguments contained in this entertaining and compelling book.