So Bill Maher is cheekily taking credit for the downfall of Milo Yiannopoulos. He made a half-hearted comparison of Milo to everyone’s annoying, bratty little brother at the slumber party pranking big sister with insects in the sleeping bag. I guess in this case the internet is the slumber party, big sister is all the minorities Milo intentionally targets, and the insect is the hate speech du jour that he employs.
All of which begs the question, since of course Maher is dead wrong, what is it called when 30 something year old men make careers out of this kind of thing…when they wield a huge amount of influence over significant numbers of psychologically immature minions, many of whom are under the age of majority. Even worse, when they are not all all afraid to exploit that influence by encouraging said minions to swarm the desired target for harassment and go at them with guns blazing. What would be the label for that kind of aberrant psychology? Because, we know it isn’t normal. Narcissists in particular lack empathy; it may go even further in Milo’s case, into psychopathy or anti-social personality disorder, since he shows zero empathy for any of the groups or individuals he’s targeted. He just may not be able to feel empathy, period. Most of us wouldn’t employ his tactics for several reasons. The first being of course that we wouldn’t want to encourage immature minds to do things that they would regret later in life when they were too old to change the behavior or mitigate the harm. No problem for Milo, that. The other, which should be more of a disincentive for Milo, is that some of these actions might end up being illegal and cause his proxies repercussions that might be long-lasting or even felonious. Milo seems untroubled by this possibility as well.
Milo seems troubled, in fact, by very little. I take a bit of issue with Maher’s quaint comparison of Milo’s quest to offend the entire world with sibling rivalry in some white suburban Brady Bunch style fantasty, all things being equal. All things are not equal; Milo specializes in hate speech. He loves it, he paddles around in it like he would in a swimming pool full of jello. You can intuit the relish he feels for offense when you read his words, or listen to him speak. Maher doesn’t give us any answers about why this person, in particular, is to be ignored and their deviancy attributed to childish hijinks. Yiannopoulos is not a child, he’s a grown man.
Most grown men would be able to make a simple mathematical calculation when talking about sexual victimization: “if I talk about this as if it was consensual, won’t it confuse child victims of abuse who aren’t sure they didn’t provoke the abuse ?”. Or something like, “do I really want to normalize the sexual activity of priests with children by talking about this in such a flippant way?” The problem is that those mental processes take empathy, the ability to put yourself in the shoes of another and experience how some action might affect them. Which, obviously is the ENTIRE problem with Milo Yiannopoulos, he simply lacks the ability to do this, he has no empathy. He doesn’t even have the ability to make the connection that statistically not a significant portion of his immature proxies are going to remain devoid of empathy through maturation. Some of them are being led now to do things that might cause them grief and even agony later on. He can’t imagine this state of being because he’s never experienced it.
The most significant tell-tale sign of all regarding Milo’s glaring lack of empathy is his obvious lack of any concern for the priest’s other victims. Who is this man, Father Michael? Is he still employed by the Catholic Church? Does he still have access to children? Is he taking more victims, even as the Milo story falls from the headlines? Does Milo care? Does anyone? Seemingly, no. Milo appears to acknowledge that he was wrong to portray his victimization as consensual. There is more than that, oh, so much more, on tape, of course, though he attempts to brush it all off as a mistaken description of something he now sees as abuse, despite the fact that he lobbied his hosts on Drunken Peasants and on Joe Rogan to agree with him and seemed to be trying to get them to endorse his point of view about the abuse, which thankfully none of them did. Maher’s cya mention of the Milo controversy of course doesn’t even address the biggest issue, which is whether or not Father Michael is still out there turning little children into Milo Yiannopoulos, alienating them from a sense of self and clear understanding about whether or not they consented. If Milo Yiannopoulos is what results from the intervention of people like Father Michael, then people like Maher need to stop confusing the issue of who is a child and who is an adult…because clearly that has been done long enough in Milo’s case.
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