I found this on Patheos pagan a while ago: Thoughtcrimes: What Witches Can Learn from Milo’s Dangerous. It’s an older article but I thought it was more than worthy of a takedown.
Now, I won’t be quoting the whole article. I’m only going to quote the relevant parts. Trust me, those are bad enough.
Again, if this isn’t your thing, feel free to skip. Everyone else? Let’s get this started!
So we start off with this:
If you don’t know who Milo [name redacted] is by now, you need to pay attention. His new book, Dangerous, is the best-selling book on current affairs in the world. Until now, this commentary has only been available through online orders. Barnes and Noble have decided to lift their ban on selling his book in stores due to overwhelming demand, and copies will be available in stores by next weekend. Intrigued? I was, which is why I ordered a copy last week. I can’t help it. I love subversive literature, and nothing stimulates me more than indulging in thoughtcrimes, and examining ideas that are forbidden by the status quo.
I wouldn’t call anything that Hanrahan farted out as “literature”. Just saying. I also wouldn’t call that book “best selling”. Not by a long shot. Again, just saying.
He is a provocateur, journalist turned internet troll who is an adamant supporter of freedom of speech. His style is abrasive, but effective. Like the featured image for this piece, he holds a mirror up to contemporary culture and calls out the cracks in the narrative of political correctness. The Left hates him, as he rejects identity politics, although he is gay, half-Jewish, and dates every ethnicity except whites (his own assertion). Establishment Right can’t stand him either because he calls out conservatives for losing the culture war, and ignoring the young voters that are vital to the future of his party. Google him. He is a complicated character, and all efforts to beat him down seem to only strengthen his position, and make him buckets of money.
No, he’s just an internet troll who got his sorry ass banned from Twitter for life. As for the “making buckets of money”, we’ll get to that. But, there is nothing deep about this guy. Oh, and he claims that he chose to be gay because he didn’t want to deal with “crazy broads”. Seriously. That is not a joke and I am not making it up at all. And you’d have to have been hiding under a rock to have not heard what he said about pedophilia…
Power and taboo are fascinating subjects for me, and Dangerous did not disappoint. Its an autobiographical piece documenting his rise to fame and stating his position on many hot topics, and describing several controversies he has been involved with, or reported on, during his time at Breitbart and beyond. He clearly defines his views rejecting feminism, the Black Lives Matter movement, establishment media, Islam, and his number one target, political correctness. Covers a lot of ground in approximately 250ish pages, but its a quick read. Worthwhile for several reasons. The first is that regardless of whether one agrees or rejects his positions, Milo is the darling of the alternate press at the moment. He is the Dark Horse that has helped burn down the iron grip of establishment media narrative on many topics. Number two: Milo was a very strategic voice rocking the youth vote in [the Grand Nagus]’s direction to win the presidency. And last but not least, his book was banned before it even hit the shelves in several continents, and in less than a month folks are demanding access. Do you want to know how [the Grand Nagus] got elected, why less than 1 in 5 women in America identify as feminists, and how political correctness is killing free speech? Read the book. Don’t succumb to the echo chamber. Form your own opinion. Pollute your mind and dive into the hottest conversation on the planet.
Uh, no. I refuse to dump my brain into a sewer, thank you, and refuse to hand Hanrahan any of my hard earned cash.
That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do a takedown of the book. I absolutely would. If I found it in a little free library somewhere, I would definitely grab it, peruse it, shred it with a cute little thing that I refer to as “facts”, then promptly recycle it by using the pages as toilet paper. I wouldn’t be seriously reading this book or taking any of Hanrahan’s opinions to heart. I also would not let such garbage back out into the public under any circumstances. And I wouldn’t pay for it, even if it were at Half Price Books or in one of the bins at my local Dollar Tree.
As a side note, I love the qualifier she uses: “at the moment”. It’s as if she knows that Hanrahan’s days are numbered. Considering when this was published, they were. Boy howdy, were they ever.
Now, as for the Grand Nagus: he lost the popular vote by a landslide. His approval ratings have been rock bottom since he took office. He’s not a popular guy. I’m forced to wonder if his whole “I wanna be president” thing was just a pathetic stunt for his reality TV show and it backfired on him massively. But I digress.
Now, we start getting into the more religious side of her argument, if you can call it that:
But sometimes I wonder if our efforts at mainstreaming have not damaged the very wildness that is the heart of Witchcraft? Has mainstreaming killed the taboo elements that make Witchcraft authentically sexy, cool, and dangerous? I see the minutiae that people debate endlessly in Wiccan and Pagan chat rooms, groups, and festivals. I fear that something has been lost in our pursuit of social acceptance, and advocating the normalization of our ways. A real concern is the “Greying of Wicca” and the idea that Paganism is dying out. Something is not translating to the younger generation.
Yeah, here’s the thing: the younger generation is seeing past everyone’s bullshit. Seriously. Kids are not as active in churches. Millennials in general are not all that religious. It’s because of a little thing called “education”. Science actually explains things. Religion says “I don’t understand this, so therefore god.”
Captain Cassidy at Roll to Disbelieve has been covering what she’s called “evangelical churn” for a while now. The same phenomena can be seen in the pagan community as well. Neopagans have been promising for years that if you follow their path, you would find incredible mysteries and be able to change your life through spellwork. You’d be able to have more money, heal the sick, find a better job, have a deeper connection with the supernatural, you name it. But these were promises that the religion couldn’t deliver. They never really could.
On top of that, if you joined a religion simply because you thought it was trendy or cool, then the problem might be you. A religion is not a fucking status symbol. This isn’t a cute tattoo that you can show off to your friends. To put it another way, I didn’t become an atheist because I thought it was cool. I became an atheist because I don’t believe in any god(s).
And normalization may not be such a terrible thing. At least there are some places here in the States that tolerate neopagans. Other places? Not so much. And don’t get me started on other countries.
Milo’s politics are not my flavor, but the one thing that I absolutely agree with is his assertion that political correctness is killing intellectual discourse and freedom of speech. It is poison.
“I can’t say mean things, therefore muh free speeches!” UGH.
Seriously, this is a huge dog-whistle. Oh, it’s political correctness that’s destroying free speech! We need to not treat people with decency and call them shitty names! Primus. I think the author needs a little education on the free speech subject:
Seriously, you can say shitty, bigoted things. You can make yourself look like a total asshole; no one is stopping you. However, if someone says that what you’re saying is something that they find offensive, then they are exercising their own right to free speech. Maybe you should learn to suck it up, buttercup.
I get it: the author of this post is probably libertarian. She’s more than happy to discriminate against others, but Primus forbid she gets discriminated against. She’d throw a fit of massive proportions.
The examples of political correctness being a toxic force in the Pagan community are too numerous to count. One recent example was the Bullets for the Morrigan uproar after Pantheacon of 2015. At a workshop, presenters described their devotional practice of decorating an altar, using bullets as an offering to a Goddess of War. The wires were hot for sure after folks were exposed to the idea that for some folks, war is literal instead of allegorical. That She would bless the artillery of soldiers and officers in Her service. The pacifists felt threatened. Lot’s of BNP’s weighed in on this “issue”. Most were not even in attendance, but felt the urge to broadcast the warning that unsanctioned thoughts are not only scary, but harmful as they can influence and anger the Gods. I can’t remember where I read it, but one critique ventured that ascribing contemporary armory to the Morrigan, would in fact, make Her harder to deal with, and possibly, more violent. The funny thing about political correctness is that it often backfires, and ends up validating the positions that it tries to discredit. A lot more discourse evolved around the Morrigan and private practice as a result, as well as the differences in regional practice based on location and occupation. Instead of being discredited, those presenters have been booked solid for subsequent events at other venues ever since.
Okay, this is silly, but not for the reason that the author believes.
Let’s be honest here: the Morrigan are not real. They do not exist. Placing bullets on an altar isn’t going to make it easier or more difficult to work with them because they are not there. Any consequences of these actions will only happen in the mind of a devotee. That is it. Unsanctioned thoughts won’t piss off a god and make him/her/it decide to throw a thunderbolt at humanity. Thoughts are not things and do not exist in the same capacity as human beings, no matter what a new ager might have to say about that.
Now, with that out of the way, I can see the problem with this. I have PTSD. Guns frighten me. Just recently, I saw a still image of a Sig Sauer pistol on a news report and I had to fight the urge to panic. (It was a Sig Sauer that was used in the shooting at my old Wal-Mart.) For some, weapons in general can be problematic; they might have issues with them for reasons that are private and personal. That isn’t PC, that’s trauma and I’m not sure that the author understands the difference. There may be those who feel blessing ammo used by soldiers or police is wrong. Again, that isn’t PC. It’s personal opinion. But I don’t think this woman quite grasps that.
My own battles with political correctness have been many. One that is easily accessible without a bunch of explanation is #Pexit, in which a segment of writers left the Patheos Pagan channel earlier this year. Long story short, popular writers decided to leave the platform for their own reasons, and tried to shame everyone else into solidarity and consent to give up blogging here. It got nasty. I questioned the wisdom of this decision back channel. All the PC knives were thrown simply because I did not agree with their concerns, or believe giving up our voice here would be advantageous long term. After watching these folks attack everyone that didn’t fall into line, I decided to write a satirical piece describing the experience. Then the fur really flew. Got accused of slander, and trolled for about two months across several websites and on Facebook by these shining examples of tolerance and all their friends. I guess folks did not have anything better to do? My thoughtcrime? Questioning the narrative they were trying to sell. Being unrepentant and refusing to retract or apologize for my opinions. Looking fabulous and writing something hilarious. PC warriors were upset, but everyone else thought it was pretty good. Sad part was that this episode wasn’t even about Paganism, not really, but instead an episode of empty virtue signaling and self-sabotage. Not the first nor the last uncomfortable example of where political correctness leads.
Don’t strain yourself while you pat yourself on the back. Sheesh.
As for #Prexit: the authors that had problems with Beliefnet had their reasons. I made a post about this as well. It looked as though Beliefnet wanted to censor speech, saying that certain companies/organizations were above reproach. When someone says that you can’t criticize this particular organization, there’s a problem.
We lost some atheist bloggers around this time. They might have felt the pinch, too. Had I been blogging with Patheos, I may have left as well.
If you remember what was said about the new contract, Beliefnet was saying that certain organizations could not be criticized. You could not take these people to task. Now, if these organizations had been pagan, there would have been hell to pay on this channel. But they aren’t and the author glosses over what was going on at that time. Double standard, much? What was that about free speech?
I also spy with my little eye another dog-whistle: I always raise an eyebrow when I see the term “virtue signaling”. For very obvious reasons.
So why should we care about Milo? He certainly doesn’t care about us…or does he? Milo was one of the movers and shakers in the Gamer Gate controversy, and from his own words, has a real fondness for gamers and outliers.
Only if they agree with him and make him money, he likes them. Remember, this guy only wants attention. That’s it. He doesn’t care about free speech at all. He just wants money. That’s all.
My message tonight is that we need to peruse this handbook on how to win the Internet, and wise up. Ditch political correctness. It is a failed thought experiment. Stop policing ourselves and pretending to be normal and safe. Forget it. That is useless, and if we are honest, never quite fit. Be real. Be here. Be loud. And for the love of the Gods, please be funny! Amusement beats evil. May the odds be ever in your favor.
And to think I ever wanted to call myself a pagan. Holy fucking shit. Where do I even fucking begin?
Hanrahan isn’t “real”. His last name is absolutely fictional. His appearances? He’s only loud and funny if he has an audience that can’t stand him. He’s basically a small child, shrieking for attention and he found a way of getting it for a little while. The “real” Hanrahan is a bully who got banned from Twitter, who harassed a transgender college student in Wisconsin and only believes in free speech as long as it includes a ticket price and security. Talk about a “special little snowflake” who needs a “safe space”.
Why would pagans want to learn anything from this guy?! Unless it’s a short lesson in “How not to treat other people”. Pagans–just like most of the people that end up as the butt of Hanrahan’s jokes–have been marginalized for years. There are still people out there who believe that the Harry Potter books are legitimate spell books. There are still people out there who believe that pagans and wiccans worship Satan. Overseas, women are brutally murdered because someone accused her of being a witch. Remember, we have citizens in this country who claim America is a christian nation.
Before you ask, Hanrahan is catholic. I don’t think catholics are all that fond of pagans.
Now, this was written after Hanrahan was taken to task over his defense of pedophilia. That shit was out in the open and people were distancing themselves from the guy, but apparently, this author couldn’t be bothered to mention that at all. No, instead Hanrahan is “dangerous”, “edgy”, and “complicated”. The man is anything but. This woman deserves all my fucking contempt, for obvious reasons. She’s fangirling over someone who doesn’t freaking deserve it.
He does have a steady paycheck, though. He’s now hawking supplements on Info Wars. He’s gone from making buckets of cash to selling bottles of useless pills. Oh, how the high and mighty have fallen. It’s not far enough, in my opinion.
Thankfully, the author of this blog doesn’t seem terribly active. Because I don’t think I could stand too many more brain farts from this downgraded non-planet.
I could use a really stiff drink now. Right now.