Milo Yiannopoulos doesn’t care. He doesn’t care that the mainstream media hates him, that the alt-right hates him, that feminists hate him. He’s so over it that he’s written 250 pages devoted entirely to the various parties who vilify him.
Dangerous, the autobiography by the former Breitbart editor and proud internet troll, will be released on July 4. Originally set for a March debut, the book was dropped by Simon & Schuster in February after an interview with Yiannopoulos surfaced in which he appeared to brush off pedophilia. Now Yiannopoulos is self-publishing Dangerous, which has been hovering in the top 20 books on Amazon this month.
Based on its first 50 pages (provided to Quartz by a publicist for Yiannopoulos), Dangerous is not so much filled with the author’s patented hate-speech, as early critics anticipated, as it is with his hate for the mainstream media and the left. Most of all, though, the book is about the world’s hate for the man who has referred to Islam as AIDS and feminism as cancer.
Yiannopoulos begins the book by addressing the controversy that cost him his deal with Simon & Schuster, plainly stating that he doesn’t condone pedophilia or hebephilia. He calls himself a victim of sexual abuse, but then writes:
The only way I can truly be a victim is to wallow in what happened and let it define me. If you’re reading this, and you have been abused, and you are wallowing, I will give you the most important piece of advice I have: get over it. Move on.
He adds, “There are real victims out there, and together, you and I are going to fight for them. We’re going to do so without self-pity, without a cult of victimhood, and certainly without safe spaces.”
Despite his distaste for victimhood, Yiannopoulos does a lot to paint himself as a victim—a fabulous but misunderstood personality relentlessly targeted by the media and the political left. The excerpt provided by Yiannopoulos’s publicist includes three separate introductions and the first two chapters are titled “Why the Progressive Left Hates Me” and “Why the Alt-Right Hates Me.” The remaining chapters are named for other groups that reportedly hate the author, including feminists, Black Lives Matter, “the media,” “establishment gays,” and Muslims. One exception to the convention is a chapter on gamers, who do not, apparently, hate Yiannopoulos.
He goes on to inform his readers that they are victims of a cultural elite. He writes that the movie 10 Years a Slave (sic—it’s actually 12) is proof that a kind white man has no place in popular culture. “White men can’t dance, jump or sexually satisfy their partners,” he writes. “These are all socially acceptable jokes.”
The book reads largely as a defense of Yiannopoulos’s unabashed brand of conservative contempt and scorn for the press. His mandate to his readers is “[fight] for your right to speak freely, honestly, and rudely, no matter who doesn’t like it.” For those readers already turned onto his particular venom, the book could work. He makes a compelling appeal to people (namely straight white men) who feel left out of what he calls a “league table of oppression.”
He’s also deeply critical of college campus culture, writing:
The practitioners of the new political correctness are not equipped for a world in which individuals can disagree with what is deemed appropriate thought. They rely on silencing the opposition with hysterics, instead of winning with superior ideas. … Purposefully or unwittingly, a generation of Americans now exists that is terrified of critical thinking.
Of course what the author does not offer, at least in these 50 pages, is how to achieve that level of open discourse through saying whatever one wants at whatever time. Though he writes that “the art of trolling” lies in “debunking some untruth or exposing wrongdoing or hypocrisy,” it’s not clear how he has elevated the level of critical thinking. It’s likewise unclear how calling actor Leslie Jones a “barely literate” “black dude” passes for debunking. What Yiannopoulos has missed is that belligerence itself is not a superior idea.