“I am the Ken doll from the underworld.”
- Milo Yiannopolous
There’s a theory that the type of work done on Wall Street is determined by their current drug du jour. In the 80's, it was cocaine, and so finance meant cutting billion-dollar deals in bombastic phonecalls and high-stakes meetings. More recently, it was amphetamines, and so finance meant obsessively poring over mountains of spreadsheets, carrying the ones and adding on zeroes. I’ve no idea if the theory has any merit for describing finance, but it’s perfect for explaining Dangerous.
Reading this book is a lot like being cornered by Milo at one of his parties, being his captive audience while he tells you all about himself. Like Milo at a party, it starts out bold, boisterous, audacious, grandiose… and also like Milo at a party, you can spot the exact moment the coke high ends and he falls back to the amphetamines. Mid-chapter (almost mid-sentence), it becomes a detail-oriented completionist handbook, thoroughly — almost obsessively — cataloguing his experiences and achievements.
Dangerous’s style is conversational, even chatty, punctuated with performative ego flourishes (mostly revolving around his vanity) and salted with offensive remarks (lesbians ought to “get back to where they belong — in porn”). He sprinkles in gossip and innuendo (“Jack Dorsey is in bed, cuddling with Black Lives Matter”, “the *uber-straight* Gavin [McInnes] and I kissed at a press conference”), as well as bouts of high-octane degeneracy (“I spent my youth… losing my virginity in interracial fivesomes with drag queens”), alongside some genuinely good turns of phrase (“Wifi-enabled Waffen-SS wannabes” to describe Richard Spencer and the alt-right).
Late in the book, while discussing how the Left holds the culture, he says it’s no surprise that kids who idolize left-wing pop stars and laugh with left-wing comedians grow up to be left-wing voters. Then, he pauses and adds, “I’m suddenly aware this may come across as an argument for obsessive representation of all kinds on screen. It is not.” At this point, you begin to realise that maybe book feels like a conversation because Milo wrote it by talking into a microphone.
The self-importance wafting off every page is truly hard to capture. This is a book with a foreword, a preamble, and a prologue. Not content with giving the reader his hero origin story (“I was told I could not read Atlas Shrugged. I thought, this is poppycock, fuck anyone who tells me what I can and cannot read. I finished it three days later. Everything became clear to me then…”), he also relates his villain beginnings: “My supervillain origin was GamerGate… the first battle in an anti-leftist, culturally libertarian, free speech movement that led directly to Trump’s election.”
The content is ostensibly arranged into chapters, one for each of his enemies: the Progressive Left, Black Lives Matter, and so on. Unfortunately, but perhaps predictably, Milo finds it difficult to stay on topic — the chapter on social-justice-converged tech companies somehow meanders into criticising establishment Republicans, for instance. This is where the book would most have have benefited from a substantial editing pass. Nevertheless, some broad themes do emerge from each chapter:
* Why the Progressive Left Hates Me (he doesn’t behave like a good little “metropolitan fag” for them)
* Why the Alt-Right Hates Me (he’s a “degenerate kike faggot”)
* Why Twitter Hates Me (he’s too popular)
* Why Feminists Hate Me (he gets too much dick; Lena Dunham is jealous)
* Why Black Lives Matter Hates Me (he gets too much black dick; Deray is jealous)
* Why the Media Hates Me (they’re fake news, and he’s too real)
* Why Establishment Gays Hate Me (he’s republican)
* Why Establishment Republicans Hate Me (he’s gay)
* Why Muslims Hate Me (he’s gay)
The perennial complaint that runs through the entire book, however, is that his enemies misrepresent him. (The book cringingly opens with an “actually, it’s called hebephilia”, in an attempt to correct the record on the pedophilia scandal.) He even goes so far as to offer journalists $10,000 to challenge the idea that he’s the “leader of the alt-right,” by reporting that the alt-right in fact hate him. In a way, this book is his Mein Kampf; like Hitler, he is an extremely hated figure, and like Hitler’s book the aim seems to be to ensure history remembers his version of events too.
By three quarters of the way through, even the amphetamine high seems to be fading, and he’s finally showing some self-awareness: “I’m sure I sound a broken record at this point”. As the light of dawn creeps in the windows — and having finally run out of enemies to talk about — he gets oddly earnest, telling the reader in “Why Gamers Don’t Hate Me” how, with shitposting imageboard denizens, he finally felt he had “found his people”. He gushes about his college tours, which he clearly enjoys putting on.
One promise the book makes several times is that it will teach you to be a “dangerous troll,” just like Milo. Incredibly, just as it begins to address this, the book peters out and abruptly ends — leaving you with just a few short paragraphs, recommending spouting hatefacts while being hotter than your opponent (seriously).
Throughout the book, Milo trots out a banal laundry list of mundane “shocking” opinions: abortion is murder, Islam is bad, black people should hate Black Lives Matter. There is one opinion that deserves special mention, though: that gays are bad. In the chapter on Establishment Gays, he argues that homosexual men are inherently degenerate, “chaos incarnate,” and that they ought to embrace their deviant, society-corroding natures. This is the first really transgressive thing he manages to say in the book — even conservatives approve of gay marriage now, but not Milo: “Family values are for straight people, not for [gays]. Get married if you want, but don’t pretend you won’t be secretly browsing Grindr and scouting out darkened parks and public toilets behind your husband’s back. (He’ll be doing the same.)”
Dangerous cribs freely, not just from Milo’s previous Breitbart columns, but perhaps even from other peoples’ writing. Early on he brings up Cultural Marxism, name-drops the Frankfurt School, and lays the blame for college gender studies departments and “why your professors all seem to hate western civilisation” on the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Later, he analogises Islam to early Cold War communism — “we are dealing with a viral meme that needs to be fought head-on”. Concerningly, this parallels Eric Scott Raymond’s Gramscian Damage essay, step for step.
Finally, we get to the only question anyone really has: is Milo done? I think he is. This book is a valiant, diligent effort to revive a rapidly deflating publicity boner, but the overall effect is to exhaust rather than arouse. When the unsatisfying climax does come, somehow both premature and overdue, the reader is left with a sense of grim relief — and the Dangerous Faggot is left unmistakeably flaccid.