It doesn't matter that [Milo Yiannopoulos] doesn't mean it. It doesn't matter that he's secretly quite a sweet, vulnerable person who is gracious to those he considers friends. It doesn't matter that somewhere in the rhinestone-rimmed hamster wheel of his mind is a conscience. It doesn't matter because the harm he does is real.Read the rest. Laurie Penny is two and a half feet tall and made entirely of cigarette smoke and hastily-scribbled Post-It notes. She has reported first-hand on people you'd pay your monthly rent to avoid ever having to meet. And she has written what is possibly the greatest single piece of journalism to emerge from this astonishing event.
He is leading a yammering army of trolls to victory on terms they barely understand. This is how we got to a place where headline speakers at the Republican convention--one of the most significant political events in the national narrative of world's greatest superpower--are now actively calling for the slaughter and deportation of foreigners, declaring that Hillary Clinton is an agent of Satan, and hearing only cheers from the floor.
They ventriloquise the fear of millions into a scream of fire in the crowded theatre of modernity where all the doors are locked, and then they watch the stampede, and they smile for the cameras. [...]
What's happening to this country has happened before, in other nations, in other anxious, violent times when all the old certainties peeled away and maniacs took the wheel. It's what happens when weaponised insincerity is applied to structured ignorance. Donald Trump is the Gordon Gekko of the attention economy, but even he is no longer in control. This culture war is being run in bad faith by bad actors who are running way off-script, and it's barely begun, and there are going to be a lot of refugees.