In the wake of the scandal following Milo Yiannopoulos’s controversial comments, The Guardian published an article titled, “The Rise and Fall of Milo Yiannopoulos.” It contained a poor, somewhat sordid, detailing of how Milo rose to fame and ended with a figurative shovel of dirt on the top of his coffin. It wasn’t just The Guardian who were quick to declare the time of death for Milo’s career—most mainstream media outlets gleefully did the same. It’s the normal way of the media and they’ve been doing it for years, so why doubt themselves?
After all, Milo appeared dressed conservatively and speaking contritely, explaining himself where he’d been mischaracterized and apologizing for his mistakes. Then, he disappeared. The media dusted off their hands, leaned back in their desks, put their feet up, and declared the job done. Milo Yiannopoulos, scourge of the left, king of the internet trolls, was dead and buried
There was one small problem. His social media followers continued to grow despite days of silence from Milo, a small preclude to the ticking bomb about to go off. Then, in a tasteless blaze of glory, dressed in white with a python wrapped around his shoulders, Milo was back with a publishing house, a brand-new tour of American college campuses, and a promise to burn censorship to the ground.
So, what is Milo Yiannopoulos? He’s been called alt-right, white supremacist, but the problem is that when challenged, out of each journalist who called him these things, none of them could come up with evidence to substantiate it and ended up correcting their articles and issuing apologies. He’s been called an internet troll, devoid of substance, but with a little research, it becomes clear that Milo is not only educated but incredibly intelligent as well. He’s lightning on his feet. I’ve watched every one of his college tours and a question has never been posed that he didn’t have an answer for.
The brilliant Jordan Peterson, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, came up with the best explanation for Milo’s unstoppable antics. He is archetypically the court jester. Our current political climate, particularly in regard to radical leftist ideology, is congruent with the idea of a medieval king’s court and Milo is taking full advantage of this.
The king’s court was the pinnacle of society and people only got there if they were of, or related to someone of, royal blood. They spoke differently and, this is particularly important, dressed differently. Peasants didn’t wear bright colors or velvet because they weren’t of the upper-class—it would have been considered outrageous to do so. However, there was one peasant who could get away with it and that was the court jester because he was a walking mockery of the noble class. Medieval court was a dangerous place for nobles; one misstep or misspoken word could bring down the king’s rage and in a worst-case scenario land them with a death sentence. The court jester was considered a truth-teller and as such he was above restriction because he had nothing to lose and no dignity to retain.
Jester were fools, idiots, peasants; but their opinions were held in so high regard that kings often sought advice from them on serious matters. In a world where everyone was too afraid to speak the truth for fear of judgement or social exclusion, the jester was the only person who could be trusted to tell the truth. They mocked the lords and ladies of the courts in both words and their colorful dress—a mimicry of the jewels and silks the noble people wore.
If the politics were a king’s court, Milo would be the jester. Gender and sexual orientation are the new noble blood and lavish clothes. Milo takes the dress of the political left and wears it like a harlequin costume. He’s gay, a fact which should put him in the favored class, but he wears his sexual orientation with a blasé swagger—and this is infuriating to the hardcore, leftist ideologues. It’s a mockery of a status symbol.
So, if Milo is the jester, what does that mean for us? Well, the first and best thing to do is start listening to what he says instead of reading Vice articles about him by journalists trying to get brownie points from minority groups. The jester was a fool, but buried in his mockery and cutting wit, there was an element of truth. You don’t need to agree with Milo to consider what he says before writing him off as evil or stupid. I would recommend that, if you have an issue with Milo Yiannopoulos, you should read what he writes, think through what he says, and form your own educated opinion.
Milo isn’t going anywhere. It took me almost a year to understand what kind of role he plays in the political scene, but Milo has known it for far longer and he’s been one step ahead of everyone else for a long time. He’s a brilliant egomaniac with a talent for disruption. He’s a jester who wants every eye in the court on him. He’s a man on a mission with nothing to lose that he can’t build back up again. I keep hearing the phrase, “Don’t normalize this.” Please. Milo has been around far longer than any Guardian journalist can comprehend and as long as we continue to experience times of political unrest, there will always be the court jester waiting to say what others can’t
Via – Claire Wilker