This is definitely not the place for more of your narcissism.
December 28, 2017 7:31 AM   Subscribe

If you're feeling low on your general schadenfreude levels this day, you could do worse than ponder the editor's comments on Milo Yiannopoulos's autobiography, Dangerous. Or read them for yourself in full in the court documents [PDF].

Quick background: Milo is a misogynistic racist transphobic professional troll, he had a deal for an autobiography, was dropped after making paedo comments, sued the publisher and the resultant lawsuit includes all the editor's comments in full snark mode.
via @sarahmei
posted by signal (108 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is lovely.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:38 AM on December 28 [2 favorites]


Did Simon & Schuster pick up his book just to troll him?
posted by selfnoise at 7:39 AM on December 28 [9 favorites]


"The feminist chapter needed a 'stronger argument against feminism than saying that they are ugly and sexless and have cats'"

I thought the title was “Dangerous,” not “Unoriginal.”
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:43 AM on December 28 [20 favorites]


I thought the title was “Dangerous,” not “Unoriginal.”

As somebody on Twitter was pointing out, as funny as this is, it's still a dude trying to make racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia palatable for publication.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:48 AM on December 28 [79 favorites]


Ha! I just came here to post.

Two of my favorites:
All this pop psychology is hogwash. You can't say ugly people are drawn to the left. Have you ever seen the people at a Trump rally?

Also:
This is not the time or place for another black-dick joke.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:49 AM on December 28 [16 favorites]


Sarah Mei's highlights are hilarious, especially since it's left to the reader to imagine what kind of effluent Milo wrote to elicit such responses from his establishment-conservative editor. "I will not accept a manuscript that labels an entire class of people ‘mentally ill.’" "This entire paragraph is just repeating Fake News. There was NO blood, NO semen, and NO Satanism. Delete." "This is definitely not the p[l]ace for more of your narcissism."

At a certain point, the editor simply loses patience: "This is not true" "This is not true either" "DELETE UGH" "NO!" "NO. IT. HAS. NOT."

Mei notes, however, that Milo's editor also had plenty of positive comments and suggestions about how to reframe his more inflammatory arguments to make them sound reasonable.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:50 AM on December 28 [38 favorites]


things that we celebrate in 2017: when older institutions dominated by white males doing terrible things swats down newer institutions dominated by proudly racist white males resulting in ounces and ounces of legitimacy regained

see also: GW Bush
posted by runt at 7:55 AM on December 28 [29 favorites]


MetaFilter: There was NO blood, NO semen, and NO Satanism.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:56 AM on December 28 [53 favorites]


One of his notes literally says that Milo should make the argument that he can't be a white supremacist because "white supremacists are always proud to say they are white supremacists and that anyone who calls you a white supremacist has no idea what white supremacy is," and yet he still sounds like a voice of reason in 90% of these notes.

2017's Republican Party in a nutshell.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:57 AM on December 28 [40 favorites]


Did Simon & Schuster pick up his book just to troll him?

No, they picked it up because they saw his followers and saw dollar signs, not realizing or caring who they were getting into bed with until later, when it blew up in their faces.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:59 AM on December 28 [41 favorites]


On this entire chapter describing his old man workout routine and distaste for tap water. “This sounds like a Patrick Bateman joke, if iso, not worth making, if not, it’s not that kind of book”
posted by The Whelk at 8:00 AM on December 28 [12 favorites]


"This entire paragraph is just repeating Fake News. There was NO blood, NO semen, and NO Satanism. Delete."

That's probably about Hillary's emails, specifically the "spirit cooking" nonsense.

Alexandra Erin: Delete Entire Chapter: The Milo Yiannopoulos Story.
Milo could have spent his entire life posturing about how Simon & Schuster had not published his terrible festering sore of a book because he was "dangerous" and they were "PC", but he went and sued them, which forces them to share their actual documentation of the process. It turns out they failed to publish his book largely because he failed to write it.

He turned in a manuscript, to be sure. But it's not a non-fiction book, it's his schtick repeated on the page, over and over for so many pages. In the smugly self-satisfied outrage-fueled echo chamber that Milo works for a living, it IS enough to assert something your audience agrees with and call it a fact. There, too, it IS enough to point out he fetishizes Black men, to rebut charges of racism.


His publisher expected that Milo knew in his heart of hearts that this wasn't enough and would be prepared to make his points with a little more rigor if given the time and space. His publisher expected he had points, behind the schtick. And the editor is sympathetic. The people trying to make this happen at Simon & Schuster believed in Milo and his cause, likely more than he himself does.

Well, here's the thing. And I'm not saying this to exonerate any of our current crop of ~*conservative*~ thinkers but to explain them: they all understand pandering to/riling up the base. If you have a whole generation of politicians in one party that know exactly how and when to declare, "I SAY, YOU GOT TROUBLE!" to sell the small town in Iowa whatever it is you're selling, you wind up with some in the next generation doing it, who don't know it's a sales pitch. The core mainstream Republican Party says that abortion is murder and it's genocide. They just want votes, but people listen and kill abortion doctors. They agitate against the deficit, people listen and run as Tea Party deficit hawks who get in the way of the former GOP agenda.

The core mainstream Republican Party says that abortion is murder and it's genocide. They just want votes, but people listen and kill abortion doctors. They agitate against the deficit, people listen and run as Tea Party deficit hawks who get in the way of the former GOP agenda. And then there's men like Milo Yiannopoulos, who poses to them the opposite problem: all he sees is the gags.

He can't drop his schtick to sell the ideas behind it because there are no ideas behind his schtick.

But his backers in the publishing world are used to "shock jocks" and rabble rousers. They see him just as a hip, edgy, modern version of Rush Limbaugh. And they know that Rush Limbaugh can deliver a book. So they think that this yappy fellow, as my partenr calls him, must surely be able to cut it out for long enough to explain the Very Important and Serious Ideas behind his sex jokes and insults. He must be able to stop pandering long enough to explain *what he is pandering for*. And he ultimately, inevitably disappointed him.

I have no doubt his bad publicity and cratering star power influenced their decision to cut their losses and stop trying to salvage the book, but I have very little doubt they were within their rights to do so. I can't believe a publisher as old and well-established as Simon & Schuster would hand out a contract that agrees to blithely publish whatever the author hands over in return. And if his conduct made them less willing to put up with his flaws and work with him to try to wrangle his manuscript into something they could put on shelves?

Welcome to Actions Have Consequencesville, Mr. Yiannopoulos.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:02 AM on December 28 [66 favorites]


Yeah, I'm caught between a feeling of fellowship with this editor, as I have also edited some trash (though not Nazi trash) books, and a feeling of "Stop trying to use the honorable tools of editorship to help these garbage goblins clean up their nastiness, make better life and career choices sir."
posted by emjaybee at 8:05 AM on December 28 [36 favorites]


I'm particularly amused by the editorial comment quoted here.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:12 AM on December 28 [18 favorites]


Can you even imagine being the person who edited multiple books by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump, Michelle Malkin, John Stossel, Tucker Carlson, even James O’Keefe and Ben Shapiro and find yourself thinking THIS is a bridge too far?

Apparently, this is the inside scoop of when that happens.

Still can't imagine it though. Mitchell Ivers is as big of a piece of shit as Milo, just a smarter one.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:12 AM on December 28 [56 favorites]


it's still a dude trying to make racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia palatable for publication.

That was my take at first, too, but then I realized that the deepest, most satisfying schadenfreude doesn't come at Milo's expense; it comes at the editor's. He is every single establishment Republican who considers himself a good, sensible, reasonable person and thinks that underneath these alt-right Trumpers there are also people who are good and sensible and reasonable, and all that pesky racism and sexism is just a thin veneer that needs to be scraped off so that we can get to the solid wholesome Republican principles underneath. He's so confident in the basic rightness of Republicanism that he thinks he can make Milo palatable enough to swallow down.

And when you read these edits, you get to watch him fucking choke. He chokes the way every single "decent" Republican should have to choke on the alt-right; the way so many of them are choking now, on this nasty filthy glass-shard-ridden hairball of Donald Trump and the alt-right and Roy Moore and all the rest of the ugliness and stupidity that they tried to tell themselves was only on the surface but was actually at the core. This is the book you bought, buddy. None of the rest of us made that mistake; only you. This is the book you're going to be associated with for the rest of your life, and no amount of mockery or disavowal or "oh shit what have I done" is going to change that. You're the one who has to gag on it, because you were the one who was stupid enough to try and swallow it.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 8:14 AM on December 28 [207 favorites]


Having read a few chunks of the manuscipt, I'll say this: they tried to buy "Ernst Rohm II: Functionally Illiterate Boogaloo" and got exactly what they were paying for.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:32 AM on December 28 [25 favorites]


"The feminist chapter needed a 'stronger argument against feminism than saying that they are ugly and sexless and have cats'"

I thought the title was “Dangerous,” not “Unoriginal.”


As a decades-single feminist (thus the first of his adjectives is inferred and the second is literal) with cats, I've never understood this argument against feminism. Indeed it's more like an argument for feminism. Not tangential: herein thou shalt understand how I survived as an adolescent girl on 1990s IRC.

Right. So. Considering the type of straight dude who claims they have a problem with feminism because ugly sexless cat ladies. Presumably they desire beautiful sex-having not-cat-ladies. Does not the problem resolve itself? E.g. they are uninterested in women like me, THUS they immediately know to move on as soon as the mouth Mother Earth so ungratefully bestowed on my societally-gendered-as-woman face in front of a functioning cerebral cortex containing a Broca's area produces the word "feminist."

In other other words, saying feminists are ugly and sexless and have cats is in fact a highly efficient sorting mechanism for this type of dude's stated mating preferences. So when said dude complains about women always refusing him, VOILÀ mystère résolu. Quell thy grievances, cher sire! Your wishes are being granted! You just have to accept the logical consequences of your free choice!

Just as I have done! *pets three kitteh bellehs while saying "feminist" and living free oh so free*
posted by fraula at 8:39 AM on December 28 [90 favorites]


Ah, but by the Transitive Property Of Offensive Stereotyping, if you weren't a feminist you would be catless and sexually available to people who hate feminists. To these assclowns, feminism is not merely an expression of one's natural desire for equality but a malefic brain-virus.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:55 AM on December 28 [2 favorites]


I am delighted by the absolute lack of snark and schadenfreude in this thread.
posted by scruss at 8:57 AM on December 28


The argument is that feminism isn't a genuine concern or need. It's the demands of women who are incapable of meeting society's standards, and would rather change society's standards than change themselves to meet those standards.

Which, now that I say it that way, is actually kind of accurate. The main disagreement really is whether those standards are valid, and Milo also misses that plenty of women (and men) who meet those standards still think the standards and requirements are bullshit.
posted by explosion at 9:01 AM on December 28 [9 favorites]


So uhh, this is an editor helping frame white supremacy in palatable way for a general audience?
horrific
posted by mulligan at 9:04 AM on December 28 [13 favorites]


I love this so much. It illustrates my own five stages of peer review grief, when I mistakenly agree to review a manuscript and realize instantly I am about to waste three or four hours of my life:

Chapter 1 - Surprise
Chapter 2 - Annoyance
Chapter 3 - Heavy Snark
Chapter 4 - Incoherent Rage
Reader Report - Revenge/Catharsis
posted by spitbull at 9:07 AM on December 28 [29 favorites]


So uhh, this is an editor helping frame white supremacy in palatable way for a general audience?

It's an editor trying to frame white supremacy in a palatable way for a general audience, and then throwing his hands up in resignation because the Internet and a political epoch of insane far-right pandering have produced a generation of white supremacists who literally don't know what a substantive argument is. We live in the Stupidest Timeline.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:19 AM on December 28 [53 favorites]


I've never understood this argument against feminism.

I think it may also be an argument that men use against other men who in any way voice support for feminism. Once again, women are not considered the primary audience (if at all), since they are the "ball". It's basically saying that feminist men are all betas that can't "get" beautiful women, so they have to settle somehow.
posted by FJT at 9:20 AM on December 28 [3 favorites]


First impression: This guy looks like a dick.
On further review and investigation: Yep.
posted by jim in austin at 9:20 AM on December 28 [1 favorite]


"Ernst Rohm II: Functionally Illiterate Boogaloo"

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by chavenet at 9:28 AM on December 28 [10 favorites]


Did Simon & Schuster pick up his book just to troll him?

I am sort of amazed that they thought they were getting a real book out of this.
posted by Artw at 9:29 AM on December 28 [7 favorites]


So uhh, this is an editor helping frame white supremacy in palatable way for a general audience?
horrific


There's already an entire rack of that by older authors at any airport bookstore, which I guess they thought they were getting the next generation of.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on December 28 [7 favorites]


I read through the entire PDF. The editor was incredibly kind in his comments. This was not well written.
posted by k8t at 9:33 AM on December 28 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: There was NO blood, NO semen, and NO Satanism.

Worst Mefi New Years ever.
posted by Artw at 9:34 AM on December 28 [18 favorites]


I read through the entire PDF. The editor was incredibly kind in his comments. This was not well written.

I bailed after the first 2 chapters. Even setting aside the obnoxiousness of his views: it's exhausting to read because everything's so amped-up and hyperbolic. It's an entire book written in short-form hit-piece voice.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:52 AM on December 28 [4 favorites]


I think this is funny and all, but I also think that 1) literally everyone warned them this was going to happen and 2) they WANTED this project to work. These comments are Simon and Schuster actively trying to make Milo's misogynistic, genocidal perspective coherent enough to be palatable and it's disgusting.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:53 AM on December 28 [33 favorites]


Simon and Schuster, a subsidiary of CBS, is not the only large publisher with a stable of right-wing authors struggling to figure out a way to cash in on the alt-right.
posted by briank at 10:27 AM on December 28 [5 favorites]


I made through about three chapters. The style is fine and there was more substance than I expected, but dude is obsessed with social media and Ghostbusters. I like the internet too but an entire book about internet culture wars is too much.
posted by subdee at 10:40 AM on December 28


Ghostbusters was a real big deal in Culture War bullshit in the month that he wrote it, I guess. If he wrote it thsi month it'd all be Star Wars. This thing was built with an expiry date closer than the end of it's publication process.
posted by Artw at 10:44 AM on December 28 [17 favorites]


The Telegraph is to blame for Milo, apparently.

Its remarkable (not really) how uncynical the papers are about dutifully reciting events in Milo's life, like his "wedding", which handily gives him and them a chance to print his ever so outrageous views. He's like the The Onion Marilyn Manson joke come to life.
posted by threetwentytwo at 10:57 AM on December 28 [6 favorites]




This is what happens when you learn to write in an echo chamber. If you never hear the opposing views, just the cheers and applause, you start to believe that every word out of your mouth is gold.

See pretty much every right wing talk radio host. The goal is to shout loud and long enough to drown out everything else, with an audience of yes-men who keep encouraging you to do it. It does not develop strong rhetorical skills.

This lawsuit is wonderful, not because the asshole deserves the response (and he does), but because it exposes to everyone how the sausage is made. Hopefully it makes a few people think.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:20 AM on December 28 [7 favorites]


I'm particularly amused by the editorial comment quoted here.

Jebus. I don't think I've ever seen an editor's note that point-blank accused the author of refusing to do their job.

Even when it's blatantly obvious that your author's being lazy, even when you're at your most snide and fed-up, your very strongest tone is supposed to be one that suggests a brief sigh and an "Okay, you tried your best; let me give you a hand."

I can't even imagine the level of rage and exasperation it would take to get the editors I know to drop that comment on a ms.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:31 AM on December 28 [11 favorites]


I had to block someone on Twitter over this! They claimed to be a feminist and accused me of wanting to burn books because I said of this editor that if you were helping Nazis communicate, it was time to rethink your life choices. Making me a book burner...just like the Nazis? Wait...

They claimed to be an editor also, but I'm thinking they're probably a troll hiding behind a fake account. But possibly they are just a Nazi apologist. Racist tomato, racist tomahto.

(apologies to Mefi's own jscalzi, this little kerfuffle happened in his mentions).
posted by emjaybee at 11:34 AM on December 28 [5 favorites]




I'm guessing that it was only Milo's then super-star clout¸and/or possibly an American prejudice that a British accent signifies refinement and intelligence, that prevented Simon & Schuster frompushing a ghost writer onto him, and having the ghost take his manuscript, cut out the choicest zingers and most characteristically Milo-esque quips and glue them onto a generic Reaganism/Prosperity Gospel/small-government/guns/hippy-punching tract. In other words, treat him like Joe The Plumber or any other incoherent figurehead whose name would be profitable on a handsomely bound hardback.
posted by acb at 11:37 AM on December 28 [2 favorites]


They claimed to be an editor also, but I'm thinking they're probably a troll hiding behind a fake account. But possibly they are just a Nazi apologist

Or one of 200 sockpuppets on a desk in the American section of an office in St. Petersburg.
posted by acb at 11:40 AM on December 28 [11 favorites]


Its remarkable (not really) how uncynical the papers are about dutifully reciting events in Milo's life, like his "wedding", which handily gives him and them a chance to print his ever so outrageous views. He's like the The Onion Marilyn Manson joke come to life.

I still hear he is Jewish all the time.

He's not Jewish. He was raised Catholic. He has never produced a single Jewish family member. A lot of Europeans think they are part Jewish (or part Roma) in the way a lot of Americans think they are Native American. But it's not the job of the media just to go reporting invented claims without verifying.

Especially when they give an antisemite cover for his antisemitism.
posted by maxsparber at 11:41 AM on December 28 [37 favorites]


The crazy thing is, if S&S had simply gone ahead and published the thing unedited, it would have sold like gangbusters anyway, with his fans pumping their fists and shouting about how Milo is speaking the unvarnished truth.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:05 PM on December 28 [5 favorites]


Especially when they give an antisemite cover for his antisemitism.


I wish they'd stop giving an homophobe cover for his homophobia (and misogyny).
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:05 PM on December 28 [7 favorites]


I can't believe I made it to page 14.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:08 PM on December 28 [1 favorite]


(Also he says he's Jewish on page 9.)
posted by elsietheeel at 12:10 PM on December 28 [1 favorite]


It was still an easy $250k payday, with that advance. By suing, he's probably putting that advance at risk, possibly to be clawed back in a counter-suit.
posted by yesster at 12:11 PM on December 28


The crazy thing is, if S&S had simply gone ahead and published the thing unedited, it would have sold like gangbusters anyway, with his fans pumping their fists and shouting about how Milo is speaking the unvarnished truth.

Honestly they could have "published" a lump of dogshit squished between two covers with his name printed on the outside and it would have gone over just as well with his audience as something edited. It;s value is entirely exterior to the actual work.

And his value... dropped.
posted by Artw at 12:14 PM on December 28 [5 favorites]


Comment A393: Let's leave "fecal waste" analogies out of this chapter.

Is that you, cortex?
posted by JackFlash at 12:21 PM on December 28 [9 favorites]


I'm curious as to the basis of the suit. Per documents in the thread, he was told they weren't publishing it, and that he could keep the advance and they were returning the publishing rights. My understanding of publishing was that was pretty standard for ending a book contract, but it appears that Milo is claiming that S&S are actually required to publish the book, no matter how bad.

A judge refused to dismiss the suit, so apparently there must be *some* basis in law for this, but it seems quite insane to me. Anyone with deeper understanding want to explain?
posted by tavella at 12:23 PM on December 28 [2 favorites]


The law leans heavily towards nazi entitlement.
posted by Artw at 12:30 PM on December 28


the editor is not just a bad person but a pretty bad editor, too. even though it is fun to read through their notes and imagine their misery and exasperation, they edit out any semblance of a voice Yiannopoulos might be said to have had, and his voice is the only reason anybody would ever have picked up his book instead of one of Ann Coulter's or Rush Limbaugh's. X-ing out the line about his bus being bigger than Barry Diller's yacht because it has nothing to do with the argument is representative of the editorial incompetence -- it's not a joke, let alone a good joke, it's not a good line, it's not a clever line, but it is a line. one of very few he has.

pretending to edit this manuscript as if it were a serious political essay written by someone who was concerned with making strong points might have served to amuse the editor and is the sort of thing I do myself when I'm alone in a miserable office with nothing but Track Changes to keep me company. but ethics apart it is not intelligent editing. MY is also bad at writing the kind of book he was trying to write, but they clearly had no idea what kind of book that was.
posted by queenofbithynia at 12:30 PM on December 28 [23 favorites]


I can't even imagine the level of rage and exasperation it would take to get the editors I know to drop that comment on a ms.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:31 AM on December 28 [+] [!]


Let me introduce you to Milo Yiannopoulos...
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:35 PM on December 28


Perhaps that will be his legal strategy: "There's no way anyone would mistake Milo for a serious political commentator. It should have been published as 'humor'."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:36 PM on December 28 [1 favorite]


Surely, the only merit to the lawsuit is simply that it gives the troll more visibility. Now people are reading his manuscript who never would have done so. For the lulz, yes, but still...if you are the kind of person who avoids Yiannopoulos’ dreck, but you just read a chapter of it, then he kinda played it well.

I read the page provided with the editor’s comments, and it was enough to make me want a shower. The editor’s comments on that page are edifying, but from what I understand, they are trying to make what is essentially a bigoted provocateur’s effluent palatable for mass marketing, so I ultimately have no sympathy for them.
posted by darkstar at 1:20 PM on December 28 [2 favorites]


Ziwe [via Twitter]:

milo's editor: is there a more palatable word for "genocide"???

y'all: oooooooo drag him sis


I saw this tweet, and it irritated me because absolutely no one I saw was cheerleading the editor. They were loving the editor's discomfort. People must need to curate their timelines better.
posted by taterpie at 1:38 PM on December 28 [2 favorites]


I hope Mitchell Ivers, who was obviously one of the people responsible for deciding to publish this book as well as one of the editors, gets fired.

Ivers has helped get many books by garbage humans like James O'Keefe published.

I don't find anything funny or relatable about someone tasked with making white supremacy palatable to the mainstream.
posted by Yowser at 1:40 PM on December 28 [5 favorites]


I am not EVEN going to give him my time enough to read the excerpts.

But I WILL say, he is 3fucking3. How in the blistering green fuck has he done enough to even QUALIFY for an autobiography? I mean, Malala I can see...
posted by Samizdata at 1:40 PM on December 28


I've seen far too much sympathy for the editor, and I curate the ever-living crap out of my feed.
posted by Yowser at 1:45 PM on December 28 [2 favorites]


But I WILL say, he is 3fucking3. How in the blistering green fuck has he done enough to even QUALIFY for an autobiography? I mean, Malala I can see...

Well, even Jesus made it to 33 without getting Twitter-banned
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:52 PM on December 28 [9 favorites]


p56 of the manuscript: proudly claims to have studied Shakespeare, misattributes a quote to the wrong play.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:07 PM on December 28 [15 favorites]


I call him My Loo. Because he's white and full of shit.
posted by adept256 at 2:27 PM on December 28 [7 favorites]


The comment about not copy-pasting someone else's blog post is funny in light of how Yiannpolois' writing is openly done by others under his name, so I'm pretty sure this manuscript happened the same way. Heck, maybe the ghostwriter on this part of the manuscript was looking to get a little recognition under his own name.
posted by mrmurbles at 2:31 PM on December 28 [2 favorites]


Oh god, he brings up the whole “#notyourshield” charade as evidence that Twitter was on his side during Gamergate. Laugh, or cry? I’m torn.
posted by jokeefe at 2:32 PM on December 28 [2 favorites]


WHAT ARE THE STAGES A METAFILTER USER EXPERIENCES WHEN READING A POLITICS FOCUSED THREAD:
Chapter 1 - Surprise
Chapter 2 - Annoyance
Chapter 3 - Heavy Snark
Chapter 4 - Incoherent Rage
Reader Report - Revenge/Catharsis
posted by Fizz at 3:49 PM on December 28 [7 favorites]


jokeefe, I hadn’t heard of #notyourshield (I’ve tried to steer far away from gamergaters and their bs, etc), but your comment spurred me to read up on it. Jeez, just when I think those assholes couldn’t get any worse.

Lesson: figurative assholes, like the literal ones, can always get worse.
posted by darkstar at 5:24 PM on December 28 [2 favorites]


Very Smart Brothas: a self-sustaining loop is created in which white men continue to get the money because investors/publishing houses/networks trust them more than anyone else because white dudes’ successes are more spectacular because white dudes get more chances to be spectacular because white dudes get the money because investors/publishing houses/networks trust them more than anyone else. In Milo Yiannopoulos’ case, this is especially apparent—and especially disheartening—because nothing about him is particularly interesting or compelling. He’s (bleached) blond and gay and a troll and a bigot ... and that’s it. There’s nothing else there. The only there there is a scarf. I get his editor’s exasperation with him, but what the fuck did they expect?
posted by TwoStride at 5:53 PM on December 28 [15 favorites]


Who published the book in the end? I saw a copy at Barnes and Noble the other day. I started flipping through it and my wife asked me about who he was, not having heard of him ... I declined comment.
posted by theorique at 6:44 PM on December 28


Answer:

Publisher: Dangerous Books (July 4, 2017)

Self-published!
posted by theorique at 6:46 PM on December 28 [2 favorites]


> tivalasvegas:
"But I WILL say, he is 3fucking3. How in the blistering green fuck has he done enough to even QUALIFY for an autobiography? I mean, Malala I can see...

Well, even Jesus made it to 33 without getting Twitter-banned"


So I have heard. Wasn't sure if he changed accounts when he moved.
posted by Samizdata at 6:48 PM on December 28


> Fizz:
"WHAT ARE THE STAGES A METAFILTER USER EXPERIENCES WHEN READING A POLITICS FOCUSED THREAD:

Chapter 1 - Surprise
Chapter 2 - Annoyance
Chapter 3 - Heavy Snark
Chapter 4 - Incoherent Rage
Reader Report - Revenge/Catharsis"


For me there is a chapter 6 -

Runs away and plays a violent video game to vent.
posted by Samizdata at 6:49 PM on December 28 [1 favorite]


Was NOT familiar with #NotYourShield. (I just apparently don't Twitter enough.) Have a copy of Zoe Quinn's book on my tablet, but I need to finish the latest Laundry book first.
posted by Samizdata at 6:55 PM on December 28 [1 favorite]




this editor. god. their heroic efforts to delete-without-comment all the many mentions of his alleged under-15 fanbase, the black "youths" of unspecified age he claims to have done a favor by sleeping with, the "subversive" notion of "underage boys in MAGA hats" -- how strange that in spite of the increasingly aggravated side commentary on various other deleted bits, almost all of that stuff just gets lined out without explanation. it's like they can sense something's not very wholesome about all that business, but don't quite like to say anything about it.

my favorite editorial note is the one directing him to leave Paris Hilton out of it and stick to the more credible authority: Camille Paglia. [1]

my second favorite is the adjustment to the line about all the black men MY claims to have "had in me" over the years. does the editor take the opportunity to offer a word about the insistent fetishistic racism that is the leitmotif of the book? oh no, no. no. only a delicate change of one word: "in" to "on."

because good taste I guess

[1] how can you be a fan, even a relative and conditional one, of world's greatest idiot Camille Paglia and AT THE SAME TIME edit "fucked" down to "had sex with"? editor, you make me terribly sad. not just because you work at a fancy publishing house and I don't, but because you are more bothered by indecorous prepositions than by racist nonsense. nobody asked for a dumber male Camille Paglia, but editing this garbage into such a thing would be pretty easy, actually, if you didn't have scruples about rewriting half the thing for him. but it is beyond the capabilities of an editor who can only alternate between huffiness and complicity.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:30 PM on December 28 [5 favorites]


@dreamoforgonon
Reading the filing, this is the specific editor (Mitch Ivers) who brought Milo to S&S in the first place, introduced him to Louise Burke, and made the six-figure deal happen. He preemptively asks for "responses to [criticism re:] Alt-Right, white supremacists, and Leslie Jones."
posted by Artw at 9:56 PM on December 28 [1 favorite]


I have to say, these guys sound like weaponss grade shits.
posted by Artw at 9:58 PM on December 28


> Artw:
"I have to say, these guys sound like weaponss grade shits."

Understatement.

OTOH, every book they sell is one less arch-conservative dollar not spent on more effective things, like PACs and rallies and such.
posted by Samizdata at 2:12 AM on December 29


Did S&S have to make a team of poor fact-checkers miserable, or did an editor take them aside and say, "Don't worry, we got this. Here's $100, I'm buying the first round of Margaritas. Take the rest of the day off, see you tomorrow."
posted by mikelieman at 2:58 AM on December 29


“The publisher knew who Yiannopoulos was when they gave him a $255,000 advance. The editor’s brutal comments are somewhat entertaining, but none of this should distract from the fact that they sought to make his bigotry both digestible and marketable.”
-@jamilsmith
posted by blueberry at 3:52 AM on December 29 [3 favorites]


Still to RTFT - as I just saw the PDF yesterday evening - but it seems that both Milo and the editor/publisher wanted a different book. The editor, a straight-up why-the-alt-right-is-great polemic. The author, a chatty, gossipy tone with a bit of politics sprinkled across his digressions on why he is a fabulous sexy gay rightwinger whom all the blue-haired fat feminists hate. The Bateman-esque chapter suggests two books mushed unpalatably into one.

Milo is a terrible polemicist, having only the most light grasp on his arguments, but he does have a distinct voice (if tedious, and imho cribbed from better and more outrageous writers whom his audience would be unlikely to have willingly read) and the editor seemed most keen on cutting it out. Why would you hire him to write this kind of book if you didn't want it sprinkled with dick jokes? The 'I am bored with this but it is my cross to bear' section made much more sense than him trying to debate why Black Lives Matter didn't work. That kind of thing is clearly above his/his ghostwriter's pay grade.

Also found it amusing that the editor kept pulling up the pop-cultural references. Milo's references are a good ten years out of date as it is (Paris Hilton?? Even The Now Show isn't using her as a punchline now) but was this book supposed to sell to people who had never heard of Gamergate etc?
posted by mippy at 4:50 AM on December 29 [6 favorites]


A lot of Europeans think they are part Jewish (or part Roma) in the way a lot of Americans think they are Native American.

This is not as common in the UK, particularly as there is a lot of anti-Roma prejudice here.
posted by mippy at 4:53 AM on December 29 [1 favorite]


A lot of Europeans think they are part Jewish (or part Roma) in the way a lot of Americans think they are Native American.

This is not as common in the UK, particularly as there is a lot of anti-Roma prejudice here.


About 95% of people in the UK will casually drop slurs against travelers because they once saw a scary group of teenagers with accents in the shop/pub and it made them feel bad. It's one of the actually unmentioned shitty prejudices in this country.
posted by Braeburn at 5:31 AM on December 29 [1 favorite]


A judge refused to dismiss the suit, so apparently there must be *some* basis in law for this, but it seems quite insane to me. Anyone with deeper understanding want to explain?

Here's a Hollywood Reporter story that gets into some details about the refusal to dismiss. IANAL, but if I'm reading this right it wasn't the judge's job to, um, pass judgement on Milo's suit; in the motion to dismiss Simon & Schuster had to come up with reasons & evidence why the breach of contract was not actually a breach of contract (which reasons seem to have been, "We gave him money and he disappeared for months so we assumed he was fine with the settlement. If he wanted to sue us for breach he should have done it then, it's unfair that he gets to wait for months and then sue us anyway.") The judge found this argument unconvincing and/or not backed up by law or precedent, so he's letting the lawsuit proceed. The next phase is "discovery" when the suing parties basically trade evidence - which is how these editor notes became public, I think.

Also, my understanding is that you can ask for all sorts of things in a lawsuit - even if there's a slim-to-none chance you'll actually get them. So I dunno if there needs to be any legal basis for Milo's assertion that S&S has to publish his book anyway if he wins.

Also also, my understanding is that things like motions to dismiss are kind of Legal Wrangling 101; shots across the bow, so to speak. You don't necessarily really expect results, but you do it anyway because 1) it sends a message to your opponent that you're planning on fighting and 2) every so often you get lucky and score a hit or scare them off.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:50 AM on December 29 [1 favorite]


IANAL, but if I'm reading this right it wasn't the judge's job to, um, pass judgement on Milo's suit; in the motion to dismiss Simon & Schuster had to come up with reasons & evidence why the breach of contract was not actually a breach of contract

Does he even have legal counsel, or is he doing this pro-per/pro-se/moon-law? Because the sense I get is that no sane lawyer would even file a suit in this case, given the lack of damages, but the Judge and S&S attorneys need to go through the flow-chart of civil procedure law to get to the "dismissed with prejudice" phase.
posted by mikelieman at 6:58 AM on December 29


The Hollywood Reporter story says he's got an actual lawyer representing him, Stephen Meister. A Googling suggests that he's mostly a real estate lawyer, that he's done work for Trump, and back in late 2015 wrote a Trump-supporting puff-piece for the Washington Examiner.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:11 AM on December 29 [1 favorite]


The Hollywood Reporter story says he's got an actual lawyer representing him, Stephen Meister. A Googling suggests that he's mostly a real estate lawyer, that he's done work for Trump, and back in late 2015 wrote a Trump-supporting puff-piece for the Washington Examiner.

This is surely the tragedy - from the standpoint of a functioning society - of the wingnut welfare/cult of personality/job of being famous/etc financing that so many of these people employ. Meister doesn't have to be any good at this or even come close to prevailing. It's entirely possible he's doing this on supposed contingency even knowing his chances of winning $1 are slim. It's a way to raise his profile as well, and keeping himself in the news works to Milo's advantage.

So the sum cost to them is filing fees and their time. And this is how they use their time anyway: being a shitty spectacle. They're a symbiotic relationship of suck. Unless they do something so egregious as to get themselves sanctioned there's no way it costs them more than it gains them in profile.

I'm so cynical about these scuzz and their cynicism that I half wonder if S&S did a piss-poor job of seeking dismissal because they think it's good for their profile too.
posted by phearlez at 8:05 AM on December 29 [4 favorites]


For 2018 I'm aiming to hear out the people I disagree with. Therefore, I've spent about an hour reading the manuscript -- time I can never get back! -- and as expected, the text reads like a metastasized Twitter thread.

There's very little solid evidence for Milo's assertions, which are mostly nanny-nanny-boo-boo taunts and heedless broadbrushing. He seems to think everything he says is self-evident, and yet (or therefore?) the logical holes and tendentious arguments are everywhere. This is not a person who is accustomed to being challenged on a factual basis. He doesn't have the chops for making serious arguments. Trolling doesn't require that, obviously, so I don't know why I should have been even remotely surprised.

I agree that editor and writer seem to have wanted different things out of this book.
posted by GrammarMoses at 8:14 AM on December 29 [3 favorites]


$250,000 advance
Sidebar, this seems likely to be false. Other sources indicate an $80,000 advance (tweet with unsourced screenshot, article in Publishers Weekly).

Sort of small potatoes that his advance was "only" $80k instead of $250k but any Nazi having less money than I thought they did is good in my book.

(I'm intrigued that the Telegraph appears to have got it wrong. I wonder about the disparity. Where'd $250k come from?)
posted by nicodine at 10:05 AM on December 29


The title misspells "Tedious".
posted by flabdablet at 10:13 AM on December 29 [1 favorite]


That's the first $80K of the advance, payable on signing without the book having been accepted. The rest of the $250K would come later.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on December 29 [1 favorite]


Not a bad con job tbh
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 AM on December 29 [2 favorites]


It's the advance advance
posted by phearlez at 10:24 AM on December 29


Paying advances in installments at different stages of the process is pretty standard - i guess publishers don't want authors starving to death before finishing their books but at the same time don't want them wandering off without actually delivering anything.
posted by Artw at 10:27 AM on December 29 [1 favorite]




i guess publishers don't want authors starving to death before finishing their books

I recommend varying that policy for this author.
posted by flabdablet at 10:37 AM on December 29 [8 favorites]


But given that it's an advance - that is, an advance on his future royalties - and SS cancelled the book, doesn't Milo have to pay it back?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:20 AM on December 30


Well, the idea apparently was that S&S agreed to let him keep the advance in exchange for no longer being contractually bound to publish the book. Which is why they're pissed about him suing them for breach of contract.

Milo then self-published, which adds a new wrinkle to the thing in that (according to the Hollywood Reporter story I linked in a previous comment); 1) the fact that he hasn't taken any of the money he's made from sales of the self-published book and sent it to S&S as part of paying back the advance could be read as strong evidence that Milo himself thinks the contract is done (which pretty much torpedoes his case) and 2) even if he wins he might well have to pay S&S whatever he's made from the self-published book, as these would be considered part of the royalties that S&S are allowed to recover from the advance before paying out any further royalties.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:26 AM on December 30 [4 favorites]


oh it was also hilarious how the editor got SO upset in the margins every time milo mentioned his book deal or his big advance. how dare you mention that we are paying you money for this!! he would say. do not mention our name EVER. alluding to the fact that we made some kind of deal with you leading to your book's publication makes it sound like we had something to do with publishing your book, and that 'makes us the story' which is unacceptable!!

like you want to explain to him, guy, if this pile of garbage had been published, you know it would have had the S&S logo on it somewhere, maybe the spine, and all the information would have been on the title page, right? it wouldn't have been a secret? milo might even have mentioned your name in the acknowledgements and you would have had to admit you were involved personally. writing about how he had a book deal with simon&schuster was actually a true fact, at the time, for which he could have provided citations. and yet it was the most embarrassing and inappropriate and scandalous inclusion of all if you go by the edits.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:26 AM on December 30 [5 favorites]


I read it as the editor thinks it's tacky rather than scandalous. The thing that really differentiates alt-right from regular-right is how they approach respectability.

The regular-right will moderate their behaviour somewhat to maintain respect within a community. The alt-right are quicker to cut cord and find a new community who are okay with whatever they were doing.
posted by RobotHero at 11:23 AM on December 30 [1 favorite]


Milo Yiannopoulos Will Now Represent Himself In His Lawsuit Against Simon & Schuster

On Friday, Attorney Jeffrey P. Weingart of Meister Seelig & Fein filed an emergency motion to New York County Court requesting a withdraw as counsel, citing "a breakdown in the relationship" that made "continued and effective representation of [Yiannopoulos] impossible."

In a statement forwarded to BuzzFeed News, Yiannopoulos said, "The lawyers at Meister Seelig & Fein were excellent litigators on my behalf. The source of the disagreement between me and them arises from Simon & Schuster’s discovery tactics."

In the statement, Yiannopoulos said that he will be representing himself pro se in order to get access to information that had been classified "attorney's eyes only."


He's going to try and pull a stunt. If he gets charged for doing something illegal in the course of his own law suit, I'm going to laugh and laugh.
posted by zabuni at 11:48 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


In the statement, Yiannopoulos said that he will be representing himself pro se in order to get access to information that had been classified "attorney's eyes only."

Former litigator here: I've never heard of this before. Is this a thing in US litigation?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:04 PM on January 8


Apparently? Seems to be to do with trade secrets?

So... there's something juicy in disocvery he really wants to leak or at leats he thinks there is? Probaly something like how much other people are getting paid.
posted by Artw at 5:07 PM on January 8


Or as zabuni says, e's going to try and pull a stunt.
posted by Artw at 5:08 PM on January 8


Apparently? Seems to be to do with trade secrets?

Ah, I was thrown by the different terminology.

Or as zabuni says, e's going to try and pull a stunt.

His stunt will be being a massive asshole. That's always his stunt. Then he'll get cited for contempt and proclaim himself to be a political prisoner or some bullshit.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:11 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Fingers crossed for some kind of result where he ends up hiding in Assange’s closet.
posted by Artw at 5:26 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


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