Remember that one? It was about as weird as it gets. A meme generated out of the voluminous hacked John Podesta emails that some conspiracy connoisseurs cooked up into a tale of satanic child abuse revolving around a certain chi-chi Washington DC pizza joint. I never signed on with the story, but it was an interesting indication of how far the boundaries of mass psychology could be pushed in the mind wars of politics.
Sex, of course, is fraught. Sex and the feelings it conjures beat a path straight to the limbic system where the most primitive thoughts become the father of the most primitive deeds. In our American world, this realm of thought and deed has turned into a political football with the Left and the Right scrimmaging ferociously for field position — while the real political agenda of everything important other than sex lies outside the stadium.
The Comet Pizza story was understandably upsetting to Democrats who didn’t like being painted as child molesters. Unfortunately for them, it coincided with the bust of one Anthony Weiner — and his infamous laptop — disgraced former “sexting” congressman, husband of Hillary’s top aide and BFF, Huma Abedin. The laptop allegedly contained a lot of child porn.
That garbage barge of sexual allegation and innuendo couldn’t have helped the Hillary campaign, along with all the Clinton Foundation stuff, in the march to electoral loserdom. I suspect the chthonic darkness of it all generated the “Russia-did-it” hysteria that cluttered up the news-cloud during the first month of Trumptopia. The collective superego of America is reeling with shame and rage.
On the Right side spectrum stood the curious figure of Milo Yiannopoulos, the self-styled “Dangerous Faggot,” who has made a sensational career lately as an ideological provocateur, especially on the campus scene were he got so into the indignant faces of the Maoist snowflakes with his special brand of boundary-pushing that they resorted to disrupting his events, dis-inviting him at the last moment, or finally rioting, as in the case at UC Berkeley a few weeks ago.
Milo’s battles on campus were particularly ripe because his opponents on the far Left were themselves so adamant about their own brand of boundary-pushing along the frontier of the LGBTQ agenda. The last couple of years, you would’ve thought that half the student population fell into one of those “non-binary” sex categories, and it became the most urgent mission of the Left to secure bathroom rights and enforce new personal pronouns of address for the sexually ambiguous.
But then Milo made a tactical error. Despite all the mutual boundary-pushing on each side, he pushed a boundary too far and entered the final dark circle of taboo: child molesting. That was the point were the closet Puritan hysterics went in for the kill. This is what he said on a Web talk radio show:
What normally happens in schools, very often, is you have an older woman with a younger boy, and the boy is the predator in that situation. The boy is like, let’s see if I can fuck the gym teacher, or let’s see if I can fuck the hot math teacher, and he does. The women fall in love with these nubile young boys, these athletic young boys in their prime. We get hung up on the child abuse stuff to the point where we’re heavily policing consenting adults, grad students and their professors, this arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent, which totally destroys the understanding many of us have about the complexities, subtleties, and complicated nature of many relationships. In the homosexual world particularly, some of the relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming-of-age relationships in which these older men help those young boys discover who they are, and give them security and provide them with love…. [Milo is shouted down by his podcast hosts]
So that was the final straw. Milo got bounced by his platform, Breitbart News, and went through the now-routine, mandatory, abject ceremonial of the televised apology required by over-stepping celebrities — though he claimed, with some justification I think, that his remarks were misconstrued. Anyway, I’m sure he’ll rebound on his own signature website platform and he’ll be back in action before long.
His remarks about the “coming-of-age” phase of life prompted me to wonder about the boundary-pushers on the Left, on the college campuses in particular, who are encouraging young people to go through drastic sex-change surgeries, at an age before the development of that portion of their frontal lobes controlling judgment is complete. Who are these diversity deans and LGBTQ counselors who lead confused adolescents to self-mutilation in search of some hypothesized “identity?” Whoever they are, this dynamic seems pretty reckless and probably tragic to me. There ought to be reasonable doubt that an irreversible “sexual reassignment” surgery may not lead to personal happiness some years down the line — when, for instance, that person’s frontal lobes have developed, and they begin to experience profound and complicated emotions such as remorse.
Our sexual hysteria has many more curious angles to it. We live in a culture where pornography, up to the last limits of freakishness and depravity, are available to young unformed personalities at a click. We stopped protecting adolescents against this years ago, so why should we be surprised when they venture into ever-darker frontiers of sexuality? It was the Left that sought to abolish boundaries in sex and many other areas of American life. And yet they still affect to be shocked by someone like Milo.
I maintain that there is a dynamic relationship between our inability to act on the truly pressing issues of the day — energy, economy, and geo-politics — and our neurotic preoccupation with sexual identity.
The epic amount of collective psychic energy being diverted from what’s important into sexual fantasy, titillation, confusion, and litigation leaves us pathetically unprepared to face the much more serious crisis of civilization gathering before us.