Milo, the Heathers, and the New Sheriff in Town

Back at the end of January, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Dave Rubin got together on Dave’s Rubin Report to talk about how popular they all were.

Okay, that’s not the title of the episode. It is “Frontline of Free Speech.” And, to be fair, it has had almost 3.4 million views to date. So you could justifiably say that our three free speech heroes have every right to be a bit...ahem...proud of themselves.

Except. After spending a good hour and half congratulating themselves for being on the frontline of free speech, they started taking questions from the Super Chat audience.

Here was one of the first ones that Dave read (at 1:33.20): “Quick one for Ben. I think we’ve already hit this, but any chance of a future discussion with Milo?”

Ben’s response was utterly predictable for those who know how ritualized this question has become:
No. Waste of time [reaches for his water glass]. I’d rather talk with people who have something say. Jordan’s response was somewhat more interesting. He l…

The Face of God

Let’s try a little test. Which of these faces looks most like God’s?

a) Milo

b) The Mona Lisa

c) Albrecht Dürer, Self-Portrait

d) Our Lady of Guadalupe

According to Joshua Conrad Jackson, Neil Hester, and Kurt Gray, in their recently published study “The faces of God in America: Revealing religious diversity across people and politics” (PLOS One June 11, 2018), most Americans would answer a) Milo.
Okay, they don’t say Milo as such. But look at the description that they do give:
What does God generally look like to American Christians? Participants saw God’s face as more masculine, Caucasian, attractive, intelligent, and loving compared to His anti-face, ts > 7.53, ps < 001 (see S1 Table for full statistics). See Fig 3. God’s face was also rated as significantly younger than the alternative composite, t = 31.83, p < .001, and as no more powerful, t = .47, p = .64, consistent with a general tendency for Americans to believe in a God who is more loving than stern. Importantly, t…

Maege Mormont and the Threat of Art

I do not watch Game of Thrones. I have no idea who this character is, whether I would like to be compared with her or not.

I learn from A Wiki of Ice and Fire that her name is Maege Mormont, the Lady of Bear Island, and that she is “a short, stout, grey-haired woman, and a fierce warrior.”
She dresses in patched ringmail, and her favored weapon is a spiked mace. She is dedicated to the old gods, and loyal to House Stark. According to her brother, Jeor, she is stubborn, short-tempered, and willful. Apparently, she carries the title of House Mormont because her brother’s only heir is an outlaw, while she herself has five daughters of mysterious paternity. Perhaps she changes shape and mates with a bear?

Well, I am a bear in one of my guises, but I don’t have any daughters. And thanks to Milo’s fat shaming, I am not exactly stout. But grey-haired? Check. Fierce warrior? I prefer “hot and happy,” but okay. You could say I am dedicated to the Old God—the God of the Psalms, the one moderni…

Through the Twitter Glass

I met Karl Steel for the first time a month ago at the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo.

I was standing in the book exhibit near the display at Scholar’s Choice for my new book...and there he was! The colleague who had so generously christened my fabulous Facebook friends “Random Laypersons”! I was delighted to finally meet him and tell him how much we enjoyed the joke.

He was, shall we say, less amused. (Click on tweet images to enlarge.)

I had no idea he had been tweeting about me for the better part of a year and half. Before I learned to search Twitterthis past week, all I knew was that he had ridiculed my Facebook friends for being interested in learning from me.

I know now that his interest in me was, shall we say, somewhat more persistent.

He has, as it turns out, been tweeting about me since December 2016, when Breitbart published one of my earliest blog posts about Milo.

Karl’s take: I have clearly surrendered any scholarly credentials I may have had by standing up…

Word on the Tweets

My friends are so embarrassed at me. Here it is 2018—and I have only just learned how to search Twitter for comments about Milo and me.

It has been quite the education. Twitter is a different country from Facebook, I have learned. They do things differently there.

On Facebook, or so I have experienced it, it is about making friends and creating community. I call my Facebook profile page my “salon” after the salons of the eighteenth century, where wit and scholarship were deployed to discuss the great philosophical questions of the day.*

Twitter is, well, more like the Wild Wild West, complete with gunslingers and showdowns at the OK Corral.

I can see why Milo misses it.

I have learned so many things about myself in the past few days!

For example, that I think I am Jesus. Wrong! That would be Milo. I think I am Mary, the Mother of Wisdom.

(One day I am going to have to explain the difference between Milo’simitatio Christi and worshipping Milo as God. Milo is not the one in danger of st…