Clowns of God

It is a sacred day today.

Today the sun is in the same place in the heavens as it was three years ago the day I first wrote to Milo:
Dear Mr. Yiannopoulos, I teach at the University of Chicago. I told him that I had been watching his videos and how much I admired the work he was doing, and I told him about my blog and the posts that I had done on feminism and chivalry.

He wrote back immediately:
Rachel: thank you! I will take a look. Do stay in touch. M. It was like the answer to a prayer, the first in a litany of exchanges that continue to this day. (I know, you’re jealous, aren’t you? I would be.) And then, a day or so later, a friend sent me an article featuring Milo—and I knew I was looking on the face of God.

My colleagues in academia will love this one. “Why doesn’t she just go ahead and write the erotica she wants?,” one suggested on Twitter yesterday (I paraphrase), comparing my writing on Milo to “all those pained readings of the Song of Songs that claim it ain’t about folks …

The Churches of Telegram

Those were heady days to be an outcast, that summer of 2019.

The champions—some called them martyrs, others provocateurs and trolls—had been cast out of the marketplace of Facebook, banished from the polite conversation of Twitter, and sent to live in the desert of Telegram, where only a few of their previous followers had the courage to follow.
There, in the desert, they huddled together in small groups, sharing stories of their champions’ glorious battles against the forces of darkness, the nannies and scolds of feminism, the killjoys of socialism, and the harpies of the Woke. They all longed for the return of the good times when their champions had been at large, welcomed into the cities and onto college campuses by the crowds singing “Hosanna!” But for the time being, they found comfort and strength in the churches they were able to found dedicated to their various patrons, the martyrs of social media. 
Some followed Alex Jones. Others followed Laura Loomer. Others followed Tommy …

Damnatio ad bestias

The people of the city were scared.

There had been nothing in their neighbors’ behavior to suggest that they held such dangerous beliefs, but there they were, being paraded through the center of the city under armed guard.

Inexplicably, their neighbors seemed happy to be on display where everyone could see them. As they rode through the streets on carts, they were waving and smiling and singing songs about freedom, while the people of the city screamed insults at them.

“The city hates you,” the people screamed. “The city hates you!”

Over and over and over again.

Some of the city people carried flags and signs, others wore masks, others blew whistles, other raised their middle fingers in salute. The noise was deafening, the hate palpable. And yet, still the passengers on the carts waved and smiled.

One of the passengers on the carts offered the people of the city lozenges, as their voices were hoarse with screaming.

What had the passengers on the carts done to excite so much hate?


“The Present That Mirrors All”

I joined Zaklog the Great and Travis for a discussion of C.S. Lewis’s “Re-adjustment” “with digressions including Milo Yiannopoulos, Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and the destruction of language.” Watch at Zaklog the Great.

Re-adjustment I thought there would be a grave beauty, a sunset splendour In being the last of one's kind: a topmost moment as one watched  The huge wave curving over Atlantis, the shrouded barge  Turning away with wounded Arthur, or Ilium burning.  Now I see that, all along, I was assuming a posterity  Of gentle hearts: someone, however distant in the depths of time,  Who could pick up our signal, who could understand a story. There won't be.   Between the new Hominidae and us who are dying, already  There rises a barrier across which no voice can ever carry, For devils are unmaking language. We must let that alone forever.  Uproot your loves, one by one, with care, from the future,  And trusting to no future, receive the massive thrust  And surge of the many-dim…

The Art of the Virtuous Troll

You remember this interview, right? Back in summer 2016, just after Milo had been banned from Twitter for trolling Leslie Jones over her trawling for sympathy over the bad reviews of Ghostbusters, ABC sent an interviewer to London to find out wtf Milo thought he was doing.
ABC: “Are you a troll?”  Milo: “Of course.”  ABC: “What is trolling? How you do you look at it?”  Milo: “I like to think of myself as a virtuous troll, you know. I’m doing God’s work.” The ABC interviewer was incredulous. A virtuous troll? Surely, this was yet another of Milo’s despicable not-funny jokes. How could saying that a woman looks like a dude be virtuous? Would Milo say that to her face?
Milo [nodding]: “Yeah, probably. I probably would.” Go, watch. The expression on the interviewer’s face is priceless. But, of course, he never lets Milo explain, just calls Milo an idiot, and moves on to ask why Milo didn’t stand up for Jones against the whole of the internet—implying that it was Milo’s fault other people…

Medieval History at the Charlemagne Institute

Earlier this summer, I was invited to spend a day at the Charlemagne Institute for Defending and Advancing Western Civilization talking with the Alcuin Interns on three major themes in medieval history. We talked about Charlemagne, monasticism, and the conquest of Constantinople in 1204. Our texts were Einhard’s Life of Charles, Jocelyn of Brakelond’s Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, and Geoffrey of Villehardouin’s Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade. I also spoke about the website for my online course at

Assigned texts

Einhard and Notker the Stammerer, Two Lives of Charlemagne, trans. Lewis Thorpe (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976); new edition, trans. David Ganz (London: Penguin, 2008)

Jocelyn of Brakelond, Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, trans. Diana Greenway and Jane Sayers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989)

Joinville and Villehardouin, Chronicles of the Crusades, trans. Caroline Smith (London: Penguin, 2008)

For my Unauthorized course, visit Med…

The Game of Moo

It has been quite the summer for those of us in Milo’s Telegram chat.

First, there was the Great Sticker Fest using pictures of Milo. Then came the Advent of Awoo and the Evening of Whack-a-Mole, not to mention the daily surprise of waking up to thousands of new comments from the Night Shift Down Under. There have been new friendships formed, long conversations about the merits of furries, song nights and pet parades. We have been at times the Fag Palace complete with Court (I played the Queen Mother) and GloboHomo, Inc. (President of the Board of Directors). We have had singing competitions and reading competitions. We have enjoyed chatting with Milo.

And then came Sharia Tuesday, and we were suddenly all too aware of how complicated the game had become.
It began innocently enough. Well, as innocently as the first time Adam shared an apple with Eve. What would happen if Milo told the women in the chat that they could not post for 24 hours? What would the conversation be like if it we…

What's the Point of Reading “Great Books”? A Lesson from the Middle Ages

“For over 1,000 years of the Western tradition, up to the dawn of printing, reading great books meant training for reading the Scriptures, not because the clergy did not want people thinking for themselves – remember, we are also told that the clergy didn’t want the laity even reading the Scriptures, which raises the interesting question of who was buying all those books – but rather because they wanted people to grow in virtue and wisdom through engagement with the living Word.”
Transcript of my lecture for the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. Given August 14, 2019, in Sydney, Australia. Full text at ABC Religion & Ethics.
For my continuing adventures as a conservative in academia, see MedievalGate.

Is Academia Good for the Soul?

Short answer: no!

Long answer: my address to the Canadian Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship in May.

Wait for the Q&A—we had a lively discussion!

With thanks to JustRightMedia for their work recording the conference!

For a complete list of my video and podcast appearances, see Bear On Air