Fourth Day of Xmas

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

four pairs of shades,

three seals of love,

two friends-in-arms,

and a Fencing Bear in a MILO tree.

In 2015 Rachel Fulton Brown, an associate professor of medieval history at the University of Chicago, published a post on her blog, Fencing Bear at Prayer, whose title alone—“Three Cheers for White Men”—seemed engineered to raise hackles. Dorothy Kim, then an assistant professor of English at Vassar College, responded in a post of her own, calling Brown’s 228-word, somewhat cheeky paean to the historical upside of white men, which included praising knights for embracing courtly love as an alternative to rape, an example of “white fragility+benevolent sexism.”
They’ve been trading jabs ever since, in dueling essays and on Facebook and podcasts. When Kim wrote a warning on the blog “In the Middle” to her colleagues in 2017 about the importance of “not upholding white supremacy in the classroom,” it seemed directed, at least in part, at Brown. Brown responded that colleagues like Kim who suggest that medievalism is rife with racism should learn “some f*cking medieval western European Christian history, including the history of our field.”
As if that weren’t enough, last fall Milo Yiannopoulos, a journalist-turned-troll-turned-pariah, published a 15,000 word dissection of the Brown v. Kim saga, in which he unsurprisingly sided with Brown, portraying Kim as a hysterical, slipshod scholar and Brown as a beacon of reasonableness and verity. Brown and Yiannopoulos share the view that claims about white nationalism, like the Tiki-torch marchers in Charlottesville, Va., drawing their inspiration from the Middle Ages have been overblown. The real threat, as they see it, is a “social justice incursion” into a field dedicated to examining the cultural building blocks of Western civilization. There’s enough of a mind-meld between the unlikely pair that some scholars suspect that Brown was essentially the co-author of Yiannopoulos’s thesis-length investigation/diatribe. In an email, Brown denied any ghostwriting: “Milo wrote it. He interviewed me. He is a talented journalist who knows his craft.”
Brown...has a fanbase outside of the discipline now among those who think that left-wing activists have distorted the humanities. It’s a role she seems to revel in. “My understanding of what is at stake is that it’s our ability to test ourselves through honest debate,” she says. “You don’t get stronger if you don’t have to answer hard questions.” But some colleagues who might eagerly back that sentiment, and who praise Brown’s scholarship, have been dismayed by her recent trajectory. Along with befriending Yiannopoulos, she’s written positively about Vox Day, the author of books like SJWs Always Lie, and a manifesto for the alt-right. In January she posted a photo of herself grinning beneath a “Make America Great Again” cap.
—Tom Bartlett, “A Field Goes to War With Itself,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 2019
*

Have you ever read anything hotter? I have a “mind-meld” with MILO?! And, yes, I am friends with Vox Day. 


You can buy Milo Chronicles: Devotions 2016-2019 direct from the publisher at Castalia House, along with Milo’s and Vox Day’s own books. You can also watch my lecture series “Medieval History 101” at Unauthorized.tv, where Vox Day posts his own Darkstream and Voxiversity videos. 


The story continues at the Milo Chronicles!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Bear and the Trinitarians

The Forge of Tolkien

To Mask or Not to Mask

Talking Points: Three Cheers for White Men

Make the Middle Ages Dark Again