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In this week’s eSkeptic, George Michael reviews Milo Yiannopoulos’s self-published book Dangerous, which has reached #1 on Amazon’s Bestseller list, and, at the time of this writing, is near the top of both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.


by George Michael

In February of 2017 many people had written Milo Yiannopoulos off after it transpired that he had given an interview on a 2015 Joe Rogan podcast, which was construed by some listeners as a defense of pederasty. On the show, he seemingly spoke fondly of his experience as 13-year old minor when he had had sex with a priest. Once the interview gained notoriety, CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) quickly rescinded its invitation to Yiannopoulos to serve as the organization’s keynote speaker at its 2017 annual convention. To make matters worse, soon thereafter, Simon & Shuster cancelled the publication of his book for which it had given a $250,000 advance just a month before. And what seemed to have been a maneuver to spare a revolt at Breitbart News, Milo gracefully resigned from his position as tech editor with his employer. In his own words, Milo almost gave up on his mission, but decided not to back down after the support he received from his many fans. Instead, all his critics managed to accomplish was to “piss me off.” Marshaling together a number of investors, he managed to self-publish his book—Dangerous—which rocketed to number one on Amazon’s bestsellers list even before its release, and at the time of this writing it is near the top of both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

Inasmuch as Milo Yiannopoulos is a genuine gay celebrity, his memoir has been highly anticipated. To be sure, a number of celebrities who just happened to be gay preceded him. For example, in 1976, Elton John divulged in an interview that he was bi-sexual and his career suffered for a while as a consequence. In 1981, Billie Jean King became the first major female athlete to come out of the closet. Perhaps more than any other figure, Ellen DeGeneres has normalized gays in America. With a wholesome demeanor, she came off as the girl next door despite being a lesbian, and even received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2016. But for her and other public figures, their gayness was incidental to their celebrity. By contrast, Milo’s celebrity homosexuality is an integral part of his shtick. For example, he regales college audiences with his aspirations to one day be surrounded “by Nigerian bodyguards” and he recounts how he spent time during his youth in London losing his virginity in interracial five-somes with drag queens. Ironically, his main constituency—college-aged, straight white men—find these disclosures hilarious and entertaining.

As a First Amendment fundamentalist, Milo sees as his mission to push the boundaries of acceptable discourse.

As a First Amendment fundamentalist, Milo sees as his mission to push the boundaries of acceptable discourse. His outrageousness notwithstanding, Milo advances a compelling critique of the progressive movement, which has become dangerously ossified over the past few decades, losing sight of its commitment to economic security to a preoccupation with extremely divisive identity politics. As such, Milo deserves a fair hearing for no other reason that his growing popularity is indicative of a rising tide of populism that in large measure propelled Donald J. Trump into the White House. […]

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Why Not Call “Dark Matter” Angels?

In this Moment from Science Salon # 8, recorded on November 13, 2016, in Pasadena, California, Michael Shermer discusses how our use of language to name things changes as our empirical knowledge changes.

Stay informed and get more free science and skepticism video content by subscribing to Skeptic’s YouTube Channel.

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The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of H. P. Lovecraft

Author Scott Poole (previously with us for Vampira and Monsters in America) joins us to talk about his new biography on American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, In The Mountains of Madness: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of H.P. Lovecraft. What is it about the writing of this peculiar and complicated writer from New England that has cast such an oversized shadow over American literature?

Scott Poole (photo by Jonathan Boncek)

Scott Poole (photo by Jonathan Boncek)

Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App and enjoy the science show about monsters on your handheld devices! Available for iOS, Android, and Windows. Subscribe to MonsterTalk for free on iTunes.


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Skeptic cover art by Pat Linse

Art of the Skeptic

In celebration of Skeptic magazine’s 100th issue, we present sage graphic art advice for skeptical groups and a gallery of art reflecting more than 47 years of skeptical activism from Skeptic’s long time Art Director, Pat Linse

Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

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Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

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Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

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The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

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Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

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The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

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Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

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Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

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