A pathetic little man dressed in a dark suit scurried beside me in my aisle seat four rows from the front, picked up something and hurled it in the general direction of Milo Yiannopoulos on the stage – but, symbolically enough, his missile failed, striking the back of a young blonde woman’s head in the front row. (She wasn’t hurt.) A burly security guard tackled him as he turned to run out, followed by back up blokes with growling faces. Milo had been on stage about 20 minutes, I think, preparing his large and enthusiastic audience with humorous, sometimes outrageous put downs of lefty lunacy – and lunatics. The serious messaging would follow, wrapped in his showbiz razamataz.
Earlier, as the crowds arrived for Milo’s performance, a pathetic little clump of protesters were huddled around, yelling protests (to each other) in the grassy park adjacent to – and about 150 metres from – the classy, 2000 seat waterside event venue, Le Montage, at the end of Sydney’s little Italy eat street, Norton Street. Surrounded by police, they were spewing noisy hate, observed by the arriving public with bemused smiles. They demonstrated their stupidity by holding signs declaring their anger at the part-Jewish Milo on the grounds he is a Nazi. They also chanted anti-Nazi slogans, which I was tempted to join in. I am definitely anti-Nazi.
This is all part of the daily routine on the Milo Troll Academy Tour in Australia, at least in Melbourne and Sydney, presented by Penthouse Australia’s publisher Damien Costas. In Perth, the event was largely uneventful by comparison, but Milo did make a point of thanking WA Premier, Mark McGowan, for his planned new $20,000 home spa, to be built by ticket sales money Milo claims was driven by the publicity generated by the Premier’s very public banning of him appearing in any public WA buildings. “As if I would be appearing in a school hall?” quipped Milo mischievously, wrapped in a fake leopard skin overcoat over a casual open shirt and designer jeans, a jingle of pearl bling bracelets on his left wrist.
The December 6 Sydney show was the replacement date and venue for the show scheduled for November 30, which was cancelled at the last minute (less than seven days) when Mirvac, the owner of the Technology Park venue, pulled the plug, citing security concerns, given the nearby construction activity, and the scuffles and violence that they had seen there with the recent Liberal Party function where Tony Abbott’s sister was mauled. (Bit slow to react, you Mirvac guys, I’d have to say.)
Costas says this pattern of venue cancellations was repeated at every stop on the tour, but he has only praise for the police, at all the events. “They did a tremendous job.”
So what does Milo say or do on stage that so threatens his vitriolic critics? Basically, he up-ends their cultural comfort by ripping it apart with a wicked grin. Hot-spot seeking laughter and ridicule are his weapons. As a half-Jewish gay right winger with a black husband, he is Teflon coated against any of the friction usually felt by right of centre white males. He is well informed and well read. He is also razor sharp. And bold with it.
Who else would dare put down Vegemite as inferior to Marmite, live on stage in Australia? Who else would dismiss Aboriginal art as shit? He was quick to point out, too, that the boos he got for disparaging Vegemite were louder than the boos he got for disparaging Aboriginal art. For good measure, he threw in a jibe about the failure of the millennia of Aboriginal society to have invented the wheel.
For all the cheering he got at his concern for the loss of freedom of speech, and for his evisceration of the new, anti-male, spiteful feminism, he was less cheered for his vulgar put downs of Fairfax feminist columnist Clementine Ford, whose image was at the same time projected on each of three large screens around the venue with the unsubtle caption (in capitals) ‘Unf-ckable’.
On the stage, Milo made good on spreading his primary gospel, which he had paraphrased during our phone interview before he left his Miami home: “I want to save Australia from the culture wars which are ravaging America, I want to rescue it from a fate worse than death, which is all of your institutions being taken over by justice warriors from the left… feminists and progressive activists from the left, and nannies and busybodies. I want Australia to remind itself that laughter and fun and mischief are the best weapons against totalitarianism.”
He emphasised what his mission is on his Australian tour: “I want to save Australia from the cultural damage done by the left because that is the future that the UK and the US are hurling themselves into.”
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