I read Laurie Penny’s essay on the Republican National Convention. Milo is used as an icon for Trump supporters. My take on her description of Milo is that he is someone who can use charm to push his odeous ideas and get away with his reprehensible behaviour. I thought that Milo was depicted as an odeous, but attractive poisonous plant.
I saw the video that Milo did for Vanity Fair (sorry, I can’t find the link — Milo’s wearing a woman’s wig and lipstick) and I thought that Laurie Penny’s description of Milo’s slimy charm hit the mark.
I also read Laurie Penny’s science fiction novella Everything Belongs to the Future, which I thought was very good. I’ve only read a few of her other essays. I didn’t think that the Baffler piece was that compelling.
Laurie Penny’s style seems to me to be influenced by Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism style. Unlike a writer for the New York Times, she’s there with the story and she goes for a certain edginess. That may be a style that leaves out some nuance.
There is probably no defence from the accusation that one lacks sufficient social and political consciousness. Who among us is innocent?
I came to despise Christopher Hitchens when he stridently defended the Iraq war and socialized with Dick Cheney and his family.
Hitchens was an alcoholic, which probably lead to the esophageal cancer that killed him. Despite this, Hitchens remained a great english stylist. To me this was not enough to redeem him. I agree that if you find the sins of the writer too great, it’s reasonable to decide not to read them.
For my part, I enjoy Laurie Penny’s writing and will continue to read her. I am looking forward to reading her book Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution.