The rise and fall of Milo Yiannopoulos

A recent (and fascinating) profile in Playboy by Art Tavana depicts Milo as a washed-up performance artist who has lost his ability to shock, but whose profligate and hard-partying lifestyle have left him with no shortage of bills to pay and no appreciable skills beyond a willingness to act like an asshole for money. It’s possible Milo can have a second act (Donald Trump is president, after all), perhaps with his mysterious “lifestyle brand” MILO, Inc — the ultimate publisher of his book, which was released in July to middling sales and little outrage — although a Morton Downey, Jr.-like fade into obscurity seems more likely.

Now that his right-wing audience is a shadow of what it once was and his left wing enemies appear less determined to shoot roman candles in his general direction, Milo is less a corrosive cultural entity than a graying totem in a 2016 time capsule. Regardless of who succeeds Milo as the next celebrity of right-wing white identity politics, the worst of his/her rhetoric should still be publicly engaged, rejected, and defeated.