“Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute”
-Slyvia Plath, Daddy
- For several days now a small to medium sized moral panic has been raging on Twitter about a large number of gay and bisexual men and smaller number of women who expressed attraction to this guy:
Jake Angelli, AKA budget Conan, AKA discount Lord Humungous. Part of the Q D’etat on January 6th. Let me begin by saying that he is not my type.
2. The basis of the concern is that since this man is, at the very least, extremely rightwing, and quite possibly a fascist, expressing attraction to him is aa form of fascist sympathising, and hence to be rooted out. I personally think the whole thing is a fascinating case study in desire, power and purity politics.
3. One of the more disappointing trends is wrapping this disapproval up in a kind of woke homophobia. Gay men, we are told, are the straight men of the queer community. I have zero patience for this kind of wokeness Olympics. Gay men may not be the most oppressed members of the queer community, but they are part of that community, and playing these kinds of games is petty and paralysing.
4. Personally I think there’s something very liberating about being able to severe your judgements of whether or not someone is sexually attractive from your judgement of their moral character. Physical attractiveness has nothing to do with moral character whatsoever. I remember I was in some Facebook tag group and someone had posted a picture of a Nazi who was very probably also a paedophile, awful bloke. Anyway this post made a post about how he was ugly and I responded “actually, it gives me no pleasure to report he’s really quite physically attractive”. They went off their rocker about that, but my point, which I stand by, is that it’s actually kind of, ahh I guess lookist? to exist in a perpetual pretence that ugly souls are always accompanied by ugly bodies.
5. Overall, we don’t need to permanently delude ourselves into thinking that our opponents have no positive characteristics at all. It’s okay, you can let the cognitive dissonance go and recognise that bad people can have a variety of positive characteristics like hotness, eloquence, charisma, intelligence and even a limited subset of the moral virtues. It’s a sign of a healthy, balanced mind to be able to comprehend the strengths of those arrayed against you, whilst still recognising that they are indeed against you.
6. “Okay” you might say “so he’s attractive, that doesn’t mean you have to come out and say it”. I would respond that there is a history in the gay community of sexualising enemies, as a form of parody and communal psychic self-defence, like the way Tom of Finland sexualised cops during a period where cops were very, very actively persecuting men who loved men. This is, as much as I detest the word, a form of self-empowerment. Nervous gay boys on Twitter making jokes about wanting to be the concubine of Warlord Angelli has to be seen in this spirit- as part of a tradition of parody.
7. Leftists, particularly woke leftists, of all people should understand that saying that someone is hot can sometimes be used as a strategy of undercutting and objectification. Rightwingers do it to figures like AOC all the time. This is just giving them a taste of their own medicine.
8. But even if we accept that the jokes about riot daddy or whatever you want to call him are politically bad, why is so much energy, disgust and anger being used on prosecuting this point rather than, I dunno, doing literally anything useful at all? Why does the left create such intense economies of moral angst and judgement? Take a chill pill and do some good works.
9. Finally, let me make an obvious point. You want to be very, very careful about overusing accusations and labels like “Nazi sympathiser”. When you overuse them, their power is drained. Save it for the ghastly and demonic evil which is real Nazi sympathising.