The China Miéville solution to the Milo Yiannopoulos problem

Infamous provocateur, public speaker, and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was set to deliver a speech yesterday at the University of California, Berkeley, but it was cancelled after an initial, peaceful demonstration by some 1,500 people was co-opted by a few dozen violent ‘Black bloc’ anarchists. This isn’t the first time it has happened to a Milo speech, and even other conservative authors, like Ben Shapiro (who couldn’t be considered a white supremacist by any stretch of the mind) were forced to cancel speeches due to incoming snowflake avalanche. Let’s not get into the politics of Yiannopoulos, Shapiro, and those who made them cancel their speeches, because we would be here all day; instead, let me offer a probable solution that might appease both sides of this conflict.

Milo Yiannopoulos

China Miéville’s sublime 2009 book, ‘The City & the City’ has an extraordinarily interesting premise. Tyador Borlú, the lead of the novel, is a detective in the fictional city of Besźel, who investigates the death of a foreign student, both in Besźel, and its ‘twin city’ Ul Qoma. By some unknown phenomenon, the two cities actually occupy the same dimensional space, but they are perceived by their denizens as different ones. A citizen must continuously ‘unsee’ the other city (erase from his mind, or let it fade into the background)– ‘breaching’, or peeking into the other city, whether intentionally, or by accident, is a punishable offense, more serious than murder. For example, an Ul Qoma resident is taught from childhood to ignore the other city, distinguishing it by style of clothing, gait, vehicles, or architecture.

The cities are composed of total, alter and crosshatched areas. A ‘total’ area only exists in one of the cities, the ‘alter’ areas only exist in the other, while crosshatched ares exist in both cities. A special building, Copula Hall, is sort of a border, existing in both cities, where you can legally cross into the other one. If you try to cross illegally, or simply fail to ‘unsee’ the other city, the clandestine organization known as ‘Breach’ will punish you. ‘Breach’ is the ‘unseen’ power player that keeps the fragile balance. While you may think these are some very harsh measures, I think it’s evident that an, ahem, ‘two-state solution’ like this one would solve all of the problems our divided country faces.


But how could we implement this in real life?

First, we have to determine the two sides: from now on, they shall be referred to as the ‘dem’ and the ‘rep’ side (sorry, libertarians and Greens, you aren’t big enough to take into consideration). Second, every citizen would have to pick their side in a general census. Third, every hamlet, town, village, city, and metropolis would be placed into one of the categories (dem, rep, or crosshatched) based on the percentage of each side in their census. For example, if a city had more than 66.6% of ‘dems’, it would be a pure ‘dem’ city; if it had more than 66.6% of ‘reps’, it would be a ‘rep’ city. If any settlement has more than 33.3% of the minority side, it would be a crosshatched city. If a settlement has less than 33.3% of the minority side, they would all have to leave (or exchange their homes on craigslist with someone from the other side).

The pure ‘dem’ or ‘rep’ settlements would be the easiest options to establish. The ‘rep’ side would have open carry everywhere, no abortion, only two recognized genders, absolute free speech (hate speech included) etc. A ‘dem’ side city would recognize every gender, have laws to regulate the use of correct pronouns, absolutely no guns, trigger warnings on their borders etc.

There would be considerably more complication in crosshatched cities. Every crosshatched city would have to provide accommodation, basic services, health care, public transport, banks, shops etc. for the minority side there. ‘Breaches’ would be regulated by the NSA (they certainly have the means), and other agencies. For example, there must be some form of punishment for a ‘rep’ woman who wants to have an abortion, and tries to get into a city on the other side to do so. Each state would have two governments, so each settlement can be governed without interference from the other side, but only one federal government. There would be some ‘neutral’ zones, too, where you can mingle with people from the other side: nature, military (it would be extremely inconvenient to keep two separate armed forces), and Washington, DC. There are many, many, many more problems to solve while establishing the two sides, but I firmly believe they could all be ironed out in the long term, with some careful planning.

COEXIST by Jim Goad

Citizens on each side could live their lives the way they always wanted to, by blocking out the harmful presence of the other, and not giving a damn about them. Each side would have the chance to show the other one the utopia they could have had decades ago, if not for the obstruction and pettiness of the other.

After all, if we can’t coexist peacefully, why should we coexist at all?

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Should we start eradicating problematic words from the english language to prevent accidental racism?

Let’s start in medias res and address the elephant in the room: despite all of our progress, racism is still prevalent in our society. PoC face environmental, institutional, covert, and many other types of racism each single day. It’s vitally important to address every type, no matter what form they may take, and maybe that’s why accidental racism doesn’t get enough recognition: at first glance, it may seem innocuous, but actually, it’s a snake in disguise.

Ruth Negga: a probable case of accidental racism

There are many causes of accidental racism: it can happen because of a misheard or mispronounced word, a stupid typo, Siri fucking up a word, an engineering mistake, and the list goes on and on. You may laugh about it, or not take it seriously because of it’s nature, but just imagine being a single black mother with two kids: you worry every day that your kids won’t get accepted into better schools on account of their skin color, or how law enforcement may discriminate them, how the president may deport them… etc. Then, after a long and stressful day, you see someone sharing a ‘LOL!!! THIS IS SO FUNNY!!! XDDD’ picture of unintentional racism, and you reach your breaking point. You cry and curse, feeling helpless, feeling vulnerable against the tide of hate. Different people have different breaking points, and we should never shrug off an instant of accidental racism with a condescending ‘Get over it’.

That’s exactly why we should eradicate certain words from our vocabularies and minds, so no one has to feel this injustice. Let’s also take into consideration the other side of accidental racism. A single, racist tweet can destroy your life, but if you aren’t fast enough with an explanation, or you have really bad people skills, an act of accidental racism can do the same. Since accidental racism usually isn’t enough to really hurt a PoC, but it may have dire consequences to every white person, accepting my proposals is especially in the interests of white people.

Here is a small selection of my list of problematic words:

  • Chin:
  • Example: ‘Keep your chins up!’
  • Problematic context: A white baseball coach saying it to a team with Chinese Americans.
  • Coo
  • Example: ‘[Looking at pigeons] I hate when they coo near me!’
  • Problematic context: Being in the company of African Americans.
  • Wet, back, or both:
  • Example: ‘The rain caught me from behind, I can’t sit down with this fucking wet back!’
  • Problematic context: Being in the company of Mexican Americans.
  • Whopping
  • Example: ‘The home team had a whopping victory last night!’
  • Problematic context: When one of the teams is italian.

I hope society assesses my suggestions, and chooses the appropriate course of action. In the end we shall make accidental racism literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. And you know, we can always just come up with new words.

One other thing: what should we do about Carrie Coon?

Carrie Coon: the leading source of accidental racism in the United States

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Did Shia LaBeouf commit a love crime?


As you have probably heard, this is the name of the 24/7 live stream launched by actor/performance artist Shia LaBeouf and co. on the day of President Trump’s inauguration, with the purpose of inviting the public to deliver the words HWNDU as a means of sending a message to the new administration. Unsurprisingly, he was arrested on Wednesday evening following an altercation with a guy who said ‘Hitler did nothing wrong’ on camera, and the incident fired up my neurons.

Should this criminal act be categorised as a love crime?

Shia LaBeouf at the scene of the He Will Not Divide Us art project

There was a flurry of such crimes during and following the inauguration. A limousine was torched in downtown Washington, which, hilariously enough, belonged to the company of a muslim immigrant. You’ve all seen or read what happened to Richard Spencer. All of these crimes were committed as a backlash against the sometimes divisive, sometimes outright hateful rhetoric or actions of Trump or his supporters. One could argue that LaBeouf et al. committed these crimes as an act of love and solidarity towards americans of color, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ people, or anyone who might feel threatened by the hate some Trump supporters have shown them. And the antithesis of hate is, of course, love.

Since hate is usually an aggravating factor in sentencing (whether consciously or unconsciously by the judge or the jury), why shouldn’t love factor in as well? While doing some research for this post, I’ve found Smart Ass Cripple’s excellent blog, and he tackled the subject of love crimes (admittedly, in a different approach), and there were some instances where defendants claimed the love defense. Who knows, maybe this will become the new Chewbacca defense in the age of Trump?

South Park Season 2, Episode 14: “Chef Aid”

I’m not advocating that LaBeouf or various violent protesters should get milder punishment, and I don’t want more crimes of this type. This is merely some food for thought for hungry readers.

Bon appétit!

As always, any and all feedback is much appreciated. Don’t be gentle, I like my criticism raw and wild!