Thursday, August 24, 2017

VIDEO: A little romp through a NYC Barnes & Noble in search of the most DANGEROUS! BOOK! EVER!
(Or, ‘Muslim female driver parallel parks her
memoir too close to Milo’s new best-seller’)

New York, August 23, 2017 — I had a bit of nervous fun today shooting two minutes of video inside Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Author Milo Yiannopoulos challenged his fans to shoot videos and photos of themselves reading his excellent, radioactive new book Dangerous in the most dangerous places they can find. I already own the Kindle edition, so after work I walked up Fifth Avenue to 46th Street, hoping to find this necessary prop for my shoot.

Dangerous was not on B&N’s New Release tables as you walk in. I was already mildly skeptical I would find it, and a bit nervous about possible plans to video in the store. I kept browsing, then inquired at an information desk. The clerk searched his computer, found the product in stock, and directed me to Current Affairs.

Books by right-leaning authors with newsworthy topics like Donald Trump, Islam, and impeachment dominate this section, which I expected to find merchandised more prominently in the store. But B&N has relegated Current Affairs to the basement. In the back, actually.

I didn’t see the book. Its bold cover didn’t pop out from the shelves, and they weren’t consistently alphabetized. I took another long, careful look through each of the three six-level shelving units. No luck.

At this point I knew I should document the store’s selection without tipping off the staff, who may have banished it to the stockroom until it is specifically requested. So using my iPhone video, I systematically panned across each shelf in Current Affairs, from the top down, left to right, and back again. My video ends where the adjacent African American section begins.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the video yet, stop and watch it now before continuing.

After 125 seconds of filming, I pocketed my phone. At that moment I was approached by a clerk asking me if I needed something. I wondered whether she saw me shooting, but I kept my poker face, she kept hers, and I told her what I was looking for.

She pulled a copy of Dangerous right off the shelf in front of me. Three copies had escaped my careful search. A tad embarrassed, but happy to have my copy, I thanked her and nervously glided upstairs to the cashier.

A word about the book design: The book cover was not facing out, only the spine; its muted design does not mirror the front cover we know from admiring Amazon searches. A friendly but serious suggestion to Milo: consider redesigning the spine of the dust jacket before the next printing. Keep the white background and the iconic red font without the shadow effect. Your baby will not hide so easily. And the first editions, like your preview copies with their yellow interior liners, will be more collectible!

To spot Dangerous more easily in the video, use the pause and slow motion. The book is about a foot to the right of This Fight Is Our Fight by Elizabeth Warren. If you give up, hit pause at 0:53. Dangerous is immediately to the left of Daring To Drive by Manal al-Sharif, who, like so many female drivers, parallel parked her memoir too close to Milo’s new best-seller.