Can he just go away now? He’s in the news again because the Sunday Times has published an interview with him…which I haven’t read since it’s behind a paywall, but here’s the teaser:
Ithought this was going to be a normal interview with Jordan Peterson. After speaking with him at length, and with his daughter for even longer, I no longer have any idea what it is. I don’t know if this is a story about drug dependency, or doctors, or Peterson family dynamics — or a parable about toxic masculinity. Whatever else it is, it’s very strange.
It sounds like it’s an accurate description of how weird the Peterson family is, but obviously, Peterson disagrees and thinks the published interview grossly distorts the truth. I don’t know, not having read it; maybe it’s horribly biased, maybe it mangles the whole story, I just don’t care, but I can appreciate that Peterson would want to correct the record, if so. So Peterson chose to release the complete transcript of the interview.
If he thinks that makes him look normal, oh man, the Times article must be a rip-roaring phantasmagoria of bizarreness, because yikes, the transcript is freaky. His daughter, Mikhaila, is very much an enabler of his delusions. For instance, he really goes on and on about his diet obsessions.
When I talked to Sam Harris- it’s very complicated, and I’m still trying to piece all of this together, but I had gone to see my family, my extended family on my wife’s side, and Mikhaila and her husband, and me, both- all of us came down with the same symptom set that lasted about three weeks, and it was absolutely terrible. I couldn’t get up without fainting. I’d faint, fall to the floor, gray out, not blackout completely, but gray out every time I got up. I couldn’t get warm. I was wearing multiple layers of clothes and multiple layers of blankets, and I couldn’t get warm. I had an overwhelming sense of doom and anxiety, and I didn’t want to move, and plus I couldn’t sleep for days and days. I don’t- I was without sleep for many weeks. And you know-
And this was from inadvertently ingesting apple cider?
Look, that’s- that’s-
It wasn’t. No. Hold on.
There were, no doubt, multiple-
Hold up. It wasn’t apple cider. It was sodium metabisulfite in apple cider. Like the alcoholic apple cider was added to a stew.
So it was sodium metabisulfite in that apple cider, but it wasn’t apple cider.
He was sick. He had problems. I can’t deny that. But the idea that one sip of sodium metabisulfite sent his life spiraling into catastrophe is unlikely.
Apparently he was a total wreck, but he was swiftly cured by his all-meat diet. This guy sounds exactly like one of those gullible tools promoting snake oil.
Yes. And the diet did a lot of different things, had a lot of different effects on me. One of the most market effects immediately was that I stopped snoring, and that happened within a week. It was very, very surprising to me. And then I had psoriasis and that cleared up, and I had gum disease, and that cleared up which is- that’s not curable, gum disease, so it’s treatable, but not curable, but it’s completely cleared up. And I lost 70 pounds over about a seven month period. So the transformation was remarkable. And I’ve had other autoimmune symptoms in my life. I had alopecia areata at one point and thought I was going to lose all my hair, but luckily that stopped. And I had this condition called peripheral uveitis, which is an inflammation in the tissue of the eye, and markers on my fingernails for autoimmune- like an autoimmune condition, your body attacks its own cells, and I had markers for that as well. And I have had a lengthy history of mouth ulcers…
I suspect the Times committed the unforgivable crime of editing his words and trying to make the Peterson family interesting, because oh my god, it was the most boring thing ever. It’s an old man whining about his multitude of illnesses, with his quack of a daughter chiming in now and then with comments about how she, lacking all medical training, had diagnosed him and cured him with her magic diet. It’s stultifyingly stupid and uninteresting and morbidly bizarre. He does talk at one point about how the political left and right are exactly the same, and that what’s ripping the US apart is the feedback that keeps them swinging madly back and forth…I just wanted to yell “PROJECTION!” at the screen, because there is clearly some kind of pathological hypochondriac dynamic going on in his family that is pushing him back and forth.
But mainly, it’s agonizingly boring. I imagine the reporter struggled to extract anything at all interesting from it. Apparently, the Times reported that he’s a schizophrenic weirdo, to which Mikhaila just says nah, he was akathisic (akathisia is mentioned 91 times in the interview!) — but no one is going to confuse akathesia with schozophrenia, except maybe that colossal ignoramus, Mikhaila. All I can think is…
Shut up, Jordan Peterson, you meandering mumbling old git.