The criticism Jordan Peterson deserves

Oh my god. Jesus. Holy fuck. I’m reading this critique of Jordan Peterson by Nathan Robinson, and at every paragraph all that’s running through my head is expletive-laden expressions of disbelief. It’s not at what Robinson says, though — it’s because he has taken Peterson very seriously indeed, gone back to his first book, quotes extensively from it, includes some of the diagrams, and also transcribes some of talks, so the article is like a mega-dose of Petersonisms so thorough that you’re not going to be able to claim these are out-of-context excerpts that distort his meaning. There is no meaning there.

Jordan Peterson appears very profound and has convinced many people to take him seriously. Yet he has almost nothing of value to say. This should be obvious to anyone who has spent even a few moments critically examining his writings and speeches, which are comically befuddled, pompous, and ignorant. They are half nonsense, half banality. In a reasonable world, Peterson would be seen as the kind of tedious crackpot that one hopes not to get seated next to on a train.

You have to read the transcript of his lecture about a children’s book to believe it. It starts off with Peterson reading a few lines about feeding a dragon pancakes, and then he meanders off into this long twisty anecdote about how he and his wife were taking care of some kids and they had to give them lunch and one of the kids wasn’t enthusiastic about eating but they were having none of that and then it segues into this totalitarian morality play.

So, we bring all the kids to the table and they’re sitting around and they’re having lunch and the rule is, as I said, eat what is in front of you and be PLEASED AND HAPPY ABOUT IT.

Oh, you better. Because Jordan Peterson is going to sit there for four hours poking your face with a spoon if you don’t eat it all up, and he expects to be able to control your thoughts about it, too. And then the story ends with the kid’s mother coming to pick him up and Peterson is visibly furious about this anecdote from years ago because the mother was far more casual about forcing the kid to eat than he was, and he’s now calling that mother the dragon who probably ruined the kids life. It’s nuts. You can watch the performance, and it’s horrifying. He is supposedly talking about his book, Maps of Meaning, and analyzing this children’s book, somehow, yet he spends 17 minutes in this incoherent angry ramble about a trivial incident that he has stuffed full of nefarious meaning in his head.

I read one chapter of Peterson’s latest book and was dismayed and incredulous that this guy is considered a popular, serious scholar. Nathan Robinson dug deep and reviewed a mountain of Peterson’s work, and I don’t know how he did it. I hope he’s OK.

That one chapter was enough for me to see that he was a worthless pseudo-intellectual. But then, I’ve been reading intelligent design creationism crap for years, and have learned to spot a fraud pretty quickly.


The news has been full of destructive people who have stupidly made fools of themselves — real chumps. And they’ve deserved it.

  • Betsy DeVos. She got in front of the television cameras and spoke to Leslie Stahl, and revealed that she is the perfect person to implement Trump’s scheme to destroy American education.

    All this proves that it is sheer (if perhaps unintentional) genius to have DeVos, who married into the Amway fortune, in her role in the Trump administration. If this is the caliber of the top education official in the land, it hardly speaks well for getting an education. People could quite reasonably conclude that education isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and they wouldn’t go to all the trouble of attending school.

    As it happens, this is exactly what Trump needs to secure the future of his political movement. For Trump, the fewer people who get an education, the better off he will be. Exit polls showed a huge education gap in the 2016 election. College graduates favored Hillary Clinton by nine percentage points, while those without college degrees favored Trump by eight points. That 17-point gap was “by far the widest” dating to 1980, according to the Pew Research Center.

  • Matt Heimbach. This may be the most spectacular flameout in ages. Heimbach, a proud neo-Nazi and founder of the Traditionalist Worker Party, was caught boinking his mother-in-law by his father-in-law and wife, and was arrested for domestic assault. The police report is like a caricature of redneck America.

    Down to the Walmart! Sex! Trailers! Familial affairs! And there’s a video recording!

  • Dennis Alexander. He’s the reserve police officer who was supposed to be teaching a gun safety class in a high school (why?), who pulled out a handgun to show the students how to properly handle it, and ended up shooting the ceiling and injuring three students. It was such an effective demonstration of why guns are absurdly dangerous, even in trained hands, that I’m sure Alex Jones is going to come along any moment now and declare it a false flag operation.

  • Alex Jones. He’s being sued by Brennan Gilmore.

    On Aug. 12, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was tragically killed and at least 19 others were wounded when a driver plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters during the weekend of the infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, the close-knit college town where I went to school and where I live now.

    I saw this happen right in front of me. To me, it was clearly deliberate. I captured that horrible moment on my phone’s camera, shared the video with police and posted it on social media. Not long after that, I was verbally attacked by Infowars’ Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists, who wanted to portray me as a “deep state” operative motivated by a desire to undermine President Trump and his administration. As a result, my family and I have been attacked and threatened.

    That’s why I’m suing for defamation.

    The only question in my mind is why he wasn’t sued into oblivion long before this. This is what he does for a living: he makes up horrible conspiracy theories about the victims of crimes. His schtick is to lie to his massive audience about “crisis actors” and claim that the families of murdered children profit from the tragedy.

    Also mentioned is Gateway Pundit, another scurrilous source of fake news.

Don’t get cocky

The good news is that Conor Lamb has officially won a special election against a fervent Trumpkin in Pennsylvania.

Voting for Saccone is exactly what the president wanted his supporters to do. Trump cared enough about Saccone winning that he joined him on the campaign trail multiple times and sent Vice President Mike Pence and members of his family, including son Donald Trump Jr. and daughter Ivanka Trump, to stump.

He even pushed a controversial announcement on steel and aluminum import tariffs so it would land a week before the special election.

None of it worked.

Trump voters ended up either staying home or proving they could just as easily cast their votes for a Democrat with the right message, especially when Trump wasn’t the candidate on the ballot.

It’s a loud clear sign that Trump’s influence with the electorate is waning. However, I still worry — the Democratic party has a tendency to get over-confident and blow it in the long run. I don’t want us to be thinking we can sail to victory. I want Democrats to be worried.

School walkouts today!

Students all around the country are staging a school walkout at 10:00 this morning, including those at our Morris area high school. I approve. Unfortunately, this is just a protest with training wheels, tightly circumscribed by the powers-that-be — the students are only walking out for 17 minutes (in memory of the students killed at Parkland), and school administrators have hedged them in with stern warnings about how they will be penalized if they skip school.

It’s a start, though. Look at it as the school’s allowing a little bit of practical learning that will serve the students well in these Trumpian times.

Next step: make your parents and school officials intensely uncomfortable, throw off the chains, and fight for changes they dislike. Vote. March in the streets. Say rude words to old white men in power. Flip the bird at the president of the United States — he does not deserve respect. Question everything.

It’s the only way we’ll make this country better.

Baby steps today, but it’s a rehearsal for grander progress tomorrow.

Cultural Marxism is nothing but a conspiracy theory rooted in anti-semitism

It would be so useful if bad people were walking around with a great big neon “L” for loser attached to their heads — it would make it easier to avoid them. Unfortunately, they don’t. They’re not that stupid that they’d advertise their loserhood.

Or are they?

For years now I’ve noticed a very handy written/oral flag some of the bad agents willingly throw out there: it’s two magic words, “cultural Marxism”. Trust me on this, anytime someone starts babbling about cultural Marxism, the Frankfurt school, white genocide, any of that crap, you’ve got ’em pegged: they’re neo-Nazi ninnies. If, like me, you’re still confused about why you’re getting called a cultural Marxist in the first place, here’s an excellent overview of the history of the term. Bonus points for a cool deep German accent.

One thing briefly mentioned in the video is that the ninnies are beginning to realize that the words “cultural Marxism” is a give-away, and that they can’t even define it or explain the evidence behind the concept, so they’re transitioning to a new term: “post-modernism”. It’s the root of all evil, don’t you know. Of course, they can’t explain that one, either, but they trust that no one wants to be labeled with it, so they’re going for it. Also, the word has another useful property, in that it actually is a real thing, unlike “cultural Marxism”, and it has a real and useful meaning that is understood by people who actually use the concept, so it’s going to be harder to sort out. Not everyone who says “post-modernism” is a crank, just the ones who use it as a synonym for degenerate cultural practices and say it with a sneer.

Daniel Mallory Ortberg has a new book, and he’s a man

He’s transitioning to be a man, and while he was working through that, he wrote a book, The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror.

On the one hand, it’s very much a work of fiction. It is not a thinly veiled retelling of relationships and experiences I have had personally. And yet I also began thinking very seriously about my gender identity and the possibility of transition about halfway through writing it. And the title, the idea of a merry spinster — the idea of jolly, self-sufficient female solitude — that’s very dear to me. And in some very real ways, that’s no longer mine.

There’s a line in one of the stories in the book, Cast Your Bread Upon The Waters, where the main character – whose gender is never clarified – refers to their son, against whom they’ve been plotting murder, like this: “My son Johnnie was very beautiful, and I loved him.” It’s one of the first unmitigated statements they make about a person they very clearly loved but are trying to build a case against. Only after they’ve done the deed can they honestly say, I loved him. I don’t want to cheapen the story by saying, “Ah, yes, I too have released someone I love into the sea, it is a point-by-point allegory for transition.” But man. That merry spinster, that Toastified Mallory Ortberg — she was beautiful, and I loved her. And she is! And I do! And she is not gone, there has been no death, no act of violence, no act of disavowal or abnegation or dismissal. And yet she’s not herein the way that she was. Anyhow, it’s a good book, I think, and I’m glad we wrote it.

And still the same writer. It looks good!

He did what?

Donald Trump has fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, but we’ve known that was coming for a long time, and this kind of chaos is standard operating procedure in his administration. I was more surprised by his firing of his personal assistant, John McEntee.

McEntee was one of the longest-serving aides to Trump and his position dates back to the early days of the campaign. Prior to that, it was mostly the president’s family that surrounded him, along with Stephen Miller, Dan Scavino and Hope Hicks.

He wasn’t well known in public but was constantly beside Trump for the last three years. His responsibilities consisted of having markers for Trump to sign autographs, delivering messages to the residence and ensuring the clocks in the White House residence were adjusted for daylight-savings.

Or rather, I’m not surprised at the firing, I’m rather more surprised that this job even existed. I could do those things! Maybe I’m more capable of a job in government than I ever expected. I’m honestly trying to imagine holding a position where my duties involve only being presentable, having a selection of pens in my pocket, and being able to carry pieces of paper. Of course there was the terrible twice yearly stress of having to cope with time changes.

I’m also impressed that someone could fall short in his performance of such a job.

I wonder if White House HR will be posting an ad for his replacement? I’d be curious to see the job requirements.