Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jordan Peterson - His Strange Atheist Bedfellows & His War on Cathy Newman


Over the last week or so, I’ve watched this Cathy Newman/Channel 4 saga unfold. It took twists and turns that were quite surprising to me, but shouldn’t have been - especially considering the recent trend of Movement Atheism to join hands with almost anyone that is sufficiently anti-left or anti-feminist. Even if that means allying with a Christian fundie snake oil salesman they themselves would have laughed out the room a few years ago.

I mean just take a look at this short clip below, wtaf is this nonsense?



(clip via TMM)

As we see the rise of the Cult of Jordan Peterson, we also see the rise of I-love-Jesus atheism. Douglas Murray is a good example of that...though, he's been one long before Peterson arrived on the scene, to be fair. He's a hispter Jesus Atheist. 



Murray is embraced wholeheartedly by the increasingly rightward shifting atheist scene for his anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim stances (going so far as to worry about the future children Muslim asylum seekers may have, *possibly* growing up to become extremists even if their parents weren't) 


“We could take in two asylum seekers, who might be the nicest most pro-British people ever, but their son might turn out to be a suicide bomber" - Douglas Murray

"But what levels, after all's said and done, do the celebrants of diversity want to get to? What is their ideal target figure? Is a ceiling of 25 per cent white Britons in London — or the country at large — optimal? Or would it be 10 per cent? Or none at all? A final, and perhaps harder, question: how — given the concatenation of claims against them — might "white Britons" ever acceptably argue, let alone complain, about such unspecified or unspecifiable odds?"  - Also Doug Murray 


You'll never believe who Doug is a big fan of: 



He's consistently been an excellent judge of character though, so we should *totally* trust him on this one...his other judgements have been So. Spot. On... especially regarding Trump.  -___-




***

Anyway, aside from I-Iove-Jesus-atheism (which is still some form of atheism), Peterson is also having the effect of stirring the embers of religion...in the hearts of some 'atheists' (being anti-left is a powerful uniting force). Perhaps some lost lambs needed a father-figure like JBP in their lives, to yell basic shit at them, shit that my grandma gave away for free...like 'clean your room!' 'Sort yourself out!'...they needed someone to lead them toward god's warm and loving embrace. Yay!

screenshot via @classiclib3ral



After this recent Channel 4 interview, we've seen a flood of predictable 'contrarian' thinkpieces pouring out in defence of this newly emerged hero...one who dares to challenge 'leftist orthodoxy', by sharing ‘truths’ that no one else will tell you. 'Truths' like, how women just don’t WANT powerful positions, (no really, I've watched lectures of his where he, a top earner on Patreon making over 60K $ A MONTH, spends a lot of time deterring women from wanting power positions. He talks about how awful and complicated being rich is, how it can make you (women) unravel) about how the gender pay gap can be explained away because women are choosing lower paying careers, what they need in order to be happy is marriage and babies, ok? Also, there is no systemic discrimination, you silly emotional, brainwashed neo-marxist sjws! 

"The more I see women in particular, they hit 35-40 …and they’re not married…and they don’t have kids…and they are not happy. Cuz what the hell are you gonna do from the time you’re 40 till the time you’re 80?! You got no family… you got no relationships? What are you gonna do?! Go run your company?!!! Yeah well… if you’re 1 in a 1000 that will satisfy you.” - an actual JBP quote. 

“each sex has it’s own unfairness to deal with, but to think of that as a consequence of the social structure….come on really?!" - also an actual JBP quote (from the lecture linked above)

Anyway, amidst those thinkpieces...shared by the most popular anti-left (but still clinging to leftist status) figureheads,  there is a wave of outraged culty fanbases coming together, speaking out in unison against this shrill harpy of a woman who dared to have an adversarial interview with Peterson. 



The ones with a bit of self-awareness and self-respect will never admit to being sympathetic to Peterson’s views (kind of like they did with Milo)...and so will phrase their disgust at this interview more along the lines of, “I’m no Peterson fan BUT, all he did was say true things while she aggressively strawmanned him.”

How dare she assume *this man* could be saying sexist things????
I honestly had to watch the interview 3 times to see if maybe I had missed something the first two times, and no, I still don’t understand where the hate and rage towards Cathy are coming from. 

Why are people SO upset that she didn’t perform to their liking (people who claim to be 'for equality & progress')? I don't get it...She was pretty standardly 'meh' I thought. Not great at grilling him, sure. But at least she tried to take on this shifty charlatan.

I see it as I would if someone was imperfect in grilling someone like Mo Ansar, like sure they made some mistakes...but even attempting to expose someone like that is good (Though, I don't think Mo is remotely as rich, powerful or influential as Peterson...so not nearly as dangerous).

Why the full blown outrage? I mean, I understand where it’s coming from with people who are openly anti-left and anti-feminist, people who think diversity is a codeword for white genocide…people who think theres a leftist cultural marxist conspiracy to compel them to use non-binary pronouns, or some garbage like that - But I really don’t understand what so-called sophisticated thinkers & non far-right lunatics are doing lowering themselves to defend Peterson in any way whatsoever. 

There could have been a perfectly fair and measured critique, where people kept in sight who Peterson actually is; 

--An extremist thats radicalizing many young people every day, and making big bucks off it--

A man with ideas so regressive that they're sure to set us back a few decades, if they gain enough influence. His explanation here for accusations of sex assault is not to first find fault with the perpetrators of the assault, but to blame the idea that sex is no longer enshrined in marriage (not like marital rape ever happens or anything, never mind that many of the accused are MARRIED). I mean, I'm no stranger to hearing such garbage, I did grow up in Saudi Arabia, as a woman. 

I just don't expect to hear this nonsense being embraced so gleefully by people outside of a blatantly misogynistic theocracy.



Like any Salafist preacher in Saudi, JBP doesn't like the idea of casual sex. Quelle Surprise.

In this now disproportionately notorious Channel 4 interview he remained cool and calm is all. That is not to be confused with performing well or having decent ideas...or speaking 'truths'. 

He could have performed in any way and his sycophantic followers would have perceived it exactly how they do now. In their eyes he would have 'won' regardless. 

The harassment Cathy received from this misogynistic fanbase was mentioned in several publications. At first, even causing Peterson to tell his fans:


Don't let it fool you though, Peterson often engages in this kind of performative condemnation, of the alt right, or of misogynistic harassment...when he feels the mainstream media are on to him. But it isn't long before he shows his hand. 
He continued to post criticism of Cathy right after telling people to stop threatening her, which is not something you'd do if you were genuinely concerned about her being targeted. 




He then soon went on to do another interview where he started off obsessively complaining about her...and the apparent 'spin' that was being created, that she was some kind of planned feminist martyr, because this was a sort of ...I dunno face saving tactic, because she had received so much criticism. He said the criticism was being spun as harassment. 

So first he says stop threatening her, then he expresses regret for saying that and now is discrediting that it could be harassment or threats at all. That faux-concern didn't take long to unravel at all...

If that wasn't tasteless enough for you - he even dogwhistled to his followers through this other interview by saying,

29:30: "I was reviewing maybe 10-11 of these newspaper articles that had played this twisty game and accused me of like, siccing my internet trolls on poor hapless journalists and I thought --this was the dark part of me-- the shadow part thought, If I wanted to sic my internet trolls on channel 4 then there'd be nothing but broken windows and riots, and then there's a little part of me that thinks... wouldn't that be fun"

This man is dangerous, and he's clearly on some power trip. 

If a future interviewer ever tried to press him on this statement and say something like 'wow what an irresponsible thing to say after a channel had to call in extra security because of your fanbase' - he'd most definitely hide behind semantics, as he always does...and say something like, "Oh I wasn't signalling that they should do that, I was saying that that's the dark part of my thoughts, something everyone experiences...everyone has dark thoughts...but obviously I believe we should control those. So I'm not sure why you are misrepresenting what I was saying there" - Meanwhile, his followers would get enraged again that someone dared 'misrepresent' him, and again he'd get away with putting out troubling statements.

The idea that media coverage of Cathy Newman's post-interview harassment is part of a leftist conspiracy to portray Peterson’s poor fanbase as misogynistic is ludicrous beyond belief. Not like his own ideas could set the tone for his fanbase, and how people perceive them. It's got to be a conspiracy. 





Consider his chat with Camille Paglia which an article from Chatelaine puts as:

"Peterson said that men can’t control “crazy women” because men aren’t allowed to physically fight women. “I know how to stand up to a man who’s unfairly trespassed against me,” he said. “The parameters for my resistance are quite well-defined, which is: we talk, we argue, we push, and then it becomes physical. If we move beyond the boundaries of civil discourse, we know what the next step is."

"He adds that men unwilling to throw a punch are contemptible“If you’re talking to a man who wouldn’t fight with you under any circumstances whatsoever, then you’re talking to someone for whom you have absolutely no respect.”"

"...talking to Paglia, he laments that his own socialization prevents him from taking a swing at a lady. Referring to a woman who accused him of being a Nazi, he said, “I’m defenceless against that kind of female insanity because the techniques that I would use against a man who was employing those tactics are forbidden to me.” It’s hard to decide which is creepier: Is it the suggestion, in Peterson’s rueful tone, that he’s kind of bummed out about the fact that he can’t hit women? Or is it the implication, if you were to follow his argument to its conclusion, that because women can’t be hit, they shouldn’t be allowed to participate in civil discourse with men at all?"

***

Regarding the Cathy Newman interview though, let's not forget who the real victim in all of this was - Jordan B Peterson, of course. 

Not only did Cathy treat Peterson unfairly (even though confrontational interviews like this are not uncommon in Britain, I hear), but it was actually HER Feminist fanbase that threatened and abused HIM. 

And who was reporting on that, huh? Only one noble MRA blog (there might be another, but I haven't found it yet). 






We mustn't laugh....they could be a reliable source, we shouldn't jump to conclusions.... 

Ok..I checked their twitter account and it's full of great stuff like Retweets of Breitbart's Raheem Kassam, Cernovich and Paul Joseph Watson. See? Perfectly reasonable account. 

Daily mail, on the other hand, was reporting on how Cathy received extreme harassment and death threats. But we're all aware that the Daily Mail is known for it’s far left, radical feminist bias right? Everyone but the MRA blogs have been infected...it's why you've got to go straight to these sources for REAL information without a cultural marxist bias.



Speaking of cultural marxism and postmodernism corrupting things, here's Peterson the free speech activist calling for entire fields of study to be shut down because he deems them corrupt. Fields like 'English Literature'.

Totally normal professor. 


(clip via @cyberharm)

***

In all seriousness though, not everyone who jumped into this social media debate knew the backstory of Jordan B Peterson. I’m not faulting them for being unfamiliar with his views - and there are some fair criticisms to be made of Cathy’s interview but it just wouldn’t be the hill I’d die on when a swarm of far-right MRA types are already descending upon her.

It just seemed wrong to pile on in the middle of all that. 

***

In the past, many on the left became complacent with the progress we’d made. We never could have imagined that these stone-age ideas about traditional gender roles, race etc. would aggressively claw their way back into the public square like this.

These regressive ideas we thought we'd put to bed, come again in the form of various new-media far-right commentators like Milo, PJW, Molyneux, etc…who spend their time decrying victimhood culture on the left that portrays women, PoC as ‘victims’ of some systemic discrimination. Though this far rightwingery isn't all new...it's just that Fox News has more friends now - friends with influence among young people. 



These uncucked heroes turn our attention to who the real victims are - White men (especially conservative) brave enough to take a stand against victimhood culture are the most victimized group of all. 



Peterson actually *weeps* in this clip about how some
poor men have it real hard. Not the first time I've seen him cry for his causes either.
Funny, because he certainly doesn't have that kind of compassion for women.
Maybe, just maaaybe..Cathy Newman sensed something off about his views. 


***

However, now that there’s some distance I’d like to point out that Cathy was indeed a bit ill-prepared for the interview. 

Exceptionally so? Nah, nothing outside of what I’d expect from mainstream journalists trying to grapple with the slippery tactics and sophistry of the new far right. That's how we get clueless 'Nazi next door' type articles. They aren’t in the trenches of youtube comments daily, hearing the arguments against every possible reasonable position that most of us took for granted. Unless they specifically research this or are personally targeted...they aren’t usually dealing with or studying crypto rightwingery, that hates more than anything to be called right-wing. Such free-speech warriors (who will sue you if you so much as suggest they are associated with the right or far right) cultivate a specific image, with a veneer of credibility that only thrives if the waters are murky on this…incredibly murky.  



Could some mainstream journalists be better on this? Yes, absolutely... as the far-right updates it's tactics, they should too. Especially if they want to have conversations where these types are held accountable for their positions.

I cringed when I heard Cathy's point about Free Speech. 

"Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person's right not to be offended?"


That was really a gift to the Peterson trolls. I thought it was pretty basic understanding among journalists that the freedom to offend was an important one. I for one would love to hold on to my freedom to offend conservatives from around the world. As Peterson rightfully said, Cathy was benefitting from the freedom to offend Peterson at that very moment (hate to agree with Pete, but hey).

What I didn’t understand was the proportion of the anger. Yes that one bit was terrible...but say that and move on. Ultimately she attempted to do a good thing (at least to her best ability) by trying to expose Peterson for what a caveman he is.

Now I’m not a fan of Cathy Newman, I had no idea who she was before this whole thing. I have no emotional investment in her as a person. I just think the harassment and outraged articles calling her interview a 'catastrophe' are ridiculously out of proportion with how mediocre the interview seemed to me. It was nothing out of the ordinary - what they refer to her doing as 'strawmanning' Peterson, is her just trying to cut past his bullshit flowery language to make some sense of what his points actually are for her audience. Which he of course masterfully sidesteps because vagueness is his game, so he can’t actually be pinned to his vile positions if you don't have enough information on him. It reminded me of good ol' fashioned atheists trying to get a theist to acknowledge that a certain bit of scripture is violent or misogynistic. If you've played that game, you've seen the semantics dodges, you've seen the 'you're taking it out of context' accusations. This was just more of that. A pity many atheists fell for it though. 

I will say that Cathy barely scratched the surface with the things she could have pinned him on. His sexist tradlife ideas are shit but there are better ways to expose him. Firstly, I’d have asked about his posing with a Pepe flag and a white nationalist…



Then about his friendly appearance on a neo-nazi podcast, with a host that has advocated violence towards people residing ‘illegally’ in her fantasy ethnostate. 



He should have been asked this especially in the context of how he himself deplatformed (now) open ethnonationalist Faith Goldy from one of his Free Speech events, for going on a Daily Stormer (Nazi) associated podcast and not questioning them sufficiently about their beliefs. If that was something he judged Goldy on, surely he could see that he himself hasn't always met those standards. 

Peterson who is also a staunch defender of people fired for their unpopular views can’t get others fired quick enough (those he doesn't align with ideologically, that is). 


(As ridiculous & unhelpful as her tactics are, had this been blatant discrimination towards a PoC,
Peterson's tune would be entirely different). 



He who complains about the left not tolerating differing opinions, reacts this way when confronted with an opinion he disagrees with. When...Infowars...is criticized. 



After holding him to account on his most blatant contradictions and hypocrisies, Cathy could have gone into his more absurd viewpoints where he considers Disney’s Frozen to be propaganda, simply because Elsa didn't need a man to succeed. How very dare she get by on her own. 

Talk about fragility and snowflakery...being upset by Disney movies....tsk. 

(click to enlarge)

Or she could have questioned him about a chat where he doesn't quite grasp the concept of consent, with 'race realist' and known misogynist Stefan Molyneux (who also has theories about movies like Star Wars being anti white, white genocide propaganda



-----

But then again, it wouldn’t really have mattered what she said to be honest…because his fans would have been furious with her regardless. She had the audacity to be combative with the great Peterson. This is a cult like following, no jokes. 


(click to enlarge)


Had she made him look properly foolish with excellent points, they would have been twice as enraged and felt twice as victimized by the postmodern neo-marxists who are always out to get them. *sob*

***

I have had many discussions with 'moderate' Petersonites, where they start fairly reasonably. It's almost as if they're reading from a script.

First, they'll say they aren’t *at all* fans of Peterson (they just happen to agree with and defend everything he says and vehemently disagree with the critic). Then they jump to the fact that they are in disbelief that you could find anything particularly alarming about him at all...or that you could find him even remotely 'right wing' (there's that crypto rightwingery again). They demand that you back up your claims that he’s right wing… and from here on, it really doesn’t matter what you say. 

You could show his friendly appearances with neo-nazis, his proud posing with pepe (hate symbol) flags & white nationalists, his naziesque conspiracy theories about cultural marxism being everywhere. His conservative views on sex and gender roles, his love of sharing far-right media, none of that matters. They can explain everything away with a "Oh he meant it metaphorically" or "You haven’t seen his *entire body of work* otherwise you’d know he isn’t right wing, he was doing that ironically to piss off leftist SJWs like you", the excuses are endless. And that is why this brand of right wingers enjoys vagueness so much, because it gives them plausible deniability. 

Now, I’m sure there are some lectures by Peterson that aren’t far-right..but that doesn’t excuse him for times his views overlap with alt-right talking points, his alt-right associations and it certainly doesn’t excuse his free speech hypocrisies….when he is every bit a screaming, sniffling, unable to tolerate differing opinions, wanting to get people fired 'SJW' as the people he projects this stuff on to - except his idea of social justice is upholding the status quo…so SQW to be precise. 

He is what he hates.

And his dogpiling fans are exactly the intolerant bunch they claim the left are. 

----

If you enjoyed this piece you might also enjoy my other blogposts on JBP

Professor Jordan Peterson: Charlatan Conservative Christian Perpetually Paranoid about Pronouns & Postmodernism

Thank you to my patrons who make this work possible. 

If you enjoy my work please consider supporting it via Patreon. If you'd like to see more deep dives on alt right/lite figures, more support could certainly go a long way in creating time for such projects.

21 comments:

  1. Wow this truly is a laughable piece. Godspeed Eiynah. It's never too late to wake up and take the red pill.

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    1. Lol...thanks for the great advice!

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  2. "If I wanted to sic my internet trolls on channel 4 then there'd be nothing but broken windows and riots, and then there's a little part of me that thinks... wouldn't that be fun""

    So much for free speech . . .

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    1. yup... selective free speech advocacy is very fashionable these days

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  3. Don't you have anything better to do than write blog posts that are probably longer than Peterson's book? And by the way, how is your Patreon doing? Jealousy is ugly.

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    1. ^^^Another Anonymous Google Alerted sycophant... hilarious! LOL

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  4. Regarding JP's "punch women" tangent, here's an alternative interpretation. I agree with your other criticisms.

    I am a man and was once in a situation where the only options open to me were to fight a woman or to have sex with her against my wishes. She had isolated me after a party and gotten me very drunk. I was trying to leave her apartment. When I opened Uber she took my phone, and when I went to leave she blocked the door. There was no getting out of there without a physical confrontation, and I was severely intoxicated miles from home in February.

    There are only two options for me there: stay (and deal with her advances in a way that doesn't enrage my host/captor even more), or fight her to the point where I can collect my things and go. Doing that probably lands me a felony charge - who's going to believe I did that out of self-defense?

    I don't think JP's talking about academic debate here. He's talking about something much darker, and it's happened to me. We had gone beyond the point where talking was going to solve anything, and she had the ability to make things violent without risking backlash. I felt completely helpless.

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    1. except he specifically said it in the context of some woman calling him a nazi. No physical threat whatsoever. Nice try at defending him tho.

      Referring to a woman who accused him of being a Nazi, he said, “I’m defenceless against that kind of female insanity because the techniques that I would use against a man who was employing those tactics are forbidden to me.”

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    2. @Anonymous JBP is attempting to attach the threat of violence into his nonsensical discourse as purely an intimidation tactic. Your story is unfortunate, but you are supporting his call for this kind of aggression by blurring the lines between being able to defend yourself from harm and punching women in the event you feel your ideas are being criticized. Those are different things, and equivocating the two, only serves in lowering the bar on male violence towards women.

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  5. I'd say this piece would benefit from the removal of the quote-mining, anti-white racism, guilt by association, name-calling, recycling unsubstantiated accusations, and (my favorite) the parts where the author make up quotes of what Peterson WOULD say were she to deign to engage with him ... but then there would be nothing left.

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  6. You have too much time on your hands.

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  7. One thing I find particularly impressive about Peterson is how he's managed to dress up a neo-McCarthyist agenda in "free speech" clothing.

    His campaign to de-legitimise entire fields of study that he declares to be corrupted by "post-modernism" and "neo-Marxism," together with his now postponed plan to black list individual professors and his cult-like army of harassers, make him by far the post prolific threat to genuine academic freedom active today.

    For him to be seen as a free speech warrior is a formidable feat of Newspeak if nothing else.

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    1. I totally don't see anything going wrong with a Marxist registry. Seriously fuck his guy.

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  8. The fact that you think JP posing with a Pepe flag has anything to do with his actual arguments is laughable, and just further displays how your side has nothing but "raycizt nazi" name-calling.

    JP is sparking a new wave of thought, and the fact is that you can't stand that he's RIGHT. You fetishize high paying jobs but have no concept on the toll the workload has on people. You honestly thing men and women operate the same and it's just absurd. JP is right on absolutely everything, you won't admit it but deep down you know it's true.

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  9. The fact that Peterson's misogyny resonates with so many people is starting to make me a little nervous. Maybe I'm jumping the gun...but I worry about what the 'west' will look like for women in 10+ years. I'm not optimistic. It's pretty clear that we're sliding backwards and there's nothing that can be done about it.

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  10. There is something so incredibly disheartening about Peterson's popularity among young men. I am getting older, and there was a time when I might have believed that the world was progressing away from oppression and social hierarchy. I had hoped that all the bad things had happened to me and my peers might be avoided for younger generations. But instead, here's another man telling another generation of young men that it is their duty to dominate another generation of young women. And it's working on them. I see young men I thought were decent critical thinkers swallowing his rhetoric whole.

    So I get to spend middle age watching another generation of young women suffer all the same disappointments and mistreatments that mine did, which could have all been avoided if not for one man's arrogance, and know that nothing I say or do will make much difference, because once Peterson convinces his boys that women belong below them on the ladder, they have no reason to listen to me.

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  11. Hey I was wondering if you'd be willing to expand your blog to Medium and Wordpress. You'd probably get a bigger audience in those areas.

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  12. Slightly off topic, but I don't have a twitter account. I've noticed Dave Rubin challenging people to debate Peterson when they criticize him. He presents himself as a neutral arbiter. I wonder if he'd be willing to mediate a conversation between his friend Sam Harris and Mike Cernovich. They seem to have some issues Dave could help them work on.

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  13. "now i assume there are some petterson lectures that arent far right"
    maybe in his early youtube days but his paranoia has consumed him. im a fan of jung so i watched his video on the 2 brothers and it hasd to be seen to believed, he will go off on 30 minute tangents about how women need to have kids, and at onbe point said that postmodernists are gaying up the shepherds(yes really). theres also a letter he reads from a woman who said the ayahausca gods told her petterson was a divine incarnation of masculine power, id watch it if i were you eiynah those qoutes need to be displayed to take this fucker down

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  14. Hi! I recently discovered you on Destiny's youtube channel. I just want to say I thoroughly enjoyed this piece and I've never seen anything that articulates why Peterson's views are bullshit as well as this. I'm happy more and more people are finally pushing back against this right wing huckster. Ironically enough, I think the Cathy Newman interview that so many are quick to deride was the catalyst that launched him into the mainstream and prompted more people to examine his views more critically. I'm almost certain his recent surge in popularity will be his own undoing. He was probably better off preaching to the choir while flying under the radar. The more he speaks, the more ammunition he gives his critics. Keep up the good work and don't let the bastards get you down. I'm an instant fan.

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    1. Thanks Eric! Im so glad you enjoyed the piece. Hope you'll check out the podcast too! :) https://soundcloud.com/politeconversations

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