Monday, November 27, 2017


This montage is exactly as honest and fair as most of Peterson's polemic!

In this article for Maclean's Magazine (it's kind of like Canada's version of TIME), Tabatha Southey asks the rhetorical question "Is Jordan Peterson the Stupid Man's Smart Person?" before offering up ample evidence to back up her conclusion that the answer to that question is a fervent FUCK YES. It begins:
University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson was in the news this week—and one imagines this makes the university sad. Peterson first made the news and became a belle of the alt-right when, in September 2016, he announced that he would not use a student’s preferred pronoun if he were asked to, except that he might if he felt the request was “genuine,” and no one had asked him that anyway. 
What that poor man has been through. 
Needless to say, in an economy as desperately short of leadership and ideas as the alt-right’s is, Peterson’s stock went through the roof. He currently has legions of fans hanging on his every YouTubed word; he’s now hauling in around USD $50,000 a month through crowdfunding. ...
“Postmodern neo-Marxism” is Peterson’s nemesis, and the best way to explain what postmodern neo-Marxism is, is to explain what it is not—that is, it is entirely distinct from the concept of “cultural Marxism.” 
“Cultural Marxism” is a conspiracy theory holding that an international cabal of Marxist academics, realizing that traditional Marxism is unlikely to triumph any time soon, is out to destroy Western civilization by undermining its cultural values. “Postmodern neo-Marxism,” on the other hand, is a conspiracy theory holding that an international cabal of Marxist academics, realizing that traditional Marxism is unlikely to triumph any time soon, is out to destroy Western civilization by undermining its cultural values with “cultural” taken out of the name so it doesn’t sound quite so similar to the literal Nazi conspiracy theory of “cultural Bolshevism.” 
To be clear, Jordan Peterson is not a neo-Nazi, but there’s a reason he’s as popular as he is on the alt-right.
What follows is a pretty methodical deconstruction of many of Peterson's most beloved tropes, and a convincing argument for why his plans to develop an AI that "warns" students and their parents of "postmodernist" or "Neo-Marxist" course content poses a far more insidious and direct threat to freedom of speech and thought on campus than him having to treat transgendered people with respect could ever be. The fact that the most substantial rebuttal Peterson's partisans have been able to mount against this article is that it was written by the widely despised ex-wife of the Kids in the Hall's Dave Foley is a pretty good indicator of the devastating accuracy of the article's portrayal of him and his rapidly congealing cult.


In a recent edition of the Strait Times, Crispin Startwell has published a bracing jeremiad titled "History, Totally Destroyed", about how the current complex of crises calls into question all previous modalities in the philosophy of history. This excerpt in particular caught my attention, and held it:
As all top intellectuals know, Hegel argued that history, in its essence, is the coming-to-self-consciousness of the Absolute; Marx said that it is the dialectical unfolding of the material conditions of production; Michel Foucault pointed out that it is a succession of "epistemes" (roughly, a body of common shared beliefs), each inscribing its own regime of power; Francis Fukuyama claimed it was over; and Jean Baudrillard said it never actually happened in the first place. 
Before these theories emerged, it was the Great Man view of history that dominated the field. "The history of the world is nothing but a biography of great men", wrote Thomas Carlyle. Or as Ralph Waldo Emerson had it: "It is natural to believe in great men. We call our children and our lands by their names. Their names are wrought into the verbs of language, their works and effigies are in our houses." On this view, the drivers of history are not races or classes or nations, but particular military geniuses, messiahs, kings, dictators, inventors, captains of industry, artists and saints. The Great Men swaggered onto the stage one after another, each capturing and conquering the Spirit of the Age. You will notice, of course, that the Great Man theory involved no women. This made perfect sense to the men writing the theory of history. 
But the true test of philosophies of history is history itself. I suggest that the Great Man Theory, though already battered by Marxism and feminism, isn't likely to survive the historical dialectic between Mr Trump and Mr Kim. These phenomena suggest the need for a completely fresh account of history itself, a new theory that is almost certainly my ticket to a long-anticipated MacArthur "genius" grant. Or it would be, if I could settle on a name for it. 
According to your mood, it might be termed the Jackass Theory of History, the Howling Mediocrity Account, the Colossal Bungler Hypothesis or the Blockhead Conjecture. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson writes in to suggest the Moron Theory, but this is insensitive towards those with intellectual disabilities.
Read the whole thing. It's short, and worth it.


The title of this Seattle Times article pretty much says everything you need to know about the gravity of the historical moment we're currently going through: "A Washington County That Went For Trump is Shaken as Immigrant Neighbors Start Disappearing". This news article reads like a fucking horror story. No, scratch that... it IS a horror story. Or, more accurately, a collection of horror stories about how ICE is operating now in Trump's version of America. Here's just one of those stories:
Agents also targeted Gladys Diaz, in an unusual way. 
According to her longtime boyfriend, who works in the seafood industry and spoke on the condition of anonymity, Diaz posted an online ad for a piƱata she had made. The man who answered it asked to meet in the parking lot of a bank rather than the address she offered. 
It seemed a little suspicious. 
“Don’t go, Gladys,” her boyfriend yelled as she drove away that June day with their young daughters. She either didn’t hear or didn’t listen. 
Shortly afterward, while he did yard work around their apartment complex, he saw ICE agents walking toward him with his family. They were handing over the kids and taking Diaz away. His 12-year-old was crying. 
“Why you don’t take us all?” he asked. 
They said Diaz had a prior deportation order. A decade ago, she was caught sneaking across the border, sent back and prohibited from re-entering the U.S. for years, according to her boyfriend. She tried again the very next day, and made it. 
Diaz and two daughters, both born in the U.S., are now back in Mexico. 
“I miss my family. I need my family,” said her boyfriend, who plans to join them but wants to work a little longer to save money.

“Three, four, five, six times a day,” he said he calls to hear their voices.

When even the Trump-voting, John Wayne-worshiping town sheriff thinks something has gone drastically wrong, then you know the situation has gotten FUBAR.


If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.

- You know things have well and truly gone sideways when yer old pal Jerky begins agreeing with former Dubya speechwriter David Frickin' Frum of all people. I'll be honest... it's been happening a lot lately, and it scares me. But hey, stopped clocks and all that jazz. By the way, if you're planning on buying his upcoming book, Trumpocracy, could you do it through this link please? I really need for people to start using my Amazon codes.

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