By David Futrelle
I think I may have found the Jordan Peterson-est post in the Jordan Peterson subreddit so far.
I dunno, dude, maybe DON’T TALK LIKE THAT.
But yabha — clearly besotted with the pompous, reactionary, slap-happy Canadian academic who has become staggeringly popular amongst Men’s Rights Activists, alt-rightists and other terrible men — continues on in this vein, attempting to ask his fellow Petersonheads how he can rebut people who point out that Peterson’s admonition to “clean your room” doesn’t help much if you’re too poor to have a room.
Except he puts it like this:
Oversimplifying here, but there are 2 apparently conflicting models of the world: one in which identity politics is a distraction from individual responsibility, and another in which issues of identity preclude individuals from effective action, and need to be solved before embarking on any projects of the self.
A common reaction to the clean your room directive is that one needs to ensure they have equitable access to a room in the first place.
Can you share some examples of effective discourse with individuals that subscribe to issues of identity (race, gender, sexual preferences, etc.)?
Dude, just because you love Jordan Peterson, you don’t have to try to be as pompously incomprehensible as he so often is.
Some of those who attempted to answer yabha’s convoluted query were a bit blunter than he was.
“Clean your room is a metaphor for focusing on your individual life [rather] than on others,” wrote AmazonExplorer.
So for the homeless person in need of a room, the advice of “cleaning their room” is exactly what they need. Perhaps instead of wishing for a communist utopia, they need to drop that heroin addiction that destroyed their life in the first place, maybe try to land a job, learn some skills.
(Hey, I said they were blunter; I didn’t say they were convincing.)
Another noted with some puzzlement that “everytime I engage in these conversations I end up being accused of bigotry.”
Gosh, why would anyone accuse you of bigotry when you claim that poverty is the result of individual failings and has nothing to do with centuries of, you know, racism and structural inequality?
But I digress. Others answered yabha’s question in language that was nearly as pompous and muddled as his. One commenter started off a vast wall-o-text with this:
I think there are more than the two modes you describe and the space between the two is where you will begin to find the ground upon which discussions are possible. There are many between the two perspectives who both, at the same time, understand that individual responsibility is paramount within our own lives, and that there are truths to be understood when assessing the role that identity plays at the levels of control beyond mere individuals.
Dude, you could have just said: That’s a false dichotomy. Maybe the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Amazingly. one commenter actually called out yabha for his pomposity.
“[H]ave you always written so formal, maybe even Peterson-esque?” wondered someone called TheOwlInTheTower.
It is definitely not a normal conversational style, more along the lines of the kind of language used in a published academic work. I am sorry if this question makes you uncomfortable, being analyzed isn’t too much fun. I just noticed that there are followers who emulate Jordan Peterson and I feel like some of those people in a way have assumed and defend an “identity”.
Alas, TheOwlInTheTower didn’t take this any further, and began backtracking a little in the very next sentence:
I can definitely understand though, that if someone really moves a person in a certain way that they might find comfort and strength in emulating the person who gives them that rock.
That’s a big backtrack. But I still wonder if it’s only a matter of time before Mr. Owl gets thrown out of the cult.