Jordan Peterson’s Quixotic Quest for Real Manhood

PLUS: #MondayManCrush: Adam Kinzinger


Jordan Peterson: happy camper?

So much has happened since we last spoke! Right? Democracy in the US has mounted its wild stallion and is galloping onto the funeral pyre with an enthusiasm that even Brunnhilde couldn’t muster. To-yo-to-HO!

Turns out that, according to the mountains of hard evidence amassed by the January 6th Committee (“witch hunt” in Trump-speak) Donald was In On It From the Beginning, Wanted to Be a Dictator, and generally was A Very Bad Thing.

Well, yank out my fingernails with pliers in the White House basement, who knew?

Also, he threw plates of food at the Oval Office walls, enjoyed screaming I’M THE FUCKING PRESIDENT! and generally gave his staff a squirmy choice: repeat his lies to the American public and hate yourself for a gutless ass-wipe of a sycophant the rest of your natural life; or debunk them and be permanently ostracized, then publicly humiliated at every opportunity. Your leisure time you will spend dealing with the death threats. Fun!

At time of writing, the general consensus is that there’s enough hard evidence for any number of civil and criminal trials.

Now, we know that the wheels of justice turn slowly, and that that’s a good thing, but honestly, people. When we’ve been aware since Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign that he was a fraudster, a cheat, a compulsive liar, a serial sexual predator (“womanizer” I believe is the old-style term) and a proud, unrepentant racist, and have spent every waking hour since then witnessing him in action, we can be forgiven for wondering just what the connection is between money, power, and justice.

Just kidding! We totally expected that Trump would be well-wadded with protection against any repercussions the rest of us would face for the same activities. Funny, isn’t it? It’s almost like everyone’s dragging their feet because no one wants to be first in line to send the former president to jail or something! Like—they’re afraid of him!

At any rate, the soup-to-nuts four-course Trump Trial buffet may be the first indulgence labelled “all you can eat” that we’re not ashamed to enjoy. Personally, I’d purge more than once, just to make sure I’d sampled everything!

Ciao, darling!

It was all too much for first wife Ivana, possibly the one instance of genuine class in the entire clan, but whose ovaries could only hold out for one well-formed infant out of three against the onslaught of Donald’s overworked, overpriced Trumpseed. Hence one pretty airhead, Ivanka, but two dumb terminals, the cranially and morally misshapen Donald Junior and Eric, aka the Frankenforeheads.

They say she fell down, but I like to imagine the canny businesswoman and former Olympic ski champion going out with more pizzazz.

In my version she decides she can’t stand the shame any more, and invites a photo crew from Vogue over for cocktails. Then, drunk as a skunk on Cosmopolitans, and giving those assembled the promised exclusive scoop, she waits for Anna Wintour to give the signal:

Ready, set—ciao, darling!

Ivana launches herself off the landing, and down, down, down the stairs of her condo she flies, tumbling out the back door like a Sally Ann clothing donation that missed the box, and coming to a stop only because the garbage collectors have neglected to put the recycling bins back where they go.

See which version works for you.

Good night, sweet Ivana! We hardly knew ya!

Hair today, hair tomorrow

Meanwhile, across the pond, Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that preposterous, toffee-nosed Hoorah Henry who somehow got to be in charge of something but it was too much like work (and, did you know? a graduate of Slytherin at Hogwarts), took a bad turn a couple weeks ago when his unruly hair set up a press conference and resigned.

“I’m outta here!” explained the tangled blonde mop, as it stood straight up, then flopped to the left all in one piece, like a toupee on a hinge. “There’s only so many years you can spend thinking up new ways of making people say what the fuck, does it owe him money?, or becoming charged with static electricity with a comb. I need more of a challenge!”

The hair appeared to settle down, then stuck straight out at the sides over Johnson’s ears, like an annoyed cat that’s just been woken up.

And what did Johnson’s hair have to say about Johnson’s achievements, such as knowing just which sexual sleazebags to appoint to Cabinet, crafting laughably unbelievable denials then just saying, “OK, bloody hell, I knew, all right? Now naff off!” and partying indoors at 10 Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, egregiously violating lockdown protocols, while Elizabeth, conspicuously following them, sat entirely alone?

Johnson’s hair scraped off a bit of dried sick, then spun around in all directions like it was caught in a hurricane. “A little dab’ll do ya!” it said, before dropping to the ground in a big, greasy clump.

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Speaking of hair, and why speak of anything else, ever, the right-wing intelligentsia in Canada have been upping the pressure on Justin Trudeau, our dictator-if-he-does-that-thing, useless-girly-man-if-he-doesn’t-do-that-thing prime minister.

Brian Lilley of the Toronto Sun, a popular tabloid that last year was voted “Best Newspaper to Wipe Your Windows With if you Don’t Have a Microfiber Cloth” performed a mind-bending exegesis of Trudeau’s summer hair cut, comparing it to Jim Carrey’s do in “Dumb and Dumber” (and I can’t help thinking there was malice in the movie chosen for comparison. Or maybe I just ate a bad lentil for lunch).

This was a newspaper article, you realize. About the prime minister of Canada. Like, an editor chose to print this inanity. You’d almost begin to believe that Brian couldn’t really think up anything legitimate to complain about, so he resorted to just being generally negative about the first thing that came to mind.

Justin can’t even get his haircut right! Next we might anticipate Justin puts bananas on his oatmeal! or Justin uses vegan leather shoe laces! It’s like being swarmed by a bunch of gnats, all this random, jejune conservative carping.

Say anything in a sufficiently aggrieved tone enough times and soon the Whatever Convoy will start its long but noble trek across the continent to reclaim its freedom from the pedophile socialists, and this will make about as much sense as anything else we’ve heard since we last fired up Chrome.

But back to hair:

Brian looks anxious in his photo, but actually that’s just the tension from his up-do pulling the skin between his eyes together. Can I be honest? I’m gay, so I get to say this: Brian Lilley just looks like a silly, fat old faggot who dyes his hair. It takes one to know one!

Justin looks like he always does. Comfortable in his own skin and not giving a fuck, I suspect, what Brian Lilley thinks.

That little girl hugging him? She’s Canada.


Convoy Party of Canada

Conservatives are wastes of skin pretending to be humans (I like to follow the old rules of composition: start with your thesis). Turns out that Pierre Poilievre, Conservative Party of Canada leadership hopeful, is a “yikes, are you kidding me?” cesspool of nasty, racist quotes, on everything from First Nations people to grade-school economics.

I thought you’d never ask. Here’s my favorite:

The theme, as always, is white heterosexual men smacking down any attempt to reduce their privilege and their power. They go low, they go nasty. They don’t care. And they’re more and more brazen every day, more unapologetic about their goals and the means to those goals.

“The value of hard work”! I’m not sure if Pierre looks like he’s done fifteen minutes of “hard work” in his life, but there’s nothing like white skin to give you that sense of finger-wagging entitlement. What understanding could he have of what First Nations children endured in the residential system?

But the goal isn’t to make sense. The goal is just shut it down. Shut down any potential conversation about widening the circle of economic or social justice. Conservatives want that circle tighter than—well, I can’t say it. But at least, for now, in Canada, she can get an abortion.

If that weren’t enough to put you off Pierre Poilievre, he wears the kind of rimless glasses that South American torturers put on just before they start to dismember you. Which, if you’re queer, female, Black, Native, poor, or any combination of the above, is exactly what he’s planning to do.


A Peterson too far

Here’s the thing about Jordan Peterson (whose latest man-crush is none other than Pierre Poilievre!). We know he’s an intellectual fraud earnestly serving up lukewarm Camille Paglia (who I actually enjoy when she sticks to cultural insights; her victim-blaming libertarianism, not so much) while making goo-goo eyes at all his young, male mentees.

He writes silly, unnecessary books in which he makes dadly pronouncements (“Sort yourself out, bucko!”) about responsibility, petting stray cats and the necessity of perfecting your life before you can criticize the social order, pontificating with all the sweaty intensity of that Boy Scout leader you always tried to avoid being alone with in the same room.

We know, even before he should open his mouth, god help us, that he’ll be on the side of freedom (to be a white, heterosexual male who just wants to speak his mind, preferably about an experience that others have lived and he has not); that he’ll whinge about “political correctness” and mock any attempt to treat the marginalized with respect; talk gravely about how Marxist university teachers are destroying impressionable minds (though I kinda thought that exposure to ideas was the point of university, always remembering you don’t have to adopt those ideas).

We know above everything that he’s insecure as all-get-out about not being toxically macho enough to pass, and with a whiny, querulous, “where-did-my-testicles-go” voice like his, who wouldn’t be?

He’s the quintessential high school nerd, the one perceived as brainy by the jocks because he’s bookish and uses big words and knows more than any human has a right to know about the pecking order of lobsters; and he is desperate to be accepted by the other guys who are so much more obviously “masculine” than him.

He’s so desperate, in fact, so hungry for those gazes of adulation from the young males in his audience, that he makes me want to lie in a dark room for an hour or two, just to process the pathos.

You see, he’s a Virgo. I’m a Virgo. I know — and, Minerva, how I wish I didn’t —  the way he thinks and what he fears and what he cries about, and I say “cries” for a reason, because you better believe this guy is a sniveling, snot-nosed boy-baby, an impotent manikin of narcissistic entitlement, simmering with barely-contained outrage and unacknowledged sexual frustration.

I mean, look at those photographs in the featured image: is that the face of a man brimming with joy, or even good old p and v? He has the chronic low affect of the defeated; his two emotions, rage and resentment, he can barely gin up the energy to display (but don’t worry, he eventually manages).

(No stranger to defeat myself, I say this as the only gay man in the universe who can spend twenty-four hours high and naked in a bathhouse and fail to have sex. I admit it, I’m not proud.)

Like me—and out of a possible million quintillion traits we could share, we share maybe two—he is interested in diet and health. Virgo rules the bowels, and I challenge you to offer that little room-emptying conversation starter à propos of nothing at your next cinq-à-sept.

But he gets, shall we say, a little stuck. He decides to eat paleo, which is the way we supposedly ate in paleolithic times when we all either starved to death or ended up as the daily special on a saber-toothed tiger’s menu, and somehow this is better than everything we’ve yearned and worked and dropped bombs for, all the dietary knowledge we’ve gained and improvements we’ve made, for ten thousand years, that is to say, all human civilization. Just chuck all of that out and eat meat.

Just meat. You see where I’m going with this? Jordan Peterson is so constipated he couldn’t pick up a subway token if he dropped one. He’s just cement, inside. He’d need a construction-grade demolition drill just to pass a well-formed stool.

He also has had a teensy little benzodiazepine dependency, nothing to be ashamed of, I’m sure we all agree? which caused him, in desperation, having exhausted the useless, slow-withdrawal touchy-feely methods of the Ontario healthcare system, to check into a Russian detox clinic.

Yes, Russian! There the manly medics put him into an induced coma for eight days so he could cold-turkey withdraw (it was surely just a bonus that, for those eight glorious days, they wouldn’t have to listen to him witter on about Jungian archetypes) and thus come out of withdrawal with his virility—such as it is—intact.

For Jordan Peterson, he’d like everyone to understand, is not some feeble, feminized, namby-pamby liberal with a psychological addiction. Holy John Rawls, no! He’s a hairy-chested warrior with a dependency, a condition that simply occurs, unequivocally unrelated to any personal choice, and thus free of any possible moral failure, unlike the rest of us psychologically-addicted losers.

What happened, you see—and I hope you’re sitting down, lest the shock of what I’m about to tell you causes you to lose your balance, grasp the corner of your Last Supper tapestry and bring the whole shebang crashing down into your Blue Mountain Pottery collection— is that one day, while Jordan was waiting for the bus, a brick-sized Xanax fell from a ledge and hit him on the head! Heavens!

And not wanting to start any rumors or anything, but while he languished in that Russian clinic, did Vladimir Putin come by, reach up inside Jordan with a black, lube-slicked polyurethane glove while making intense eye-contact and relieve him of his constipation?

Your guess is as valid as mine.

So far, annoying as hell, admittedly, but in the end this is all good. We’re in I-can-handle-this territory. Right? If he’d left it there, we could have coped. We could have lain in our dark rooms, under our velvet paintings of sad clowns and saucer-eyed waifs, and understood that this baseline of depressingly unoriginal and stupid was all we had to deal with. Half a box of Kleenex, and we’re done. He’d be our little Down Syndrome proto-fascist Chucky-child, with special needs, but still loved, mostly.

But no. He had to notch it up into super-duper-asshole, entitled-white-male-freakazoid territory. He did this in what is becoming the time-honored method, namely, getting hysterical and know-it-all-y about gender identity.

Remember gender identity? It’s that topic that everyone, from Margaret Who? Atwood to J K Rowling to That Black Stand-Up Comic, to almost anyone irrelevant you can name, has an opinion about, with the slight handicap on their credibility that they haven’t lived the experience.

Hell, they haven’t even taken one second to listen to the people who have lived the experience so they might learn about their fellow human beings. Just shut it down!

Thus, Jordan Peterson got himself suspended from Twitter—which, I’m sorry, was exactly what he was looking for—because he just had to wade into the conversation and deadname actor Elliott Page, who had posted a Tweet celebrating PRIDE.

Here’s our J-Boy:

“Remember when pride was a sin? And Ellen Page just had her breasts removed by a criminal physician.”

Jordan Peterson, Twitter, June – 2022

Pride was a sin! (Now you’re a priest? Forgive us, Jordan, for failing to be you!)

So, pour cold water on queer folx celebrating their one month of visibility; disempower a trans person by deadnaming and misgendering them; and vilify a surgeon. How much childishness, bad manners and sanctimonious, sour hate can you pack into two short sentences?

When you’re as full of shit—literally—as Jordan Peterson, a heck of a lot.

In a follow-up YouTube video, Peterson, channeling his fifteen-year-old self—seeing as that’s his default persona, this is easy—metaphorically stuck out his tongue at “woke moralists” and declared that “he’d rather die” than take back his words.

Really?

We’re still waiting, Mr Peterson. Still waiting.


This week’s #MondayManCrush, and, yes, I know it’s Wednesday, you must be new here? is none other than that adorable renegade Republican, Adam Kinzinger.

Adam Kinzinger defied the horrible Dementors of his own Republican party and agreed to be part of a bi-partisan January 6th Committee investigating the insurrection at the Capitol (or the tourists from Des Moines who got a little overexcited, if you’re a friend of MTG).

Adam is, I sense, a shy person, an introvert, but with rock solid integrity. Did I say rock-solid? Beulah, where’s my fan!?

For his efforts in reaching across the aisle and calling bullshit when he saw it, he’s been rewarded with death threats from the MAGA hatters and requires round-the-clock protection for him and his family.

Adam looks like he could be that cute-but-dumb high school football captain, but he’s not dumb. He’s like a Beverley Hillbilly, full of character and wholesome as a cherry pie, just a bit confused about the ceement pond.

But cute is another matter altogether. He has super cute “I can fly!” type ears, a cute, manly chin and a so-cute-it-should-be-illegal self-deprecating style when he appears on talk shows to serve the nation.

Occasionally you sense his mind wanders onto some sensual terrain and you imagine him with icing on his lips from the Danish pastry he ate in bed. All this with a pair of shoulders that make me want to sprain both ankles so he should carry me home.

He’d tenderly place me on my futon, brushing the pizza crusts aside, then he’d look me deep in the eyes and say, “You and me, babe. We’re gonna save democracy.”

Which is always the moment, unfortunately, when I wake up.

Adam Kinzinger, you are part cuddly toy, part hand grenade; you are the bright-eyed courageous Teddy bear that could. By this time tomorrow, I’ll have devised twenty more ways to hang onto your ears, and don’t be afraid to be a little rough, because—

—you’re forever democracy’s red knight, and this week’s #MondayManCrush!

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