Naturally, Peter Hitchens pretends to find Jordan Peterson’s appeal somewhat baffling, and his prescriptions lacking.
I say “pretends” because Hitchens has the self-awareness to “joke” about (and no one is ever just joking) the real rub:
That he is not as popular as this “out of nowhere” Canadian fellow who cries a lot.
His Speccie colleague, Douglas Murray, on the other hand, writes:
“Finally, as well as being funny, there is a burning sincerity to the man which only the most withered cynic could suspect. At several points on Sunday evening his voice wavered. At one point, overwhelmed by the response of the audience and its ecstatic reaction to him and his wife (who was in the audience) he broke into tears. It is an education in itself to see a grown man show such unaffected emotion in public. Certainly, he demonstrated to a young audience trying to order their own lives that an emotional person need not be a wreck and that a man with a heart can also have a spine.”
I’m seeing (and hearing privately) a lot of huffing and puffing about Peterson’s emotionalism, again from the right.
That Peterson is overwhelmed by his situation is understandable. Tens of thousands of strangers have told him that he has changed their lives. He now feels, being a sensitive and decent man, that he is somewhat responsible for all these souls and is overwhelmed. Frankly, I fear for his health, given the burden this represents.
As I say, Hitchens at least feints towards what’s really bugging many of these people. It is the Amadeus syndrome. Many of Peterson’s haters on the right have been toiling in the fields these long years, equally worried about, writing about, the treatment of men, especially young men; about the erosion of freedoms, etc.
Where, they are wondering, are their rewards? So they are bitter. It’s a feeling I’m familiar with.
But if they can’t be happy for Peterson, they also don’t seem capable of summoning up any happiness for the others they claimed to care about all this time — our young men and women being brainwashed, who have finally found someone to deprogram them.
So we see that these critics on the right were never really concerned with real change all along, since their attitude towards its advent is so negative. Despite their protestations, they clearly were hoping — just like the leftists they hate — that change would never come, so they could continue to complain.