Beware ye the trendy academic

I'm suffering from a bit of a man-crush at the moment, Dr Jordan Peterson, he can do no wrong, this is always a bad sign.

For the uninitiated Dr Peterson is a Canadian psychologist who dives into myths and analyses them as if they were dreams. Not the dreams of an individual but of a society, ideas that come from our collective subconscious. And he's been tackling the social justice warrior mind virus which seems to have infected people recently; some weird parody of left wing concern for oppressed minorities where now merely the wrong pronoun can cause another revolt of the fisher women, à la the French Revolution.

He has become my latest guru. He's reached many similar conclusions to me, about how the world fits together, but his ability to articulate those ideas and back them up is consistently beyond mine. Listening to him has an effect which I recognise, it's the sound of light at the end of a tunnel, a reality tunnel if you will.

It's alike to the time I first heard Alan Watts, Terrence McKenna, David Icke, Ram Daas, Bill Hicks, Stewart Lee, Alan Moore, the list goes on. Instant click moment where I've thought, "ooh, I was thinking in that direction and now this person is talking about it but much further down the line than I was...". Sometimes, more often than not, these guys are a bit of a diversion intellectually because you can get drawn in entirely. That's not really what they're for, all of them have major flaws which they'd likely be the first to admit. Even so, they all provide different reality tunnels which sort of interlink.

Peterson strides up that Mount Olympus in style. He could hold court well with all these chaps I've listed, my intellectual heroes. All men. That's not too good, you might think; or you could say, I accept that's a male bias because, I am male, so you'd expect me to show that sort of bias. I happen to find validity in that and to deny it invalidates my perspective. It's the sort of point Peterson might make, in my imagination.

As I say I'm in man crush mode at the moment, it's not good. He will let me down in the end, just as McKenna did with his - oh actually I stopped taking LSD and mushrooms because bad trips, or rumours Alan Watts suffered from alcoholism and died as a result? It happens, every Walrus records a shitty Frog Chorus or two.

Then there's the worry which gave this 'blog entry its title. He's a trendy academic. Beware ye the trendy academic, RD Laing, Timothy Leary, even Richard Dorkatron in his time. No honestly, he was. Mates with Douglas Adams and stuff, really. He was coool.

Trendy academics rarely come to a good end. Often turns tragic. I'm sure it won't with the good Dr Peterson but the road he travels is fraught with danger. As I write this blog post I'm sort of thinking it in his voice. He seems to nail these big epic pronouncements, they sound great but the back of my mind knows there's a worthwhile counter point to what he says.

The similarities in my reaction to him and the rest of those people in that list above are quite staggering actually. It's a particular type of guru that I seem to dig. People who I think are about right on some things but clearly wrong on others. I've just yet to find the areas where Peterson is dead wrong. It'll be there somewhere.



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