This 56-year-old adult who cries on stage at his own rightness?

Marina Hyde is merciless to Jordan Peterson.

Peterson is also a leading member of the arseoisie, or the “intellectual dark web”, as they prefer it. Again, are you familiar with the “intellectual dark web”? I do hope not. It’s a self-styling by a loose group of soi-disant intellectuals you’d cross continents to avoid having a pint with (although they didn’t go with that tagline in the end). There isn’t space for a full passenger manifest, but they include Peterson, talkshow host Dave Rubin, Newsweek columnist and perma-pundit Ben Shapiro and a bunch of other people bizarrely obsessed with what students do, even though we’ve known since time immemorial that students often act like idiots, and mostly grow out of it unless they’re Hamlet or whatever. Think of the intellectual dark web as a very whiny superhero team. Marvel’s A-Whingers. Guardians of the Galaxy Brains. The League of Extraordinarily Fragile Gentlemen.

If you need a further Peterson catch-up, can I recommend a video posted by GQ magazine this week, in which Jordan is interviewed by the New Statesman’s Helen Lewis. It’s hard to pick my favourite moment from the nearly two-hour-long encounter, but I very much enjoyed the bit where Lewis reasons: “Lobsters don’t get depressed. I think you’re anthropomorphising to a ridiculous degree. These are creatures that urinate out of their faces.”

Then again, it must be said that Peterson spends most of the interview looking like he’s about to urinate out of his face. In the entire exchange, he smiles about once, at some perceived irony in something wistfully arch that he has just said. One’s primary takeout is not: here is a man who can laugh at himself. Which is such a missed opportunity. I am reminded of the time when Jeffrey Archer told Dame Edna Everage that “the most important thing is to be able to laugh at yourself”. “You’d have to do that,” came the deathlessly sympathetic reply, “otherwise you’d be missing the joke of the century.”

Other takeouts from the GQ interview? Peterson dresses and looks like the third Gruber brother from the Die Hard franchise. As all world cinema fans will know, the first brother to lose to Bruce Willis’s grubby-vested cop was played by the late great Alan Rickman in Die Hard, while the second was played by Jeremy Irons (himself blue-vested) in Die Hard With a Vengeance. Peterson very much presents as the third sibling that Mother Gruber kept at home because he was “chesty” – though without the self-knowledge to accept he is a character actor rather than a leading man.

Perhaps it might be kinder if his agent or publicist helped him to come to terms with this? As things stand, each of the several times Peterson intones “life is suffering”, all I could think about was how very much hotter it was in The Princess Bride, when Cary Elwes’s character Westley goes to Robin Wright: “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” I mean … I’ll take that sort of line off Westley all day long. But this guy? This 56-year-old adult in the steampunk-lite outfit who cries on stage at his own rightness? I am – how to put this tactfully? – not feeling it in quite the same way.

That was fun!

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