PILOT: “MANTHOUGHTS WITH PETER JORDANSSEN” (UPDATED W/ NEW REVISED AUDIO)

UPDATE: As a plurality of folks on and offline agreed that there was far too much distortion effect for comfortable listening on the original upload, I have replaced with a second version using as close to a “cleaned” version as I have that I hope is more palatable. As mentioned in the description on YouTube, if I do more with this character/sketch I will be finding a different actor than myself to play Prof.* Jordanssen using a “natural” speaking voice.

7 thoughts on “PILOT: “MANTHOUGHTS WITH PETER JORDANSSEN” (UPDATED W/ NEW REVISED AUDIO)

  1. Sebastian Kruse says:

    Alright, I’m gonna be brief, as you no doubt will get a lot of feedback to this. Yes there will be a lot of people who venerate Peterson far too much and would defend anything he says and who cant take a joke. I’m not one of those people, I think Peterson says a lot of questionable things that remain hypotheticals or are speculating too far, yes he has some habits and mannerisms that can be ridiculed, which I think you are underutilising and do not apply well, neither in acting nor in the writing. He is no sacred cow and he both can and should take parody. This however is not working. On many levels. First of all your approach can’t be to make fun of him by implying he has no command over the language he uses, except for ridiculing yourself comparatively, as he clearly has a firm grasp on the things he says and how he expresses his ideas. You do not need to agree with anything he says to observe the proficiency of his use of language and his choice of words do not change the validity of his ideas one way or the other. They reflect his academic background and your approach simply makes you look stupid if you are ridiculing it in this way, because it means you either do not understand the language he is using and thus presume he does not either, or that you think his choice of words and way of expressing himself is not appropriate for the occasion or on principle. I think you certainly are able to see that he is able to communicate on the level he does, but I guess you thought it’d make for a good joke. And since I don’t think you’re trying for self-depricating humour on this one, it doesn’t. Your sense of humour regarding your productions always had it’s weak points and although I like most of the quips, rants and gags in your reviews and find them funny, your sketches and miscellaneous productions often betrayed your fleeting grasp on comedy. Understand this as constructive criticism, you are often funny, but not a great comedian and in this case your depiction backfires for anyone who doesn’t think people with complicated words are just trying to sound smart, because they actually aren’t or they take themselves too seriously. I get that. I got this attitude my whole life. I will not stand for this crab mentality.
    Inbetween points I will add to the comments on youtube that criticise the filters and the pitch of the thing. It is not a pleasant experience to listen to this, and if it is to succeed and be enjoyed as parody, it can not be aggravating to listen to. Just because you find it hard to listen to Peterson doesn’t mean people should find it hard to listen to your parody of his.
    Now, there is a lot of things things you can make fun off of him. Physical features, for example his thin hair or his beard he lets grow sometimes or his weird meat only diet. His speaking style too, but not the way you did. And I like the central conceit of the show, overanalysing contemporary media ad absurdum for humourous effect should work well. But you can’t really use his language and his level of analysis without becoming yourself what you want to mock, albeit a cheap version. I think if you try to imitate him in this way you are simply out of your debt. You are a media critic, and I think you are good at it. You are neither a clinical psychologist nor did you do the research he did. And it is not necessary for you to agree with anything he says, I do not agree with a lot of it, to recognise that he is an expert at his field and you simply are not. This doesn’t help matters with the language point above, you are not mocking him with this depiction, you are apeing him and by contrast show your inadequacy. The humour falls flat. I know that humour. People have done that to me, it is cheap and without intelligence. It has no point to make, no valid criticism and worst of all, no empathy.
    I remember an episode of yours called magneto was right. You made the point the jocks that tortured you in your adolescence could use some retaliation for the way they treated others. This is one of the ways people that are intellectually inferior try to punish those they can not keep up with. I don’t think you want to mimic this behaviour, even if you can not hurt a specific person by doing so. There is plenty to make fun of with Peterson, this is not the way.
    That leads me to the next point – the internet has already provided you with a rich bounty to draw from. There are a lot of memes surrounding him and if you are intellectually honest and put in the work to actively engage with the ideas Peterson puts forth you can make good and funny jabs at him. But that requires that you honestly try to understand what he is saying and that you are then drawing attention to the weaknesses of his theories in a humourous effect. Little example: Peterson sometimes talks about how he thinks people could access information that is somehow stored in our biology with the help of Ayahuasca because he read that in two books once and very weakly posits the symbol of the intertwined snakes (for example a bit like the aesculap symbol) is a representation of DNA that is found all over the world. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that snakes are intertwined like this often when they mate, which is the inspiration Occams Razor would suggest. _This is prime material for parody_. There are a lot of things like that, and they come forth because he is just a person like anyone else. But he is very intelligent and you can not make fun of him for just pretending to be smart. He is no stable genius. You can make fun of Donald Trump or Alex Jones or many other people like that, because they are not as smart as they think they are. You can not do this with someone who is smarter than you, to be perfectly honest. I do think you are very insightful and intelligent, but again, you are out of your depth in this regard. And speaking as a european outsider that is watching the polarisation of political opinion and the tribalism in the US and in this case Canada with a growing dread, you are not doing yourself a favor in participating in this polarisation. From what I’ve seen of the “intellectual dark web”, which in itself sounds a lot more ominous than it apparently is, a bit of Dave Rubin who seems like a somewhat naive libertarian in regards to his political views, who simply has a talk show with people anathema to some portion of the US political left, some evolutionary biologists that got into trouble like Bret Weinstein and probably Joe Rogan who is as independent and down to the earth as you can probably get in California, these aren’t some plotting Alex Jones Qanon Illuminati right wing supremacists with an agenda or crazy, but very reasonable, if sometimes opinionated people. And trying to paint them like they were some kind of evil or on the US political right is either intellectually dishonest and deliberately misleading or evidence of a lacking understanding of politics and it’s topics or even the level of discourse. If these people are supposed to be the right wing conservative nuts you would apparently portray them, if your depiction in this pilot is any indication, you would have to paint ganja-king Bill Maher with the same brush for daring to oppose a lot of left-wing opinions. I am no american which is possibly why it seems obvious to me, but it seems like it needed pointing out. You can oppose left-wing ideas, very strongly even, without being a nazi. Without being a white supremacist, without whatever your joke about masculinity is supposed to be, because that honestly followed no rhyme nor reason.
    There is this talking point about masculinity being undervalued or suppressed, that I agree, a lot of people are making nonsense claims about. But this is a contentious issue. Arguing for defining masculinity in positive terms and giving it room in development and society is not the same as arguing for maligning feminine traits or putting them into a hierarchy necessarily. But you are not making a point in this video, there is nothing funny you are pointing out, no flaw in the argument (whether your criticism would be valid is another matter, you do not have to be exactly right in your argument to be funny, but you do need an argument in some way), no insight into the nature of the topic or the discussion surrounding it, And dont give me the, yes there is a point, I ridicule the person and the things he says, because they seem ridiculous to me. That’s just apeing, as already brought up. It has no merit.

    Alright, I’m rambling now, so I’ll stop. This was a spontaneous reaction after sitting through your frankly annoying video, so don’t put my writing style under too much scrutiny, I’m also not a native speaker, for what thats worth.
    In an ideal discussion it would not matter, but I, as does Peterson btw, consider myself politcally left leaning, do not make the mistake to brush aside my honest and constructive criticism for being a right wing troll or having some kind of agenda. I watch your stuff since the early escapist days and have seen a lot of it. I like your insights and opinions and often share viewpoints with you. I do not think you can’t criticise Peterson, I would encourage you to do so, because I think the people we hold in the highest regards should be criticised with the greatest scrutiny, and you certainly can make fun of him. But you have to do so in a competent manner and if you can not manage that you would be better off pursuing other avenues. There already is a good amount of parody of his on youtube and also there are some good criticisms of his, although most are ideologically driven garbage, so you can get inspiration from that. But again, try to get some depth into that and do not just misunderstand the points on purpose. A last example for this: There is this lobster meme, which is a superficial humourous jab at his point about lobsters having a very similiar nerve circuit in their brains as humans do, which makes judgements about standing in our social group in a hierarchy. Since this is a homologous structure this proves that hierarchy is a very old part of us and not a byproduct of civilisation (Sid Meiers or otherwise). The lobster meme is a bit lazy, but it draws on the somewhat bizarre link between human and crustacean for having a fundamental identical structure and inflates it’s importance to say humans are lobsters. Peterson using this comparison in the first place, _because_ it is bizarre and he finds it funny and memorable himself. The meme is rather popular with those that dont Peterson too seriously and it has humour. By inflating the importance of the similiar structure the meme points out that, although there is this similiar structure, there is far more to human behaviour than an ancient circuit which is possibly suppressed most of the time anyway or doesn’t have priority. This of course is not in opposition to what Peterson utters, but it points out that this finding can not explain a whole lot. As I said, weak joke, but at least it is one. And sadly thats more that could be said for most of your video.
    Bob I like your content and I value your reviews. I want you to do better, and I want you to succeed. And while I can see that the political situation in your country is difficult, I would like you to have more empathy and more openness to the ideas that are found inbetween the people that are too far on the right and the place where you are, which I think is worryingly close to a left position that is blinded by ideology and does not value discourse as the means to develop society, because it views it as corrupted. Please consider the other persons position on its own merits, rather than whatever lens or political pressure dictates you ought to view it through. Your culture might give you the impression that the world can only be black and white, evil and good, republican and democratic. In the rest of the world , even if that is weakening, we value our opponents opinion, we have many opinions and we acknowledge that we more often than not can not know what is correct. It helps put into perspective that there are a lot of things one can be wrong about and others you are right about. And sometimes you can agree to disagree.

    Ok stopping for real now. Thank you for reading, if you did. I seriously advice you to either make drastic changes to this format or just scrap it. You might feel like doing political or satirical content, even about stuff that doesn’t want to be political like Petersons, but I think it would further your carreer more to concentrate at your core business, which I think you are good at. But I don’t expect you to take career advice from a stranger on the internet, only my opinion. Good luck in your endeavours.

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  2. Sebastian Kruse says:

    A few short corrections:
    First: I meant to say depth instead of debt in the second paragraph.
    Secondly: In the third to last paragraph I meant to say: The meme is rather popular with those that dont take Peterson too seriously.
    There are also some other mistakes inbetween but I think it’s still clear what I meant to say, sorry for that.

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  3. Warren Goddard says:

    Well, I watched 10 minutes of it, waiting for a punchline. I realize that your intent was to mock similar positions, but this didn’t work. What’s the saying about satire? Something about needing a clear indication that it is in fact satire? Only my previous exposure to your work informed me that this wasn’t meant as a serious endorsement of these views. If there was a punchline, or a clear indication of satire, nearer the 20 minute mark, then I apologize for not being able to sit though the whole thing. If there wasn’t, well then…

    “THE ARISTOCRATS!”

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  4. mattygsite says:

    I’m personally greatly enjoyed this video. I think I can agree that it’s approaching Godwin’s law, in the sense that the punchline could be much closer to the beginning, but I think it’s good to illustrate how this kind of interpretive lens is being regularly applied to pop-culture as-of-late in a way that is clearly ludicrous when taken one step further than the Peterson’s and Molyneux’s of the world are taking it. Some workshopping could probably improve the format, and 20 minutes might be a little too long for the style, but I think that this kind of parody can be enlightening.

    And as a note: I would ignore the post saying that your style indicates that you don’t understand Peterson’s “academic language.” If anything, it shows that you understand the hollow superficiality of it far better than that poster.

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  5. Warren Goddard says:

    Nope, sorry. Watched it through to the end, and those last couple of minutes did not make the rest of it worth watching. I’ll go farther. The proportion of time spent advocating the ludicrous position versus talking about the dangers of it are reminiscent of Lindsay Ellis’ comments on Megan Fox’s character in Transformers. (And Bob, I know you know the video; you’ve referenced it before.) In that case, she said that while on paper the character was a strong independent woman, the camera did not treat her as such. Likewise, here you tried to make a video deriding a certain type of person, but spent remarkably little time on the derision. I’m reminded of grindhouse movies that showed incredibly inappropriate content under the premise that the movies showed what NOT to do.

    TLDR: I see what you were going for, but man this didn’t work.

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