Never is heard a discouraging word

COVID-19 shows we’re more risk averse than post-World War II Americans

Of course. Because the Nanny State has been reaching out from university campuses for decades: Where ‘safe spaces’ segregated by race and ‘gender’ are festooned with the adult coloring books, Play-Doh, blankies, and puppy videos with which the road to serfdom infantilization ‘maturity’ is now paved.

I remain convinced the students who flocked to beaches during Spring Break were foolish given what we didn’t know about the CCP virus. Still, they behaved admirably compared to those adults somewhat older people who now huddle in their houses, swaddled in bubble wrap, providing the fodder for Karen memes, and cheering Governor Witless’ arbitrary edicts.

Balls to you, Google

Yesterday, TOC examined the Washington Post‘s disgust with Google and Apple for not creating a centralized database so government can retain information about each American’s whereabouts at all times.

I applaud both companies for this nod to privacy, but there is a catch or two when you consider Google’s other activities.

Google appears to fear the possible widespread condemnation of any such tracking app much more than any outcry over other surveillance and thought control initiatives.

Big Tech Is Turning Hospitals Into Real-Time Surveillance Centers

That’s not creepy. Right? I mean who would object to HD video of the insertion of their Foley catheter?

Personally, I regret not having a picture of my testicles when they were the size of volleyballs from IV fluids. It’s hard to get people to believe it. Nobody has ever asked to see a picture, though.

But a video? Think of the viral monetization potential with the right caption. If U of M had been filming it, I’m sure some interns would be streaming it even now.

YouTube Auto Deletes Comments With Terms That Insult Chinese Communist Party

I wonder if YouTube keeps a log of these auto-deleted CCP criticisms in order to match them up with your Google searches for “Wuhan flu.” You know, just in case evidence is needed later in the show-trials.

Movie review

BUMPED. Update at the end.

The Rise Of Jordan Peterson

I bought this because of my interest in Jordan Peterson and because it received some good reviews as a dispassionate presentation of how a University of Toronto psychology professor suddenly became a world famous, polarizing “public intellectual.”

I was disappointed. I found it superficial and unenlightening. There are a lot of interleaved, ten second soundbites: Pro/con, “He is the ultimate father figure.”/“So, you’re anti-justice. Are you a Batman villain?” There’s a “what” to this documentary, but we are left to wonder why anyone holds such opinions.

This film doesn’t help in understanding the virality of a intellectual cultural phenom whose dozens of 2.5 hour University lectures attract ~5 million views each on YouTube. Or why an assistant professor of sociology will grade any paper mentioning Peterson with an “F;” seeming to confirm one of Peterson’s criticisms of the modern University.

Strictly as a documentary, it very nearly does manage to take no position. As an examination of Peterson’s ‘rise’ it is short on context or background.

Peterson’s objections to Bill C-16 gave him a viral blip when he publicly objected to compelled use of whimsical, invented pronouns: His corpus of prior work made him a phenomenon.

In fact, it’s the hundreds of hours of video he already had published that protected him from the SJW mob (and, until the Bill C-16 blip, was the motivation for the filmmakers to create this movie). There is no sign in this history of the patriarchal, sexist, transphobic, authoritarian, fascist thinking with which he is charged. A point which is not made evident in the film, despite a few truncated clips of his earlier work.

There’s much, much, much more explanation of Peterson’s rise in the video record preceding his tussle with the Canadian nanny-state. Peterson’s rise was propelled by the fact that he is a charismatic speaker and a powerful teacher.

The filmmakers’ attempt at even-handedness may be sincere, but the overall impression is more that Peterson promoted a free speech controversy as a way to enrich himself, not that he was risking his career. For an American audience, without a sense that freedom of speech in Canada is clinging to a cliff by one hand, the film is simply puzzling.

Supposed allies are shown expressing trepidation about Peterson’s outspokenness. This objection is to be expected from most Canadians, whose government has an uneasy relationship with freedom of speech and who are congenitally uncomfortable with controversy. See Mark Steyn, Lindsay Shepherd, etc..

And there are unanswered, factually incorrect slurs. A former supporter turned critic finds evidence of authoritarian impulses in Peterson’s collection of Soviet-era art (prominent in the movie). The reasons for this art are precisely the opposite of what is implied. If Peterson was asked for a response, it’s on the cutting room floor. Here is that response from an interview of Peterson:

[Tyler] COWEN: Let me start with a very lateral question. Why do you collect old Communist memorabilia and propaganda?

PETERSON: Well, part of it is dark comedy. Really, I spent quite a bit of time on eBay for a number of years. And I had read this article by a psychologist named James Pennebaker. He said that the past turned into history at 15 years. That’s when you start to see people commemorate events in the past. At that point, it was 2004, and I thought, “Oh, that’s interesting. It’s 15 years since the Soviet Union collapsed. Maybe I can go online and see what historical memorabilia is left over.”

So I went on eBay, looking up Soviet artifacts, and I thought that was so comical because there isn’t anything more capitalistic than eBay, right? Seriously, that was completely unrestrained capitalism. And then all this Soviet-era stuff was for sale. I thought it was absolutely comical that I could buy paintings of Karl Marx discounted on the world’s most intense capitalist platform…

Some of it is intensely propagandistic, and I’m interested in that because I’m interested in propaganda… So it was interesting to surround myself with these works that were battlegrounds between art and propaganda.

Here’s a vastly better look at Jordan Peterson from the Claremont Review of Books: The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon and it takes less time to read than it takes to watch the movie.

I was quite disappointed, and it caused me to wonder if those cancel culturists pressing theaters to scrub scheduled showings (that link also has a positive review, for contrast) had any idea what was in it. They couldn’t have watched it. Maybe that was just a marketing ploy by the producers.

2 stars anyway, because I learned more about his parents and his family via of the access Peterson granted.

**************

Update: March 10th, 2020
I’ve watched a Q&A with the filmmakers arranged by Columbia University (the filmmakers have established a presence on thinkspot, Peterson’s Patreon replacement), wherein they explained how they approached the filming. And where they answered some of my objections. I was impressed with their commitment to truth. I withdraw my suspicion of ‘marketing ploy.’

I can be persuaded by speech to change my speech.

So. I re-read the favorable review at Quillette. I watched the film again. I’m changing my rating.

If your expectations are informed by some knowledge of Peterson: That the pronoun controversy only triggered ‘The Rise,’ and that that ‘Rise’ would have been a two-day wonder, and only in Canada, and flaming out in a dog-pile of SJW hatred except for the preexisting, deep background of his lectures – then the movie is well worth watching for the peek into his life and family.

I’ll give it 4 stars on that basis.

Jordan Peterson was always the guy who would calmly expose Cathy Newman. We just would never have known it but for Bill C-16.

All whimsy were the LGBTQI2S

Faced With Gender Propaganda at the Hockey Rink, One Coach Says No

After having assisted on his son’s hockey team for three years, the father has been removed from all positions because he questioned the necessity of a mandatory gender identity training course imposed by Hockey Eastern Ontario (formerly the Ottawa District Hockey Association) following a 2017 legal settlement involving a transgender hockey player…

In part because of past abuse scandals, the coaching of children in hockey (as in most other sports) is now regulated by government and oversight bodies…

And there are still those who insist that Jordan Peterson’s warnings about legal consequences from the whimsical Canadian pronoun law were overwrought.

Emphasis mine:

[A]mid a parade of variously configured pink and blue male/female stick-people, the concept of “polygender” is introduced to define “people who identify as multiple genders simultaneously and can be several genders all at once. Or they may alternate between their varying gender identities depending on the day or the week.” Coaches also get a slide on “genderqueer” individuals, who exist in an undefined extra-dimensional gender space that allows them to “reject gender altogether”—though this is not to be confused with “agender” (it gets its own slide), a label that applies to those who are merely “genderless.” Later in the presentation, there are hockey-themed quizzes (“Drag and drop each puck in to the corresponding net”) to test coaches’ understanding of these rarified terms.

It should have had pictures of genitalia, then you could drag and drop any picture onto any other picture and you’d be correct. Of course, then there would only be two different pictures no matter how many times they were repeated.

In response to Doe’s question about “polygender” kids who, Egale claims, can switch genders on a daily basis, for instance, Isen replied: “It is not outside the realm of possibility that the personal choice of what dressing room may feel the most comfortable and safest for any gender diverse person may shift over time as they navigate their own path toward affirming their identity while also navigating their own vulnerability to the possibility of transphobic harassment or bullying in those spaces.”

Navigating the path safely means government enforced fealty to a group of narcissistic activists who occupy the space at the very edges of the Bell curve of human sexuality.

We can be civil, nothing more is required, without having to agree with their opinion. Or being forced to use their pronouns, share bathrooms with them, or date them.

This is not about the hurt feelings of a tiny minority. It rests on the contention that there’s no biological difference between males and females. THAT Is a non-trivial attack on the West’s foundational concepts:

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.””

― Theodore Dalrymple

The re-education camps come to hockey in Canada via academic Newspeak; “integrative anti-oppression education”.