The Catch 22 of Journalism

An idea came to me recently and for some reason I felt the urge to follow it to its ultimate conclusion of disappointment. There is a debated scheduled for April 19th between Jordan B Peterson and Slovaj Zizek regarding Happiness: Capitalism vs Marxism and it’s being broadcast live online. The idea that came to me was covering the event for a magazine or some kind of online source. While it has been a while since I have done such a thing, the last I can remember is the series of articles I wrote about my daughter being born and staying in the NICU for 90 days, I realized that things like this are not being covered by the media anymore. I never saw a write up about the two times that Peterson had a discussion with Sam Harris, a sold-out event with millions of views online.
I thought about the historical aspect of magazines over the years and the part they played in cultural events. Rolling Stone once featured writers like Hunter S Thompson and David Foster Wallace. Esquire had the rebuttle to the Buckley and Vidal debate where the men continued their argument in the pages of their magazine. I could go on but let’s be honest and say that magazines played a big role in out culture during the last century.
When I did a little bit of research into what magazines would cover a story like Peterson vs Zizek I was stunned to find none. I knew things had gotten bad but I didn’t think it was that bad. Rolling Stone is now a victim of the click bate bullshit market and I have a feeling it will go the way of the dodo soon. Esquire has become the homepage of the SJW propaganda for men, not real men, just the men who hang out in the crowd and still try to get laid without appearing aggressive about it. Let’s face it they don’t get laid. Maxim is click bate with testosterone. GQ I can’t figure out, it says its for men but more like what women want men to look like while complaining they no longer look like men. The Atlantic, well the Atlantic appears to be real journalism but has never touched the subject of Jordan Peterson.
When I reached out to these magazines the first night was a complete waste of time. I spent an hour writing the query or pitch email and when I hit send I received a reply right away from the Rolling Stone address stating the inbox was full. The Atlantic got back to me but decided they would pass, I wasn’t surprised. With no responses from other magazines I have come to the conclusion that I am on my own.
A part of me can not blame them for this. Recently the New York Times published an investigative piece into the financial history of Donald Trump. The piece took over a year to put together and write. It was the top story for a day, one day. Then Trump tweeted something stupid and everyone forgot. A year’s worth of work had been forgotten before it was really discussed. It’s our fault, and the media’s fault for what is happening. Our brains have become soft, obese things that no longer function as they should. They live on a shitty diet of click bate and victim porn that only makes us more lazy and less likely to think. We have done this to ourselves snacking all day on garbage instead of sitting down to have a meal.
Media has forgotten what made it worth watching. There were talented writers that brought the reader in and hooked them to finish the story asking the question “where are you taking me.” Instead articles are limited to 50-500 word sound bites that only give the reader enough to feel like they know what is going on and in all likelihood giving them a dose of bullshit. In depth reporting is a thing of the past and out society is feeding off the same circle of trash that it once despised. Media is eating itself into a grave.
I have to think that somebody out there is trying to stay relevant and not go down the rabbit hole of fake readership numbers, click bate, and SJW porn that is the new chic. Trends come and go but if you are running adds that appear sexist or patriarchal good luck having those readers come to your page. And if you stop running those adds you aren’t making money. Welcome to the catch 22 of journalism, try to attract your readers while not offending them. Good fucking luck.
Two great minds from opposing worlds are going to face off and talk about what should be the topic of the day. Our next election will likely have a far-right capitalist and a socialist of one form or another. These two ideas are going to be featured whether we like it or not and the country will have to decide which road to take without really thinking about it. The debate that is going to take place is the conversation we should be having but we don’t talk to one another. There was a time when our media would show a side to the public that had not been considered. Stories weren’t just written for shock value but to help the public think. These days thinking is not required and from what I can tell not desired for publication.
Rolling Stone was recently sold and the magazine overwent an overhaul. The biweekly publication changed to monthly and sections changed for the new management. The first cover featured a pregnant rapper and the man who might be her baby daddy. I say might because, well, we know how these things go.
Meanwhile, I have never seen Peterson on the cover of a magazine. A man who wrote a book selling 3 million copies with the idea of personal responsibility A self help book that put the responsibility of the individual in their hands sold 3 million copies, and nobody wants to talk about this. When you built your marketing model around selling victim porn the best thing to do is not sell responsibility or as I like to call it the social condom.
Maybe I should apologize at this point, I didn’t include a number in the title of my article. The subject wasn’t about sex or how men fucked up the world. The story didn’t have an equal number of women in the topic. Instead of focusing on one side the story would have included thoughts from both sides of the debate. The people the article was about have an education and deep background on the subjects they would be discussing. The story was clearly racist because it featured to middle aged white males. Did I mention the two guys are straight?
Our media is fucked and until somebody stands up and says we are no longer publishing garbage it will continue this way. On our end we need to stop looking at the bullshit they are feeding us and demand some kind of real content. I remember a time when writing was a skill not something that could be mass produce from a sweat shop in idea. It is only a matter of time until our news article sound like the customer service rep from a cell phone company. We will see names like John Smith, Jim Anderson, and Mike Dunhill writing our story with stock photos used to show people who are not real. Companies will write articles for women to sell items with titles like: top 10 eye liner colors, the three sexiest outfits to get him in bed, five ways to cook with butter, 1 in the loneliest number so come to match.cum.
I will still write my article. I still have my blog and I love all five of you for reading it. We might not have the media that we want but we do have the media that we deserve.

Standard

Why the World Needs Jordan Peterson

I first came across Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan Experience. The college professor who made waves talking about free speech and fought against a bill that was going to be signed into law mandating language on a public who didn’t want it. Since then he has helped millions of people around the world through a commonsense program of personal responsibility and no non-sense lectures pointing out what man kind knew to be true only decades before. Somewhere along the way mankind lost its way and found itself in a desert without a compass or any hope of finding a way out.
As soon as I heard the first interview, I started to find Peterson’s lectures on YouTube and went down a rabbit hole that had my brain working again, asking questions like what was my purpose in life and could I really accomplish the goals that I had set out for myself. This came with the realization that other parts of my life needed to change and that up to this point I was responsible for my current position in life. Many people like to play the victim in the story of their life but when you learn that you can make a difference you are responsible for how your future turns out.
Peterson’s book was released last year and I went out and bought it for the cover price, something I never do, and ate the contents for a few weeks. Some of the things in it reminded me of choices I had made earlier in my life, stop hanging out with people who don’t have your best interest at heart. Clean your room, take care of yourself like you are somebody you are responsible for, and pet a cat when you see one are things I did back in my twenties but lost due to peer pressure by people who I thought knew better than me. This was a mistake I would come to regret and wonder why I didn’t listen to myself instead of people who were a complete mess in their own lives.
I followed the stories online regarding what was happening at universities with students demanding safe spaces and having people fired for not teaching what they thought was politically correct behavior. As a former college student, I remember seeing some of this coming down the pipeline with some of my professors talking about white privilege and trying to make a white trash child of the ghetto feel like I was at the top of the world while cleaning toilets to pay for tuition. Needless to say, the sociology class didn’t connect with me and the teacher had no idea what she was talking about, but she was a person in a position of power who could influence those that sat in her class.
People are not taught how to think for themselves anymore. Asking questions was taboo in class and debate was not an option when it came to discussing these ideas. It took a guy from Canada who said this is enough to make a dent in what had become the new normal on college campuses. The idea of arguing against what was the new standard had finally been brought to light and the world one all sides started to listen. Growing up I was taught to always listen to people in a position of authority while keeping in mind that if you were being told something morally or ethically wrong you should speak up. In my own life when I did this it never turned out good, for me. In the end the people with power are the ultimate judges of what is wrong and right and in the end these people are rarely found guilty of any wrongdoing, sometimes they are even rewarded. People tried to punish Peterson for speaking up and in the end, with his band of loyal followers and a press that continually failed to bring him down, it was Peterson that was rewarded for the work he was doing and not the establishment who was trying to design the world in their own dystopian way.
Changes to my own life happened as a result of Peterson’s work. I have a better job, less self-doubt than what I was raised with, I no longer hang out with people that don’t have my best interest at heart, and I try to take care of myself when I had given up and decided to just enjoy the food and drink because who knows what tomorrow will bring. This was a pessimistic view of the world that I still struggle with and I have to admit it is difficult to argue against with the type of people we have in charge. The world can feel like a truly gloomy place most of the time.
Looking back, I think Peterson hit his peak with the release of his book 12 rules for life. I hope this isn’t so. I know he is working on his next book with more rules and has been on tour for over a year now, and while I am glad he is out there still making a difference in people’s lives, I wonder how it will end. There have been a few great minds during my lifetime, Joseph Campbell, Christopher Hitchens, and now Jordan Peterson and while this may not apply to Campbell who died at old age, there is a tendency for these men to burn out and die earlier than anyone would like. I was watching a lecture that was recorded three days ago with Peterson where a man rushed the stage screaming that he was mentally ill and wanted to know Peterson better. This had me worried knowing that a person with Peterson’s stature will attract nutjobs and people who are mentally insane. Let’s not forget that John Lennon was shot by a fan.
The world needs Jordan Peterson and while that is easy to say the question I have is how much the world with get out of him. Has he already made his impact? Is there more for him to do? Clearly he thinks there is more to accomplish. The hours of YouTube material will be studied for years to come. I impact that one made has made so far in the world can never be measured. While he touched millions of people those fans will go out and do the same I their own communities and the message goes on from there. It would appear that I’m putting a lot of faith into Peterson and I am. This isn’t difficult to do considering what I can’t remember feeling better about myself because of changing my use of pronouns or the times I “checked my white privilege at the door.” These social justice policies have not made the world a better place and turned itself into a breeding ground for bullies and the socially inept. Someone finally spoke up and while people try to discredit Peterson because of his sex or race the easiest question to ask them is how racist can you be? Life isn’t a one-way street and thankfully those who oppose thinkers like Peterson only have control of a small part of the population. We need conversation. We need debate. There was a time when Gore Vidal and Buckley sat across from one another and had a conversation. There was a finical in our society that has declined to almost dueling status for the privilege of being right. The further we go into the future the more ideas regress into the primitive tribal behaviors of long ago. Bubbles need to be popped. Society can not function on victim porn. Men need to crawl out of the basements of their father’s house and make a road for themselves. The world is not a meme, it is a place to discover oneself and that journey is never over.

Standard