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Mean mad white men: the allure of Jordan Peterson | Overland literary journal
To be sure, Peterson is no clownish firebrand in the vein of Yiannopoulos. Rather, he is urbane and respectable, emblematic of what British writer Olivia Laing has called ‘the endless malice of the polite right’. It is this, I think, that goes a long way to explaining the mass appeal of his writings and lectures: ‘just crazy enough’, in Jon Ronson’s phrase, to ensure media interest, but sufficiently intellectual-sounding to attract an audience for whom a brazen bigot like Yiannopoulos would be on the nose. For all those fan-made YouTube clips in which Peterson ‘destroys’ various interlocutors, in interviews he sounds, above all, reasonable. ‘I’m just laying out the empirical evidence,’ Peterson says to Newman at one point during their interview. It’s a rhetorical strategy shared by many stars of the New Atheist and alt-right firmaments: dressing up old-fashioned prejudice as civilised discourse while seeming to disavow ideology altogether.
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july 2018 by petej
Post-Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture
What I’ve sought to argue in this essay, then, is that we are indeed living in an a strange, surface-centric moment in popular, digital culture right now — where the original ‘essence of things’ has indeed become somewhat unfashionable (or just less entertaining). Social and media technologies, optimised for the diffusion of highly emotive, reaction-generating content, encourage a rapid trade in attention-grabbing ideas, over slower-burning systematic, contextualised thinking.

Yet, even as ‘authenticity’ as a claim and as an aesthetic feels outdated, deeper forms of ‘realness’ in our communications still persist. People are still seeking to communicate their deepest personal truths: their values, hopes and fears with each other. Through sharing media, we’re still creating community.

Nonetheless, the kind of truth in play is changing form: emotional and moral truths are in ascendance over straightforwardly factual claims. Truth becomes plural, and thereby highly contested: global warming, 9/11, or Obama’s birthplace are all treated as matters of cultural allegiance over ‘fact’ as traditionally understood. “By my reckoning, the solidly reality-based are a minority, maybe a third of us but almost certainly fewer than half,” Kurt Andersen posits. Electorates in the US and Europe are polarising along value-driven lines — order and authority vs. openness and change. Building the coalitions of support needed to tackle the grand challenges we face this century will require a profound upgrade to our political and cultural leaders’ empathic and reconciliation skills.
Internet  news  media  misinformation  fakeNews  communication  TrumpDonald  PetersonJordan  boyddanah  trust  truth  authenticity  technology  fashion  culture  post-authenticity  identity  digitalIdentity  performance  stress  anxiety  competition  socialMedia  youth  memes  dctagged  dc:creator=OwensJay 
april 2018 by petej

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