The Stale Mess: Study finds majority of students think Jordan B. Peterson intervenes in daily life

Student voices: What was your experience with Jordan B. Peterson like?

A new ASU study published in a top academic journal found that over 60 percent of randomly surveyed students think Canadian psychologist and public intellectual Jordan B. Peterson plays an active role in their lives. 

Participants reported anything from Peterson regularly buying them coffee to him appearing out of thin air to manually crush their tiny little heads between his timber-like, Alberta-bred forearms. 

The study did not make a point to distinguish between positive and negative interactions with Peterson, but several participants agreed to tell The Stale Mess about some of their own personal experiences. You can read their stories, told in their own, unfiltered words, below. 

Maximilian, University of Maine

My dad fishes for lobster, and during my summer breaks I go out with him on the lobster boat to help. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. 

Anyway, one day we’re pulling traps, and it’s a slow day, so not much is coming in. Then we grab this trap to pull it up and we notice it’s way heavier than usual, even for our biggest catches. 

Once we got it to the surface, we found inside the trap a contorted, rabid-looking Jordan B. Peterson, wearing what looked like a makeshift, human-sized lobster shell constructed from the carcasses of dozens of lobsters. I recognized him from his YouTube videos, so I yelled out to him, “Hey, Jordan B. Peterson! What were you doing down there?”

He had a glazed look in his eye, like he’d been living on another planet for a while and wasn’t used to hearing human speech. 

“Down here testing my will, trying to get a taste of the real deal, bucko,” he said to us with a faint air of contempt. “It’s all fun and games up there. The abyss is where the real dominance hierarchies play themselves out.” 

Just then he broke out of the cage and dived back into the water. The next time I saw him, he looked radiant and healthy in some news interview clip I saw online. 

There was one negative to the story though: The lobster catches were thinning out, so the scientists decided to do a survey. Turns out Jordan B. Peterson had killed every lobster in the northern Maine waters. My dad’s still out of work while we wait for them to replenish. 

Miguel, Johns Hopkins University

There was a day last fall that made me really happy. I had just made it official with a girl I really liked and had been dating. I’d gotten an A on a test. I think I also managed to go to the gym that day too. Really, it was a great day. 

There was one moment, in particular, when I reflected on how well I’d done for myself; not just that day, but since I’d gotten into college. But before I could get too far, I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize. I thought that was strange, but I answered anyway. 

Who was it? Canadian clinical psychologist and public intellectual Jordan B. Peterson. 

He told me not to be too happy, that if I’d lived in Germany during World War II, I’d have been a Nazi. He told me to constantly remind myself that I have a near-infinite capacity for evil. He told me that getting into a relationship in college is a mistake and that I would probably ruin it for both me and my then-girlfriend. 

He just bummed me out. He totally ruined that day for me, and I don’t even know why. He didn’t even finish with a positive note. Instead, he just questioned the sincerity of my motives and threatened to beat me down if I stepped outside my place in the dominance hierarchy. 

Overall, I’d say that maybe he means well, but he seems like a real jerk to spend all his free time calling people just to bum them out. Really put off by that guy, honestly. 

Jessica, Stanford University

There was this really stressful moment last semester when I was writing a paper for a history class. The prompt was something about World War II, and I couldn’t even really make sense of anything because I hadn’t done the readings. 

The night before, when I was just beginning to lose hope, Jordan B. Peterson’s spirit descended into my hand, gripped the pen for me when I was too weak and wrote, in exhaustive detail, all of the horrors of the 20th century that were brought about by murderous, resentful Marxists and their fundamentally corrupt ideology. 

I’ll never forget just how inspired that moment made me. When the paper was complete and submitted, Jordan B. Peterson’s invisible hand tucked me gently into bed. I woke up the next day not just rested, but renewed. One could even say I was reborn. 

Kevin, Florida State University

Jordan Peterson fucked my mom. 

I went home to visit for the holidays, but I got to my parents’ house early, and when I walk in they’re both right there on the couch, totally going at it. It’s weird: You never notice it in the YouTube videos, but that guy is lanky. I mean like daddy-long-legs level of lankiness. 

So anyway, he told me to go upstairs and clean my room. He said I should worry about putting my own house in order before I start criticizing others, so I guess that’s good advice, but something still doesn’t seem right. 

I’m also pretty bitter that he drank all my milk afterward too. Like two gallons of it. Really dude? That’s a lot of milk for someone with that kind of frame. You just wouldn’t expect it from a guy like that. I haven’t seen him since, except that he keeps direct messaging me on Twitter to ask how my mother’s arthritis is doing. What a jerk, right?

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.


Reach the columnist at parker.shea@asu.edu or follow @laconicshamanic on Twitter.

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