Plus! Sign of the Week!! Sidewalk Goldfish Pond!!!
Thank you for grappling with and sharing about your relationship to this complicated human and his thoughts/ actions (Mr. Peterson). I am exhausted by dismissals of fellow humans by other fellow humans. We are all a mix of brilliance and shite. I find this thought comforting not distancing as I navigate the world. I can appreciate folks for their differences, enjoy some aspects, find others distasteful, 100% support their right to say what they need to say, but also know that I don’t need to invite them for Sunday dinner. You might enjoy “The Anomaly” by Hervé Le Tellier. The ultimate opportunity to engage with one’s complex humanity. Your optimism and engagement with our world teaches me something every week. And ya do it w humor--the most important virtue!
A beautiful morning today and when I setttled back after tennis I noted the topic of the day in one of my FAVORITE Newsletters is Jordan Peterson. One of the stellar features of the Cafe is a mixture of things every week! The goldfish pond is awesome. The owner is not full of himself yet has done something special. What do you feed them? Goldfish food.
We also got a window into our author's soul. I think a snapshot of the books that merit display can be informing. I was GLAD to see Walter Isaacson on Franklin. I also think if someone can inspire you to read the Gulag Archipelago they are having an impact.
While I seem to have an opinion about many things, Mr. Peterson is simply not a fully formed opinion yet. For a while I was liking Sam Harris but have backed off. Hearing the two of them at the same time seemed too much like medieval jousting.
A GREAT author gets us to laugh AND think about stuff. Bravo.
Maybe the real funny, good-natured Jordan Peterson was the people you interviewed along the way!
Enjoyed the goldfish story, not so much Jordan Peterson being highlighted. He's transphobic, misogynistic, anti-feminist, and while he may deny being part of the alt-right, he's still cited by many of them. A study on the YouTube algorithm found his videos to be the gateway to further radicalization, some eventually becoming incels. Maybe he was fine a decade ago but he's no longer that person.
The "Malcolm Gladwell"-level of fame that you've aspired to is very relatable! Small-town fame. The idea of being well-known and renowned for having ideas that resonate deeply with other people is a fantasy of mine as well. I do think that even stronger than this desire is the fear, as you put it, that "You can’t control what you get famous for, or how people see you."
I was once the lead in the school play in high school, and the night our last show ended, I distinctly remember thinking, "this is the most famous I'll ever be." I've been trying to remember and savor that lately, because I don't think I actually want any more than what I had in that brief moment.
“Achilles had his heel, Anne has her tolerance of Jordan Peterson.” this cracked me up.
I understand the allure of some of his ideas. I liked him when I first heard him. But the more of his ideas I read and the more he kept putting his foot in it, I stopped listening. I now actively dislike him.
I've felt for some time now that he purposely says things in a way that is easily misinterpreted with the intent of creating controversy. Which is fine if you want to get famous that way. But then he cries about the negative responses and how everyone twists his words. I don't believe that's the case and I don't have any time or respect for that.
Either way, this, like all the other posts was a fun read!
The goldfish pond--just priceless New York. And kudos on the color-coded bookshelf!
I had no idea who Jordan Peterson is until now--thanks Anne! And unlike some readers, I enjoy learning about people I may or may not like or agree with.
Here's what I liked about today's post: Frank's goldfish, Frank's reaction to your comment on Red Hook (which is probably why he declined the photo), your inclusion of allllll the opinions on Jordan Peterson, and your ability to recognize that people are individually interesting and to celebrate that. Thanks for yet another fabulous read!
Don’t really like conservative commentators or the like being given airtime or attention. I’ve been a huge fan of your other content, but this post has pushed me to unsubscribe.
This post was great, and hilarious—I was reading it out loud to my husband. Jordan Peterson... oy yoy yoy. I read about him years ago when he started stirring up shit about not respecting people's choice of pronoun. And whatever I read—don't ask me to remember what it was—had me so outraged that I've avoided anything about JP ever since. In whatever I read, he was espousing some dark-ages-style misogynistic bullshit that I could not abide by. So, you go ahead and enjoy him, but I'm going to continue to steer clear!
Wow! A lot to contemplate this week. I think that Frank was more worthy of an in-depth story than Mr. Peterson. And Frank will most likely be known and remembered (fondly) by more people than Peterson. As for seeking fame, Shakespeare (he's famous!) through his character, MacBeth (famous, too!), says it best:
“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty deaths. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
This makes me so happy Thank u Anne as always for showing me there is hope in this world
"Surprise," his wife also has a podcast and her illness is the reason he got addicted to sleeping pills. Only the son (twist!) doesn't have a podcast.
Have you listened to his daughter's podcast? It has "inspired thousands."
With 160 subscribers (and surely more by now) I believe you are well on your way to a Malcolm Gladwell fame level, at least in the tri-state area! xoxo
I also appreciate Jordan Peterson & his ponderings, & just heard of him a few years ago. I love that he has a backbone, & isn’t afraid to talk about marriage & society. To me, the fact that he struggled with tranquilizers just goes to show he’s human like the rest of us, & we all have our “dark nights of the soul” to go through. How else would we keep learning & becoming better humans? I have a blog as well…Life Lessons From Abroad if you’re interested, my most-read post: https://emilyml.substack.com/p/daring-to-jump