Bro Time With Ben Shapiro And Jordan Peterson

We’ve all been there — you stay out too late at the club listening to a hot band. The next day, moving a little sluggishly, you decide to grab a coffee with a buddy just to catch up and shoot the breeze. That’s all Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson are doing in their latest sit-down, except, in their case, the breeze is a discussion about the superordinate value of humanity, which, after some back and forth, they decide is love, and from there the discussion evolves into a practical definition of love, which they settle on as “the best in me serving the best in you.”

You know, just good, old-fashioned bro time.

While Shapiro has conducted numerous interviews with the Canadian academic, an immense part of the charm of their latest discussion, which debuted on The Daily Wire on December 17, is its free-flowing nature. There are no set topics, no pre-prepared questions — the format allows for the spontaneity and natural rhythm of chat between two friends who have no need to begin by cautiously explaining the bent of their minds out of fear of misunderstandings. They already know and trust one another, so no disclaimers of any idea are necessary.

And the ideas, ping-ponging from the esoteric and heady (like the superiority of religion over science as an ethical framework) to the immediate and practical (like the kinds of careers young women should pursue) fly with abandon. For us mere intellectual mortals, it’s particularly fun to watch the pair banter over relatable topics like movies. Though, in their case, of course, it develops into a deep dissection of Disney films as a reflection of our national moral compass.

“If you want to see the evolution of the country, all you have to do is look at the evolution of the morality in Disney movies,” opines Shapiro, pointing out that the theme songs have gone from Pinocchio’s “Always let your conscience be your guide” to Frozen’s “No right, no wrong, no rules, I’m free.” Peterson immediately picks up the idea, deciding that the message of “Let it Go”— that ode to self that girls 10 and under have been belting out for eight years now — is that “your authenticity is what’s going to free you. It’s the conflation of authenticity with limitlessness.”

Insert head explosion emoji here.

For Peterson fans, there’s also the added joy of seeing a battered hero returning to the fray with what seems to be a renewed sense of purpose, vigor, and good cheer.

Along with the twin medical crises of his wife’s cancer battle and his own encounter with drug dependency, which he mentions freely and frankly, the beloved psychologist has weathered the slings and arrows of the academic-media complex. Since returning to the public stage earlier this year, he’s talked about the heavy psychological toll it took on him to be an avatar for “white supremacy and hate speech.”

“There were journalists around me constantly, and students demonstrating. It’s really emotionally hard to be attacked publicly like that. And that happened to me continually for, like, three years,” Peterson told The Sunday Times in February.

In his wide-ranging conversation with Shapiro, he seems like a man who has weighed the cost of his life’s work and found such sacrifices worth it. At one point, for instance, he chokes up when he considers the impact that his advice has had on the bonds between young men and their fathers, who frequently stop him in the street to thank him for restoring their relationships.

We also see a fresh spiciness in him, as his temper flares over his 19-year-old female critics who are too young and belligerent to consider the wisdom of his argument that a fulfilling life will not necessarily look the same for women as it does for men.

Peterson has never suffered fools, but as he and Shapiro riff on gender roles, it’s clear he feels a special freedom to express the thoughts as they come. The rest of us are all just eavesdroppers, chuckling along with Shapiro at his friend’s consternation that girls are being sold a cultural bill of goods, but they’re being too “dim-witted” to realize it.

Here, as we might expect, the pair have zero fears to give. They share the camaraderie of a pair of like-minded rebels as they take a wrecking ball to feminist shibboleths with twinkles in their eyes. What does a female hero myth look like, Peterson asks rhetorically. It’s Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” because while the male hero civilizes nature, the female hero civilizes men.

Yeah, they went there, and half the pleasure for the viewer is seeing just how not sorry they are.

The meeting ends the way the best coffee hangouts do. You know time is short, you have other places to be, but the conversation is so easy and engrossing, departure goes through several false starts. Oh, one more thing I wanted to say … I forgot to tell you what this mutual acquaintance said … Eventually you’re both shuffling regretfully toward the door with the consolation that the conversation will carry on some other time.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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