Man, "Bless Jordan Peterson for helping James out" sure sounds like one of those things that cishet white dudes say that really sticks it in the back of other folks who didn't win the privilege lotto, though I mean it more in the vein of the backhanded Southern compliment "bless his heart" than in the Jesus sense of "blessed are the peacemakers." Overall, I think the world would be a better place if Peterson worried less about being a public figure and a little more about being a good person, but that doesn't change the fact that he probably has helped a few people out along the way with the same sort of advice one can find reading nearly any self-help book. Heck, most of Charles Atlas's pamphlets come down to "exercise and clean living helps you get your life together, son." It ain't rocket science.
(And really, it just kills me that this guy can't seem to build a credible, evidence-based case against people like Foucault and Derrida. It's not that hard! You just have to put in the work to read and try to understand what the hell they are up to. I'm a farm boy who thinks Thundarr the Barbarian
is the pinnacle of human culture, and I can understand at least some of what those cats are doing.)
But let's get back to the James situation. As much as I respect Kiel Chenier, I think he may have made the wrong call when he announced he was ending his working relationship with LotFP. This is not a callout post written to harsh on Kiel, though. If we're going to harsh on anyone in this space, I think it should be, first of all, Peterson (that lobster thing is still making me crazy), and second of all, Raggi, for dropping this turd in the punchbowl. But I'm not for kicking James to the curb and here's why.
First of all, having a "problematic fave," as the kids on the tumblers say, is in and of itself not a sin. We live in a world where purity tests will damn us all. Can we do better? Should we do better? Of course. I think it would be great if James repudiated Peterson completely. But if, as James suggests, this was the guy whose writings offered him a hand at a time when he was trapped in the Pit of Despair, who I am to now tell him to reject that guy? If you've ever been down in that pit, you know that whoever helped you out of it is now one of your "ride or die" people. (I got that from tumblr as well, please correct me if I am mangling it. I still use "groovy" unironically, so my lingo may be a tad out of touch.)
Second and more importantly, I believe that the material matters. The material conditions of Lamentations of the Flame Princess
as a publishing outfit is that it throws a lot of work to people who Peterson would dislike on spec because they don't fit well into his patriarchal heteronormative magic lobster world. And, in case you didn't know, James pays freelancers better than pretty much any other outfit I know of. Compare this to people who proclaim liberal politics but pay starvation wages and otherwise do crappy things (Evil Hat is the poster boy of the moment in this regard. Great work exploiting then dumping Contessa, Mr. Hicks. Green Ronin also comes to mind). I'll take the metal weirdo with the dodgy hero over the perfomatively woke hacks any day of the week. And I think Kiel would do better sticking with LotFP, taking James' money, and writing an adventure that repudiates everything that Jordan Peterson stands for. Definitely there should be at least one lobster monster and a wizard who never does any proper magical research because he spends too much time at the tailor. But hey, if I'm not judging James, then I'm sure as hell not judging Kiel here.
Okay, I'm judging James a little. Jordan Peterson? Really?
You couldn't have gone with someone like Steven Pinker, or Stanley Fish, or even Harold Bloom. I guess I'll have to take cold comfort in the fact that you didn't mention PragerU.
(Seriously. though, Conan with a lightsaber, Chewbacca, and a curvy witch team up to wander Gamma World and pummel mutant cyborg wizards. WHY IS THIS NOT THE WORLD'S BIGGEST FRANCHISE???)