If Jordan Peterson had his way he would have had way more than one minute on Q&A on Monday night.
In fact, he would have had years. Of course, that’s more him being somewhat funny to his audience of thousands in Sydney on Tuesday night.
The reality is the rockstar psychologist uses long YouTube videos to address serious topics of discussion, so Q&A’s format is never going to be a great fit for him – and he made that clear in his lecture at the International Convention Centre, while also taking down some of the panellists he was up against.
That lecture of up to 8000 people – some who travelled 12 hours just to see him – had tighter security than airports.
Massive lines snaked around Darling Harbour for people to go through security or check any bag over 30cm into the cloakroom.
At the security check, ticketholders were made to throw out mints and chewing gum – one man even spitting it from his mouth into the bin – because of the supposed danger they posed to the star.
No kind of bottle, even a plastic water kind, was allowed to be taken in. But beer and wine in plastic cups was evidently less of a threat.
Once the thousands eventually made their way into the packed out theatre to take their seats and await the professor’s arrival it was well past the 7.30pm start time, which many were glad about because they didn’t want to miss anything by being stuck in queues.
But to the disappointment of those news.com.au spoke to, Dr Peterson jumped straight into addressing Q&A and never really got to diving into his book – the point of his tour – in the couple of hours he was on stage.
Of course themes from his book 12 Rules for Life were addressed in the lecture, but for the most part Dr Peterson meticulously dissected responses of some of the other Q&A panellists because a minute’s response on Monday night was simply not enough.
“I can’t say I enjoyed it really,” he first told the Sydney audience.
“It’s funny, as I have gotten further along doing whatever it is I happen to be doing, I find more and more of these events to be stressful.”
Dr Peterson said he did not like how everything on the program had to be managed into a presented format.
“Everything has to be political and everything isn’t political, which isn’t helpful when you’re talking about things not political,” he said.
He said he was not complaining and then corrected himself – as he did throughout the lecture – that he actually was complaining.
“It’s surprising how much it takes out of me compared to doing an event like this,” he told the audience.
“This is much less dreadful.”
Dr Peterson’s guest appearance and the “drama” it attempted to create has been recapped here, but what he was most frustrated with was the one-minute time frame panellists had to answer.
“There’s something downright sinful about answering a really complex question in a minute,” he said.
“Answers that take decades – thousands of years – I can’t expect a TV show to allow you years.”
He said the minute format worked against the kind of thought necessary to have necessary discussion.
“It went all right, there was no nasty surprises, we had a civil discussion.”
To actually recap the rest of that one lecture would also take much longer than this piece, so stay tuned for a follow-up story.
But among all of his thoughts, he did take aim at two panellists specifically, one of them being author and commentator Van Badham.
He said in looking up Badham he saw that she had been described as a “Twitter queen”.
He then went on to compare her to the “twisted” Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland because of her answer on her religious beliefs.
The Red Queen is the main antagonist in the 2010 film but came from Lewis Carroll’s fantasy novel Through the Looking-Glass, and there are many varied descriptions of her character.
Most of the audience laughed at the comparison, but even more so when he spoke about his Twitter discovery.
“I’m blocked,” he said in trying to find Van Badham on Twitter.
“It kind of surprised me, I didn’t know I ever tried to follow her.”
To read more about Dr Peterson’s response to Q&A and other discussions in his lecture, follow news.com.au’s coverage on Wednesday.