389. Snow White, Building an Empire, & Making Movies | Jeremy Boreing

    Our beliefs and understanding of the world are shaped by the narrative structures we adopt, and the biblical narrative offers guidance and meaning beyond power dynamics. True Christianity prioritizes values over power.

    enOctober 19, 2023

    About this Episode

    Dr. Jordan B Peterson sits down with screenwriter, director, and co-founder of the Daily Wire, Jeremy Boreing. They discuss the landmark launch of the Bentkey Kids platform, the bizarre inversion of Hollywood from the transcendental to the political, and the folly of leftist populism at the expense of values, culture, and your children.


    Jeremy Danial Boreing is an American director, screenwriter, and producer. Boreing is co-founder of DailyWire+ and is responsible for all content produced by the company, including the movie that uncanceled Gina Carano, “Terror on the Prairie,” and the most talked-about documentary of 2022, “What is a Woman?” starring Matt Walsh. Boreing is currently in production co-directing a scripted series based on the first two books of Stephen A. Lawhead’s “The Pendragon Cycle” series.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Bentkey, a new children's entertainment entity, offers highly entertaining shows that are free from woke ideology, providing a trustworthy alternative for parents seeking content that aligns with traditional values.
    • Bentkey provides content that preserves childhood, promotes timeless values, and avoids political ideologies, offering narratives that transcend the present moment.
    • Unity amidst disagreement and the incorporation of timeless stories help create resonating content, demonstrating the significance of balance between order and individuality in a functioning society.
    • American conservatism aims to protect and improve societal structures to benefit those who are marginalized, emphasizing the importance of self-criticism and continuous improvement for a stronger society.
    • Pursuing creative endeavors with spontaneity, playfulness, and genuine passion can lead to high-quality and impactful content that is personally rewarding and well-received.
    • Our backgrounds and experiences play a significant role in developing our abilities and passions, ultimately driving us towards our aspirations.
    • Embrace the self-correcting nature of your journey and allow your dreams to evolve and adapt as you gain clarity and experience. Failure can be instrumental in your growth and success.
    • Failure is not a setback, but a stepping stone towards achieving your goals. Embrace the lessons learned from failure and persevere on your journey to success.
    • Leaders should truly understand their audience's desires by listening and observing, allowing them to create engaging and resonating content that goes beyond superficial wants.
    • Culture, media, and entertainment have the power to shape public opinion and drive societal shifts, highlighting the importance of understanding and engaging in cultural narratives for social change.
    • Our beliefs and understanding of the world are shaped by the narrative structures we adopt, and the biblical narrative offers guidance and meaning beyond power dynamics. True Christianity prioritizes values over power.
    • True storytelling relies on inviting and enticing the audience, rather than forcing beliefs or messages. Building a creative team requires offering opportunities and belief in their work.
    • The people at Disney are passionate about creating content for children and protecting their innocence, while The DailyWire faces challenges but continues to grow by striving for excellence.
    • The DailyWire staff thrives in a challenging environment by constantly challenging themselves, taking responsibility, and maintaining a calibrated perspective on what constitutes a true challenge.
    • Stepping outside our comfort zones, facing failure, withstanding attacks, and questioning traditional notions can lead to personal growth and discovering valuable treasures in extreme situations.
    • Life's greatest rewards are found in embracing the adventure of facing and overcoming hardships. Seek fulfillment through challenges rather than material comforts.
    • Personal choices are important but do not always determine our fate. Recognizing complexity and avoiding judgement are crucial in understanding and improving ourselves and society.
    • Embrace humility, recognize our limitations, and acknowledge the role of grace in our accomplishments to experience happiness and success in life.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Bentkey: Keeping Politics Out of Children's Content

    Bentkey, the new children's entertainment entity launched by Jeremy Boreing and the DailyWire, aims to keep politics out of children's content. They recognized the inversion of Hollywood, where politics and propaganda overshadow traditional values, culture enjoyment, and even children's entertainment. Bentkey strives to provide highly entertaining shows that do not betray the values of those who appreciate platforms like the DailyWire. With a commitment to spending $100 million over three years, Bentkey aims to challenge the woke politics infiltrating children's content. By carefully vetting shows and ensuring they are entertaining and free from woke ideology, Bentkey offers a trustworthy alternative for parents seeking content that doesn't deliver a woke sucker punch.

    Fostering Values and Imagination for Children

    Bentkey aims to provide children with content that promotes the values on which our civilization was built, wrapped in a sense of imagination, wonder, and joy. While the launch of Bentkey may be seen as a political action in response to the perceived excesses of the left, the content itself is not intended to communicate politics. Jeremy Boreing emphasizes the importance of preserving children's childhoods and not using them as social experiments for political ideologies. By offering children stories and experiences that reflect the eternal and timeless aspects of human existence, Bentkey aims to distinguish itself from merely political content. The focus is on creating narratives that have demonstrated their relevance and impact over thousands of years, transcending the immediate moment.

    Balancing Order and Individuality: The Importance of Unity and Timeless Stories in Society

    For a society to function properly, it needs a pyramidal structure with horizontal and communitarian elements. The horizontal axis connects society to what is timeless and helps prevent it from going off the rails. Great stories play a role in bringing the timeless to earth and expanding beyond immediate political constraints. The DailyWire, founded by individuals with diverse religious backgrounds, demonstrates the importance of unity amidst disagreement. They navigate purity politics and question their own beliefs to work together and create resonating content. This shows that individual politics do not necessarily override the content produced. Overall, it is crucial for a society to have a balance between order and individuality, allowing for a functional and thriving community.

    Preserving American Liberalism for a Better Society

    American conservatism seeks to preserve a unique brand of American liberalism that looks out for those who are disadvantaged by the imperfect structures of society. This lowercase liberalism acts as an immune system within traditional society, constantly working to improve the systems without tearing them down. It acknowledges that some individuals are left out and seeks to protect them. This brand of liberalism, different from European liberalism, is an important part of the American tradition and contributes to the overall health of society. With this understanding, it is crucial to maintain institutions while constantly questioning and improving them, recognizing our own imperfections and striving to protect others from our worst impulses. This perspective helps in creating content that reflects self-critical thinking and aims to transcend personal beliefs to address the foundations on which our society rests.

    Embrace creativity and take risks for unexpected success.

    Creative exploration and taking risks can lead to unexpected success. Jordan Peterson's experience with documentaries and the Exodus seminar shows that embracing spontaneity and playfulness can result in high-quality and well-received content. Similarly, Jeremy Boreing's venture into children's programming demonstrates the importance of genuine passion and understanding for the target audience. Despite facing criticism from biased sources, initial feedback on the content has been positive. The dedication and hard work put into creating these shows have paid off, as they are deemed some of the most personally rewarding projects in Boreing's career. This highlights the value of pursuing creative endeavors and challenging existing systems to produce impactful and beloved content.

    The Power of Upbringing in Shaping Interests and Aspirations

    The experiences and surroundings we grow up in can greatly shape our interests and aspirations. Jeremy Boreing's upbringing in a rural, desolate town in Texas exposed him to a vibrant music scene and local entertainment industry. This environment, devoid of distractions like trees, allowed him to fully immerse himself in the world of creative production. It taught him the importance of pouring oneself into a passion to fill the void and find joy in the process, even in the face of difficulties. Boreing's early exposure to the arts and his access to inspiring mentors helped develop his aesthetic judgment and prepared him for his role in running an entertainment network. Our backgrounds and experiences can uniquely shape our abilities and passions, driving us towards our aspirations.

    Evolving Dreams: From Acting to Producing

    Dreams can evolve and change as we gain more experience and knowledge. Jeremy Boreing initially pursued his dream of becoming an actor but soon realized that his true talent and passion lay in producing. He learned that the environment he grew up in had shaped him to be a producer, someone who creates something out of nothing. Jeremy's dreams served as a driving force to get him started but he had the maturity to let them evolve and adapt as he gained more clarity about his path. It's important to have a vision for our lives, but we must also be open to the self-correcting nature of our journey, allowing our dreams to sharpen and adjust along the way. Failure can be instrumental in our growth and success, as Jeremy's journey demonstrates.

    Embracing failure as a learning opportunity for future success.

    Failure is not a foolish way of thinking about something, especially if you are committed to your end goal. Jordan Peterson emphasizes that even if your original vision doesn't come to fruition, you can still learn valuable lessons and apply them to future projects. He believes that every endeavor in which you put your heart can ultimately pay off, even if the success takes time and the initial goal isn't achieved. Critics who criticize repeated failures don't understand the nature of entrepreneurial activity, where failure is a common part of the journey toward success. Additionally, Jeremy Boreing's experience shows that sometimes, following the steps in front of you can lead you back to your original dreams and passions.

    Understanding the Audience: Beyond Surface-Level Demands

    Leaders, whether in politics or storytelling, should not simply cater to what their audience claims to want. Instead, they should listen, observe, and understand what their audience truly desires. Jeremy Boreing emphasizes the importance of having two conversations with the audience: the polling conversation and the for-profit conversation. While the polling conversation reveals what people say they want, the for-profit conversation uncovers their true preferences through their actions. It is this deeper understanding of the audience's desires that allows leaders to create content and narratives that capture their imagination and resonate on a more emotional and instinctual level. By avoiding the temptation to pander or produce propaganda, leaders can offer engaging and meaningful experiences that go beyond surface-level demands.

    The Influence of Culture on Political Transformation

    In short, one big takeaway from this discussion is the power and influence of culture on political transformation. It is evident that cultural narratives and representations have the ability to shape people's beliefs and values, ultimately leading to significant societal shifts. The example of how a television show like Will & Grace played a crucial role in changing public opinion on gay marriage highlights the impact of media and entertainment on cultural attitudes. Furthermore, the conversation raises questions about the role of traditional Christian values in the entertainment industry and the potential conflicts that arise. Despite the moral quandaries involved, understanding the power of culture and actively engaging in it can be essential in shaping public opinion and driving social change.

    The Power of Narrative in Shaping Beliefs and Understanding the World.

    Narrative and story have a powerful impact on our lives. Jeremy Boreing emphasizes how his belief in God was shaped by the redemptive story of Christ, rather than by the institution of the church. He recognizes the significance of narrative in understanding the world and ourselves. Jordan Peterson adds to this by stating that a description of the structure through which we perceive the world is a story, and we cannot perceive the world without one. Our interest in witnessing others' choices and their consequences stems from our desire to form a narrative that helps us navigate our own lives. The biblical narrative serves as a meta-narrative for Western culture, offering guidance and meaning beyond mere power dynamics. This reminds us that true Christianity prioritizes values over power.

    The Power of Storytelling: Invitation over Force

    The power of storytelling should rely on invitation and enticement rather than force. Jordan Peterson emphasizes that using force and compulsion to convey a message or belief is ineffective. He refers to the Virginia Charter of Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson, which argues that since God alone has the right to compel belief and He chose not to, it is not our place to do otherwise. Peterson highlights the importance of true free choice and moral responsibility in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Furthermore, he discusses the figure of Elijah, who stood against deifying nature and recognized the significance of the still small voice within. This highlights the need for a conscience that is free. Jeremy Boreing adds that in building a creative team, attracting talented individuals who are disaffected with the entertainment industry's agenda-driven content requires offering opportunities and a belief in their work.

    Disney and The DailyWire: A Tale of Creativity and Responsibility.

    The people who work at Disney have a deep sense of responsibility and love for creating content for children. They are incredibly creative, full of life, and vision, making them challenging to manage but incredible artists in every sense of the word. They value the innocence and youth of children, feeling that they need to protect them from content that goes against their values. On the other hand, adults have the right to engage with content of their choosing, even if it doesn't align with their beliefs. The DailyWire, with its small team of creatives, faces challenges in finding resources and funding, but they continue to grow and expand because if you're not growing, you're dying. They strive for excellence in everything they do.

    Navigating Challenges in a Risky Landscape

    Working at the DailyWire is an incredibly challenging and intense environment. With enemies and obstacles at every turn, there is a constant pressure to perform and succeed. The company operates in a highly risky landscape, where past successes can't guarantee future achievements. Resting on laurels is not an option. Instead, employees must constantly challenge themselves, take responsibility, and continue to grow. The risk, however, is calibrated properly. By being surrounded by enemies and facing the possibility of failure, the staff at the DailyWire have a calibrated perspective on what truly constitutes a challenge. This calibration helps them navigate through difficulties and fuels their drive to succeed.

    Embracing Adversity and Taking Risks for Radical Success

    Taking risks and embracing adversity can lead to radical success. Jordan Peterson emphasizes the importance of stepping outside of our comfort zones and facing the possibility of failure. He believes that unless we put ourselves on the edge of disaster, we won't be interesting or able to engage others. Peterson also highlights the value of withstanding attacks and not apologizing, as these situations can present opportunities for growth and discovery. He shares personal experiences where the harshest critics have ultimately done him the biggest favors. This challenges the traditional notion of catastrophes and encourages us to question our understanding of the world, suggesting that even in extreme situations, there might be valuable treasures waiting to be discovered.

    Embracing Adventure for True Fulfillment

    Life's true fulfillment comes from embracing challenging adventures rather than seeking materialistic comforts. The story of Abraham highlights this concept, as he willingly leaves his luxurious lifestyle to embark on a rough adventure at God's command. Despite facing war, starvation, and even the potential loss of his loved ones, Abraham prevails by continually making sacrifices and keeping his focus on what is highest. Similarly, the Christian passion story emphasizes the necessity of encountering death and hell to truly live a full life. This serves as a powerful reminder, especially for young men, that life's greatest rewards lie in embracing the adventure of facing and overcoming hardships.

    The Complexity of Free Will and Determinism in Shaping Our Lives and Society

    Free will and determinism both play a role in shaping our choices and experiences. While society is organized around the idea of free will, there are factors beyond our control that influence our paths. Personal choices may contribute to better outcomes, but they do not always determine our fate. A comparison between two individuals, like Jeremy Boreing and his uncle, shows that making better choices does not necessarily guarantee a more favorable outcome. It is important to recognize the complexity of human experiences and avoid judging others based on superficial measures. Ultimately, the grace of God and personal responsibility play a significant role in shaping our lives and society, calling us to rebuild and improve the institutions that have shaped our world.

    Embracing Humility for a Fulfilling Life

    Humility is a crucial virtue in our relationship with God and in our own lives. Jeremy Boreing emphasizes the importance of recognizing that we are not gods and that our actions are part of God's work. He acknowledges the role of grace in his accomplishments and the need to challenge ourselves, always striving to do better. Boreing's humble posture and sense of responsibility have allowed him to experience happiness and success, despite the challenges they bring. Jordan Peterson reinforces the idea, noting that being forced to be awake and aware is a valuable experience. Overall, embracing humility and recognizing our limitations can lead to a fulfilling and balanced life.

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