Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chapters 8 and 9

Jon Ronson, in chapter 8 of The Psychopath Test, examines the different episodes of madness from David Shayler to tell which episode was the "right sort of madness" according to the media. The first episode examined was the bombing of the carriage on July 7th. David Shayler was convinced that this bombing never happened. When a passenger of this carriage, Rachel North, expressed her turmoil in response to this event he didn't believe that Rachel even existed. He was convinced that people were making up this occurrence under her name on the internet and trying to make people believe the bombing happened through pictures and blog posts. Even when Rachel presented herself to David he still didn't believe her. The second episode was that he believed 9/11 didn't happen and it was just the United States putting on the whole attack. His third episode was that he claimed he was the Messiah and that everyone should follow him if they want eternal life. The episode out of these three that was covered most extensively by the media was his belief that 9/11 never happened. The media had established that David exhibited the "right sort of madness" that is interesting to viewers because they like to see people that are more mad than they are in order to classify themselves as normal.

I thought these two paragraphs were quite funny because they were so absurd. In chapter 8 it showed the crazy thoughts of David Shayler and how the media covered those thoughts. The only thing i was questioning was whether his thoughts on the 9/11 attacks were just covered more because it was a much bigger event that affected more people or if it really was because that was deemed "the right sort of crazy". This chapter also made me think about how the world kind of feeds off of other people's madness. For example, people watch the crazy people on shows, like Jersey Shore and Wifeswap, and it makes them feel better about their own lives because they aren't as crazy as these people are or have as many problems as the people on TV do. As I read chapter nine I felt myself sort of get annoyed with Bob Hare and how he just calls everyone a psychopath. The concierge just yelled at Jon Ronson for using his phone and Bob thought the was a psychopath. I also felt bad for Colin Stagg because he didn't even have anything to do with the murder, but he was getting interrogated by an undercover policewoman for being a witness just because he fit the qualifications of a murderer according to Paul Britton. I just don't understand how that can happen to a person without any substantial evidence supporting his belief of Stagg being the murderer.

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