Jon Ronson

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Don't worry about it. I'm sure he'll be back in a few months.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Thanks for that.

Good stuff as usual last night, but most recommended for the interview with the devout Christian who became an atheist. Be warned, the reasons are grim, and the story about the Eskimos and the paedophile priest will make you very angry.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Ronson took a psychiatric bent last night, with an interview with the Norwegian Prime Minister who woke up one morning and decided he didn't want to go to work anymore. It also gets round to sociopaths living next door to you again, only moves onto sociopaths becoming politicians.

For Forteans, the most interesting bit was an analysis of David Shayler's recent decision that he is The Messiah. I wonder how that's going for him?
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Last night's was worth hearing for Mr Ronson trying to test a man who has trained himself to stay awake for days (and nights) on end and, er, reaching no useful conclusion. He didn't seem any more or less alert than someone who hasn't subjected himself to such a regime.
 

Peripart

Antediluvian
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
6,478
Reaction score
5,419
Points
314
A bit of a bump, and a late one at that, but R4 are re-broadcasting (at least, I assume that they're repeats) Jon Ronson on... at 11.30pm on Thursday nights.

I caught one a couple of weeks back, where he told the amazing tale of a woman who had been wooed and wed by a man who, it turned out, worked for the CIA. Or didn't. Or maybe he did. We ended up as baffled as she was (not to mention the other wives who'd fallen for the same story). The guy was clearly a classic sociopath, but apart from that, who he was or what he did remained a mystery.

Last night, Ronson was mainly concerned with telling the tale of a woman who'd survived the 7/7 bombings, only to find that nutty conspiracy forums (oops, was that my prejudice showing?) were accusing her of lying, and maybe not even existing as a real person. To prove that she wasn't part of some government cover-up, she joined one of the forums (fora?), but the more she protested, of course, the more they accused her of, at the very least, mental problems. By the end of the show, she'd given up arguing the toss with people who refused to listen.

Ronson did try to argue the toss with David Shayler (yes, that one), who is apparently convinced that the 7/7 attacks (like 9/11 before them, natch) were part of some vast conspiracy to blacken the name of Moslems and too... well, lots of other stuff, too. Every time Ronson tried to say, but I've met this woman, she's quite real, Shayler would come back with, but have you seen the evidence - if you saw it all, you'd believe what I say. When Ronson asked just why DS couldn't accept that the bombings happened, he replied that, since he hadn't seen enough evidence that they did, he couldn't possibly believe this woman was real.

It got quite silly, obviously, to the point where Ronson suddenly said "Oh, fuck off!", although I have to say that Shayler wasn't overly offended. He even offered to let his supporters know that Ronson wasn't a shill (his word) or stupid. Ignorant maybe, he said, but not stupid...

I believe a later show also features Ronson talking to David Shayler. Should be worth catching!
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Yeah, they're repeats. Damn good episode, that. Should be on Listen Again, I think.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Forgot to mention this yesterday, but JRO was back last night with an episode on Fear of Flying (and death). Well worth tuning into on Listen Again.
 

James_H

And I like to roam the land
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
7,708
Reaction score
6,540
Points
314
Thanks for that!
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
An internet based episode last night, weird how online message board chat stuff can be the subject of a documentary now. A cautionary tale, nonetheless.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
A "heads up" as I believe they say in some quarters, that Jon Ronson is back on Radio 4 with a new series tomorrow night (Tuesday) at eleven o'clock. The episode's about voices in the head, apparently.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Anyone else hear it? It was indeed about voices in the head, two stories, one about schizophrenia and one about something far less explicable. Forteans should give it a listen for the second story, which even had the doctor interviewed thinking there was a supernatural explanation. It's on the Radio 4 website for the next week.
 

Timble2

Imaginary Person
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Messages
6,011
Reaction score
2,520
Points
239
Location
In a Liminal Zone
I heard that last night. The second story is truly very very strange.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Timble2 said:
I heard that last night. The second story is truly very very strange.

I know! It would (kind of) make sense if the afflicted woman had some kind of medical background, but otherwise there's no reasonable explanation.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
This week's was mainly about legendary all-girl rock band The Shaggs, a story that started with a palm reading and ended with the ghost of the father, who was their manager.

There's a video detailing their fascinating tale too (but you'll have to listen to the radio episode for the ghost):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00gtsj3

What music sounds like by people who didn't know what it was, really. Listen to it with your pal Foot-Foot.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
47,138
Reaction score
42,769
Points
334
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
gncxx said:
This week's was mainly about legendary all-girl rock band The Shaggs, a story that started with a palm reading and ended with the ghost of the father, who was their manager.

There's a video detailing their fascinating tale too (but you'll have to listen to the radio episode for the ghost):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00gtsj3

What music sounds like by people who didn't know what it was, really. Listen to it with your pal Foot-Foot.

Wow - they were doing punk in 1968! Even the band name is a bit 'punk'.
I wonder if this is where The Fall got their inspiration?
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
47,138
Reaction score
42,769
Points
334
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
From the Wikipedia article on The Shaggs:

Reportedly, during the recording sessions the band would occasionally stop playing, claiming one of them had made a mistake and that they needed to start over, leaving the sound engineers to wonder how the girls could tell when a mistake had been made.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Pietro_Mercurios

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
11,962
Reaction score
205
Points
114
Mythopoeika said:
...

Wow - they were doing punk in 1968! Even the band name is a bit 'punk'.
I wonder if this is where The Fall got their inspiration?
Strangely, I automatically thought of, 'The Velvet Underground', when I read that. Having watched the videoclip and listened to a couple of tracks on You Tube, alongside some stuff from the Velvets, I can say that they actually even sound like early Velvet Underground. Check for yourselves.

Quite an achievement. :lol:
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Mythopoeika said:
Wow - they were doing punk in 1968! Even the band name is a bit 'punk'.
I wonder if this is where The Fall got their inspiration?

Probably not punk, you're better looking at the angrier garage bands for that, and besides, punk was as much a reaction against the status quo as a collection of good tunes, whereas The Shaggs (named after a hairdo) weren't reacting against anything because they had heard hardly any music at all when they made their album. Their style almost literally had no influences.

Also, I doubt Mark E. Smith had known about The Shaggs when he started The Fall, the girls didn't begin to make a name for themselves until at least the late eighties. Frank Zappa declared them better than The Beatles (but he really hated The Beatles).
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Just a note to mention the final episode in the series featured a really nice portrait of Frank Sidebottom, among others happy to "aim low".
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Has anyone read The Psychopath Test? I got it for Christmas and it's highly recommended, draws on stuff from the past few years of investigations including some bits on his radio series, but with lots more added.

It's a fast read, but packed with information about how people are hard to classify even with psychiatrists' checklists, I was worried it might get a bit Scientologist, but although Jon has dealings with them, he isn't completely fooled by them. Loads of great, if troubling, stories.

Might be inconclusive in the great scheme of things, but offers plenty of food for thought about just how mad you think you are, how mad other people think you are, and how mad you actually are (the answer to that being you're probably a lot saner than you thought unless you have serious, disabling problems).
 

Graylien

As if!
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
4,434
Reaction score
3,263
Points
184
Location
Norwich.
I literally just bought that the other day, having recently indulged in a bit of a Jon Ronson nostalgia-fest courtesy of Youtube. I haven't finished it yet, but it's certainly beautifully written, if characteristically inconclusive.
 

Timble2

Imaginary Person
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Messages
6,011
Reaction score
2,520
Points
239
Location
In a Liminal Zone
I've got a signed copy from UnCon. It does get you thinking about how mad you are and which of your colleagues are possibly psychopaths. Also how hard it is to classify mental status.
 

Jerry_B

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Messages
8,046
Reaction score
67
Points
129
gncxx said:
It's a fast read, but packed with information about how people are hard to classify even with psychiatrists' checklists, [...]

You may want to watch Adam Curtis' 'The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom'. That picks out the whole problem with such checklisting ;)
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Jerry_B said:
gncxx said:
It's a fast read, but packed with information about how people are hard to classify even with psychiatrists' checklists, [...]

You may want to watch Adam Curtis' 'The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom'. That picks out the whole problem with such checklisting ;)

Funnily enough Curtis turns up in the book, and in the acknowledgements at the end, so Jon was evidently taking notes! What I got from it is that murderers are objectionable people, but the reverse is not true judging by the way the test of the title is applied.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
Let joy be unconfined, Jon Ronson On is back tonight, Radio 4 at eleven o'clock:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rlrjz

First of five episodes, with the starting point that habit of looking at the clock at the same time every day.
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
36,899
Reaction score
53,712
Points
334
Location
HM The Tower of London
Oh he's SO great! :D
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,401
Reaction score
22,182
Points
334
And it was a great programme, all about something I'd never heard of before called confirmation bias. Uri Geller was the first interviewee, talking about how he and many others have found significance in always glancing at the clock when it's 11:11, which led Jon to find out about how picking up on details that confirm your beliefs and ignoring elephants in the room like coincidence and stuff that proves you wrong can have very serious effects.

I won't spoil it, give it a listen if you didn't catch it... but maybe more than twenty thousand innocent people in American prisons, because of confirmation bias? That's a tad worrying.
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
36,899
Reaction score
53,712
Points
334
Location
HM The Tower of London
I want some of those lip-gloss oracles.
 
Top