Jon Ronson

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I love Ronson's books, and he does give really engaging interviews and talks, however...



...is it just me who finds it very slightly annoying that he seems to speak in the actual voice of an improbably camp 10-year-old?

It is a little odd... but I think he has a very engaging style. That's enough for me not to notice it much.
He himself acknowledges the campness - he has mentioned it in one or two of his documentaries.
 

ramonmercado

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JON RONSON AND PUBLIC SHAMING

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Whether it's being used to disgrace author Jonah Lehrer or to humiliate PR consultant Justine Sacco, the worldwide web has become a powerful shaming weapon. In his book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed, Jon Ronson tackles the phenomenon of internet-fueled public shaming. He tells Brooke how it's ruined many a career and life in an era of the enormous digital footprint that cannot be expunged.

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/jon-ronson-and-public-shaming/
 

ramonmercado

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You've heard of actors getting typecast. But there is no group more slighted, more narrowly cast, than the Muslim-American actors who earn virtually their entire livings pretending to hijack planes and slaughter infidels. Jon Ronson embarks on a soul-searching odyssey with the bad guys of Homeland, American Sniper, 24, and every other TV show and movie in which the holy warriors get mowed down before they even get to finish one good “Allahu Akbar!” ...

http://www.gq.com/story/muslim-american-typecasting-hollywood
 

GNC

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You've heard of actors getting typecast. But there is no group more slighted, more narrowly cast, than the Muslim-American actors who earn virtually their entire livings pretending to hijack planes and slaughter infidels. Jon Ronson embarks on a soul-searching odyssey with the bad guys of Homeland, American Sniper, 24, and every other TV show and movie in which the holy warriors get mowed down before they even get to finish one good “Allahu Akbar!” ...

After reading that I don't feel too bad about thinking Executive Decision was rubbish. Though I do worry about a society with no positive role models in fiction for an increasingly angry section of that society.
 

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GNC

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Yes, but the main baddie in that was played by David Suchet, an English actor descended from Lithuanian Jews! So, while I can't say that no American Muslims were harmed in the making of that movie, it wasn't all bad...

Yeah, because it painted such a sunny portrait of the faithful otherwise, didn't it?
 

sherbetbizarre

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For Ronson fans in London next January -

The Jon Ronson Mysteries
26 Jan, 27 Jan, 28 Jan, 29 Jan, 30 Jan

A five-night residency at the Leicester Square Theatre.

A different story each night. With special guests.

Jon Ronson has spent the past twenty years trying to solve the great mysteries:

• Is there a secret room from which a shadowy cabal secretly rules the world? And if so, can one get in?

• Does the US Military try to kill goats just by staring at them?

• Is there a man inside Broadmoor who faked being mad and now he’s stuck there, with nobody believing he’s sane?

• Do psychopaths rule the world?

• Why have we started to tear people apart on social media for the tiniest transgressions? And the people we destroyed - are they okay, or in ruins?

For five nights Jon will be recounting his adventures at the Leicester Square Theatre. He’ll be telling a different story each night, and will be joined by special guests. Maybe it’ll be a person from one of the books, or maybe it’ll be a fellow traveller – someone who has undertaken similar adventures.

Guests

26 January: Louis Theroux.
http://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873539348/events
 

GNC

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His new book has certainly fired up a lot of discussion, here's another interview:
http://www.avclub.com/article/jon-ronson-gets-serious-about-ashley-madison-and-t-226526

What this makes me think is that sensible discussion is a much underrated activity, even with people who have done things wrong, because the alternative is not much good for anyone.

Sadly, it doesn't sound as if there will be another series of Jon Ronson On any time soon.
 

MothMaid

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His new book has certainly fired up a lot of discussion, here's another interview:
http://www.avclub.com/article/jon-ronson-gets-serious-about-ashley-madison-and-t-226526

What this makes me think is that sensible discussion is a much underrated activity, even with people who have done things wrong, because the alternative is not much good for anyone.

Sadly, it doesn't sound as if there will be another series of Jon Ronson On any time soon.

Yeah, it's not as thrilling as "THEM" but it is a surprisingly good book on such a would-be banal topic. Possibly because Ronson is always funny and human in his writing. He's also very friendly on twitter still. Conversational.
 

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Ah! :lightbulb goes on: I'd seen that TED talk mentioned in the AV Club article, but didn't realize it was that Jon Ronson fellow who ...well, this whole thread is about. (I was watching on a WII game system and couldn't see the full title, in case anyone wonders how that happened. Also, yes, I do watch TED talks at random on a video game system instead of playing games, because I'm that nerdy)

Anyway, the TED Talk is here, if anyone is interested.


It was pretty good, though I had some minor quibbles with it. Still worth a watch, though.
 

GNC

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The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people. We are now turning it into a surveillance society where the smartest way to survive is to go back to being voiceless.

Excellent article: that's the last line up there but do read the rest of it to put it in context.
 

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New, long interview.


He's always interesting to listen to even when I'm not really that interested in the topic. Discussion is fairly ranging so far, but he's obviously focused on the bespoke 'porn' (not all pornographic) industry we have discussed on another thread.
 
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GNC

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I was surprised to see Jon show up at the start of Amazon's spoof 1980s Cold War cop show Comrade Detective, in the intro with Channing Tatum. No idea what he was doing there, he didn't produce or write any of it as far as I could see.
 

GNC

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Adam Buxton podcast with Jon Ronson:
http://adam-buxton.co.uk/podcasts/ep68-jon-ronson

Great listen, among the topics are bereavement, the benefits and drawbacks of pornography (Ronson's latest investigation), the human side of social commentators obsessed with Muslims, and why Game of Thrones' best season was the most recent.
 

GNC

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Further to the above, here's Jon's podcast series about porn:
https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/audible/the-butterfly-effect-with-jon-ronson

I've listened to the first two episodes and it's fascinating stuff. Its subject is how free porn is changing the world. For example, the fact that there's a huge spike in people watching porn on Monday mornings indicates someone next to you at work may be masturbating. *shiver*
 

GNC

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Wouldn't you notice?

I would, in my job! :D

Well, you have to assume it's office workers in their cubicles or rooms or whatever, but you do wonder. You'd hope you didn't get a lot of plumbers doing it, for example.
 

GNC

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Anyway, listened to the third episode, where Jon tries to get an interview with fans of bespoke porn. This is where, because almost all porn is being pirated, the studios that make professional stuff are being forced to make the videos for a market of one person. Or lots of one persons. He's particularly intrigued by the notorious "Stamp Man" who wants videos of his expensive stamp collection destroyed. I feel very vanilla listening to this, and I'm not even halfway through the series.
 

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Fourth episode and it's inevitably getting grimmer. Children want mobile phone/tablet/etc. Children get access to free porn. Children imitate what they've seen. Children get put on sex offenders' register or imprisoned for a long time.

I don't want to get into "it was better in my day" arguments, but we didn't have that to encounter.
 

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I don't want to get into "it was better in my day" arguments, but we didn't have that to encounter.
Maybe it was?
 

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Well, you have to assume it's office workers in their cubicles or rooms or whatever, but you do wonder. You'd hope you didn't get a lot of plumbers doing it, for example.

Somebody posted a video on Reddit the other day of what looked to be a computer suite in a large city library in the U.S. it showed--via surreptitious filming and zooms--that about a quarter of those present were watching pornography.
 

GNC

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According to the 5th episode, there are huge spikes in porn activity and sex-based dating websites just after holidays like Christmas, basically just after men have spent time with their wives or partners. There's a lot more, including the Ashley Madison data breach where not only did it cause one high profile suicide, but revealed that almost all the men who thought they were sex-chatting with women (that's 37 million users) were actually chatting with AI bots created by the company that ran the site.

Seriously, if you love podcasts and don't mind adult-rated discussions, this is absolutely fascinating, and deeply worrying too. The amount of judging going on is incredible - stuff like porn performers getting sacked by people who then go home and watch their videos for free on Pornhub, but refuse to work with them. There's more.
 

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Somebody posted a video on Reddit the other day of what looked to be a computer suite in a large city library in the U.S. it showed--via surreptitious filming and zooms--that about a quarter of those present were watching pornography.

A mate of mine used to have a job 'helping disadvantaged young people to find work'. To his great disillusion most of the 'clients' who'd come in to Use the Computers would spend all day watching mucky videos (the IT dept. wasn't much use). On being chastised they'd either threaten to become a bit stabby or appear confused, or both. Either way they couldn't understand why their human rights were being so cruelly abused.

That was in the Good Old Days. More recently you hear of people unabashedly looking at porn on public transport and I have witnessed this on one occasion. Haven't encountered it down the library but you live in hope...

God help us all.
 

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A mate of mine used to have a job 'helping disadvantaged young people to find work'. To his great disillusion most of the 'clients' who'd come in to Use the Computers would spend all day watching mucky videos (the IT dept. wasn't much use). On being chastised they'd either threaten to become a bit stabby or appear confused, or both. Either way they couldn't understand why their human rights were being so cruelly abused.

That was in the Good Old Days. More recently you hear of people unabashedly looking at porn on public transport and I have witnessed this on one occasion. Haven't encountered it down the library but you live in hope...

God help us all.

If your mate was doing this job years ago then the computers would be used for porn probably because a. computers/mucky videos were a novelty and b. the IT department hadn't learned to block unsuitable sites.

OTOH when I did a course at our local FE college within the last 10 years it was hard to find ANYTHING to look at on the computers, so much was blocked. Today the kids'd just stream whatever they want on their smartphones.
 

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A mate of mine used to have a job 'helping disadvantaged young people to find work'. To his great disillusion most of the 'clients' who'd come in to Use the Computers would spend all day watching mucky videos (the IT dept. wasn't much use). On being chastised they'd either threaten to become a bit stabby or appear confused, or both. Either way they couldn't understand why their human rights were being so cruelly abused.

That was in the Good Old Days. More recently you hear of people unabashedly looking at porn on public transport and I have witnessed this on one occasion. Haven't encountered it down the library but you live in hope...

God help us all.
It's the end of civilisation.
 
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