Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog Assignment Four

In chapter seven of Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test, Ronson talks about his encounters with a friend named Adam Curtis and a TV producer named Charlotte Scott. Adam Curtis questioned Ronson's methods of research and journalism, which lead Ronson to begin to question his own sanity. Curtis explained that Ronson's methods were very similar to other journalists' methods, but Ronson wondered if there were other approaches, so he talked to Charlotte Scott. She explained that her job was to talk to people in crisis and decide weather they were "just mad enough" to be put on TV. She explained how she detached herself from the people she talked to, and one time, put a man on a show who later cut his wrists while on the phone with her. After talking to her, Ronson was satisfied in his own research methods.

I found chapter six to be very odd. I don't really get where that came from, or how Ronson decided to go talk to Al Dunlap. Dunlap has lots of power and was known for firing many employees heartlessly, so Ronson was inclined to believe he was a psychopath. While he was giving Dunlap Bob Hare's psychopath checklist, he realized that there were many things that Dunlap got zeros on. I still don't really understand weather Ronson thinks Dunlap is a psychopath or not, and I found it very hard for me to tell either. He definitely had some very odd habits, like his sculptures of predatory animals and no feeling of remorse when he fired his employees, but then again, he had a loving wife with no accusations of adultery and was a well-behaved child. During both this chapter and chapter seven, I began to question Ronson's sanity also. Why is he so obsessed with people who may be psychopaths? I also found Scott's stories about reality TV shows to be quite disturbing, and I wonder how people can have those jobs without feeling remorse? Are they all psychopaths too?

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