Jon Ronson

Do you remember the scene in The Green Mile when death row inmate John Coffee is touched by murderer “Wild Bill”? After feeling some powerful negative energy, he says, “You a bad…


Writer Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Psychopath Test, Them! Adventures with Extremists) discussed his new book Lost at Sea on this week’s episode of the BoingBoing podcast Gweek. (You may also remember my own interview with Ronson on the DisinfoCast a few months back.)

Via Mark Frauenfelder:

Lost at Sea collects 22 Guardian articles Jon’s written over the years, and they are fascinating portraits of people and groups a few standard deviations away from the middle of the normalcy bell curve.

Subjects include: Insane Clown Posse and their announcement that they are born-again Christians who have encoded secret messages in their songs for the last decade, the billionaire transgender woman who invented satellite radio and her attempt to create a lifelike robot of her partner, the culture of Indigo Children, a British pop star’s fascination with UFOs and aliens abductions, the contents of Stanley Kubrik’s archival boxes, the tiny town of North Pole, Alaska, where Christmas is celebrated 365 days a year and where a group of high school students were caught trying to duplicate the Columbine high school massacre, a profile of Neuro-linguistic Programming co-creator Richard Bandler, a Children of God offshoot that donates kidneys as part of their religious practice, a profile of psychic Sylvia Browne, and many more stories.

I can’t imagine a disinfonaut not being familiar with Jon Ronson’s work, but if you haven’t read his stuff then you’re in for a treat. Ronson writes about all manner of weird things and people, and does so from a place of both humor and warmth. I’ve been a fan for many years.



Jon Ronson | The DisinfoCast with Matt Staggs: Episode 10

Goats

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Award-winning writer and documentarian Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats, Them! Adventures with Extremists, The Psychopath Test) is here, and boy, does he have some stories: being chased by agents of the Bilderberg Group; witnessing secret ceremonies at the Bohemian Grove; being outed as a Jew among Islamic radical terrorists and more that barely scratch the surface. Tune in for all this on this episode of The DisinfoCast.


American PsychoThe Guardian has an excerpt of Jon Ronsom’s new book The Psychopath Test:

It was visiting hour at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital and patients began drifting in to sit with their loved ones at tables and chairs that had been fixed to the ground. They were mostly overweight, wearing loose, comfortable T-shirts and elasticated sweatpants. There probably wasn’t much to do in Broadmoor but eat. I wondered if any of them were famous. Broadmoor was where they sent Ian Brady, the Moors murderer, and Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper.

A man in his late 20s walked towards me. His arm was outstretched. He wasn’t wearing sweatpants. He was wearing a pinstripe jacket and trousers. He looked like a young businessman trying to make his way in the world, someone who wanted to show everyone that he was very, very sane. We shook hands.

“I’m Tony,” he said. He sat down.

“So I hear you faked your way in here,” I said. (Read More in the Guardian)

Ronson also created a video about his new project: