Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Preview of a Soundtrack to my Life



It was so hard to narrow down my iPod to a couple songs that sum up my life. There are 500 more songs that SHOULD be in this list, but obviously that would get boring to read. Each song is or can be connected to something or someone. I tried to pick a variety of songs that narrates variety of points to summarize my life.

Number one (not actually cause the song sucks) is “I Hate College” by Sam Adams. College has been so much fun so far. It is defiantly an experience to say the least from the work involved for classes to the parties to the incredible people met and incorporated into my “new” life. I also feel this song captures what everyone thinks college is going to be about before they get here, like drinking all the time and constantly having sex. But anyways, it’s about college so you have to love it.

“Raise A Little Hell” by Trooper is number two. It encourages me to go out be a hellion and switch my life around until I’m happy with it. Overall, it’s really an awesome song that tells its listeners to change stuff they don’t like, even if it causes a little bit of trouble. It all about sticking it to the man and standing up for what you believe in.

Number three, “Hell on Heels” by Pistol Annies, captures how girls can do what they want because of looks, intelligence, and manipulations. The combination is unstoppable, which is evident throughout society. This song really gives me motivation to go out and be a little home-wrecker. That sounds horrible, but that is the only word I can think so sum it up. It makes me feel devious. College can narrate the song because girls, especially pretty ones, get so many more perks then boys (not so much academically, but socially) that they obviously take advantage of.

“Meet Virginia” by Train talks about the girl who fights society and doesn’t care what people think. I WANT to be this girl. She has pressures to live up to her family’s expectations, but she would rather just live her life. It’s ironic that she wants to be someone else in the song, when others want to be just like her. Also, the hopeless romantic that I am noticed that Virginia has a boy that is completely in love with her, which would be nice as well.

After Pistol Annies and Train, “Dirty Little Secret” by the All American Reject can be applied to my life as well. This is going to sound superficial and somewhat shady, but I believe lives are fragile and keeping secrets is the best way to live life up to expectations. No one judges what you don’t want them to judge, unless the secret slips and then it turns into a regret rather than just an event in your life.

Finally “Red Dirt Road” by Brooks and Dunn is on my list because it reminds me of home. I am a small town country girl and going back for thanksgiving there were certain things that reminded me of things and events from my upbringing. The lyrics “there’s life at both ends of that red dirt road” has sort of helped me realize that my life is moving on, even though things are still happening there. It’s hard for me to put into words, but it’s life both past and present.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Research Quotes

Topic: Mentalities of Serial Killers

Lamberg Lynne. (1998). Mental illness and violent acts: Protecting the patient and the public. JAMA,280(5),

""The vast majority of persons with major mental disorders," he said, "do not commit violent crimes.""

This article explores the opposite side of the argument on which my paper will make. It will allow my reader to hear both sides of the spectrum, as well as teach me the counter facts.The article proves that mental disorders and crime are not strongly linked; in fact, it proves that major mental disorders reduce the likelihood of violent behavior.

Anderson William E. (1999). Can personality disorders be used as predictors of serial killers?.Futurics, 23(3,4), 41.

"Another mental disorder that is beginning to receive more attention as a possible indicator for violent behavior and serial murder is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)"

This article links several different mental disorders to serial killers and their behaviors. It will be helpful as to pointing out which mental disorders are common in past serial killers. It explores the different variations of mental disorders that explain the murderers motive and phases of his or her life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chapter 10 "The Avoidable Death of Rebecca Riley" & Chapter 11 "Good Luck" (Ronson (2011))


The chapter “The Avoidable Death of Rebecca Riley,” Ronson explores how the DSM developed their “diseases.” He interviewed Robert Spitzer. Spitzer was inducted into the DSM committee after Rosenhan found evidence that the psychiatric institutes were corrupt. Spitzer wanted to take human judgment out of psychiatry, which he eventually did. However, this created problems for humanity and an increase of popularity for the drug market. People were diagnosed with “diseases” because they were a little strange; parents were diagnosing their children if they didn’t seem to fit it. A big “disease” labeled to odd children was being bipolar. Bryna Hebert was convinced all her children were bipolar, who acted the same as she did as a child; she, however, didn’t have the DSM III, which was full of labels. Herbert was convinced that people could grow out of mental disorders like people grow out of allergies. Ronson did not agree.  Rebecca Riley was a victim of the DSM III. She died due to an overdose of bipolar medicine, which was not needed for her body. Rebecca was only one of the children who were lost due to this phenomenon.
I found this book to be extremely intriguing. I never truly understood was a psychopath was until reading this. It was interesting at the end when Tony stated that everyone is somewhat of a psychopath; I’d have to agree. Everyone has characteristics that make him or her a little bit “off” or unique. I look the psychopath test and then gave it to my neighbor. We both scored seven out of twenty, that’s 35% psychopath. What is the cut off for being institutionalized? Murder? Like the book fully described, physiology is a hard area to set limits. One could be more psychopathic than another, but who’s to say where the cut off is. I liked how Ronson made a “full circle” with his book as well. It was interesting to start with “Being or Nothingness” and then finally learning the last information about it at then end (although I’m still slightly confused as to what it meant.) The release of Tony was a surprise for the ending as well. I liked the book and am going to make my mother read it when I go home. Thank you for showing to me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chapter 8 "The Madness of David Shayler" and Chapter 9 "Aiming a Bit High" (Ronson (2011))


The beginning of this chapter, “The Madness of David Shayler,” started with the explosion of Rachel North’s carriage on her way to work. She survived, but was damaged by the experience. North blogged about her experience and feeling towards the situation. Other survivors replied or commented on the blog. Finally, the survivors formed a pressure group called Kings Cross United. After the group had developed, North began receiving mean comments on her blog. She found the source of the comments and realized that the people commenting were misusing quotes from her blog to prove a conspiracy that 9/11 did not happen. North argued her point, eventually making her name known to the conspiracy and, on accident, them thinking she was a fake person. She later went to one of the meetings and found their leader to be David Shayler. David was convinced, and convinced others, the government put on that 9/11. The bombs on buses and trains were stunted with actors and special effects and the planes were holograms around bombs.
Ronson found Rachel North after being called North by a comment on an article about 9/11. He interviewed her, which lead him to his interview with Shayler.  The interview did not go well, because Ronson and Shayler did not share the same views on 9/11 and Rachel North. However, the interview between the two became public; Ronson was praised for his rational thinking.
Later, Shayler tried a different publicity stunt by claiming he was the new Messiah. Compared the former attempts, he did not obtain as many followers as previous endeavors. Shayler dropped from the public eye, but was later found dressed as a woman called Delores.
Ronson became curious why so many people believed in Shayler’s hologram theory madness, but not the others. Ronson interviewed Shayler again only to discover that he was completely off his rocker. Ronson did come to a conclusion about what Shayler was doing. People are afraid to be mad. By the media showing other’s madness, people realize what they should do to be normal by giving them an example of what crazy is.
I believe the media does show the public mad individuals to prove that others are not as bad off as they think they are and as a type of entertainment. Jerry Springer does an excellent job of finding people in ridiculous situations that make its watchers think, “Oh, my life isn’t so bad. That girl is dating a guy who cheated on her with her sister, mom, and cousin.” Or “Oh, I’m normal. That guy thinks he is a reincarnation of Jesus because they think a higher power appointed them.” It reassures the public that they are, what most people seek to be, normal. It correlated with what Ronson learned from Charlotte in a previous chapter. The second chapter assigned, “Aiming a Bit High,” was strange. I can’t believe the government can pretend to be a personality to try and convince someone to admit to a crime or secret. No wonder the conspiracy thought Rachel North was the government; they apparently do these types of things all the time! It was unique of Colin Stagg to continue the letters with  “Lizzie,” after she became so weird. If I were him, I would feel scared. She sounded completely crazy! No way would I want to love someone to had an orgy in baby’s blood. There was no reason for him to continue the relationship because there was nothing there to continue. This chapter also touched on the subject of being power-hungry from using the list, which I agree with. However, Ronson pointed out a valid point by saying that is what journalists do. They strive to feel empowered by finding something new.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Summary of Something Borrowed by Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell's main point in "Something Borrowed" is that taking someone else's ideas/ words is wrong. He supports his ideas by telling stories that correlate to taking other people's things, such as ideas, picnic tables, and song melodies. The primary story focused on was of Dorothy Lewis and how her life was switched around to be incorporated in a Broadway play called "Frozen."She was asked to do a talk-back for the play and realize that it had stole aspects of her life without permission. She felt upset and violated. The author of "Frozen" took stories from the new and other sources, such as Lewis' book, to make up the plot of her play. She didn't think it was wrong because she considered it news, and therefore, available to the public. Later, she realized what she did was wrong and apologized, along with some legal transactions. Another example Gladwell used was the Beastie Boy's song "Pass the Mic." The Beastie Boy's used a musical segment without asking for permission from the artist. Gladwell also pointed out that Beethoven's da-da-da-daaaaa has been used over and over in other musical selections. Is this wrong? Gladwell observed that no person can own a segment of notes because it can technically be played in different chords or different speeds that make it different than before. However, stealing someone's words is plagiarism, especially when they are switched around, turning into a situation called slander. 
I agree with Gladwell. Songs are often replicated or similar with beats. With beats, or a segment of notes, the new artist doesn't need permission because no one can own the beats or notes. All artists get inspired by something, which eventually is portrayed in their final piece of work. However, artists only get in trouble if they take the words from the original artists mouth without permission. This is the same for book or ideas. It is called plagiarism. The authors or artist feel like something has been stolen from them, which it has. It is unfair for the new writer/ artist to take something that is apart of another's life, especially when it is turned to slander. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chapter 6 "Night of the Living Dead" & Chapter 7 "The Right Sort of Madness" (Ronson (2011))


The main idea of chapter six, “Night of the Living Dead,” was to describe Al Dunlap as a psychopath. The chapter starts with John Ronson touring Shubuta, Mississippi. Shubuta was a small town kept alive by a Sunbeam company that made toasters; now, it is a dying town. Sunbeam had several horrible CEOs; Al Dunlap happened to be the last, shutting the plant down. Dunlap was hired by companies, such as Scott and Sunbeam, to fire employees and shut down businesses. Ronson visited Dunlap’s mansion in Florida to interview him and assess if he was a psychopath. Dunlap’s house was filled with statutes of predators, gold, and large pictures of himself. Dunlap scored high on the test, only missing traits such as promiscuous sexual behavior.  However, Dunlap referred to most of the psychopathic traits as Leadership Positives. Later, Ronson tells Hare about his interactions with Dunlap. Hare confirms and explains some of the points Ronson was confused about, such as Dunlap crying over his dog’s death. Ronson also interviewed an anonymous man, named “Jack” for the chapter, about Dunlap’s affair with business. Jack dug up research reports on Sunbeam. Ronson couldn’t understand the text and had the reports sent to the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies be explained. Ronson realized that in order to get away with power one has to be boring.

Both chapters were interesting. I agree with Ronson that Dunlap was a psychopath. Leaders can be ruthless; many have to be in order to make sacrifices for the betterment of their position. Dunlap’s theory on being Leadership Points is bogus. It does not prove that he is a better person because he believed he was being a leader. I have arguments for chapter seven, “The Right Sort of Madness.” If someone were emotionally unstable, why would someone endanger their lives by putting them on a TV show? Yes, the show has to go on, but it doesn’t have to jeopardize someone else’s well-being. If there are any medications involved, the person should be left alone, not toyed with. I know that this is the type of thing that still happens with TV shows, but it should be stopped. Corrupt people do not need the attention. They need help.

Does sex trafficking occur in the United States?

Tonight I attended a presentation by Mara Hvistendahl to gather FlexPoints for my Human Sexuality Class. Hvistendahl wrote a book called "Unnatural Selection: Sex Selection and Asia's 160 Million Missing Females." During her discussion, she mentioned that the unbalanced men to women ratio increased sex trafficking. I have heard about sex trafficking earlier and was interested but never did any further research. I assumed it only happened in Europe ("Taken" featuring Liam Neeson) and Asia.

When I returned to my dorm, I typed 'Sex Trafficking in the United States' into my Google search and my screen blew up with dozens of websites discussing just this. I was sort of shocked. American is suppose to be some sort of ideal country, but obviously its just as sketchy as other countries. Then questions started coursing though my brain. I want to know who does it, who are the targets, is it mostly female or are boys trafficked too, what is the market, who are the clients, is the government involved at all, are there any survivors, and so on.

My den is probably going to think I am some sort of sex fiend by taking Human Sexuality, writing on legalizing prostitution, and now this! I can't help it that it's interesting! Hopefully this will work for my paper. I'm super excited!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chapter 4 "The Psychopath Test" & Chapter 5 "Toto" (Ronson (2011))


“The Psychopath Test” main idea was learning and describing the psychopath test on which the book is based. Ronson contacted Bob Hare, an influential psychopath psychologist, and was introduced to Hare’s seminar about the checklist.  Ronson attended, though he was skeptical of the idea of a checklist to find psychopaths.  Before introducing the list, Hare discussed how he became interested and early findings of his career to Ronson. The checklist Hare formatted consisted of twenty common-characteristics of psychopaths. Hare used examples for his seminar including Woodcock, Karla Homolka, Jack Abbott, and Case Study H. Hare also used a gruesome face to explain to his crowd what psychopaths do not feel. While leaving the seminar, an accident happened outside the building. Ronson drives away, but begins to think he is a psychopath for not caring about what was going on; however, he was swerving all over the rode. Hare pointed out that he was affected by the accident and not a psychopath after all. Ronson felt empowered by his newly found knowledge and wanted to test it out, which leads the reader into Chapter 5 “Toto.” “Toto” is about Ronson’s first meeting and an interview with Toto Constant.

I was so happy to finally know what the checklist was! It was too suspenseful waiting to be introduced to it! I enjoyed how Martha Stout, one of the people Ronson interviewed, Ma addressed the reader. I was trying to assess myself, deciding if I was a psychopath or not. I like people to like me, just as Toto does. I have a tendency to appear fake to people I do not like instead of stating what I really think (Item 1: Glibness/ Superficial Charm.) I have manipulated my parents’ decisions many times (Item 5: Conning/ Manipulation.) I have impulses to buy things or eat treats because of a lack of control (Item 14: Impulsivity.) Am I a psychopath? No, I am not. Because I recognize that I am doing these actions and can reflect on them, I am not a psychopath. Thank goodness. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

3. Psychopaths Dream in Black-and-White (Ronson (2011))


In this chapter, Jon Ronson explains one way that was thought of as "curing" psychopaths. The "cure" mentioned in the chapter was Elliot Barker’s experimental cure at Oak Ridge (appropriately called the Oak Ridge Experiment.) Barker based his cure off of Paul Bindrim's nude psychotherapy, which was set at a luxurious resort and treated upper to middle class Californians. Being naked assisted the idea of being emotionally naked and enhanced the process of psychotherapy. Other inspiration for the “cure” came from Kingsley Hall, a former community for schizophrenics. At Oak Ridge, Barker took a select sample of psychopaths and led them into a room called the Total Encounter Capsule. The psychopaths weren’t allowed clothes, clocks, or calendars. Barker watched from behind a mirror as the psychopaths became psychiatrists for each other. Barker’s successor, Gary Maier, continued the “cure.” Soon after, the “cure” was taken too far by letting the psychopaths run around on LSD. The guard changed the locks, and Maier was fired. Some of the psychopaths “cured” from Barker’s idea were released. Although Barker claimed them sane (even letting them live as his neighbors), eighty percent re-offended. The “cure” just taught the psychopaths to restrain their feelings and appear normal. The Oak Ridge program ended.

I found the theory of the “cure” to be ridiculous. If I were put in that situation, I would not open up about my feelings. Yes, it would leave me feeling defenseless, but isn’t that when all walls go up? Also, it does not seem right to have criminals counseling criminals. Obviously, the mentalities of criminals aren’t stable or moral. How would one crazy person make another “cured?” Wouldn’t it just reassure what the other criminal was thinking is acceptable? Drugs were a bad decision to bring into the situation as well. Drugs change a person’s state of mind. I am still curious as to what happened to the other psychopaths brought into the capsule. Eighty percent of the criminals went to re-offend. Were the other twenty percent cured?