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.