"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Nov 6, 2009

Goat Men

Jon Ronson: The Men Who Stare At Goats


By NIcole Powers

The Men Who Stare At Goats is a hilarious new film starring George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey. Unfortunately, the true story it's based on is no laughing matter, especially if you happen to be a de-bleated goat housed in the U.S. Army's top secret Goat Lab or a guest of our government at Guantánamo Bay or Abu Ghraib.


The screenplay for the movie is woven around cold, hard -- and quite frankly bizarre -- facts uncovered by British author, journalist and documentarian Jon Ronson during his investigation into the U.S. Army's all too real paranormal activities, which he chronicled in a book first published in 2005. Though fictionalized, the script features whole chunks of dialog lifted directly from actual interviews Ronson conducted for the book with high ranking army officials and those who were trained by them as psychic spies...


SuicideGirls caught up with Ronson by phone to find out more.

Nicole Powers: In your previous book, Them: Adventures with Extremists, you covered a wide range of wack jobs of various religious and political persuasions. British fruitloops seem to be mostly confined to disseminating their ideas by standing on boxes and shouting at Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park, but what's so scary about American nutcases is that some of them are actually high up in the military and government and are running one of the country's two major political parties. How would you compare and contrast nutters on either side of the Atlantic?

Jon Ronson: I remember asking this CIA guy called Ray Hyman why there's so much nuttiness within the highest places of the CIA and military intelligence in America, and his answer to me was, "Because people are basically nuts, which means you're going to get a lot of nuttiness outside of the CIA and a lot of nuttiness inside the CIA." And that's the conclusion I've come to, that we're just mad, and our madness is what rules the world.

NP:
But there's something about America and crackpots that means they can rise higher in the ranks of power.

JR:
That is odd isn't it? That it happens in such high places in America. And it's true, in Goats I had a look to see if I could see anything like that happening in the British military and I couldn't at all. The only place I found that level of extreme out of the box thinking was in the American military.

What's really interesting is there's a bit in the book where General Stubblebine has tried and failed to walk through this wall, and has had all these spoon bending parties, and his fellow chiefs of staff get really worried about him and want to force him out. But it turns out they're not worried about him because they think he's irrational and they're rationalists, which is what I would have assumed, they're trying to force him out because they're all fundamentalist Christians and he has possibly been infiltrated by Satan. That was kind of the moral battle that was playing out at the top of the United States Intelligence Service - like wizards throwing thunderbolts at each other. And that's uniquely American I think.


2 Comments:

At 3:29 PM , Anonymous gekkogirl said...

"we're just mad, and our madness is what rules the world"

love it...

 
At 4:49 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

innit

 

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