Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life's Soundtracks

Fifteen”- Taylor Swift. I really like this song because I feel that it relates to a lot of young girls as it did for me during my high school years. This song reminds me a lot of my first day of school every time a new school year would start because even though I knew my classmates well, I always felt nervous going to school on the first day and not knowing what to expect. As the day starts, it would always be exciting for me to see everyone and how they have changed, yet nerve wrecking in ways of not knowing how others will react when they would see me. I also felt that everything was nerve wrecking because I wanted to fit in and “liked” by everyone, so I would try my best to make a new good first impression. The lyrics that really relate to me are when: “You take a deep breath and you walk through the doors/It's the morning of your very first day/And you say hi to your friends you ain't seen in a while/Try and stay out of everybody's way/It's your freshman year and you're gonna be here/For the next four years in this town/Hoping one of those senior boys will wink at you and say/"You know, I haven't seen you around before"”

Mistletoe”- Justin Bieber. My first time hearing this song was at the beginning of the school year this year and I instantly fell in love with it before it became popular or well known. Even though Christmas was such a long ways away, I still always listened to the song because Christmas is my favorite holiday. I also felt that it wasn't to early to listen to the song over and over again, and sometimes put it on replay because I feel like it's never to early to listen to Christmas music. The verse that I really like in the song is when he says, “Aye, it's the most beautiful time of the year/Lights fill the streets spreading so much cheer/I should be playing in the winter snow/But Ima be under the mistletoe/I don't wanna miss out on the holiday/But I can't stop staring at your face/I should be playing in the winter snow/But Ima be under the mistletoe” I feel like this relates to me because I love Christmas and, like Justin, I am not just looking forward to the holiday, but I am looking forward to spending it with someone that means a lot to me.

Young Forever”- Jay-Z. This song strikes me every time knowing that I am get older by each given day instead of getting younger, so I always tell myself to live life and not let my faults in life bring me down but to learn from them. “Forever young I wanna be/Forever young/Do you really want to live forever/Forever and ever/Forever young I wanna be/Forever young” are the words that go through my time each time I listen to this song, and I wish that it were possible because life is to short.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


"Changing gender roles and relationships in later life and the challenges to masculinity with advancing age are newly emerging areas in the study of gender and ageing." (Arber, Davidson & Ginn, 2003)

Arber, S., Davidson, K., & Ginn, J. (2003). Gender and ageing: Changing roles and relationships. Philadelphia: Retrieved from roles in relationships&ots=PUeLP_NJ67&sig=6ql1V7u2lw4iaGBHvUf7S0mGdZg

This source includes information on how gender role has changed over time and that society also has an impact on these changes.  I feel that this source is very reliable because it is a book and includes a lot of information that is relevant to what I am searching for my essay.  I am going to use this source to back up my opinion on gender roles, being that it has changed a lot over time and that gender roles also happen during sex, not just during everyday living.

"Popular culture has embraced the idea that women and men are different. Self-help books, talk shows, and magazine articles routinely acknowledge large gender differences, identify how these differences interfere with intimacy, and offer solutions about how individuals may overcome these differences in order to develop more fulfilling romantic relationships." (Vogel, Wester & Heesacker, 2003)

Vogel, D., Wester, S., Heesacker, M., & Madon, S. (2003). Confirming gender stereotypes: A social role perspective. 48, Retrieved from

This article includes information about how there is such a large difference in gender roles and how these difference in roles influence their sexual behavior. I feel that this source is very reliable because it includes research on heterosexual dating couples and what their roles are.  So this information is great in backing up my essay with actual studies. I am going to use this article to include research information on different genders and how it has changed over time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chapter 9: Aiming a bit High

The chapter starts off talking about how Bob Hare is trying to broaden his PCL-R and teaching people how to use it by traveling from place to place around the country.  John Ronson then meets up with Bob at his hotel at Heathrow.  During their meet, Bob shares his travel experiences with Ronson and how he thinks that people can misuse the PCL-R checklist because there are many different ways to interpret the checklist in determining if someone is a psychopath or not.  Also, Bob shares that others can misuse the checklist because during his travel and teaching others how to use it, people kind of doze off and did their own think as he was teaching them how to interpret it.  After his meet with Bob, Ronson then meets up with Paul Britton, who is a man who seeks out ill-fated psychopaths and became famous from his ability to catch sexual psychopaths, at the Premier Inn.  Britton shares with Ronson an experience of how he caught a sexual psychopath who murdered a 23 year old woman, Rachel Nickell.  The person that he thought killed Nickell was wrongly concluded as a man named Colin Stagg.  It turned out that the man who was sketched looked a lot like an actual murderer named Robert Napper, but Stagg was considered the murder because he had fit Britton's profile.  After Napper had then been caught as the official killer of Nickell because of his many killings after Stagg was arrested, Britton's reputation was ruined because he had caught the wrong killer.

After reading chapter 8: The Madness of David Shayler and chapter 9: Aiming a bit High, I felt that the two chapters had really shown how crazy the world is and you never know what information is true or false and made up by crazy people in our society.  For chapter 8, it introduces a man named David Shayler, who is into the conspiracy theories of what actually happened when the north was on the tube in London the day the July 7th attacks. I liked this chapter because I am into conspiracy theories and learning about how others feel about a major event that cause a lot of trauma in others' lives.  For chapter 9, I like that Ronson had really shown that maybe people who are thought to be crazy on the Bob Hare checklist are maybe not crazy because there are other things that have triggered why the person acts a certain way.  Although the two chapters had shown me how crazy the world is, I feel that society expects that kind of crazy to fulfill our desires.  In saying this, it is like watching a scary or grotesque movie, although we say that things are scary or nasty, we are prone to those things and we expect those things from movies and want more of it.  So in some ways, I feel that there are a little bit of crazy in everyone to want those desires and to trigger our interests in things that are obviously judged my society and by us as something that is abnormally wrong.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Something Burrowed --> Malcolm Gladwell

In the essay "Something Burrowed" by Malcolm Gladwell, he asks whether or not plagiarism charges should ruin a person's life. He first starts off with giving us an example of Bryony Lavery, who is a British play writer of the Broadway Play called "Frozen", and how she plagiarizes by using works from people, such as: Dorothy Lewis and Gladwell himself , to complete her play. Dorothy Lewis was a psychiatrist that was interviewed in one of Gladwells articles, and some of the information that was given to Gladwell about her life was in comparison to a character in Lavery's play. As the controversial issue on Lavery started to arise and having Lewis considering on filing lawsuits against her, Gladwell meets up with Lavery. He then learns from Lavery that she had not intend on plagiarizing his and Lewis's work but that she saw their work as “news”, therefore she thought that she could use it without receiving consent beforehand. Also in the essay, Gladwell writes about how music can also be related to plagiarism and how what matters is not that someone copies another person's work, but how much the person copies. Gladwell then summarizes that one artist cannot own a certain note because there are so many different ways and durations to use that same note, therefore it is not plagiarism. Overall, in Gladwell's essay, he does not provide and answer or go into further investigation on whether or not plagiarism charges would ruin a person's life, he just leaves it as an open-ended answer.

After reading Gladwell's essay on plagiarism, I felt that it was clever on how he did no say whether he was for or against plagiarism, but that he provided us with examples of plagiarism and how it had affected a persons life, and the evolutionary background of plagiarism. The way on how I understand what Gladwell is saying about music is that plagiarism is not bad in the music industry because music evolves over time. In my understanding of what he was saying, I agree with him because I also feel that no artist can officially own a key or note in their lyrics because music does evolve over time and that newer artists build from past generation. Also with Lavery's plagiarism on her play, with my open-ended answer, I felt that she was scared and knew what she did wrong but did not want to admit that she was wrong, and I felt that she should have some sort of consequence instead of getting away so easily for having such a huge impact on public notice for her plagiarism on others' work. Overall, I felt that Gladwell's essay could have been better in answering all of his questions or providing us with some feedback with some information as to why he did not come to a conclusion with his answers.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


In chapter 7, Ronson meets up with Adam Curtis, a friend who is also a documentary maker, at a bar in North London after his visit in Florida with Al Dunlap.  He told Curtis about his visit and that Al Dunlap had a "crazy sculpture collection of predatory animals" and also that he had "oil paintings of himself". Ronson gets upset at Curtis because he was critiquing him and also criticizes journalists in saying that all that they do is travel far away to get bits of "craziness" from all over the place and just "stitch it all together" and make a story out of it. Basically, Curtis is saying that journalists have the desire and need to seek out the negativity and "craziness" in someone to have an interesting story. After his visit with Curtis, Ronson meets up with Charlotte Scott, a woman who had a job with TV corporations talking to people on hotlines who had family crisis and wanted to be on TV.  Some of the shows that she had dealt with in putting people on the reality show were Jerry Springer, The X Factor, American Idol, and Extreme Makeover. These shows wanted the flaws of people to make it interesting for the audience to watch. In her job, she looked for people who were "just made enough" and not "too mad to come on the show".  In working on the hotline and bring "mad" people on the show, it started to dehumanize her and other workers to "find ways to eradicate empathy and remorse from their day jobs" so that they can do better on their jobs. Charlotte then goes on and talks about a woman, Deleese, who was put on the Extreme Makeover show and she was denied the surgery to make her look pretty.  Before this incident, the family had told the truth about their feelings toward Deleese and that she was ugly.  In Charlotte not going through the surgery and making her look pretty had caused a lot of traumatic events in the family from telling the truth about their feelings towards her.  This caused her sister to die from overdosing on pills and alcohol.  

My reaction to both the chapters were that it really showed the crazy in people and reality shows.  I thought that it was really interesting to hear about the events of Al Dunlap and his house filled with predators and that reality shows did only seek out to people with major problems, but it is very sad to hear about these things and that they are actually happening.  Chapter 6 really did go in depth with one person's life and how his psychopath behaviors had reflected on how he lived and Chapter 7 had shown the psycho behaviors being put on reality shows. Everything in both the chapters were very well described and Chapter 7 on the reality shows really gave my a great insight on why the reality shows are so interesting to watch because they consists of people who are already crazy, so it already makes it interesting.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


"How does societal norms shape the way a person thinks and behaves?"

With this question, I will go about finding what society does to a person.  Some of the places that I will look at for answers are models, teens in school, and the media.  I will first try to look at websites and articles on the internet to get information.  Then from there I am also thinking about getting my peers thoughts and feelings of how society impacts a person.

In choosing this question, I just want to learn more about how and why society has impacted a person wan whether or not the societal norms are ethically or morally wrong.  I feel that some of the answers that I will be finding are that society does do a big part in shaping the way a person behaves.  Some problems that I might encounter while doing this research is trying to find enough sources to back up my question.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"The Psychopath Test" Chapter 4

In this reading, Jon Ronson meets with Bob Hare and discusses about his studies on psychopaths which is “The Psychopath Test”. Bob Hare is an influential psychiatrist who did many findings of the psychopath brain anatomy. To determine how different the brain anatomy from psychopaths and non-psychopaths, Hare performed two different studies. One of the studies being that the psychopath and the non-psychopaths were strapped by an EEG that gave the patients a painful electric shock. As a result, the psychopaths did not have any emotion or even break any sweat. In the test, the amygdala that is part of the brain should have encountered the unpleasantness of the electric shock and sent the signals of fear to the central nervous system to create a reaction, but it did not for the psychopaths. Due to this, Hare came to the conclusion that psychopaths had a different brain structure than regular brains, and they had no memory of the pain. Another study that Hare had done was the Startle Reflex Test. In this test, psychopaths and non-psychopaths looked at visuals of grotesque images of crime scenes, such as someone's face being blown apart. As a result, the psychopaths were not disturbed or horrified by the pictures. If anything, the psychopaths were more fascinated by the obscure pictures. From this, he created the twenty-point Hare PCL-R Checklist that determined if someone was a psychopath and at what item they were at, such as item 1, item 2, and so on. Corresponding with the item is the behavior that goes along in describing the psychopath. Ronson came to learn more about “The Psychopath Test” from attending Hare's three-day residential course where a group of psychologists, prison officers, and budding criminal profilers would also attend. At the beginning of the course, Ronson and the other members were a bit skeptical on Hare's checklist. As the course went on and Ronson provided many videos that included psychopaths who were convicted of any felony. Along with the videos, Hare's checklist had correlated with the psychopath's behavior. Towards the end of the seminar, Ronson was enlightened by Hare's theories and findings. From the seminar, Ronson believes that Hare was correct and now he himself feels like he has the great ability to spot psychopaths and that he now has a long journey ahead of him.

Based on the reading, I feel that the twenty-point Hare PCL-R Checklist is not very effective because some people can inhibit one of the behaviors, but they are not necessarily considered psychopaths. Some of the things on the checklist are such as Item 15, which is irresponsibility. I feel that sometimes I am irresponsible, but that does not make me a psychopath. Although I feel that the psychopath checklist is not very effective, I thought that the reading was really interesting, and I liked how in depth each of the cases on the psychopaths were told. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Psychopaths Dream in Black and White

In this chapter, Jon Ronson provides us with detailed work done by Elliott Barker to help the psychopathic patients to become normal, sane people.  Elliott follows the nude psychotherapy sessions that was first performed by a psychotherapist named Paul Bindrim. The nude psychotherapy sessions require the patients to be unclothed in front of another sitting in a circle and staring at one another's body parts for hours. The sessions were also followed by the patients pouring out their feelings and innermost thoughts.  These sessions took place at Oak Ridge.  After a while, the sessions were thought to have been helping the patients to recover from their psychopathic state of mind, so Elliott brought down the work to a young psychiatrist named Gary Maier.  This chapter also discusses that the sessions were actually not helping out the patients, if anything it was turning the sane people into psychopathic people.  This manic mindset had occurred in a psychiatrist named R.D. Laing who tried to help out mentally ill people but being exposed to all the madness around him had turned himself to become insane. Ronson shows the downfall of the nude sessions by adding that when the psychopaths, who were thought to be cured, were let out into the world had exposed themselves to their old, insane, and psychopathic ways.  The mentally ill people were then brought back to the ward because of the session had not worked. Basically, this chapter shows that the psychopaths were the ones who were not being cured, instead, these psychopathic people were being exposed to sane people and turning the sane people insane.

In reading this chapter, I thought that the practices were a bit awkward in being that nudity would somehow cure the psychopaths' madness and help them to become sane.  I also thought that it was strange how instead of helping the mentally ill, the psychiatrists themselves were turning insane, so there was no point even trying to help the insane when the normal people could not even keep themselves from changing their mindset.  Although this reading was a bit humorous in its awkward ways of nude psychotherapy sessions to cure psycho people, it was interesting to learn this new different way of how the psychiatrists tried help the mentally ill.

Thursday, September 15, 2011