In Chapter 8, “The Madness of David Shayler,” Jon Ronson realizes people are entertained by others who display madness that is similar to their own, but to a much greater extent. Chapter 8 begins with Rachel North explaining the aftermath of creating a group for victims, like her, who have survived the bombings of 7/7. She is then criticized by David Shayler for her blogs by declaring that everything she writes is a lie, that the bombings on 7/7 as well as Rachel North, herself, never existed. Ronson later speaks with Shayler and realizes that he lusts for attention by creating ridiculous theories that 7/7 never existed, that the plane crashes in 9/11 were actually holograms and that he was the Messiah chosen by God. Ronson analyzes the responses of society to each theory seeing that the first one was not mad enough, the second was the correct amount, and his last one was too obviously mad.
I felt really bad for Rachel in Chapter 8. It must have been so frustrating for her to be continuously told that her near-death experience was all a lie and never happened. If I were her, I would have gone crazy, probably to the point of literally knocking some sense into the nonbelievers. David Shayler seems absolutely ridiculous to me. Coming up with the decision that he is the Messiah? How ridiculous! I thought it was really funny how Ronson made a graph of Shayler’s attention-seeking theories and compared it to the responses he was given for each. Ronson’s conclusion at the end of Chapter 8 makes complete sense though. It’s what I said during lecture while we were discussing why we watch reality TV shows! As for Chapter 9, I think that story about Collin is so unfortunate! And also that Paul Britton was really dumb. He doesn’t blame himself, but the others and when Ronson asks him a question that proves that Britton should take partial blame, Britton asks confused and apologizes for not understanding the question. The PCL-R Checklist really is a dangerous weapon since it is just like criminal profiling, both can misdiagnose people and ruin their lives.