Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is the Soundtrack to My Life...

"Drive"- Incubus
This song perfectly describes my life and how I feel everyday. When I get overwhelmed, I just have to remember to breath and be the driver of my own life. I won't get anywhere by relying on other people to help me all the time.

"I'm Already There"- Lonestar
This is a song that will always be near and dear to my heart even though I don't particularly like the song that much. My dad used to travel a lot for his work and was never really there while I was growing up but I was still daddy's little girl. Whenever I did get to see him we would always go on daddy daughter dates and take his trans am car out for ice cream together. One day when I got in his car, this song was playing and it made me cry. He told me how he went out and bought this cd so he could listen to every time he had to go away for work and it would make him think of me and by brother and my mom and that we shouldn't worry or miss him when he is gone because he is "already there."

"Swing Life Away" -Rise Against
My senior quote came from this song, "I've got some friends some that I hardly know but we've had sometimes I wouldn't trade for the world." Basically every word of this song describes my life.

any song by Avril Lavigne
Any Avril Lavigne song describes most of my life. I developed my first trend obsession from her in 5th grade when I decided to be punk. Ha. What a joke. Lisa and I were obsessed with all Avril Lavigne songs and when she died I have continued to keep her close to my heart.

"Billy Jean" -Michael Jackson
My mom and I would dance and sing and watch the music video to this song (and every other Michael Jackson song) on VHS hahaha. Good times that I will never forget.

"Mean" -Taylor Swift
Basically every Taylor Swift song is literally the story of my life. However, sad and depressing that may be. I jam out to Taylor Swift with my boyfriends little sister when we have bad days or a boy did something stupid, again. I also listen to T Swift with most of my friends. The boys on my floor this year sing Taylor Swift in the shower and that is something I will never forget.

"Teenage Wasteland"- The Who
This song makes me think of all my friends and my life from 8th grade up until senior year. All my friends are I were sitting around towards the end of our senior year and thinking about all going off to college and how sad it will be and then my good friend Danny just out of the blue starts playing this song and says how one day we will all be back in town together and we will play this song and everything will be just like it was. I will never forget that day and what he said.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Research Sources

O'Brien, J. (1974). THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT AND THE WAR. Radical America, 8(3), 53-86.

 “The simplest definition of the anti-war movement is that it was composed of those people who believed that the war was wrong and who participated in actions aimed at stopping the war.” (O’ Brien, 1974, p. 54)

This source is a section out of a book called Radical America which I found a copy of online through the database searcher. I believe it is a very creditable source because it was listed on Brown's University Library Center. I can use this source to give background information on the anti-war movement. It contains questions as the heading of sections throughout the book answering things like what the anti-war movement was, what type of people it consisted of and how big of a group and movement it was. 

Vietnam and Opposition at Home. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved November 21, 2011 from

According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, “Students marched to protest the Vietnam War, burned draft cards, and confronted army recruiters. In October of 1967, UW students protested against the makers of the weapon napalm, Dow Chemical Company, who were recruiting at the Madison campus.” 

This site is more specific, on Wisconsin history. I trust this site because it is the Wisconsin Historical Society and a ".org" not a ".com." I can use this quote, along with other situations described on the page, to exemplify the impact of the UW-Madison students during this anti-war era. My new research topic is on the effects of the Vietnam war on society, mainly the anti-war movement going on during it and particularly the events that partook on the UW-Madison campus. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Avoidable Dealth of Rebecca Riley

In chapter 10 of John Ronson's, The Psychopath Test, the focus is on misuses, misdiagnosis and problems of the DSM. It starts with protesters of the DSM making fun of the disorders classified in the DSM and how basically anything remotely off about someone can be diagnosed as a disorder. When the DSM came out, more civilians bought the book than psychiatrists even existed which led to self-diagnosis and misdiagnosis of disorders. Robert Spitzer, the man respinsible for the documentation and acuthorization of most of the disorders listed in the DSM, eventually admitted that a lot of the disorders listed in the book, are labeling normal people with a "disorder." The example of the psychiatry hospitals shows how normal people can be misdiagnosed so simply by one lie or off remark. The rest of the chapter is examples of how children that normally would just be considered normal children, now are diagnosed with ADD, Bipolar Disorder...etc just for being wild and hyper and acting like a kid. Rebecca Riley was given too much Bipolar medication by her parents before bed and in the morning she was found dead and the parents were convicted of her murder. I found the Katie Curic interviews quite interesting in that the mother easily and simply gave in and said that her child probably didn't have Bipolar Disorder and was most likely just a hyper kid. The parents just gave her medicine to shut her up...well, now she's shut up alright, forever.

I honestly can say that this was my favorite book that I have ever read so far. I am so intrigued! I have commented on basically everything already in previous blog posts. I do though want to mention how the one mother in chapter 10 was talking about having to duck tape diapers on her kid, my parents had to do the same thing to me. Kids want to be free...or maybe it's just cause I am super claustrophobic, hopefully I don't need medicine for that? Ha.  I really liked the whole idea of the book and the end of tying in how everything is misdiagnosed and people just need a title or reason to why they feel the way they do, even if they are actually completely normal. Psychology is a weird concept and kind of makes my brain hurt. I would love to do more research on it but honestly I feel that a lot of psychology is just made up. People can't have THAT many problems. 100 years ago there were no diagnoses like there are today and everyone (for the most part) turned out just fine.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


In the eighth chapter of Jon Ronson's, The Psychopath Test, the main idea is conspiracy theories and the story of David Shayler. It starts with the story of Rachel North and her being in the carriage during the 7/7 attacks. When Rachel finally got tired of people thinking she didn't exist, she met face to face with the conspirators. Here is where she recognizes David Shayler. David Shayler was a spy for secret intelligence until he felt secret assassinations were wrong and told everything to a journalist. Five years later, Shayler was a 9/11 conspirator, a 7/7 conspirator, and later on thought he was Messiah. The media was fascinated with the conspiracy theories of David Shayler, but not so much with the idea of himself thinking he was some sort of God. This all goes back to the idea of  "the right sort of madness." As David Shayler said, "A lot of people are scared they are going mad these days." People feel comforted by seeing other people with similar "madness" but just a bit crazier, so we feel better about ourselves in that we aren't that crazy. David Shayler got too crazy, where it just frightened people.

Both of the chapters, The Madness of David Shayler and Aiming a Bit High, don't focus on taking so much about psychopaths. I don't quite see how Shayler was considered a psychopath at all, or if Ronson even said he was? They also never prove that Colin Stagg is a psychopath either. It really seems that Bob and Jon and psychopath detectors are all conspirators in a way. I thought that the whole store of Lizze James was the most fucked up thing I have ever heard and I cannot believe that stuff like that actually happens in the world. Like, what?!?!?! Seriously, who would agree to be a part of something like that where she throws herself at some creep. I would never be able to live with myself or sleep at night. The fact that the police woman who played the role of Lizze James, got paid off for compensation of trauma and stress is messed up. She agreed to it, no amount of money can change that. She should feel like an awful and disgusting person. Although Britton was a very good criminal profiler, no person or group of people should trust the instinct of one person completely. It just flusters me that these police and investigators just kept pursing this one man, and not looking for any other clues that were not necessarily in the criminal profile description.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


In "Something Borrowed," Malcolm Gladwell tells his personal story involving plagiarism in a Broadway play, along with other cases of plagiarism throughout the music industry. Gladwell explains how he was shocked to find such similar quotes, references and scenes in the Broadway play, "Frozen" with the works of himself and Dorthy Lewis on serial killers. Gladwell says that words belong to who wrote them but also that words can have different meanings and contexts behind them. He asks the question of when somebody's work no longer belongs to them and where the line should be drawn with taking ideas, words, clothing styles, or music rifts. In some ways, someone copying another persons work can be a form a flattery and a compliment to ones' ideas. Gladwell also questions whether it is plagiarism if the same words are used but they are used to tell a different story. He considers taking ideas or music notes and twisting them to make them your own, a form of art creativity.  Plagiarism is quite a complex issue because there are so many people out in the world that it is highly unlikely that you are the only one that ever thought in a particular way, or played some notes on a piano, or wrote a freshman English paper on a controversial issue. There will always be a hazy line.

I enjoyed reading this piece. I actually looked up the songs that were referenced to see the comparison in the music. It blew my mind.  I realize that it would be very upsetting to see someone using all of your personal life stories or works of writing and research without asking your permission first, because you worked so hard on that research and findings and finding the write ways to word everything perfectly and then someone just comes and takes it as their own, after you did all the hard work? It would annoy me. I actually had someone in high school that would always ask me where I got my clothes or shoes or accessories and then the next week would come wearing something almost exactly as I just had. In a way, it is flattering because obviously someone likes the way you dress, or think or whatever. On the other hand, suddenly what you wore is no longer unique, or the idea you had for a Halloween costume, now suddenly everyone is wearing it. It is a very frustrating thing but in most cases, there is no way to say that YOU were the first one to ever have the idea.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Night of the Living Dead

In the sixth chapter of Jon Ronson's, The Psychopath Test, we are introduced to Al Dunlap. Al used to be the CEO of Sunbeam, a company that made toasters, and he quickly shut it down. Al was known for enjoying firing people and closing down plants. Jon went to meet Al Dunlap at his mansion in Florida. All over the mansion were statues of predator animals and large oil paintings of Al, his wife Judy, and their two German Shepard dogs.When Ronson went on to explain how being so successful and interested in the predatory spirit can be seen as psychopathic, Al seemed reluctant at first. He soon agreed to be asked about the personality traits. Al's responses were always business or leadership "positives." He never seemed to think any of these traits were bad. Although, Al was in a committed loving relationship for 41 years and had some sense of emotion, the other traits were scored very high.

Again, I find these chapters intriguing. I can vividly picture Al Dunlap's mansion with all the statues, paintings and gold. I wish I could go meet some of these people in person. The more and more I read this book, the more I am starting to believe that you could call anyone a psychopath if you really look in to things. The case with Charlotte, she had to find bookings for reality tv shows by listening to saddening stories. She eventually had to learn to get past those feelings of remorse. Even sharing the story of the boy who cut his wrists with her on the phone,m didn't seem too shocking to her. Is Charlotte a psychopath now cause she only care about her job and has no remorse or emotions? The more I think about it, I feel that a lot of the people I know are psychopathic .

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Research Topic

What effect does recycling have on our planet?
How can recycling benefit our planet and those who inhabit it?

This should be a simple question to answer. There are so many informative websites, books and organizations that promote recycling and helping "save" the planet. I have already looked into this topic and found valid sources and quality information about different form of recycling and the ways in which those help save natural resources, decrease landfills and reduce carbon emissions. I have a passion for learning more about the environment and how to help preserve what so many take for granted. My brother is a vegan, so his carbon footprint is by far smaller than mine. I seek to find other ways in which i can reduce my carbon footprint, such as recycling. There are so many recyclable items that many people don't even notice. My goal to to make these options more evident to people with little knowledge on recycling.

This could possibly be a hard task to accomplish, most people don't like to change their ways that they are currently set in.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Psychopath Test

In the fourth chapter of Jon Ronson's, "The Psychopath Test," we finally see exactly what the psychopath test entails. Bob Hare is the person of interest throughout the chapter. Bob created what is now the Hare PCL-R Checklist, this checklist consists of 20 behavioral characteristics in determining if someone qualifies as a psychopath. The electric shock test was mentioned often as a method in determining psychopaths and their brain anomaly compared to non-psychopaths. The same idea can be portrayed through a series of images where one is suddenly a gruesome picture. Non-psychopaths are shocked and disgusted by the photograph or the electric shock, while psychopaths feel no fear, guilt or remorse. They do not have consciences. Bob Hare also warned how psychopaths are everywhere,CEO's and politicians you see everyday. Martha Stout gave advice to Jon to tell wives of psychopaths to leave them, because you can't hurt someone who has no feelings. By the end of the course with Bob Hare, Jon Ronson could now spot psychopaths much easier and his skepticism was considerably lower.

I officially keep loving this book more and more. I honestly was getting kind of scared when reading about how certain things people say and do, go back to the Hare Checklist for psychopaths. I feel like I know a psychopath and I am sort of freaked out, a lot. I think I might trick them into taking a psychopath test and analyze their behaviors now, wow, I am a freak. The line that stuck out most for me while reading was on page 114 when Martha said, "...ninety-nine percent of us wandering around down here are having our lives pushed and pulled around by that psychopathic fraction up there." I also found it funny that Ronson was happy to know that something was in fact identifiably wrong with him. In the chapter, "Toto," I was so fascinated by how convincing Toto was that he was "normal?" Then, finding out the truth behind what he meant and everything just came together. I feel like I am a psychopath spotter now, Ha. If Echoes of my Silence (which is an awesome name for a memoir) is a real book, I am so reading it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jon Ronson Chapter 3

In the third chapter of Jon Ronson's, "The Psychopath Test," he describes the inner workings of Elliot Barker's Total Encounter Capsule at Oak Ridge hospital for the criminally insane in Ontario, Canada. Ronson details just exactly what happened in these psychopath therapy sessions. The patients would be put on LSD trips for periods of 11 days at a time and try to find their deepest, darkest thoughts with no distractions, and no clothes. Patients were eventually reported to be "gentle," (Ronson, 2011, p.78) and soon were released. A man named Gary Maier soon replaced Barker when he grew tired and needed a break. Gary had similar practices for the patients, including Dream Groups and mass chanting. Soon it was discovered that the LSD would change the patients but after the trips, they would be put back into a general ward and basically everything that was just accomplished, disappeared. Gary was later fired from Oak Ridge because the patients they released from the hospital went straight back to raping and killing. These amazing, life-changing programs actually ended up making the psychopaths worse.

This was by far the most interesting chapter of the book, so far. I was so fascinated that I actually enjoyed reading it and forgot I was doing work for school.  I find it intriguing to learn about what practices have been tried, and whether they succeeded or failed. I found the part where Steve Smith describes Peter Woodcock as his buddy to make sure he made it through the drug trip okay, quite comical. This whole psychiatric hospital seems a little far fetched to me, like something from a movie. I mean come on, tripping on LSD while naked and talking about dreams and chanting om?! I want to go out and watch the BBC documentary they talk about throughout the chapter. I also find it super sweet that Madison, Wisconsin is mentioned and the Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee!