Monday, October 17, 2011

Night of the Living Dead & The Right Sort of Madness

Chapter 6 is a view of Ronson's quest in finding psychopaths, as he looks into Bob Hare's accusation that most CEOs are psychopaths, and his journey takes him to meet Al Dunlap. Shubuta, Mississippi is home to the old Sunbeam toaster company. Shubata is now virtually a ghost town that once had a thriving future. The old Sunbeam company had nearly six hundred workers. Ronson was able to receive a tour of the old company from its current occupant. Robert Buckley, an exuberant rich man who blew the company's money, first ran Sunbeam. Next came Paul Kazarian, a foul tempered boss who cared about his workers' rights.After Kazarian, Al Dunlap came into power at Sunbeam. He was notorious for closing many Scott tissue plants and feeling joy out of firing people. After Dunlap's reign at Sunbeam ended due to legal troubles, Dunlap agreed to pay $18.5 million dollars and promised to never head a company again. Ronson then travels to Florida to meet Dunlap, where he is amazed by Dunlap's vast collection of gold-plated objects and predatory animal sculptures, which Dunlap explains their spirits are what has helped him succeed. In the midst of their interview, Ronson tries to evaluate Dunlap using the psychopath checklist, many of which of the traits Dunlap denies having. After the meeting, Ronson checks back in with Bob Hare, and the two of them discuss the meeting with Dunlap.
I found Chapters six and seven to be very interesting, as they profiled influential company leaders as psychopaths. I thought it was bizarre that in chapter 6, Ronson puts great emphasis on Dunlap saying "If you want a friend, get a dog." After Dunlap first says this, Ronson explores all of the instances in which people have said similar phrases about friends and dogs. Next, in chapter 7, I thought it was really cool how the producer admitted to making fun of most of the people, and how most reality television shows try to focus on people who are mentally unstable or psychopathic. It's funny, also, how many people have caught on to the obsession of picking out psychopaths, as now Ronson's wife shares a similar habit.

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