Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Are Its Shortcomings?

There is only one shortcoming to The Men Who Stare At Goats and that is that the events are out of order, which makes the book confusing at some times. This is a shortcoming because I had to flip to previous pages to clear some things up. Other than this one shortcoming, the rest of the book is praiseworthy and I would definitely recommend it to other students.

What Was Praiseworthy About The Book?

Something that was praiseworthy about The Men Who Stare At Goats is the action that the events bring. In addition, I enjoy the hidden humor of the book. The action and the humor make it praiseworthy because that is what I look for when I am trying to find a new book to read. There are several other things that make this book praiseworthy, but those are the key ones that make this book so great.

The Main Idea Of "The Men Who Stare At Goats"

The main idea of The Men Who Stare At Goats was to open peoples' eyes to the weird and exotic happenings of the U.S. Military and several inspired citizens of the United States. This book shows that the Military once believed, and possibly still does believe, in trying to use supernatural powers and psychic abilities to control an enemy. In addition, it shows that the U.S. brought more science and technology into the military. The Men Who Stare At Goats informs people about unknown events and humorous actions that have happened in the 1900s and the recent years.

The Difference Between "I Me Mine" and "The Men Who Stare At Goats"

I Me Mine and The Men Who Stare At Goats are two totally different books. I Me Mine was an autobiography of George Harrison, while The Men Who Stare At Goats is a non-fiction book about odd events throughout the U.S. Military and the World. Both books were amazing and I didn't stop reading them until the book was finished. The Men Who Stare At Goats, however, was a more humorous book that had a lot more action than I Me Mine. As Much as I love reading about the Beatles, The Men Who Stare At Goats was the better book because of the action and the interesting events that have went on throughout the 1900s. It was also more upbeat, which gave it a better mood. I Me Mine and The Men Who Stare At Goats were both fantastic non-fiction books, but they were both so different that they can't really be compared.

Three Major Incidents Of "The Men Who Stare At Goats"

Three major incidents of The Men Who Stare At Goats are the creation of the First Earth Battalion, psychological warfare against Iraqi prisoners, and the CIA's involvement with mind altering techniques.

The First Earth Battalion was created by a man named Jim Channon. Jim Channon was a Vietnam veteran who was traumatized by the war and created a book called First Earth Battalion Operations Manual. This book was about new military tactics that calm the enemy and make peace with everyone. He also talked about psychic ability that will also help calm the enemy. Fist Earth Battalion Operations Manual inspired someone to attempt to make group in the U.S. Military called the First Earth Battalion. General Stubblebine was the man who helped contribute to making this group. The people in this group were expected to use their minds to create peace with the enemy. Sadly, this army never really accomplished that goal, however, several people still get inspired by Jim Channon's book.

Another major incident was psychological warfare with Iraqi prisoners. During the war in Iraq, the U.S. Army has been testing different methods of questioning the enemy. Jon Ronson finds out that what they are testing is quite odd. An army group called PsyOps put Iraqi prisoners in a metal shipping container, flashed a light on and off, and played different kinds of music loudly. This was to see if the prisoners would answer questions asked by the army. Jon Ronson also found out about subliminal messaging that the army may have been using, but it was never confirmed.

The last major incident of the book was about the CIA's involvement with mind altering techniques. A man by the name of Eric Olson researched the death of his father for years. He just recently found out that the CIA was involved and they put all kinds of tests on him. They even gave him LSD to see if he would answer questions truthfully. Eric Olson believes that they killed his dad because he was going to leak thins information to the press. It was confirmed when Eric had a doctor observe his father's body and they found a bullet wound in the head. This is quite a big incident of the book because it shows that the CIA are testing different tactics for mind altering, which is very suspicious.

What Element Is Most Important To The Story?

The characters and the events are the most important elements of The Men Who Stare At Goats. This is because the characters bring life into the book and the events move the plot along. The several people introduced in the book are very different, odd individuals that make the book funny and very interesting. They are what makes the book true and what makes the book a book. With the characters interesting beliefs and actions, there is always something to laugh about or something that makes the reader curious to find out more. The events give The Men Who Stare At Goats structure and makes the it believable. The events are very interesting and guide the reader through this very action packed book. Without these key elements, the book would literally be nothing; characters and events make The Men Who Stare At Goats one of my favorite books.

The Mood of "The Men Who Stare At Goats"

The Men Who Stare At Goats is both humorous and serious because it informs of true events and it entertains the reader. The book is humorous by the several characters that are unintentionally funny. For example, one man, Guy Savelli, was part of a psychic group of military people and he claimed to have killed his hamster. "And then he said- and his voice sounded sorrowful and distressed- 'Last week I killed my hamster.'" When Guy said he killed his hamster, he was talking about how he used psychic powers to kill it, and then shows Jon Ronson the video of him staring at it, but it never actually dies. This brought humor into the book and made it more than just a book of information. Another part of the book that had humor was when a man by the name of Pete Brusso, a teacher of martial arts who believes in psychic powers, actually beats up the reporter Jon Ronson. "I didn't see Pete's hands move. All I know is that both my armpits, my neck, and my chest began to hurt enormously, all at once, and then I was flying..." Pete Brusso asked Ronson to choke him, so he did, and that is what happened; he got thrown up in the air without really even knowing how it happened. This seemed like a hilarious break in the book because it was unexpected.

The book is also serious because Jon Ronson talks about real world issues, like the war in Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. A man named Bert Rodriguez, a martial arts teacher who also believes in psychic power, was apparently a trainer of Ziad Jarrah who took down one of the planes on 9/11. "Ziad Jarrah was twenty-six when he took control of United Airlines flight 93, which came down in a field in Pennsylvania on its way to Washington, D.C." This part of the book had a very serious mood to it because it talked about how Bert Rodriguez unknowingly taught a terrorist martial arts to prepare him for the 9/11 attacks.