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. 

What Kind Of Person Do You Think The Author Is?

I think the author of The Men Who Stare At Goats is a sarcastic individual that is also curious about the history of the U.S. Military. The author, Jon Ronson, is a reporter who is originally from the U.K. He seems to be interested in odd individuals because in The Men Who Stare At Goats he interviews and talks to some very strange people. While talking about these strange people in the book, he uses hints of humor to describe the people and events that happen, which show that he has a humorous personality. Jon Ronson's curiosity definitely shows in the book because he is always asking questions and trying to find answers. He also wrote another book about extremists called Them Adventures With Extremists, which shows that he likes to learn about different people and share their story.

Jon Ronson's Purpose of writing "The Men Who Stare At Goats"

The purpose of Jon Ronson writing The Men Who Stare At Goats was to inform and entertain. This is because Ronson uses sarcasm to inform the audience of a classified group of people in the U.S. Military that have done strange events for several years. He talks about the history of this weird group of individuals and where they are today. This topic of technology and military science is entertaining to the audience because this department of the military has been unknown to the public for quite some time. The Men Who Stare At Goats is an exciting book that informs and entertains the audience with the twisted history of an eventful group of people in the military.

MLA Documentation of "The Men Who Stare At Goats"

Ronson, Jon. The Men Who Stare At Goats. New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 2009. Print.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1. Identify a position
2. Explain your criteria, application, reasoning for your position with quoted evidence as support. Please indicate the page number of your quote in parentheses following the quote.
3. Explain the position of the opposition and provide counterargument.

          For the first two years of one book one school at Allen Park High School, the books were basically the same, dystopian novels. To say I am sick of dystopian novels is an understatement, I dispise dystopian novels! So this year's one book one school book Life As We Knew It was almost a relief to read after reading the other two books. Life As We Knew It was an action packed book that kept me reading until the end.
          Life As We Knew It was a great book, especially because it's set up like a diary, which makes reading go by faster. This set up also gives any reader an almost personal experience of the natural disaster that took place. The way Miranda, the teenage girl who writes the journal, describes her and her family waiting and watching the news to see why the moon came so close to the Earth makes the reader wait with anticipation like they were actually watching the TV with her family. "The TV connection went in and out, but we never got cable back (pg.22)." When Miranda said this, I had to go check and see if my TV still had cable. The action of Life As We Knew It seemed so real that the reader feels like this disaster is actually happening for real.
         Life As We Knew It was also an interesting book because of how Susan Pfeffer used a plausible natural disaster for the plot line. I happen to be a big fan of sciency disasters, so reading about an asteroid hitting the moon and the moon causing a lot of disasters made the book scary and interesting. The fact that this event could actually happen causes any reader to become terrified of the moon and asteroids. When Miranda says, "...the moon wasn't a half moon anymore. It was tilted and wrong and a three-quarter moon and it got larger, way larger...(pg.19)," I began to fear the moon. Her explanation would make any reader begin to watch the moon with suspicion or go looking through a telescope to see if there are any asteroids heading for the moon.
        Although some people may think of this book as too much of an easy read or too generic, there is so much more to this book even though it is a fast read.People that didn't like Life As We Knew It may have their reasons for disliking the book, but they need to realize that there can be other reasons to like the book. It has action, romance, science, family experiences, and so much more. One can't look at something they don't like in the book and disregard other parts of the book that they may like. Life As We Knew It was an amazing book and I would recommend to anyone that is looking for a scary, science and action filled book that will keep the reader hooked until the very end.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why I chose "The Men Who Stare At Goats"

The non-fiction book I picked for my project was The Men Who Stare At Goats. I thought this would be a good choice because I love the movie and it seems like an interesting topic to look into. It never occurred to me that the movie was based off a book until my brother told me about it. I then realized that the book was non-fiction and immediately decided that that would be my book for this quarters project. It also caught my attention because it is a very ridiculous topic and I happen to like idiotic subjects that are surprisingly true. This book will be interesting and teach me about the crazy events in the military in the 1960s-2000s.