Thursday 29 October 2015

Book ~ "So You've Been Publicly Shamed" (2015) Jon Ronson

From Goodreads ~ For the past three years, Jon Ronson has traveled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us, people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly or made a mistake at work. Once the transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know, they're being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.

A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice but what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.

Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, "So You've Been Publicly Shamed" is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws and the very scary part we all play in it.

I thought this book sounded interesting ... reading about people who had been publicly shamed and how they reacted to it and whether they recovered.  The book had possibilities but I didn't know anyone in the book who had been shamed and didn't really care about them.  Some of the people he interviewed and discussed included:
  • Jonas Lehrer - He spent many chapters about this guy.  He had written a book and had made up quotes about Bob Dylan.
  • Justine Sacco  - She had jokingly tweeted "Going to Africa.  Hope I don't get AIDS.  Just kidding.  I'm white!" 
  • Adria Richards - She had made a big deal after eavesdropping on a job two geeks had made at a conference and they ended up getting fired from their jobs.
  • Max Mosley - He is a former president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) who had gotten exposed as a sadomasochist sex pervert.
  • Lindsay Stone - She had jokingly had her picture taken at a war memorial giving the finger.

Another problem I had with this book is that I found the writing boring ... it could have been a lot tighter.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

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