Jon Ronson is a journalist, writer and filmmaker. His earlier work focused more on the edge of society – extremists like the Ku Klux Klan, and conspiracy theorists and their subjects such as James P. Tucker and the Bilderberg group. His more recent work is about the weirdness hiding in plain sight, unnoticed and unexamined elements of modern life – the psychopathic traits evident in our society, and the mob mentality of the internet. It’s fascinating to read earlier books like Them: Adventures with Extremists where Ronson tells the stories of the distant nutters who we apparently share a planet with. It’s a different, scarier, even more engaging experience to read his later work when you realise that you’re a part of the weirdness.
I recommended the film ‘Frank’ to Parny. He said he has some spare time to watch it, but he’s probably forgotten so I am reminding him. Parny, watch Frank.
The film, which stars Michael Fassbeneder as the titular character, is based on the life of the the hero of Timpenny, Frank Sidebottom. This isn’t a biopic, it’s detached enough from the late Chris Sievey (the man behind / inside Sidebottom) that it doesn’t incur the controversy or disputes that standard biopics tend to. It respectfully takes the concept of Frank Sidebottom, removes the Sidebottom, and explores the character of the enigmatic genius musician ‘Frank’ who never removes his giant false head.