These Gonzo-Style Documentaries Explore Our Crazy World in a Uniquely Humorous Way

Jon Ronson is a gonzo-style journalist, author, documentary filmmaker and radio presenter who is best known for his investigations of controversial fringe subject matter in the realm of politics and science.

After going down a Ronson rabbit-hole, we’ve discovered some highly entertaining documentaries that have a very special type of irony, and a unique humor all their own.

Below is a list of Ronson documentaries that are unlike anything else you’ve seen, and are worth the trip.

Crazy Rulers of the World

The Crazy Rulers of the World is a three part series that tells the extraordinary, never before told story of what happened when chiefs of US intelligence, the army, and the government began believing in very strange things.

Three years in the making, Jon Ronson’s Crazy Rulers of the World explores the apparent madness at the heart of US military intelligence. With first-hand access to the leading players in the story, Jon Ronson examines the extraordinary – and plain bizarre – national secrets at the core of George W Bush’s war on terror.

Part 1: The Men Who Stare At Goats

Charts the history of a secret US Army unit founded in 1979 – the First Earth Battalion. The programme uncovers the startling truth about this unit’s involvement with paranormal activities that defy all known accepted military practice, including mind reading, out of body experiences and ‘thought-death’ experiments carried out on goats at Fort Bragg.

Part 2: Funny Torture

Jon Ronson reveals how the New Age movement of the 1980s has influenced interrogation at Guantanamo Bay and in post-war Iraq.

Part 3: The Psychic Footsoldiers

The final episode looks into the military’s involvement with remote viewing and mind control experiments.

Kidneys for Jesus

The Jesus Christians are unusually committed to their faith. They give up everything they own – including, now, their spare kidneys. For a year, Jon Ronson exclusively followed the group as they attempted to donate their kidneys to strangers in the UK and the US.

But who should they give them to? Where can they advertise? Will the hospitals, the media, and the potential recipients see their gesture as a miracle, or as the self-destructive act of a controversial religious movement? 

I Am, Unfortunately, Randy Newman

Randy Newman is a lifelong hero of Ronson’s, and in this intimate profile, Newman takes Ronson to his Bel Air home, plays some original songs, and muses on his inexplicable lack of popularity.

This article was originally published on Phenomenalisms.com

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