http://shadifactory.com/components/of/perceiving-the-affordances-a-portrait-of-two-psychologists.php As news of World War I filled the newspapers, he became enraged that his adopted country, the United States, was not siding with the country of his birth, Germany. Following his pattern as an academic nomad, he told Leona that after the school year he planned to take a new teaching position back in Dallas at Southern Methodist University. He sent Leona and the children back to set up housekeeping while he wrapped up his business dealings at Cornell. But business at Cornell was not really on his mind. The man now called Frank Holt began to enact his plan. Under another assumed name, Patton, he rented a house near Syosset, N.
Using yet another assumed name, Hendricks, he made a purchase that even a century ago should have raised eyebrows: pounds of dynamite. A pair of desperate acts lay ahead that would write his name in infamy, if not history. As Muenter entered what would be the last two weeks of his life, the deranged instructor decided to teach the world a lesson.
July 2, , was a Friday leading into the Fourth of July weekend. Nobody paid much attention that afternoon in Washington, D. At that time, there were no restrictions on members of the public entering the Capitol building.
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The Senate was in recess, and there was little activity. Had anyone noticed him, they might have thought he walked a little more Undetected, Muenter withdrew a package and fiddled with something: a timer, set to go off just before midnight. He slid the parcel under the Senate's telephone switchboard and fled.
He dropped in the mail some crazy rambling letters to newspaper editors under still another assumed name — "R. Pearce" — saying something about a bombing and taking credit. Mission accomplished, he walked to nearby Union Station and bought a train ticket. At p. The blast destroyed the Senate reception room and blew open a door to the vice president's office. Satisfied with his handiwork, the bomber — having committed what we would today call an act of domestic terrorism — boarded the overnight train to New York.
There was one more lesson to teach, and it required no less a figure than the richest man in America.
Pierpont Morgan Jr. So powerful was the bank, in fact, and so extensive its holdings, that some accused Morgan of maneuvering America's entry into World War I against Germany as a means of protecting his fortune. If an assassin wanted to make a symbolic strike at the war effort, not even President Woodrow Wilson made as fitting a target. On the morning of July 3, , Morgan was sitting down to breakfast with his wife, children and the British ambassador when a knock came at the door of his Long Island mansion.
It was answered by Morgan's butler, a redoubtable man named Stanley Physick. The man standing on Morgan's doorstep told Physick that his name was Thomas P. Lester, and that he had an urgent matter to discuss with Morgan. The butler took one look and tried to prevent him from entering the house, but "Lester" — Muenter — pulled out his two pistols and forced his way in.
Hearing the commotion and coming to investigate, Morgan sized up the situation. In what newspapers later described as a brave act to protect his family, he rushed directly at Muenter. The gunman fired four times. He struck Morgan twice, once in the leg and once in the abdomen or hip. Despite his wounds, Morgan wrestled Muenter to the ground, where Physick conked the crazed language teacher on the head with a lump of coal. This stunned him long enough for his intended victims to tie him up and summon police. That's when someone noticed the remaining contents of Muenter's pockets: three sticks of dynamite.
The explosives were promptly doused in a bucket of water. Morgan received medical treatment for his wounds, and fully recovered.
Muenter was taken into custody and had some explaining to do. The police set about trying to piece together what on earth Muenter-Holt-Patton-Hendricks-Lester had been up to. They discovered he had likely been the author of the R.
Pearce letters, inspected his dynamite and tied him to the bombing of the Capitol. Once the suspect's picture appeared in newspapers, people also started figuring out that the crazy Morgan-shooting-Capitol-bombing guy sure looked a lot like that Harvard teacher who had killed his wife and disappeared. Leona Holt, who was home in Texas with two small children expecting the imminent arrival of her husband, did not take the news from New York well. In an interview with The New York Times the day after Muenter was captured, the shell-shocked woman said that her husband had "always been known as a law-abiding and law-respecting man.
I am, therefore, sure that the great misfortune that has come to him is due solely to a nervous breakdown. But as police continued their investigation, Muenter's lies unraveled. He variously claimed that he had only wanted to scare Morgan, said another time that he wanted to kill him, and said another time — all within a few hours — that he was going to take the millionaire's wife and children hostage to force him to stop funding Allied war causes.
He claimed to be a devoted pacifist, all evidence of bombing, gunplay and murder to the contrary. He also claimed that some of the dynamite he had bought and was unaccounted for was going to be used to bomb Trans-Atlantic ships. A bomb indeed went off in a ship called the Minnehaha on July 9, , but it's unclear whether Muenter had anything to do with the sabotage. The essence of art is creative innovation, coupled with an ability, in varying degrees, to transcend the boundaries of consciousness.
But this 'ability' is also the prerogative of the mentally deranged. Likewise, the criminal and the deviant are more likely to transcend normative barriers while creating, hence the wide range of criminal and deviant behaviour in society. Although the inverse hypothesis does not hold - the mere existence of deviance or morbidity does not predispose the individual to creativity - nevertheless criminal and mad behaviour are often very innovative.
This thesis is illustrated by historical case histories of creative deviance and genius madness, and contemporary observations.
The painter Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio killed a man while still a teenager, and a second victim during a ball game. In his lifetime he was considered degenerate, but today he is considered the greatest painter of the Italian Settecento, and his portrait adorns the Hundred-Thousand Lira note. Jean Genet the homosexual thief was born out of wedlock and as a teenager he transgressed almost all the paragraphs of the French criminal code.
But he became a famous French playwright, the mouthpiece for criminals and deviants. His plays built up a philosophical apology for the raison d'etre of the criminal group. Subject Art and mental illness. Creative ability. Bibliographic information. Select your country Access all the content created for you.
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