Tuesday, August 01, 2006

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I am soooo tired of seeing this message! Yep. That's why I'm here...again. Okay, so I started a blog here almost exactly a year ago and never followed up on it. Funny 'cause now I'm a blog junkie. It's like my diary and I find it quite enjoyable to post my random thoughts. Mental masturbation? Perhaps...but in the immortal words of Sheryl Crow "...if it makes you happy...it can't be that bad..."

Meanwhile, I'm having fits with my Internet connection every night after 9-ish. I just loose my connection for some unknown reason. It is driving me crazy since I have also learned to love instant messaging and Skype. I guess it's time to give Time Warner a call. Dammit! It's always something!!

So today was the 40th anniversary of the Whitman shootings from the UT clocktower. What's this about? Well Charles Whitman found himself unraveling mentally and grabbed his footlocker of guns and headed up to the clocktower and started shooting folks. If you've ever been to Austin, you would know that the clocktower can be seen from almost everywhere in Austin so he had a good view of a lot of campus. Unfortunately he killed his mother and wife the night before. Seeing as how he was a Marine sharpshooter, he did a lot of damage--killed 16 students.

This is a rather famous case in psychology circles because, as I was taught, Whitman had a tumor pressing on a the emotional center of his brain inducing rage. The problem is that apparently a tumor was never really found or what was found was really small and not likely to cause this kind of rage. Conspiracy theorists suggest that this was simply a cover-up on the part of the university because he had been to talk to a school counselor and told him he wanted to go to the tower and shoot people.

This has been all over the news here in Austin and they've even shown footage of the shootings (he was at it for 90 minutes before he was finally subdued). What was the result of all this. Well, SWAT teams were created all over the country and LBJ called for stricter gun control. Hmmm...good idea. The tower has been opened and closed randomly after this event and has most recently been opened back up in 1999 to tourists with a tour guide who closely watches visitors to prevent anything like this from happening again. Of course they don't mention the shootings on this tour. I've never been on the tour because I've always assumed the tower was still closed. I sure want to go now!

For further reading, check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman#Tower_shootings It's a great minute-by-minute detailed account of what happened that day as well as lots of other information including his suicide notes and other notes written after he killed his family. This is an incredibly interesting case from a psychological point of view. After reading the suicide note I still believe his tumor was sufficiently large enough to cause this shift in personality.


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