The Blue Raccoon

Friday, August 31, 2007

....And now

[Image: The Wit of the Staircase, "Wit Gifts 2005," December 6, 2005]

Thus the time has come. Tony Dokoupli has assayed the Duncan-Blake event for Newsweek--and let me stop right there.

How out of touch am I from Out There and News Weeklies? My guess is way. But here, billion-eyed audience, is my deal.

I envision, in waiting rooms across this gray-uht land, outside the offices of family physicians and optometrists, a multi-fold yawn, and a mass page turning that if set up on a collective scale, would blow out the fires laying waste to Greece.

If I am wrong, then I am wrong, and there's nothing to be done for it.

And I admit, having spent too much time and considerable effort within this material, being over-familiar works opposite of journalism constructed, after all, to inform those who make better use of their leisure time.
The double suicide is what grabs the attention for the "lay" reader — while in the blogosphere the entire event has transformed into a Cyber Era Mayerling.

I did learn a little more about Blake's emotional condition after Duncan's death and the care friends gave him. Something happened on that long subway ride on his way to meet a friend that became a fatal detour to the Rockaway beach. A cog slipped down and turned a gear. He underwent a clear and irrevocable realization.

I viewed a few images of Blake's work and the
History of Glamour that I hadn't before. I also chortled at this accurate description, most in particular the last clause:
"Duncan’s assault reads like a multimedia performance piece, with hyperlinks and pictures incorporating information from the dregs of the Internet." Rigorous Intution? Professor Hex? Dregs? They should get T-shirts, form a band: "The Dregs of the Internet." They might even invent a hairstyle that symbolizes their status, and call the cut, "dreg-locks."

This insight, too, piqued my interest:

"The condition of being super-social and super-isolated at the same time is an Internet-era kind of thing,” says Fred Turner, a media historian at Stanford University, who speculates that as Blake and Duncan withdrew from friends, “their only reality check left was the wisps of information on their computer screens. And unfortunately, that isn’t a very powerful check.

And this somewhat awkward construction, though I think this is new information, new to me, anyway. I was aware they were planning to make a film, but the involvement of a name producer was revealed by Dokoupli.

"The night before she killed herself, they met with “Scream” producer Cary Woods to outline a noir film—a dream project for some, but it was perhaps too much for Duncan. Her friends speculate that she chose to end her life rather than risk losing another film to forces outside her control."

At first, one thinks that meeting with Cary Woods 'was perhaps too much.' Reading about him, he could be a real life indie Bobby Gould.

The dead tree fiber media isn't half-done with their comprehensive approach to this event, and it'll get bigger and glossier and maybe just maybe more actual information will be gleaned, but maybe the headlines will just get bigger and the graphic design more jarring and lurid.

You know, one of the equations that went into the line of code that made me what I am, was reading Walter Lord's A Night To Remember in the Salem Church Junior High school library. This was his 1955 narrative nonfiction treatment of the Titanic disaster and his use of calm, unfussy language to explain horrific events shaped my own writing.

The last paragraph of that seminal book is worth repeating here.

"The answer to all these Titanic riddles will never be known for certain. The best that can be done is weigh the evidence carefully and give an honest opinion. Some will still disagree, and they may be right. It is a rash man indeed who would set himself up as final arbiter on all that happened the incredible night the Titanic went down."

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At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always...I come here to read your perspective. I'm sorry if my previous post about findind a way to comment sounded disrespectful. I didn't intend it to be so. I really enjoy reading your posts and have admired the way you do them and I DO NOT (agree with Aimie) that they are too long! LOL! I just wish that you could find an easier way to encourage dialogue as your posts maintain a neutrality that in my view, would greatly encourage dicourse!

At 9:57 PM, Blogger HEK said...


Tish, tosh. No offense taken. Goodness, not at all. Thanks for visiting!

P.S. Despite your encouragement, those posts of July-August -- and you know the ones to which I refer -- weren't really suited to this format. But this what I got, for now.

At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Eric said...

Part of the reason the Theremy Tragedy hits so close to home for me is that I lost a woman I loved to a plane crash in 1997, and, while grieving, nearly took my own detour into the sea. My own short-circuit of logic was that I didn't want to wait to see her any longer...if I jumped, I'd see her RIGHT AWAY, and why wait? That would be awesome!

After four hours on the edge of a remote cliff in Ireland, the only reason I didn't jump was my three children. It's a weird place to be in and hard to describe if you haven't been in a similar place. So I can totally understand and sympathize with Jeremy's condition.

The whole thing just sucks.

Thanks for the updates and perspective.

At 11:36 PM, Blogger HEK said...


My perspective? Yours is far more to the point of the matter, in terms of relating to the place one gets to in one's head when suicide becomes an option.

Thanks for visiting, and reading.--HK


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