Monday, August 20, 2007

New York magazine covers Theresa Duncan

Well you've probably read it by now, since Fishbowl L.A. mentioned this earlier in the day, but here's New York's take on Theresa and Jeremy.

If you've been following this blog, you won't learn much more. You do get some color and added details about the Duncan-Blake's last days. For example, Duncan and Blake refused to come down from their apartment at St. Marks to participate in the fundraiser they had organized. (In other words, they were AWOL at their own party.)

"Duncan and Blake had been found in the rectory, seated by the window, looking down at the party—their party—below. Without apology they explained that they could not come down, no, they were experiencing a “collective vision” that the grill was going to explode, somehow harming Duncan."

The mystery has changed. It is no longer about why the killed themselves, but rather why they didn't do it sooner. We're lucky they didn't choose to take innocent people with them, like the Virginia Tech killer did. (Some of Duncan's writing was about as unintelligible as Cho's.)

Another gem from this story:

"She wrote new scripts, pitched smaller projects, freelanced as a critic. More time passed. She created her blog, The Wit of the Staircase, taking on a variety of topics (Kate Moss, poetry, reality TV, philosophy) with her sharp-tongued brand of pop erudition. By 2005, Alice Underground was at Paramount, but here the same patterns repeated themselves. This was not an unusual story in Hollywood, where most projects languish for years before colliding with the voodoo necessary to transform a script into a film, but for Duncan it was a first: a case in which sheer force of will and personality were not enough to build the world she was striving to create."

No mention at all of her plagiarism at Slate. Or the plagiarism on her blog. As I and other bloggers have proved, Duncan's "erudition" consisted of cutting and pasting from other sources like wikipedia. Many of her posts were just links to without any further comment from her.

Those facts were sacrificed at the altar of "story." David Amsden's writerly piece concerns itself with the greater themes such as how Hollywood dashes the dreams of artists.

Then there's this kind of crap, guaranteed to raise the hackles of any self-respecting Angeleno:

"... If New York can be a hostile but ultimately rewarding environment for an artist, Los Angeles is often the opposite: easy and glittering until you begin to suspect that it is all maybe a cruel illusion. It was Nathanael West, himself a New Yorker who settled in Hollywood, who perhaps best understood the potentially grim effects this can have on the mind of an ambitious optimist. “Once there, they discover the sunshine isn’t enough,” he wrote in The Day of the Locust of those who seek a specific paradise in Los Angeles. “Nothing happens. They don’t know what to do with their time … The boredom becomes more and more terrible. They realize that they’ve been tricked and burn with resentment.”

Oh, give me a fucking break! This is the kind of shit that makes me wish we could deport every single New Yorker. Let's start by rounding them up in Santa Monica, where they clog up our sidewalk cafes and steal our rent-controlled apartments.


zipthwung said...

i burn with resentment. One day Im going to move.

et in Arcadia ego Eve said...
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et in Arcadia ego Eve said...
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poussin said...

I knew you'd be right on top of this one, Poulet. But you've missed it this time. Of course Duncan would be afraid of an exploding gas grill. She was obviously a fan of that obscure and yet highly praised art film Final Destination 3.

The "collective vision" is troubling, however. We are left to wonder whether the grill was going to explode anyway or whether it was interaction with Duncan's physical presence and psychic energies that was the catalyst. In this light we can see that Duncan and Blake were saving not only their own hides but those of the fundraising party guests, which was really quite charitable when you think about it.

A bit more troubling, and worthy of your investigative attentions, is the story of Duncan's hostilities towards Miranda July, who at the time was riding a high crest with her Sundance film and receiving big-dollar offers from the studios. Had these two women ever met? What could be at the root of Duncan's hatred of July? Because it seems random, so unless you can demonstrate otherwise I am going to have to accept that July represented something that had eluded Duncan, and that's really sort of sad, in the cliched old Day of the Locust way this article so boringly trots out.

Kate said...

This was the part I found sort of odd:
"most projects languish for years", except of course those that sell as a book still in galleys, or as a spec script in a matter of months. There are some projects that take years to get made, and some that are sold right at the pitch.

Well, is the Miranda on the The Elegant Variation thread Miranda July? I heard talk that Theresa and Jeremy went to some public event--reading or signing or something--and made a scene.

Eve--If I didn't write the piece you wanted written, go find someone who will. Or go do it yourself.

et in Arcadia ego Eve said...
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Poulet said...

If they thought the grill was going to explode, they should have sent everyone home, shouldn't have they? How inconsiderate of their guests.

Ah yes, the munch vs. crunch discussion. I guess with a little digging we could find out who the Miranda on that thread is. This story has more legs than a cheap, Central Valley cabernet. I can't keep up.