Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thoughts from someone who knew Theresa Duncan for 13 years

I'm working hard to offer you a fuller view of who the Wit was. One way of doing that is to feature comments from people who knew her or corresponded with her. Here's a heartbreaking post from a friend of Duncan's posted on his myspace page before Jeremy Blake's body was found. Also check out the pics of Duncan, Blake and this friend taken at Stag's Leap winery in the Napa Valley. A highlight from his post:

i have known theresa for 13 years
she was like an older sister to me
i was there the night she met jeremy
who became like an older brother to me
if you've read theresa's blog 'the wit of the staircase'
you'll know how erudite, witty and gorgeous her writing and thinking were
well, so too was she as a person
hyper-intelligent, hyper-beautiful, hyper-ambitious
not to mention generous and loyal: fiercely loyal
but she scared the hell out of some people with her sharp tongued rapier wit
i've seen so many people turn on her
i've seen so many people afraid of her
and i've seen how they harrassed her
literally to death

It seems this friend did not believe at the time of this post that Duncan could be paranoid or delusional, but rather that someone "harassed her to death." He alludes to having lived near St. Marks at the time of Duncan's death.

Questions:
  1. Was he at the St. Marks fundraiser and if so, can he add more details on the exploding gas grill incident?
  2. What can he tell us about Duncan-Blake's "collective vision"? How did that work? Were they psychic? Did they ever use their collective vision to help them score a parking spot in Manhattan? Any details on this subject would be appreciated. Those of who us haven't experienced collective vision with another human being are fascinated by the idea. And we're clearly missing out on a life-saving psychic phenomenom. (Note: I've not experienced collective vision with humans, but have experienced it with dogs. Somehow we're both drawn to the toilet bowl at the same instant. Weird how that happens.)
  3. With so many people in Duncan-Blake's circle being pushed out, how did this friend manage to stay in? (How did he avoid being accused of ties with Co$?)
  4. What evidence does this friend have of Duncan-Blake's harassment? (What did he see or observe with his own eyes.) Who does he think was behind the harassment?
  5. If Theresa was "harassed to death" by someone, then that would be a crime, wouldn't it? Are police investigating? Has this friend gone to the police with any evidence that could implicate someone in Theresa's death? Does this friend fear for his own safety, since he was a close associate of Duncan's? What is he doing to seek justice on behalf of Theresa?
  6. Why would people fear Duncan? What threat did she pose? If the threat was her wit and intelligence, should other smart, witty women be concerned? What advice would this friend give such women?

32 comments:

Kate said...

That's Blake Robin's page. He's the head of Nolita records as well as being the Baron von L.

poussin said...

His tone poem is quite eerie, methinks, because in these photos Theresa looks unusually happy. Count how many pictures on Wit were smiling ones. None. There was one with her mouth semi-smiling, but nothing like the one posted here. And this was taken when? Shortly before her death? This is a brilliant addition to TDC, Poulet, because it just adds to the addle. Hardly the portrait of a soon-to-suicide.

There's something to this; it's a key element to the mystery.

I've heard that "people were afraid of her" thing before, but I can't remember where. She might've scared Miranda July by protesting or demonstrating or whatever she was doing; I'll buy that at least.

Good seed to sprinkle on the coop this morning, Poulet.

MP DL'T said...

You and Katie Coe are sharing a collective vision of each others assholes-I'm jacking off to the thought of you to getting it on,Poullet with your hands all over Katie's ass,in her head she's thinking of her kids,and when they grow up,they'll be like Theresa was the cool one you were the wet rag,the snitch-the tattle tale,the gossip-you threw water on the BIG BAD WIT.

How about putting your self procalimed journalistic reporting to a real test-like finding out the truth about 4 planes that crashed Sept. 11,2001.Where is the wreckage-part numbers to match the crashed planes to their flights and passengers. Theresa was daydreaming,makin gher way thru the daily grind-her genuis was in her persona-in person she was a gunslinger with words,what did she lead you to...
your government has told you that
a jetliner made entry into the Pentagon the way a professional diver enters a pool,with out a splash-I drive a Chevy van,the next time you see one-consider a 7575 has 2 engines this big,much heavy and much more durable in construction with a solid core.The damage to the facade right after impact,and 20 minutes prior to collapse doesn't match the dimensions of the 757,wing span,engine span,tall height,landing gear which comes down automatically triggered by altitude.An eyewitness quoted in the Washingotn Post a story written Sept.11,2001 apporx. 4:59pm
withness states,the planes was the size that would hold 8 to 12 passengers,not a jetairliner 757.
you use phrase like methinks,very quirky and Kate thinks she's so savvy when she refers to her being read in print or in pixel-you are a real new waver,edgy-hipster,right on target.
Let's take a minute to celebrate the highlight of Katie Coe's career. She'll be bragging about this for decades,and her friends will be all fascinated like,wow Katie-you're almost just like her,you are so smart too,you are a genuis-you've all forgot-this person is dead,this is a person many people would love to see and hang out with again-You are glad she's dead,you are making money off of her death-you are addicted to the blogging,mostly because your name gets thrown around-you are famous now-you did it Kate-I'm so proud! You had no idea Theresa was so admired-the fact is CHOP SUEY got made becasue of Theresa,what has Monica done in all this time?

arebours said...

jeez,you sound a lot out of control,mp whatever.Incoherent,completely.

pomegranite said...

OK, seriously what do you all make of this? without dismissal and sarcasm. will someone really take this on?

http://alexconstantine.blogspot.com/2007/08/cable-pioneer-jim-cownie-on-video.html

and:
http://aconstantineblacklist.blogspot.com/2007/08/abstract-murder-of-theresa-duncan_5680.html

Alex Constantine:
Friday, August 17, 2007
Abstract: The Murder of Theresa Duncan

ABSTRACT: After Theresa Duncan's alleged suicide, a smear campaign was waged. We are to believe that she and Jeremy Blake were stereotypical "paranoid conspiracy theorists" who feared Scientology stalking to the extent that Duncan, a professional "failure," was driven to take her own life. Jim Cownie, however, is not a conspiracy theory. He is the founder of Heritage Communications, which Rupert Murdoch has vested interests in - now known as AT&T Cable Systems. Cownie hails from Des Moines and the Warren Buffet circle of investors, also the CIA's Operation Mockingbird, a status he shares with his business partner, Rupert Murdoch, who, in Australia, pooled interests with Peter Abeles, a CIA-Mafia kingpin. The pair were focal points in a number of suspicious "suicides" and murders. Cownie has been tied - BY THERESA DUNCAN - to The Franklin Cover-Up and attendant child sexual slavery network ... which also came with a number of unexplained "suicides," fatal accidents and murders. The classic defense against allegations of a whistle-blower like Theresa Duncan is to denounce her as "crazy," her charges "conspiracy theories," and this is exactly what Kate Coe, a Rupert Murdoch shill, did in her smear piece published by the LA Weekly. She depicted Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake as crazed paranoiacs, operating on the assumption that there was no substance to Duncan's "theories." In fact, Theresa was investigating Operation Mockingbird's child prostitution connections, and was murdered for it. Kate Coe's defamations and Murdoch's media manipulations constitute the cover-up of her murder. The police, by the way, did not rule out foul play and did not even rule her death a suicide officially - yet the word "suicide" was immediately used without reservation by Murdoch's reporters and other Mockingbird fronts immediately, driven into the public's head. Full details:

http://alexconstantine.blogspot.com/2007/08/murder-of-theresa-duncan-jim-cownie.html

The background information on Jim Crownie and Rupert Murdoch is self-explanatory in the full text. Verbatim sourcing, with a few clarifying notes by me, tells the entire story. (I don't expect to hear, "Alex Constantine says it was all a big 'conspiracy' ... " and will not respond if this is stated, because this long story is made of many parts, is modular, and ALMOST NONE of it was penned by myself. I collated the credible reports of others, and that's the extent of my effort. Any valid critique will apply to a part or parts of the whole. This information should be weighed by a proper, objective jury.)

Kate said...

Alex is certainly a skilled and dedicated researcher:

http://alexconstantine.blogspot.com/2007/08/fox-news-producer-mockingbird-kate-coe.html
He wrote:
"We've seen the Fox approach to racism - it looks like this: "OK, we may be giving too much significance to just one segment on this week's On the Media, but since it's sister-blogger Kate Coe from our own FishbowlLA, we can't help but crow. OTM's Bob Garfield interviews Kate about her story for the L.A. Weekly on how little coverage a black-on-white Halloween crime received." - "Off the Media: Clever Headlines, Kate Coe and Giuliani"
http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/dissecting_npr/

The suggestion here is that the Weekly supposedly censored a story about black-on-white crime because the editors are too "politically correct," pariah "liberals" reluctant to criticize blacks, as Ms. Coe insists the paper should."


In fact, I wrote a piece FOR the LA Weekly about the Long Beach hate crime and the lack of media coverage:
http://www.laweekly.com/news/news/long-beach-hate-crime/15346/

He didn't even read the piece.

I have never worked for any tv news dept, much less Fox. I did work as a freelancer on A Current Affair (not the old one) which was cancelled in Sept. 2005. I left in May 2005.

So, if Alex is so brilliant, why did he get these very easily checked facts so wrong?

And MP--write your own piece. No one is preventing you, least of all me.

kongjie said...

@mp dl't

Since you feel compelled to take a swipe at Monica Gesue, even though she wasn't mentioned in the post above, I'll answer for her, since she's my wife and doesn't really comment on blogs.

What Monica has done all this time is, obviously, irrelevant. If she were currently living on skid row, it wouldn't change the facts of what went down way back when. Monica has had regular jobs like the 99% of the rest of us, has friends, family etc.

Your presumption is that if Monica hasn't churned out a work of genius equal to Theresa's prodigious output, what she told Kate Coe lacks credence. As angry as you are, can't you see that one has nothing to do with the other?

The fact is that Monica hasn't cared about "Chop Suey" for quite some time. She would have thrown away her last copy of it years ago but I hid it from her. She never had any passion for video games per se; she also doesn't much like movies and the whole "entertainment" mentality.

When Kate Coe contacted her, Monica asked me if she should talk to her, and I said "Why not?" What could be wrong with telling the truth? Sure, it's a subjective truth--most human truths are--but that's all we have. The story of Theresa and Monica's partnership can be told in more than one way, but I have little patience with people who, because they worked at Magnet, or knew Theresa at the time, insist that Monica is lying. That's because only two people knew their story, and only one is left.

I have no truck with the mentality that if someone is dead, you can't speak the truth about them, even if it by necessity means something negative. I don't believe that the dead are disturbed by the living. Kate Coe was trying to figure out why this tragedy happened; Monica was very upset and she wanted to know why, too. What she said to Ms. Coe--they spoke for at least a couple hours--boiled down to this: here's my own experience with Theresa: maybe it can shed some light on her fate.

That said, just because Monica shared her side of the story doesn't stop people like you from talking about how wonderful, caring, funny and smart Theresa was--something Monica also talked to Ms. Coe about.

I can assure you I won't follow up your post by calling you a liar, by saying you're wrong, or by asking you what you've done in all this time. How about you give Monica the same respect? Especially since you're saying the same damn thing--compare:

"the fact is CHOP SUEY got made becasue of Theresa"--mp'dl't on "Theresa Duncan Central"

with

"I dreamt up the idea for Chop Suey, and I went to Theresa. We went to lunch at Dean & DeLuca, and she wrote up the proposal and pitched it. She was the most confident person in the world. She had the brains, the charisma to get it made."--Monica Gesue, "LA Weekly"

arebours said...

Qyestion:Why does Jeremys mother refer to him as "a loyal caretaker"?Do most 40 year old women need caretakers?And-what if she were drugging him?He looks awfully confused ,sometimes.Read Paul Bowles "Up Above the World".

MP DL'T said...

this is taken from a note from Monica Gesue to Raymond-count the times she says to the best of my recollection or simular,how she flip flops,an incident burned in her brain-one minute she didn't say Shoo-Fly Pie is racist the next she does-only she doesn't mean to imply Theresa the creator of the idea as a racist.Monica Gesue husband she has thought about Chop Suey,she emailed Theresa about doing a making of story..she has a poor memory-it was 1995 Oct/Nov when things went down at Magnet-that's 12yrs not 15.
I do see that Monica has been illustrating the girl on DIY looks like Theresa.On the box who is credited with writing Chop Suey,who got Fugazi members to be singing pickles? Has Monica had another idea since,or does she stick to drawing for other peoples'
stories?

shit list
KATIE COE
ANDREA HARNER
NANCY ROMMELMANN
a.k.a. FUTURE BUSINESS LEADERS of AMERICA,trouble talkers,water bucket brigade,ladies without lives.
Doesn't matter what I've done
I'm not talking shit about Theresa Duncan-you are and it's not acceptable-Kate Coe affirms b.s. about Staircase being wikipedia-why didn't she bring this up
when Theresa was amoung the living.
I do give her credit for calling Nancy's blog weak in appearance,and suggesting Andrea doesn't know when to edit-I mean how many lame pitures do we all want to see of your trip?
Theresa Duncan-is dead and more people would choose to hang out with her even in this lifeless state,over spending a minute with you.
Poullet works for google?
I'd like to watch Poullet have intercourse with Kate,and Chris Lee to be the caboose,and Dick Cheney paying for it all.


The next morning I went to see Basel Dalloul to talk to him about getting reassigned to another project. To the best of my recollection, I told him what I told her--that I couldn't work with Theresa anymore, and I wanted to do something else. I didn't say anything about "Shoo-Fly Pie" being racist, to the best of my recollection. At that point, I assumed "Shoo-Fly Pie" would get made, but I wouldn't be working on it.

He told me that she had come to him the day before, after I left, and suggested that he fire me. She said that I sat in the bathroom all day long and cried, and also that I never drew "Chop Suey." This, as you can imagine, didn't make things between us any better.

It was later that day, or maybe the next, that a meeting was called about "Shoo-Fly Pie." To the best of my memory, I didn't call the meeting, but I could be wrong.

At that meeting, I was asked about my reservations concerning "Shoo-Fly Pie." I, all along, was uncomfortable telling a story about the deep South--I didn't feel like it was my story to tell. I might have used the word "racist" but not implying that Theresa was racist, or that the story was intentionally racist.

I literally only said about two or three sentences at the meeting. I'm going into such detail because, if you'll recall, you weren't there. Yes, you worked at Magnet, and yes, you were Theresa's boyfriend, but that doesn't mean you had the whole picture. I am not exaggerating when I say that parts of this experience are seared into my mind, because it was so horrible.

After I initially spoke, one of the managers started pointing out questionable issues in the story content. That's when Theresa went ballistic. Why do I say "ballistic"--because not five minutes had passed before she was fired, on the spot. She was yelling at the product manager, in an completely inappropriate way, for simply questioning her. So, to be clear, Theresa wasn't fired because I said "Shoo-Fly Pie" was racist--Theresa was fired because of her stormy reaction when questioned about the project, and probably prior instances of being difficult to work with.

That was the last time I spoke to Theresa Duncan. Over fifteen years I called her once and was rebuffed; I also sent an e-mail every five years or so, not to rekindle a friendship, but just to try and make peace. In fact, I e-mailed her as recently as this past May because I thought if we could come together and write the story of the making of "Chop Suey," it would be a great read. She never responded.

pomegranite said...

While I'm not the head of the Kate Coe fanclub I admit, my focus with alex constantine's claims is not really about Kate Coe- and didn't mean to provoke that part of it -- I'm more interested in TD and JB's claims about Scientologists, Cowlie, etc.
That being said, I'm guessing that AC's claims about Coe are based on Coe having been a producer of a number of Current Affair shows- which ran on Fox, so in effect that would mean she did work for Fox and Murdoch (even if as an independent producer). So that doesn't seem a total fabrication.

But what about all of the other things? Why are people so focused on whether or not TD was plagairising rather than whether or not any aspect of her claims had any weight to them? She was claiming some pretty heavy stuff, that Cowlie stuff is heavy. And her talk with Morales was about alot of these things. If JB and TD made a 20-something page report, they must have been serious about this. People have said all kinds of things, but the one thing that seems to be consistent across the board is that TD did not seem the least bit suicidal. What about Cowlie? What about Sc ie nt ologists? Scien to logists are CRAZY, truly crazy and they do seriously relentlessly attack people.
ttp://youtube.com/watch?v=XW8eTe_Ank8&mode=related&search=

I'm not arguing for or against anything, (except for the insanity of those in a certian org) - I'm interested in people actually looking into these things instead of (or at least in addition to) just calling TD/JB crazy.

Jenny said...

"Has Monica had another idea since,or does she stick to drawing for other peoples'
stories?"

Last time I looked "drawing for other people's stories" is a highly respected, highly skilled artistic profession known as illustration. In children's literature there's even a top honor known as the Caldecott award given for this supposedly second-class, lowly endeavor.

I don't know what Ms. Gesue does now nor is it my business, but please don't think you're scoring points with a completely wrong assumption that people who illustrate stories they didn't write aren't every bit as important contributors to a work. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Also a wee bit hilarious in light of the apparently endemic plagarism that Wit of the Staircase suffered from. Illustrators create from nothing; plagarists are aming the lowest of the low, creatively; to plagarize even once taints every original word a writer uses-it's a sin that can't be taken back, unfortunately. A shame.

kongjie said...

@mp dl't

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I now realize the whole "rational" approach was a mistake with you. You realize that some of your sentences are barely coherent, don't you?

I'll clarify a couple of things for you, although I doubt they'll penetrate the bony layers.

--Monica went out of her way to say things like "to the best of my memory" in her letter to Mr. Doherty because it was a long time ago and she may not be clear on the fine details. But on the big picture she is quite clear--and the "incident" that is "burned in her brain," as you put it, is Theresa's explosion at the "Shoo-Fly Pie" meeting.

I hope that's makes sense now. Some things really stick in your brain after many years, some don't.

--As for the parts about the use of the word "racist": what Monica was trying to say is that she wasn't pointing fingers saying that TD was a racist, or that "Shoo-Fly Pie" was intentionally racist--she was concerned that the nature of the story and the fact that a bunch of white people was creating it was something that made her uncomfortable, and it MIGHT BE TAKEN AS RACIST in the larger, non-Magnet world.

Do you understand now? She didn't want to stop "Shoo-Fly Pie," just didn't want to work on it any longer.

--"Monica Gesue husband she has thought about Chop Suey,she emailed Theresa about doing a making of story"

This comment of yours, I concede, makes no sense to me.

(By the way, notice how you don't really have to quote ALL of someone's text when you refer to it. Consider this approach in future comments.)

--Re: 12 years vs. 15. Yes, Monica is very bad at math. Fetch the Comfy Chair!

--Re: the DIY illustration. If you think that looks like Theresa, you probably see the Virgin Mary in your Cocoa Puffs every morning.

--Theresa is credited with producing and writing "Chop Suey"; Monica is credited with art direction and co-credited as illustrator with Ian Svenonius. But if you think that Theresa wrote it all and had no say about the art, or that Monica did all the art and had no input on the story, you show that you don't know much about the collaborative creative process.

--Monica has not had any ideas since "Chop Suey," other than to stay away from creative partners who think there's an "i" in "team."

--And yes, she does stick to illustrating other people's stories, as lots of illustrators do.

I've been ordered not to "engage with any more psychos," so I'm afraid I'll have to end here.

Best,

George K.

pomegranite said...

You all should really take a step back. With the exception of Gesue's hubby, who I can understand him defending his wife, who's directly involved here...everyone else, you're being really kind of sick.
This guy writes a lament about his friends of 13 years, who LOVED them, and who knew them a hell of alot better than Kate Coe or anyone else here, and isn't working up to a book deal, and you just trash him up and down. How the hell would you feel if two people close to you just died and people who didn't know them were writing about them (how well did Coe "know' them, and what kind of authority does that give? So I bump into someone ata party and that gives them authority...but real friends are just dismissed?) Of course he's defensive and not coherent, do you have an emotional IQ of a doorknob?? I'm not necessarily defending anything he said, I don't know what's true here (neither do you). But that's not the point- even if you don't agree with Blake Robin, why the hell would you bring his grief to make fun of like this on your inane disgusting maggot-infested page here? It's really sick.

Compared to you, TD looks like a saint and the perfection of mental health.

Maybe you should get real lives and stop trying to get yourselves 'known' and entertain yourselves from the detrius of someone else's life, who was so infinitely more interesting and intelligent and creative than you could ever hope to be, even if every word of her blog was plagairised, even if she was a total loony, you've made that clear for all too see.

This isn't about 'defending' TD, I have no interest in that- it's seeing vultures behave this way that's disgusting.
Reporters trying to get at the truth against people that have real power, or in Iraq risking their lives so we can see a glimpse of the truth are heroes. People devoting entire blogs to catty and snide trashing, talking book deals and digging up every shred of dirt they can find, about the painful deaths of two artists that had a hard time of it, is fucking SICK.
Petty, soulless, parasites.

poussin said...

A banner day, Poulet.

I have a shitty comment to make here and I ask that you delete it if you think it is inappropriate, but I'm going to say it anyway.

Why do so many of TD's friends appear illiterate?

I'd say that in private, but you like it all en plein air so there you have it. I am not being judgmental. This is simply an observation based on the provided evidence.

Ideefixe said...

When did I trash Blake? He spoke on the record to me. And I don't have a book deal, a book agent or the attention span to write a book.

And if I'm an agent of Murdoch, than so was Duncan--her deal was at Fox Searchlight, remember?

pomegranite said...

Ideefixee, I'm assuming you're Kate Coe?
I'm sorry for not being clearer, the trashing of Blake Robin was directed at Poulet for having such poor taste to even jump on BR in the way that he did.
I didn't say that you were in league with Murdoch, that was AC's claim, and I tried to say that my emphasis was on the other stuff in AC's post, not his rants against you.
What I said is that it simply could be said that you did work for Fox/Murdoch because you produced shows for a program on Fox. So AC is accurate in that regard. (How he then chooses to extrapolate on that, I'm not even going there- that's to be taken up with AC, not me). With the book deal thing, I meant it more in terms of people- especially Poulet over and over, encouraging you to do so- he's just a real pecker, that Poulet.

I do have mixed feelings about the article you wrote and some of your comments, some positive and some very negative.
But one thing I've got to honestly say- you of course have a right to do whatever you want, but commenting on this blog and what feels like soaking up the chicken praise, does make me question your credibility- because this blog is so clearly and pointedly slanted and in such poor taste, with cheap shots at TD ad nauseum. Hey it's a blog, whatever. As a blogger or casual reader it's one thing- but as a 'journalist' who is supposed to serve a story with integrity and a sense of decency, decorum and respectful genuine truth-seeking- well in my opinion all of that is degraded and called into question because of your significant presence here- a place that displays the utter opposite of those qualities with regard to your subject. I would have a hard time trusting the motives or taking seriously a reporter that associates herself with Jerry Springer, for example.
And hey, it's definitely not your fault if sophomoric terds are praising you, but if the biggest terds around were singing my praises, I'd at least ask myself a few things about what I'm doing and why.

Ideefixe said...

Quote me a cheap shot I have made about Theresa or Jeremy anywhere.


I'm extremely interested in the blog world's reactions to their stories. The blog world drove this news cycle, and MSM responded, which I think is fascinating. I read and comment on a few of the Duncanology blogs.

If these sites are so distasteful to Pomegranite, why are you here? If you don't trust what I wrote, write my editor. Do your own reporting and write your own piece. That would be the joy of the blog--everyone can be a reporter.

It's interesting that not one of the people I interviewed--on or off the record, quoted or as background--has complained to me about what I wrote. Nor did any of them write the Weekly.

When have I associated myself with Jerry Springer? Springer's show was distributed by NBC, not FOX.

If Alex. C's not accurate about me, why expect him to be accurate about anything else? Chris Lee explained pretty well why CO$ was considered by Theresa and Jeremy to be the source of their troubles.

Cownie is the guardian or was of Anna Gaskell. Cownie indeed maybe hand in glove with various nefarious agencies and groups, but nothing tied him to Duncan, other than Jeremy had dated Anna in college. There were no police reports filed by either Duncan or Blake about harassment or stalking or any of the events she wrote about on the blog.

I've requested her FBI file (should one exist) through FOIA. Anyone can do that.

rev said...

Another question:
Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I was wondering why Duncan & Blake spent Thanksgiving with the gracious and welcoming Robin rather than their respective families? Something to ponder...

arebours said...

How did a nine year old befriend a twenty six year old?

pomegranite said...

Kate, I never said you made cheap shots, I said that's what this blog consisted of almost entirely.
I meant you're associating with Jerry Springer in the sense of you're hanging around on a blog that's on the same level as Jerry Springer.

I'm not questioning that you find this fascinating. What I find questionable is your choice as a supposedly serious journalist with integrity (not a casual reader, it's different) being not only such a prominent voice here, but loved.

The thing that you keep saying Alex Constantine is inaccurate about- and therefore everything he says is unreliable- is that you worked for Fox, which essentially you did. So that's something he is not inaccurate about... (As I said, his conclusions from that are another thing).
Alex Constantine, he raised some ideas that are worth looking into, and 'fascinating' questions that are floating around.

I could happily write your editor or my own piece, thank you for your permission. I could also rightfully make comments about your piece wherever I'd like to- especially in a context where people- as well as yourself- are discussing these things.

How do you know that nothing tied Cownie to Duncan? You may have decided that it's unlikely, but you certainly don't 'know'.
The Gaskell/Blake connection could be seen as a significant tie in something like this. What people are saying is that making these kinds of accusations against Cownie, when he knew JB directly and would have known of Duncan, and Duncan was saying pretty intense things about him, and Gaskell was tied to Blake, is a tie.
I'm not saying that something is there, I'm saying it's worth looking into further, and not just dismissing as part of their delusion, as you do.

For you to loudly make the broad character assessment, from the things you wrote in your article, that TD was 'making it up as she went along', and legitimizing that also because you 'knew her' is very problematic to me (and others).

Why would anyone who you quoted in your article write a complaint about you? That's hardly 'interesting'- it's expected. You defended them against TD and gave them a platform to give a one-sided view, (like Gusue and Reza- I'm certainly not saying that they were right or wrong, I'm only saying that you only gave their versions, for example). Of course they aren't going to complain about you.

If you're going to be so sanctimonious and judgemental about, and publicize every questionable thing that someone (TD) has ever done, then you should be prepared to be subjected to the same scrutiny, if not more.

pomegranite said...

Kate, It drives me a little nuts when people try to defend themselves by saying things like- 'if you find this blog so distasteful why are you reading it'--.
This is really the pot calling the kettle black-
--do you ask this same thing of Poulet? Poulet, if you think TD is such a fake ego-inflated plagairising liar, why are you so obsessed with her?
Do you ask this of yourself, Kate? Kate if you think TD was just "making it up as she went along" and all the other negative assessments of her you've made, then why are you so obsessed with her?
why, indeed....

Perhaps you might appy some of the standards to yourself that you apply to others.

Kate said...

Where did I write that she was "
making it up as she went along"?
I think that phrase was Amy Alkon's and we're not the same people. Nor am I Poulet--my mediabistro contract forbids me to have another blog.

And what platform for complaint did I give Blake Robin or Father Morales?

Pom--you're not happy with the piece I wrote and think I should have written something different.

Ideefixe said...

Quoting POM:
"Poulet, if you think TD is such a fake ego-inflated plagairising liar, why are you so obsessed with her?"

While I don't think Theresa was "a fake ego-inflated plagairising liar"

those are precisely the people on whom many writers and researcher become fixated. Artists are tricksters, aren't they? Is Laura Albert an artist or a grifter or both? Theresa defended the poetics of JT LeRoy, and up to a point, I had rather admired Albert's audacity at pulling the wool over the literati's eyes. The self-created are almost always interesting.

I think some passionate defenders are missing the point of Duncanology--it's the process of figuring out what made such a complex personality tick that's fascinating. And I'm interested in what drives Duncanologists, both debunkers and defenders.

BoingBoing, the "world's most popular blog" was posting quite a bit about the story when it was a mystery, and then stopped when news reports came out. The LA Times, a paper with big circulation problems, runs 2 "I didn't know Theresa Duncan, but..." pieces in addition to 2 news stories.

Of course you can make comments, I'm not stopping you or suggesting that anyone should stop you.

But as I pointed out, Alex's research about me isn't very accurate, so why do you believe him about Cownie? I'm not defending Cownie's political actions, by the way, I'm just suggesting that he's not a major part of this story.

Duncan posted about Iowa license plates, Florida license plates, graffiti, a dead cat, harassment, etc. She accused someone I quoted of stealing the hair from her brush and sending it to CO$. With the absence of police reports, or other concrete evidence (she took photos of the Florida plates and sent them to Marshall Astor, but didn't reply when he asked her how she knew those plates belonged to CO$), who knows if such harassment ever existed? She made up quite a few things--did she make up the harassment?

Rev: I think that neither of them had been close to their families for years, but also Robin's based in SF or environs, I think. Closer than Detroit or Takoma Park.

pomegranite said...

Kate,
I'm not totally unhappy with the piece you wrote- I do have mixed feelings about it. I'm not in the KC fanclub, but I'm definitely not in the 'KC is evil' club, either.
And just for the record, I don't 'believe' Alex Constantine's claims, I just think he raises some interesting ideas, (well others raised them too).
I"m sorry about two things- I was paying attention to other aspects of AC's posts, but he does devote alot of his rancor toward KC in that post, much more than I intended by posting him here. Also the 'making up as it went along' I did associate with KC, my bad, sorry.

I'm not decrying 'duncanology' (obviously I'm extremely interested in it as well for many reasons), and not decrying all negative things said about TD, nor am I passionately defending TD- far from it.
I do take issue with the way some conclusions are made and then get taken up, and I happen to think that Poulet's posts (though he graciously allows me to comment here) are vapid and trashy and that he's on a mission to trash TD.

Kate, there's something about the way you say "who knows if such harassment ever existed? She made up quite a few things--did she make up the harassment? " that to me already shows such a huge bias on your part, it serves to discredit TD from the get go. Shaving a few years off your age or embellishing your education record (and then retracting it and apologizing for it) does not make everything you ever do or say from then on false. And it is not the same thing as making up harassment, saying it publicly and writing a huge document about it, and doing all of this along with another person (JB).
I think it's an unfair tactic that you just used to try to discredit her from the get go. It betrays your bias. Everyone has a bias, in my opinion, but I think if you admit to yours it makes what you say more credible.
And again, I'm not saying that TD/JB didn't have emotional imbalance (I"m not a 'defender') they very well may have. I'm only saying that to be totally dismissive and just boil it down to them being crazy, isn't fair. Especially when you're dealing with the likes of Cos. Again, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.
I honestly don't know, but I'm just not convinced that TD and JB were both totally crazy and delusional and just made up all of this stuff to explain setbacks TD's career might have been having (after all, by many standards she was actually pretty damn successful, and JB was extremely successful). I'm not ruling it out, I'm just not convinced that it can all be dismissed so easily.

ps- I don't know what you mean about giving a platform to Blake Robin and Morales? not sure what you mean there.

Ideefixe said...

But where did she say publically, outside of her blog, anything about harassment? That she and Jeremy filled a notebook doesn't really mean that everything in it was real. They had no filed no police reports. They had not sent that document to an attorney at the time of their deaths. Plenty of people make very elaborate cases for ficitious episodes.

And her fiddling with resume and age are both small points--on the basis of those alone, I would not be suspicious of the other accusations. Passing off Chop Suey as her work or saying that David Sedaris was her collaborator were soemwhat more serious acts--so much so that Gesue had an attorney send a "cease and desist" letter.Duncan's first agent told me on the record that he had heard from other people's lawyers over the course of his time of representing her.


I take everything she wrote with a grain of salt, and that includes the charges of Reza Aslan's involvement with sinister government agencies. She accused Brad Schlei, who had optioned a novel for Jeremy to direct, of being in league with CO$. She accused a number of people--former friends--of various acts of conspiracy and harassment. All the people I contacted, quoted and as background, said they were horrified and worried by the accusations and the subsequent emails and letters that Theresa and Jeremy wrote and sent about them. Chris Lee got similar reactions.

Alex and others seem to think that because she wrote it on her blog, it must be so. We've seen enough things on her blog proved to not be so that some healthy skepticism should be the standard. That's not bias, that's holding judgment in arrears. Innocent until proven guilty, and I'm referring to the people she accused, as well as Duncan herself.

tsar_haller said...

I think a pound of salt is in order, ideefixe. Though, the plagiarism thing has gotten a bit silly. A bit too Dario Fo. Seven bloggers looking for a byline. After all of this scholarly struggle we have found out... She's human. Well, lordy-low, who woulda thunk it. I think there are more than a handful of cable television programs fiercely dedicated to failures in character. Do we really need more of this noise in cyberspace?

"poussin" is French for peanut.
Honestly, I find that more intriguing than the Duncan-centric discussions of late.

Hope this work finds you all relevant.

And thank your lucky stars.
You won the lottery of birth.

MP DL'T said...

you are write,I don't red.
because and I quote "left is the only place for me..."
writers never suspend my disbelief,serious journalist like Cate Koe lose me with the first lame adjective.I didn't read beyond the heading KATIE COE, I know the magnetude and importance of what she wrote,because her mutual admiration society tells me so.Nancy Rommelmann,AA,P & P's .
I change my mind Theresa one time wrote and I quote "clink,CLINK" my imagination was in suspense,I could read and re-play that bit over and over,like living in a refrain-she was talking about her morning routine and RED BULL.
I remember the nite she mad mash potatoes.My favorite lady,made one of my favs.
Chuck Berry said there is nothing new under the sun-
illustrators I draw,I didn't make it official,or I mean I didn't spend a ton of money that I don't have to get a certification that I can draw on notebook paper,and then I blow them up to...but it's not about me. Drawing is no more generative than any medium of expression,start illustrating with blood tapped from you fingers and you can say it's fundamentally the most orginal in origin,naturally.
What ever you make,it could be a new scene or an orginal character-it came from some frame of reference,it may even seem from thin air,a face you draw is not brand new,it has aspect of something you've seen,even if it's diametrically opposed to everything you've seen-it is only then an opposite,not an original,though arguably never before seen by human eyes,at last
you are not GOD.You can draw,congragufuckinglations-go get that award.
This gets back to Theresa being witty enough to know a person like Kate judges her peers based based on the level of their education.
Katie's getting ready to write abouthte double suicide of her 2 children-
Monica's proxy/husband-I suggested she was a shrinking violet,and that theory has been
demostrated.
Theresa's reaction to the slam of racism is totally acceptable,
people like Monica would take issue with other artist,such as Q.Tarantino or Jeffrey Lee Pierce for using nigger in their movies and music-because they are white folk and they can't be talking about darkies.That's the defense mad be her proxy.
Poulet is CIA
the sum of everything writen here, properly attributed to Kate,her other i.d. P and P and I quote
"...shit..." all 1000 words a day.
Theresa's last word,it you believe she pulled her own plug,inspite of official determination---saying she was at peace with her decision
it's valid it poses no mystery-it's as relevant and direct as everything posted here,actually more so,because action followed her words.

artists&models said...

Sure, everyone's human, Yes, everyone has "failures of character", which can be argued about, "failure" and "character" being so subjective, depending on who's talking.

But it is troubling how supposedly UNimportant it is to some of you that a person who loved attention and admiration for "her" words-presumably signifying "her" thoughts-stole way too many of those words, words other people took the time, thought and trouble to write(and yes, friends, whether you like it or not, whether it fits with your idolization or not, stole is the right word, not "borrowed or some other nonsense).

And I suspect it wouldn't matter if she were dead-sadly and tragically as she is-or still alive; these people would still fiercely toss away the crummy fact that she defrauded readers. Why did she do that? Why was it necessary? It IS a shameful, not an inconsequential, thing to do. It does taint everything one writes, unfair as that might seem-but it was voluntary on her part, after all.

If the stolen words don't matter, then do the not-stolen ones not matter, too? Does any of her work matter? Does it matter simply because of the image of this person that has been built up in these defenders' minds? If you had the chance to ask her about it, would you say "oh, you're human-who cares? Not important, kid". Really?

And what would you say to the people whose words you'd mistakenly admired as Duncan's? From the comments here it seem as if it'd be something along the lines of "you're just a jellus hater-get over it!" Look, there are just too many talented, smart people who would never in a million years dream of consiously plagiarising for that petulant "she's only human, lordy-low" to wash. I wonder if Ms. Coe has ever plagiarised, or what she thinks of that charge...because whether you "like" the article she wrote or hate it, she is at least trying to be honest.

Mrs B. said...

Actually, 'poussin' is french for chick - as in baby chicken. Just goes to prove poussin's previous point I guess... Quels illetrés ces admirateurs de Duncan!

tsar_haller said...

Howdy.
I wasn't knocking Kate Coe. I thought her article was fine.
I was making a comment about the strange cult of personality surrounding Theresa Duncan after her death. As if this is the Council at Nicea or something. Love or Hate, her impact is exaggerated. Just a weird, home grown dialectic.
Your animosity kind of proves my point. Whatever you read in my words just isn't there.

Baby chickens are fine too.

bye weirdos

pomegranite said...

Kate, I don't understand for a moment how you seem to say that no one you intervieweed for your article wrote you with a complaint, and I've seen you write this in several places, even here- where Blake Robin, someone you interviewed, is practically foaming at the mouth with anger at your characterization of TD.
You seem to be saying repeatedly that no one has contacted you to complain, as if to legitimize what you wrote- yet one of these very people is complaining profusely.

My feelings about Kate Coe's article are actually very well summed up by Raymond Doherty, who commented in response to Kate's article. While I don't agree with everything RD said, I feel similarly to the excerpts below. I'm not saying that Kate's article didn't have elements of truth in it, but I really do question the way she came to conclusions and made characterizations about TD. I think her bias and subtle ways of framing the entire piece to make it seem like TD's whole life was a lie, is irresponsible and transparent. this really isn't about 'defending TD"- I don't know the 'truth' about TD, and don't think she's some kind of saint. But Coe's article struck me as skewed right away, I would have felt this way no matter who it was written about. The truth about TD is not going to all be pretty and wonderful- I don't know how it could, about someone who committed suicide. I think the picture is likely very complex. I don't think Coe'sthe anitchrist, or is working for the CIA, etc. But I'm very wary of Coe's approach, and I do hope further articles come out that are more balanced.

RD: You establish a few facts - about how Theresa lied about her age and education - and with little else you go on to create an overarching parable about Theresa's flawed psyche and character. You say she created an "elaborate tale" about her life, and then don't tell us what that tale was except for the very thin assertion that she projected an image of being a Hollywood player when she wasn't. Yet the facts you do give in your story describe a remarkably talented person with a prodigious record of accomplishment who for good reason was considered someone to watch.

RD: You rendered this story in a way you found satisfying, with thinly-disguised schadenfreude, and summed it up in the most uncharitable way you could:

from Kate's article:
Perhaps she got tired of patching the little fissures that threatened to destroy her carefully constructed fantasy.

RD: Worse, you cynically posit that the collision of her “carefully constructed fantasy” with reality was the explanation for her suicide.

from Kate Coe's article:
Maybe that is why, at 40, she decided not to go on.

RD: That you would write such a glib characterization of her death is remarkably callous, for when Theresa lay down that last time, she was possessed not by weariness but by an unfathomable state of mind that those who cared about her are still struggling to understand.

from Kate Coe's articl:
"Four years into her life in L.A., with her Hollywood career flagging..."

RD: ... Theresa had some very promising projects that had been in play but never went into final production. Yes, she would say her movie was slated to start shooting next summer, but she never claimed to me or anyone else I know that these had been given the final go-ahead. Yet she did persist in believing they were going to happen, and she had every reason to believe so. She got extremely close, as Chris Lee reports in the L.A. Times, to seeing these projects realized.

I also find the way Kate constructs the idea that TD was a liar, to be really problematic, and indicative of everything I find untrustworthy about how she framed her whole piece, her bias and characterizatioin of TD:

From Kate's article:
One day, Gesue recalls, an employee in Human Resources at Magnet whispered to her, “Theresa lies about everything.”
Duncan had a dark childhood, but it was never clear which bits were real.
(this entire assessment is based on what Gesue said, it's not the least bit researched or balanced. never clear to whom what bits were real? that's just one example of why I find Coe's reporting something to be sceptical about).

Coe's saying:
I knew her, and I knew that much of what she wrote about her world was an elaborate tale, taken as fact by the uninitiated.
How well did Kate know here? Gee I really wonder.
what was such an 'elaborate tale' other than her age/schooling which she admitted to and regretted? She wasn't lying about her career, she was successful and working toward getting her films made. her career wasn't falling apart as Coe paints the picture of, TD had already had much success and was working to get her films made, and got farther than most filmmakers ever do.

Coe only gives Gesue's side, TD is not here to defend herself, or tell any other side of the story, and Coe doesn't bother to speak to anyone else who might (that just seems basic, a big red flag right there).
I"m not claiming that Geuse is right or wrong, but that Coe's presentation of the 'facts' is very questionable. And this is really unfortunate.

Kate said...

I'll keep this short, as it's all been said before.

Gesue said that Duncan told her some stories of her upbringing. Neither she nor I said that these were true. Perhaps they were just fantasies, perhaps she liked spinning tales, perhaps there was an element of truth. I never claimed the stories were true, nor did Gesue.

No matter how anyone wishes to phrase it, Theresa Duncan had no movie deals going forward. She blogged about these projects and emailed me, for one, about them. The producers had all passed. She had no viable projects. Ray can say "she had every reason to believe so" but she had little or no reason to think so.

Someone has posted on some site about a web movie project going forward, which may very well be so. People can say she got close, whatever that means. She had meetings. Her insistence that various forces within the film industry were working against her, as outlined in Chris Lee's LAT piece, was not in her interest to advance these projects.

I've said several times that I knew her slightly. I've never characterized myself as a close confidant of long standing.

I had other sources which satisfied my editor who backed up Monica Gesue's story.