Sunday, February 24, 2013

Memories of Theresa Duncan



Five and a half years ago, Theresa Duncan (Tracy to her Michigan friends and family) took her life. A week later, her long-time partner and lover, artist, Jeremy Blake took his. Since then innumerable articles have been written about them in high profile magazines and newspapers. Several film projects are in the works. These film projects are worrisome to her family as you might imagine. Consider suffering the death of a loved one and then worrying about an ongoing attempt to categorize and catalogize that loved one. Imagine scanning the news each day for stories of these projects.Imagine looking at blogs that attempt to psychoanalyze a person the blogger has never met.

Tracy's mother, Mary Duncan, our dear friend, has begun a blog to tell  Tracy's story. I hope you will take a look at it. She hopes her story can provide balance to others. Look at some of Theresa's films and essays. I only met Tracy once. She had left Michigan by the time Mary and I became friends in the nineties. She was breath-takingly beautiful, vivid, talented, and smart. She lit up a room.

You can also find Theresa on her blog WIT OF THE STAIRCASE, which remains online.

If you want to see Theresa in a film, go here. You won't forget her soon.




11 comments:

Deb said...

Oh, Patti, what a heartbreaking story; and how dreadful for your friend who has to cope with the aftermath, including the incredibly callous (and worse!) things people are writing about her daughter.

The situation reminds me of an article I was reading yesterday. I couldn't paste the link, but it was on Gawker (one of the best articles I'd ever read on that site). It was about a little girl with a disease that accelerates her aging and the truly horrific things some people wrote about her and her family behind the anonymity of the Internet. Very sad stuff.

Todd Mason said...

'"I think a lot of people couldn't understand that somebody so photogenic could be somebody really unhappy," said Kate Coe, who wrote the article and was an acquaintance of Duncan.'

Well...that's a particularly LA-probable mindset for one, I suspect.

Very strange...the brushes with (but no actual membership in?) Scientology (I can see them wanting Hard to recruit the couple)...even Deb's mention of the prematurely aging little girl and the whirl of publicity around her in the '90s that inspired me to write a short story that never quite came together sufficiently.

The GAWKER link: http://gawker.com/5985943

Condolences all around.

Todd Mason said...

And I probably should've guessed, and checked before commenting, but Deb's article deals with another, younger girl with a case of progeria than the one I was so impressed with (as she withstood the kind of thoughtlessly cruel questions the likes of Sally Jesse Raphael and their audiences put to her)...

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, those poor kids. For the days when the Internet could not be used to torment people.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to read of the Scientology connection, but there is nothing I would put past those people.


Jeff M.

David Cranmer said...

Your blog post has me captivated, Patti. I will check out Mary's blog.

Cap'n Bob said...

Such a sad waste of a worthy life. I'm sorry.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - This is such a very sad, sad story and such a heartbreaking loss. But it's good to hear that suicide and the sadness that leads to it are being talked about openly. Maybe it'll prevent someone else taking the same decision.

Todd Mason said...

Well, again, Patti, if you exposed yourself to the likes of SJ Raphael, the sub-chimp who was a host and her similar audiences could be just as nasty face to face...and wouldn't even mean to be. (And some of the delights this current kid has faced have been in the non-virtual world as well.)

Ron Scheer said...

In the blog excerpts, my eye was caught by the comments on "The Marketing of Female Intelligence." Especially after a night of Oscars, I am made aware again of the web of assumptions and expectations about women and beauty. It stirs up very deep and hardly understood emotions in both men and women, many of which are on display on the cover of the gossip and glamor magazines at the checkout counter.

I became aware while teaching 20-21 year olds that many young women are obsessed with body image in a way that was for me as their teacher saddening, for I could see how they realized the trap they'd been drawn into--a trap not of their own making--and saw no way out of it. So what I notice immediately about the comments made about this talented and intelligence woman is that she was "beautiful." That acknowledgement, unexamined, already says that we're probably missing any point to her death.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Good points, Ron.