New York mag puts the "late" in "latest" today to chime in on the story of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake, the bicoastal artist-lovers who each died at their own hands a week apart in mid-July. Just like every other piece on the duo so far, this is about "why" they killed themselves. Not unexpectedly, no one as yet has an "answer." I do! You know why they killed themselves? Because they were fucked in the head. Just like everyone else who's ever killed himelf. Probably not their fault, either—surely the fault of natural chemicals or other chemicals that they put in themselves. Because you know what else is weird?
All these profiles talk about how erratic the twosome became—they were paranoid, convinced that the CIA and the Scientologists were out to get them, erratic with friends.... You know what that sounds like? Hi, crystal meth. They sound like everyone who's ever done a lot of stimulants; tinfoil on the windows, water glass to the door, looking for secret cameras. Lots of those folks do themselves in too.
So what killed them, according to the press? Los Angeles! David Amsden singles out Hollywood:
[T]o listen endlessly to the hollow enthusiasm that drives the film industry: Here were the forces that have maddened countless writers and artists.
Or maybe art killed them! The LA Times tries that one out:
"Schlei also pointed out that one of Blake's favorite movies was Robert Altman's adaptation of Raymond Chandler's "The Long Goodbye," in which a character played by Sterling Hayden takes his own life by walking into the sea.
"Life imitates art," Schlei said.
Wait. No, it was definitely a combination of ambition and Los Angeles, says Kate Coe. (Kate's been sniping weirdly at the LAT about this story for weeks now about minor corrections, while she might owe one herself. The paper didn't "run" two tribute pieces—as far as we can tell, the first was rushed and only put online.) Her theory, which came first over at the LA Weekly goes like this:
But her image as a player in Hollywood, albeit one with powerful enemies, was at odds with the facts. Perhaps she got tired of patching the little fissures that threatened to destroy her carefully constructed fantasy. Maybe that is why, at 40, she decided not to go on.
Maybe! Or maybe it was just turning 40 and all. That would make as much sense as any of these other theories. They all sound like a bad movie pitch; maybe that's why each of them rings true with all the emotional honesty of Basic Instinct 2.