The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

People Who Died #48


Christine Chubbuck

9 comments :

jckinnick said...

Is there no footage to be found of her on air suicide?

parallel-botany said...

I feel like such a dud. "Network" is one of my favorite movies, and I had never even heard of this woman and her on-air suicide until just now. This is obviously where Paddy Chayefsky got the idea for Howard Beale's suicide threat. I had no idea!

That's what I get for being just a liiiittle bit too young.

Tom Sutpen said...

My understanding is that the only known record of her suicide is the 2'' videotape WXLT was running that morning. I believe her family sued the station for possession of the tape . . . though I could be wrong; perhaps they just asked for it . . . and it was turned over to them.

I think that's it. Unless some ghoulish staffer at XLT ran off copies, or someone in the Sarasota area recorded it from a home video setup (which is actually less likely, since maybe 1 out of every 10,000 people owned home video recorders in 1974), the likelihood of anyone in 2009 seeing it is practically nil.

Frankly, I'm more than okay with that.

Hans Dorrscheidt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
philo said...

Remember seeing the footage of Budd Dwyer kill himself on live TV. That was very disturbing.

swac said...

According to Wikipedia:
"Chubbuck's family brought an injunction against WXLT to prevent the release of the 2" quad videotape of her suicide. The Sarasota Sheriff's Department file lists a copy of the tape seized as evidence and later released it to Christine's family along with her possessions."

Fred said...

I'm glad you resisted the temptation to do this as a Before and After.

Tommy O'C said...

It's a wonder this hasn't found it's way onto YouTube. Or did I speak too soon?

swac said...

The family has the footage, and have either locked it up or burned it. Unless someone had a Super 8 camera pointed at the screen when it happened, this moment in TV history will likely remain buried.