Christine Chubbuck

Sidney Lumet died recently at the age of 86. I remember being in High School and watching his directorial debut and one of his many classics "12 Angry Men". It was an intense movie dealing with racism and I'm actually surprised I saw that in a public school in Stafford Virginia.

Lumet used film to convey his take on the world. He grabbed at us through the camera lens and slapped a little bit of reasoning into our numbed skulls.

He showed us the tortured life of the persecuted in The Pawnbroker, the corrupt NY cops in Serpico, the perils of the homosexual community in Dog Day Afternoon, and, my personal favorite, he showed us the demonization of "News Industry" in

Lumet picked amazing scripts. In the case of Network he picked a script by Paddy Chayefsky. The Network script won Chayefsky an Oscar and the film is now part of the Library of Congress and rated one of the best American films of all time.

What is interesting here is the true inspiration of this script. That of Christine Chubbuck. She was a broadcast student at Boston University who had several jobs in the Broadcast Industry before shooting herself live on-air during her own morning television show in 1974.

Reading up on Christine's life is fucking amazing. She coined herself "dateless" from a young age and was unable to conceive due to ovarian surgery. She was 29 when she died of a self inflicted gunshot wound behind her right ear. The very spot a sheriff she interviewed for a story on suicide weeks earlier had told her was the best spot to shoot yourself to inflict death.

To think the life and death of Christine Chubbuck inspired one of the best films of the 20th century really goes to show there is no decency in America. This poor woman was afflicted with depression and had thoughts of suicide. She even joked about it in the newsroom with her co-workers. It all ended up being ratings for larger Networks that got hold of the story and wrote articles and made stupid 30 second clips for her life and death.

At least Network the movie tries to show us that TV News is all an illusion. To poor Christine Chubbuck the illusion was life and life was television.

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