Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Curt Dempster

Suicide.

Jesus, that surprised and saddened me. Dempster was one of the pioneers, someone who stuck with it for over 30 years and he ends up alone in his apartment holding a rope in his hands and looking at the ceiling. That decision and the black moments that lead to it will always be private and unfathomable, but I have to admit the detail that I can't shake from the Bloomsberg article is the $40,000 he was making a year. 40 grand in New York City after more than 30 years of hard, grinding, important cultural work, nurturing artists, providing opportunities, introducing audiences and critics to new work. 40 grand.

Poverty didn't kill him, of course, but it's just another example of the real world ramifications of what Isaac is talking about over at Parabasis.

Too sad to make a coherent point here. Just thankful that Dempster was around to do what he did and sad that he's gone.

2 comments:

Leonard Jacobs said...

$40K? Are you serious? There's something seriously messed up about that, John.

Nancy Kersey said...

When I came to work for Curt for almost two years as his assistant (1987-1988), he was making $26K a year. I handled his check book and paid bills for him. I couldn't believe that I was making almost twice that at night typing for a law firm. He was a brilliant man.