Let's first nail down why we can assume she probably took her own life.
She made her last entry on December 15th, 2009. It was titled Last Words. She wrote about what George Carlin had wanted on his tombstone.
...Right after the table of contents, and just before Hendra’s introduction, there is this small statement:
It says “Gee, he was here a moment ago.” And underneath it, in parentheses, the words “(What George wanted on his tombstone – if he’d had one.)”
Annette then wrote a bit about Meatloaf, a rocker she had admired. She described how he was facing his own mortality, e.g. with his fading voice and body not measuring up like it once did to the task of putting on great shows. He mentioned after one of his exhausting gigs at age 59, “I tried. I tried.”
Annette finished her entry with the following, including a photo exemplifying her vivacious good looks and smile.
Of the two quotes, between Carlin and Meat Loaf, two of my rapidly-disappearing list of heroes, one is very funny and lighthearted, and the other, I think, is the best thing anyone could ever say about his or her life:
I tried. I tried.
Category: Love, Absolutely | Comments Off
Word of her death first appeared on December 28th, 2009, less than two weeks later. Do the math. I mean, it's safe to say based on her last blog entry and the time period around which she left this material world, she most probably committed suicide.
Here's my theory. I think she had health issues. Perhaps one of the things keeping her going was being perhaps the best blogger at Democratic Underground. Then back in September, she got tired of dealing with all the fake lefties and took a hiatus after a specific, unpleasant interaction with one of them. Later on she would learn that she had been banned. At that point, her blogging career felt over. She had tried her best as Tangerine LaBamba. She probably couldn't stomach trying anew with a fresh username.
Let's go back in time. She had been a prolific poster at DU many years earlier as OldLeftieLawyer. She had also been at the forefront of speaking truth to disinfo during the Jason Leopold "Karl Rove Indicted" nonsense.
DU had a 20+ page thread devoted to that. Leopold used to cowrite articles with Larisa Alexandrovna at Raw Story. He is now a thoroughly, disgraced loser. He was a member of what AnonymousArmy of Daily Kos referred to as the Lefty Liars Club, which also included Brad Friedman, Larisa, and Larry Johnson. Annette knew from the start that Leopold's bullshite story of Rove being indicted simply had no legs. Here's the link to the first page of that thread. You can get to following pages by scrolling down to the last post on each page. Annette as OldLeftieLawyer first showed up on page two and immediately got right into the faces of the disinfo crowd and their useful idiots. She did not suffer fools. In short, if we had been the same age and knew each other, I would have courted the fock out of her.
Official Truthout/Leopold/Rove Indictment Thead #1
(from page 2)
Y'all need to calm down and face reality
There is no indictment.
No one knows anything.
Fitzgerald's office doesn't leak.
The Leopold article was fiction.
There is no indictment.
There may never be an indictment of Karl Rove.
Carry on, but try to stay within the boundaries of reality. The colors are prettier here.
A little over a month later after having splashed cold water on the Leopold sycophants, Annette was banned. I tracked down the thread in which this happened. Nowhere had she written anything meriting this to have happened. DU scrubs and prunes a lot. They do that, because people get unfairly banned there all the time. Their only option is to delete many posts and subthreads and replace them with generic messages scolding the disruptors to reread the rules. Otherwise, they'd have no deniable plausibility about being an unfair forum. People would be able to see that folks do indeed get banned for no good reason.
If people research Annette's posts as both OldLeftieLawyer and Tangerine LaBamba, they will notice a few things. She was constantly being called a freeper troll with sock puppets. They will observe that her posts made a lot of sense. They will become aware that the "bloggers" who went after her never added up and were themselves the actual freeper trolls, sock puppets, or useful idiots. Here's one example from that thread. (posted by the troll Cooley Hurd)
Actually, I smelled it long before, but this was the tipper for me...
"I missed the Alito discussion. I did, however, manage to comfort Mrs. Alito when she broke down in tears, but that was just because she was in the next stall, and asked me if I had five ones for a five."
Ding dong, the witch is dead!
Cooley Hurd was trying to spin Appollo as having been an admirer of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. But in actuality, he had taken her comment way out of context. She was responding to the question, Where does this rank on the all-time "Hope Springs Eternal" DU issues? By chance or design, Cooley Hurd had selected an example of Annette's alleged trollness from one of the Leopold threads. Hmmm. Alito had been referenced. Here was Annette's full response.
Thanks a lot for reminding me
Kerry. Ohio. 2004. Talk about crashing. Never was there a bigger buzzkill than Kerry's caving. Well, maybe when Gore failed to ask for a statewide recount in Florida. We'll never know.
I missed the Alito discussion. I did, however, manage to comfort Mrs. Alito when she broke down in tears, but that was just because she was in the next stall, and asked me if I had five ones for a five.
You're not missing a thing, my friend. I can assure you of that.
This one ranks - I tend to go literary, but I'm old - with the Gerd Heidemann claim that he'd found "Hitler's Diaries".
I'll give one more example of how Annette Appollo would get spun as a disruptor troll, when she was actually kicking around a tomato can in debate.
Share your food with someone who is hungry and off to jail you go
She had found it ironic that Food Not Bombs, "want the government to provide "more food security," but they refuse to adhere to the local health codes." She was simply stating the truth. Perhaps she could have used a bit more tact and not referred to them as self-involved idiots. However, so what? Leftier-than-thou [/trademark Big Al Giordano from a DFQ2 appearance] or right woos left bloggers, paid or otherwise, never miss an opportunity to pigeon-hole sincere, feisty bloggers such as Annette, yours truly, and many others as being blog wreckers.
There is a disinfo website called Progressive Independent. It is run by a self-professed lefty named Tinoire who used to work for military intelligence. Yeah, that adds up. NOT!!! Anyway, someone named gnochi started a thread at PI calling out Annette for her posts on the Food Not Bombs thread. She wrote, Tangerine LaBamba calls hunger activists "self involved idiots." And another one goes in the permanent 'stupid asshole' box... I'm not saying these guys always have the best ideas, but having a puffed-up couch potato like TLB call real activists "self involved" was a bit too much to swallow.
Annette Appollo showed up at PI and responded.
What a name like "gnocchi,"
I have this odd feeling that everything looks like puffed up food to you. Even though you have never met her, have never even spoken with her, still, you are intolerant of her opinion because it doesn't happen to match yours.
What an enlightened liberated little potato dumpling you must be! So if someone doesn't agree with you, you call them names - but from a distance. You find a place far removed from DU so that you can be brave.
Listen, you cute little weenie, your opinion is valid and so is mine. There's a thing called "liberalism" - you may have heard of it;
But, for what you did here, what others did here, you're a bunch of cowards, too afraid to take on another DUer who happened not to agree with you;
People like you are the perfect reason for the falling apart of the Democratic Party - you not only don't know what it stands for, you're a narrow-minded little coward, much more suited to being a keyboard commando
And just as worthless.
Then another creepy blogger came up with this bullshite:
TlaB is the self-involved idiot, just read their #1 post as linked below. The brainwashed choir of supposedly anti-war people over there just love a good war story, never-mind that they fully support the illegal war in Afghanistan.
Here was Annette's response to that. She hardly sounded like she supported either of our current illegal wars.
Good call -
Not a mention of what we're doing to our kids now, how many more young girls will welcome home their playmates in metal boxes, wearing gloves because their hands are gone, or the pants filled with inflatable plastic bags because the legs are gone?
Or the metal box closed and sealed becase the face is gone?
How many Iraqi mothers lamented their dead children? We have such a nice, neat term for them -- collateral damage. It's so CLEAN, that phrase. Like something you'd wipe off a dusty desk or into a white handkerchief.
Now we'll do it even worse in Afghanistan. We'll welcome our soldiers home in their metal boxes, but no one will have the heart to tell the grieving family that "your child died for nothing."
Just like McChrystal made Pat Tillmann his glory boy, his recruiting tool, now he'll make our sons and daughters, our fathers and mothers, our brothers and sisters his little toy soldiers, and when they get slaughtered, he'll just reach into the box and get some more.
After all, it's only his game, and they're only pieces in the game. They're not people - they're parts and they're so replaceable, aren't they?
I hope McChrystal and McNamara have a lot to talk about when they finally meet up in Helll...........................
I believe the internet was the final dagger in Annette Appollo's spirit. Like I said before, I think she had health issues. I think being on the internet helped her get through tough days, that even though her body may have been starting to let her down, her mind was still as crisp as a cucumber. I believe she had simply run out of energy to continue kicking around the fake leftosphere. She had become a legend as OldLeftieLawyer. Ditto as Tangerine LaBamba. I think she finally lost the desire to persist at the one thing keeping her going, being a blogger. Think of athletes. At some point they are forced to retire and find something else to do with their lives. I believe Annette simply gave up. I refer to this as death by internet, the same thing that afflicted James Von Brunn, J. Patrick Bedell, and Theresa Duncan. Those posts made at PI were written two days after her Last Words entry at AnnetteAppollo.com. Think about that.
Annette must have experienced similar emotions to those Dave Weintraub did back in early 2009. These were beautiful people who had put their hearts and souls into blogging only to have been shat on by some of the lowest forms of humans in the world. No, their verbal abusers aren't mass murderers. They aren't rapists nor child abusers. Nonetheless, the people who attacked them are sadistic, sociopathic, good for nothing, self-serving creeps, paid or of the useful idiot variety. They are whom Robert Altemeyer refers to as folks afflicted with authoritarian personalities. In other words, those are the fockers who form the bedrock for the roots of fascism, an idea previously and brilliantly explored by the great thinker Wilhelm Reich in The Mass Psychology of Fascism.
We can know for sure that Appollo was also OldLeftieLawyer. In July of 2009, she provided some circumstantial evidence for that, after Leopold reemerged with a new article ironically involving again cretin Karl Rove. Here's what Annette as Tangerine LaBamba had to offer.
Jason Leopold -
I see that name, and I read no further.
The notion that that fellow is still "reporting" is unfortunate. He made his reputation, and he'll never live it down, not as far as I'm concerned.
The idea that he's once again reporting on Rove is laughable, given his breathtaking stories about the secret indictment of Rove and the "working hours" Rove had to turn himself in and the secret meetings at a downtown DC law firm - all made up. Just another chapter in Leopold's shameful employment history.
The guy's a stone liar, and can never be believed....................
Let's wrap this up by going back to the original thread written at DU passing along word that Annette had died. A troll named Greenbriar cross-posted an Appollo entry made at a dive called the Conservative Cave. Here's an excerpt.
...I was disruptive because I told the truth and cut through their nonsense. They operated on "feelings." believing all the silliness Will Pitt and Jason Leopold put out about the impending arrest of Karl Rove. Those posts were so silly, and when it was pointed out to them, the crowds with the pitchforks and torches grew ugly, and attacked the truthteller.
What a bunch of clowns. You may be all screwed up politically, but I did laugh a lot when I saw your candidates for Top Primitive of 2009. I've been Tombstoned, but I hope I'm still a viable candidate, although, possessing a finely functioning brain, I fear I'll lose out to so many other, better qualified candidates.
In the meantime, I can only commend you on your diligence, perusing DU to the point where you can quote lost-ago posts and threads. For that, though, I would recommend something perhaps a bit avant-garde, since you seem like such nice people.
I would urge you to get away from your keyboards and monitors and get a real life. You'll have a lot more, and you'll learn a lot more, and life will just expand in the most beautiful way for all of you.
Thanks again for all the smiles and laughs, and the best of luck to all of you.
(not, alas, Gloria Swanson)
One can read through that Democratic Underground thread and notice a number of things. For one, a bunch of trolls were all over the place speaking badly of the dead. A fake sister even showed up trying to make Annette look bad. Here's my tinfoil again. I believe many usernames are paid trolls. I can't give a number or percentage. It's a feeling I have. One of them goes by the name of bettyellen. She was talking a lot of trash about someone who had just passed away. She was saying Annette was a troll who used sock puppets; That the death was all an act. Thankfully, a bunch of good people stepped forward with the truth. One of them is named Shakespeare.
You don't know WTF you're talking about. I KNEW Annette.
I left DU some time ago, but when I got wind of TLB's passing, I came over here to see what was being said.
And then my mind got blown when I clicked on the Amazon link to her book, because I saw her real name for the first time and realized that I knew Annette going back about 15 years, and never knew that she was posting here as OLL and then as TLB. I'm still doing a mental double-take trying to get my head around the small-worldness of that coincidence.
I've been debating whether to post in this thread, but the gravedancers and shit-talkers finally got the best of me (which tells me my initial decision to leave DU was, indeed, the correct one). So here I am, and this is what I have to say about Annette, and how I knew her.
Back in 1994, there was a small, insular and very good writers group on AOL; this was back before AOL was a behemoth, when it still created interesting and productive communities, including the hard-to-find-if-you-didn't-know-about-it Writers Cafe.
Annette was a member of that group, as was I, and as were several other writers and academics. It's how I met my eventual mentor and dear friend, the late Ed Vega (if you don't know who he is, read about him here: link). Annette was as funny and acerbic back then as she was here, and always extremely covetous of her privacy and her real-world identity. I was a newspaper reporter for years with a published byline, so I was rather more jaded about that, and have always been more open about who I am. But I digress.
Annette and Ed had a brief and fiery relationship about 10 years ago that did not end well, and I didn't hear from her after that ended--I suppose because she assumed (wrongly) that I'd take Ed's side or believe whatever vitriol he spewed about her, because, boy, was he a piece of work, too. He and Annette were more alike than either of them would have liked to admit, and it's probably what doomed their friendship.
Annette certainly knew who I was here (I now realize), and I'm both fascinated and sad that she never revealed herself to me here. We had an ongoing PM correspondence for years, and I could never quite figure out why she held such affection for me in that correspondence. And now I know. Wherever that great soul is resting, I'm sure she's laughing her ass off at me now about the mindbender revelation I'm having.
For those of you who were on the receiving end of her verbal volleys, I can understand why you'd remember her unkindly, but I assure you she was a much more complex (and good) person than anybody could ever know through this very limited virtual medium. Don't assume that you even begin to know the real Annette based strictly on what you read here. Her tall tales were true, she was a writer (and a good one), and one of the more interesting people I've ever interacted with, online or otherwise.
And with that, I'm off into the ether again.
Annette Appollo was a real person. She was published. She was a true liberal. She was too good for the fake crap that goes on at places like DU and Daily Kos. Period!
Shakespeare's post had been in response to bettyellen having written,
oooh here;s the new sockpuppet here to sell that treacly, and very poorly recieved book
best seller my ass. never wrote under that name again...... no shit who would let her?
Bettyellen is probably a paid troll. I'm sorry. There's no other explanation, imho, for what I've seen going on at DU and other websites. People cannot be that irrational and stupid. I know it's possible. Why does DU allow people like that to remain on their forum? Who in their right mind would ever donate money to that shitfest palace? I'm thinking disinfo fockers willing to pay for the enhanced likelihood of being allowed to remain. That's a successful minting press DU has established. Say you want to spread a certain form of disinfo, of let's say the Lefty Liars Club variety? You could create sock puppet regiments and donate from each of the accounts. You could then manufacture any kind of astroturfing campaign you wanted to. Say you want the world to feel that Michael Connell was threatened by Karl Rove, despite there being no evidence. All "they" need to do is create the illusion that it's probable. Then they go after anyone who calls them out on their bullshite. They then provoke their detractors into saying things against the so-called rules. They then inform moderators in their back pockets to bring out the scrub brush and banhammer. That's how it works.
A friend of Annette's posted a few personal photos of her. Annette gave each one a name. This was "Girl Talk."
This last one I'll put up was "Wine in the Rockies." This is the one that captured my heart. She was a hottie. Outside looks aren't everything, but this photo shows that she was indeed a looker. There's also nothing more attractive than a highly intelligent, liberal woman. That she was. Rest in peace, Annette Appollo.
(related reading or print it out for toilet paper:
Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators By Jason Leopold)