Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Absurdly Extravagant Praise for a Pitiful Little Man
Actor/comedian Robin Williams killed himself. That's the good news. The bad news is the ridiculous amount of high praise from all directions that has appeared in mass media and social media for a man whom I almost never found the slitest funny. Manic noise is not humor, not wit, not social commentary. Robin Williams was a poor man's Jonathan Winters, with whom he worked for some time on the TV sitcom, Mork and Mindy, that gave Williams his breakout role, "Mork", a goofy space alien who showed no sign of the high intelligence and advanced technology required for interstellar space travel.
Poor little Robin Williams. He was very rich and very famous. He had a pretty, much younger wife. Successful children. A big house in a great neighborhood in a wonderful climate. But he was unhappy. Boo hoo.
He had the money to seek the best psychological and medical help, but wallowed in depression. He abused drugs and alcohol, then felt sorry for himself for not being able (willing) to break free of chemical dependency. Poor baby.
Williams did one thing I did really like, the clever and touching movie Mrs. Doubtfire. But he didn't do a sequel, nor "franchise" of linked movies, nor a television series using the Mrs. Doubtfire character to deal with problems of children and adults — including depression. A sequel was, finally — after 21 years — about to be made, when the star killed himself. Mind you, the concept need not be abandoned just because one actor is no longer available. Many sequels and series star different actors than created the role. Look how many actors have played Batman.
Williams decided his pains — all those terrible things (fame, fortune, big house, etc.) that I mentioned above — were too much to bear, so he chose to kill himself. Good. Life is for people who want to live, esp. on this hugely overcrowded planet. I don't feel the slitest sympathy for him, but will reserve ALL my sympathy to people who want to live, but cannot, because of circumstances beyond their control, such as the nearly 15 million children who die in the Third World each year of starvation and preventable disease, and the other scores of thousands of people killed by extremists in local wars and crime (even gang wars in bad neighborhoods in the United States); who, before their untimely death, don't live in overfed luxury, in multi-thousand-square-foot houses on the water in a rich part of a rich county in a rich state and rich country.
I shall look with interest for what Robin Williams willed be done with his wealth after death. He might redeem himself in some measure if he created a foundation to find new, more effective ways to fite depression, or gave most of his fortune to worthy charities. If he did no such thing, I will continue to hold him in contempt.
At end, Robin Williams got, from his suicide, what he always needed: attention. Death seems rather too high a price for success in his lifelong quest for attention.
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