Friday, August 22, 2014

170.7 - RIP: Robin Williams

RIP: Robin Williams


Just a brief RIP, not because you need to be informed but just because I wanted to mention it.

Robin Williams has died, an apparent suicide. He was 63.

I'm not going to say anything about his life or his career because there is more than enough of that available all over the media that will tell you more and in much more detail than I could possibly cover.

I will say that I first became aware of him, as a lot of other folks did, in the sitcom "Mork and Mindy." I remember giving my wife my one-sentence review of the show: "The show is stupid but he's terrific." I also recall thinking later that Pam Dawber was under-appreciated in the role of keeping him in check and the plot moving - plus keeping a straight face when he started ad-libbing. She didn't always succeed at that part.

And one little bit of trivia which you may not know: His opening monologue in "Good Morning, Vietnam" was entirely ad-libbed and in fact he did it several times until he was satisfied.

There were of course the stupid reactions, such as Rush Limburger saying Williams committed suicide because of his "leftist world view" because "leftists are never happy" and one article that was supposed to be serious, telling people to avoid "triggers for depression," most of which were things like "financial worries," "losing a job," losing someone in you life," "being under stress," and "being sick" - like those situations were conscious choices you made which could be avoided simply by deciding to do so: "Oh, I don't want to get depressed over money troubles, so I've decided to be rich." Or "I don't want the stress of illness, that might make me depressed. So I've decided to never get sick."

Depression is easy to misunderstand. Because everybody gets depressed, everybody gets blue from time to time - but that's just not the same as true depression, clinical depression. You've undoubtedly heard the expression about being "so low you have to reach up to touch bottom." You need to know there are worse places, places where there is no bottom and you feel you will sink forever. The damning thing about depression is that unlike other conditions where you can at least, if nothing else, imagine yourself getting better, you can conceive of getting better, with depression that's not true: You don't see an end, you feel you will never get better, it will never be better. It becomes a constant battle to keep on going.

Robin Williams fought that battle for years. He fought it with booze, he fought it with drugs, he fought it with therapy, he fought it with comedy. But ultimately, it was a battle that he lost. And as a result, we have lost as well.

RIP, Robin Williams.

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