Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Funny.

There is some dark stuff in this post. There is also some lovely stuff. I hope it balances out.

Sometime late Sunday night or early Monday morning, Robin Williams ended his life. Something was happening to him where he felt there was no better alternative than to die. All the things that could be listed as good parts of his life, career, and reputation didn't fucking matter. For Robin, they probably hadn't mattered in a while. Depression lied to him and convinced him there was no way out of the Screaming Dark, no way but one.

No, I didn't know him. I've never met him, corresponded with him, nor have I any reason to grieve his death over the loss of life statistically happening constantly around the planet.

Still, I grieve.

I can't remember the first time I saw a Robin Williams film, or if I saw him as Mork or doing stand-up, he has always been a ubiquitous, hilarious component of my childhood. My brother and I watched a lot of movies on the Friday nights during Mom's weekend to have us. As much as we bickered about everything else in life, we could always find a comedy that we both wanted to see. So we watched "Hook". Then we'd watch it again first thing Saturday morning.
Slapstick and sword fights? Yes please.

We saw "Toys". It was entertaining enough for kids, sure, but a lot of the absurdity went over our heads. That's why I love watching it now, though; discovering jokes I was too young to comprehend.
Half the time I couldn't even pick up on the plot.

Seeing the film, "Jack", was an absolute--solely because of the name of the lead actor. The scene of Jack exploring in the yard is a brilliant piece of acting. Watching Robin act the child made me realize how astoundingly talented he was. Robin gave Jack wonder, gentle curiosity, and sheer delight that shines in happy children. The movie was not a comedy, but how could a person not be captivated by a character such as Jack?
Ugh. The feels! All the feels!

Becoming a fan of black comedy was like arriving at a great party where I knew everyone and felt completely comfortable. Plus Robin Williams was there. "Death to Smoochy" was this roller coaster ride of hilarity and piteousness. An awkward vignette of the shiny & new replacing the worn & old plays out in the context of children's television entertainment. Naughty things and bad words happening in a "sunshine zone" seemed refreshing, relevant, and perfectly wry.
It's a thin line between "wacky" and "psycho".

I didn't care for the whole Heaven and Hell thing going on in "What Dreams May Come", but I loved the idea that everyone's paradise and punishment is formed by their self. Another dramatic film where Robin's performance inspires both delight and devastation. The pain of the characters really is sourced from the depths of the actors. 
An oil-painted world really is the best heaven, though.

I can't imagine the absolute desolation his family & friends feel now. I can't even begin to conceive how Robin himself felt on the Last Day, nor on the days, weeks, and months preceding. This was a man who, even though he loved his family, career, and comedy, couldn't manage to stay alive one more day.

Within all that craziness, the energy, the hilarity, the imagination, and the inspiration the real Robin sits in the center of it all--Prospero conjuring sprites and storms. He was hurting and couldn't reach out for help. That's something a lot (a LOT) of people recognize in themselves, and losing yet another soul to the Screaming Dark is demoralizing. Considering so many people have been that close to killing themselves, to have been so entirely overwhelmed with even just the natural state of existence, it is terrifying.

 So now I grieve. My heart is broken because a truly brilliant, funny, kind man suffered and succumbed to an insidious disease that I fight and help my friends fight every day. It shouldn't have to be like this. But it is like this. I will never never never give up. There is a hole in the world where a dazzling, gentle, hairy, genius actor should be, and a deep deficit of comedy potential. I can think of nothing better than to always always try to make up for that deficit with levity, wackiness, hijinks, and dick jokes.

That's how I feel. My Facebook feed is choked with people expressing their concern, their sadness, and their shock at the suicide of Robin Williams. I will not apologize for adding one more missive to the queue.

And if you don't like it, why don't you go suck on a dead dog's nose.

Frosted Goofball. Om nom nom.

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