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Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP Mork

Four-time Oscar nominee Robin Williams has been found dead in a suspected suicide due to asphyxia at 2:55 a.m. EST, according to police. The beloved actor was 63 years old.

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164 Comments:

Anonymous Susan August 11, 2014 7:59 PM  

Could not stand his politics, but watching his rapid fire comic mind at work was a real pleasure. RIP Mr. President.

Night at the Museum, Secret of the Tomb comes out in December. I enjoyed all his performances as Teddy Roosevelt.

Anonymous Joe Author August 11, 2014 7:59 PM  

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion.

And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.

That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"

Dead Poet's Society

Anonymous difster August 11, 2014 8:00 PM  

If you have a terminal illness, that's one thing, but he was just depressed. What a coward.

Anonymous Noah B. August 11, 2014 8:01 PM  

"Dead Poet's Society"

Irony.

Blogger sykes.1 August 11, 2014 8:03 PM  

He stole "ThebFisher King."

Anonymous VD August 11, 2014 8:04 PM  

But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

Pink SF/F must have a bodycount.

Anonymous Daved August 11, 2014 8:05 PM  

Fuck you, difster.

A man sees such darkness, such despair that death is the only way he can see a way through. Your self righteous bullshit is contemptible.

Anonymous Noah B. August 11, 2014 8:06 PM  

"Pink SF/F must have a bodycount."

Thanks, that was good.

Blogger Meiji Man August 11, 2014 8:12 PM  

Shazbot

Anonymous VD August 11, 2014 8:13 PM  

Settle down, Daved. If you can't be civil to your fellow commenters, you can't comment here.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch August 11, 2014 8:13 PM  

Suicide is an act of cowardice. This talented rich man was afraid to face life like the rest of us.

There have been people who survived gulags who continued into their elder days and then died a natural death.

His life was a gift, and he threw it away.

Anonymous Anonymous August 11, 2014 8:14 PM  

Live at the Met circa 1988 stand up act was great. RIP

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 8:15 PM  

I agree with Susan. The politics... well, we probably don't need to say anything about them in this company.

But the skill demonstrated in Live on Broadway: THAT'S what he should be known for. Not movies, and playing the same role over and over again.

Blogger The Anti-Gnostic August 11, 2014 8:16 PM  

If you have a terminal illness, that's one thing, but he was just depressed. What a coward.

You hear this all the time. My father has never been depressed a day in his life. I am subject to frequent bouts of depression. I don't talk about it with him, because he literally has no idea what I"m talking about. It's as alien to him as someone saying they feel compelled to bark and run around on all fours.

Anonymous Ras Al Ghul August 11, 2014 8:16 PM  

Are we sure this isn't like Carradine and wasn't an intentional suicide?

The conspiracy theories that this was an illuminati sacrifice are already up on you tube

Anonymous tiarosa August 11, 2014 8:17 PM  

Does the Live on Broadway include the routine about golf?

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 8:18 PM  

tiarosa, yes.

Anonymous Pussy August 11, 2014 8:23 PM  

Lo, the moon hangs low, like a testical.

Anonymous Anonymous August 11, 2014 8:24 PM  

What a shame

Anonymous zen0 August 11, 2014 8:25 PM  

Well. Didn't see that coming. But anytime someone suicides, I always give them credit for not feeling like they need to take anybody with them , so here's to him.

Now, as we know, things are not always as they seem, so I reserve the right to change my mind based on new information.

Anonymous dc red dogs August 11, 2014 8:26 PM  

There are a limited number of ways to beat biochemical depression. Find the one in a thousand human who can give you good advice and make you follow it. Find a way to get your guardian angel to watch you become a saint.
Live life as if you were a uniquely fearless hero. None of these options are any more open to "celebrities" than they are to the rest of us, because from the point of view of eternity we are all, simultaneously, celebrities and non-celebrities.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia August 11, 2014 8:27 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Loki Out of Character August 11, 2014 8:27 PM  

((Sigs has just reminded me that Williams was married less than three years ago, and said, "I can't imagine. She must be blaming herself on some level, poor thing." Make sure to pray for Susan; widows need lifting up.))

Anonymous Stickwick August 11, 2014 8:30 PM  

Anyone who hasn't experienced severe depression has no clue what a literal hell it is and how desperate it makes you feel.

My heart goes out to the man and his family.

Blogger The Remnant August 11, 2014 8:33 PM  

Great comic genius whom I enjoyed watching ever since I was a kid. Just saw The Survivors last night, an underrated gem from the early '80s. Best line, which I'm betting was ad-libbed: "Blasphemy! Oh, you'll smoke a turd in Hell for that!" R.I.P.

Anonymous zen0 August 11, 2014 8:34 PM  

@ The Anti-Gnostic

I am subject to frequent bouts of depression. I don't talk about it with him, because he literally has no idea what I"m talking about. It's as alien to him as someone saying they feel compelled to bark and run around on all fours.

There is a guy with a sports talk show in Canada that went through clinical depression. Every once in a while he does a show on sports figures that suffered the same way. Its very enlightening.

Landsberg

Anonymous Krul August 11, 2014 8:34 PM  

I'm not what you'd call a fan, but I'll always remember him as Sean Maguire from Good Will Hunting and Genie from Aladdin. He was a uniquely gifted entertainer, I'll give him that.

Come to think of it, Jim Carrey and Mike Myers have followed roughly the same career trajectory, from comic super-stardom to box office money repellant. Maybe somebody should check up on them.

Anonymous zen0 August 11, 2014 8:37 PM  

dc red dogs August 11, 2014 8:26 PM

There are a limited number of ways to beat biochemical depression.


One must wonder how a person who had all the access to the supposedly best care and drugs didn't get a good result.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 11, 2014 8:39 PM  

word is, he went back into alcohol rehab last month.

he knew where alcohol would take him and he still couldn't resist it's pull.

you can make up your own mind as to whether this was sufficient reason to suicide ...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tLi1Mc7g30&t=3m40s


if Ferguson is taping this week he will probably have something tonight or tomorrow, alcohol is a problem Craig has had.

Anonymous Wyrd August 11, 2014 8:41 PM  

Nanu! Nanu!

Anonymous Wyrd August 11, 2014 8:43 PM  

The Court Serious was about the funniest thing I can remember from my childhood.

Anonymous Stickwick August 11, 2014 8:46 PM  

zen0: One must wonder how a person who had all the access to the supposedly best care and drugs didn't get a good result.

Because the current paradigm governing mental illness is completely at odds with reality. Considering its origins, it's hardly surprising.

Blogger El Borak August 11, 2014 8:47 PM  

Come to think of it, Jim Carrey and Mike Myers have followed roughly the same career trajectory...

Jim Carrey's best movie was The Dead Pool. Oh that he would have quit while the rest of us were ahead.

Anonymous Scooter August 11, 2014 8:48 PM  

that...sucks. another victory for alcoholism and the forces of darkness. someone needs to set up a ministry for comedians. some of the most depressed, insecure people i've met. if they realized that the source of their gifts wasn't their pain or their darkness, but the grace of God, they might have a fighting chance. Father i pray for his soul and for all the entertainers of hollywood, that they might catch a glimmer of your light, and the healing that is found in your Son.

Blogger Chris Mallory August 11, 2014 8:48 PM  

I would imagine the alcohol and the cocaine were attempts to self medicate.

Treating depression is usually a case of the doctor throwing prescriptions at you, hoping one will be the magic bullet and not cause side effects worse than the depression.

Suicide from depression isn't cowardly or a matter of not wanting to face life. It is a symptom of an imbalance of chemicals in the person's brain.

Anonymous dc red dogs August 11, 2014 8:49 PM  

zenO- who knows? Having money and knowing how to spend it are different. To stick with celebrity analogies, although I hate to do that, I personally know a few dozen mid-IQ lawyers who could have easily gotten Martha Stewart completely off, but she hired the best, highest-IQ guys she could find, and they arrogantly managed to piss off the judge and were unable to get her a deal with no jail time. Fighting biochemical depression is like fighting a war, as far as I can tell, and sometimes you hire the guy with the best grades at West Point, and he comes through, and sometimes he doesn't, and you would have been better off with Private Vinnie from the hood.

Anonymous Too-Soon-ami August 11, 2014 8:50 PM  

"Make sure to pray for Susan; widows need lifting up."

Susan, it's not your fault.
It's not your fault.
It's not your fault.
It's not your fault.



Weird coincidence: Someone posted the Mork and Mindy series to usenet yesterday. (Yes, I downloaded it).

As to his "throwing his life away"... he was 63. Not exactly Kurt Cobain territory, here.

Anonymous Krul August 11, 2014 8:54 PM  

zen0 - One must wonder how a person who had all the access to the supposedly best care and drugs didn't get a good result.

Does it matter? If you don't want to live, I mean.

You can have access to the best help in the world, but if you don't take it it won't do you any good. You can have access to all the best food in the world, but if you won't eat it you'll still starve.

Anonymous JG August 11, 2014 8:57 PM  

word is, he went back into alcohol rehab last month.

I have a relative dealing with clinical depression, and we just can't get him to stop with the alcohol. Counteracts the anti-depressant medication, but even on what should be merely social drinking occasions at parties he'll down about 8 drinks in an evening.

Like a dog returns to its vomit...

Anonymous Cranberry August 11, 2014 8:58 PM  

Hear, hear. It's a soul sucking and dark, desperate thing. I am sad that he felt the only relief he envisioned was ending his life.

I will pray for his soul and for the peace of those he left behind.

Blogger Robert What? August 11, 2014 9:00 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Josh August 11, 2014 9:00 PM  

It's not your fault, son.

Blogger Robert What? August 11, 2014 9:01 PM  

I'm assuming you are, like, twelve years old?

Anonymous zen0 August 11, 2014 9:01 PM  

OT

ISIS versus Hezbollah

Anonymous Tom B. August 11, 2014 9:06 PM  

A talented comic, a troubled soul, like Groucho, W.C., Lou, and Buster before him. R.I.P.

Anonymous Anonymous August 11, 2014 9:08 PM  

Jim Carrey's best movie was The Dead Pool.

You're forgetting Once Bitten. Genuinely funny 80s teen movie, before anyone had heard of him.

Anonymous Nate Winchester August 11, 2014 9:09 PM  

Be slow to judge until you've faced similar demons. (and who knows if it really was suicide?)

Robin was the kind of man that makes you believe in Purgatory. Sure he seemed unable to hear the Creator's tune, but possibly aware and sad that he couldn't. It ain't right for Heaven to be denied laughter and joy like his, maybe behind the veil a journey awaits him that will yet fix that.

Farewell, sir. You made the world richer in your life, and poorer in your passing. You will be missed.

Anonymous lozozlo August 11, 2014 9:10 PM  

Famous or not, crazy politics or not - Prayers for him and his family.

If Beau is still doing his tuesday night prayer requests (haven't seen him around lately) - then Mr. Williams should be on there.

Anonymous Ludwig von Homo August 11, 2014 9:14 PM  

he always reminded me of a disturbed clown... ha ha but creepy... an evil mime... the funny but dark guy who turns out to be a serial killer or child molester. RIP.

Blogger Retrenched August 11, 2014 9:14 PM  

That.

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 9:15 PM  

(and who knows if it really was suicide?)

Yeah, the alternative that I'm entertaining is that it was accidental death during autoerotic asphyxiation, and the police made a quick call that it's probably more dignified to call it suicide, initially.

Blogger Retrenched August 11, 2014 9:24 PM  

Damn. Ultimate Warrior, Tommy Ramone and now Robin Williams....

Anonymous B Lewis August 11, 2014 9:41 PM  

I have severe clinical depression, and I know all too well the blackness that can descend upon a person. However, I don't blame those who see the suicide of a depressive as weakness; those who do not have depression simply cannot understand what it is like, and therefore see it as a mere "mood" or a "character flaw".

Depression kills. I have been preserved by a merciful God and by the fighting spirit inherited from my family, but many others lack these lifesaving aids. Perhaps Mr. Williams was one such.

When I was a teenager, my cousins and I worshiped Robin Williams. I had his album Reality: What A Concept, which we all learned by heart. I can still recite large portions of it today. And his performance in The World According to Garp has stayed with me all these years.

I wasn't Robin Williams' biggest fan, but he was a major part of my youth, and I'm sorry he came to such an unhappy end. May God have mercy on his soul.

"Oh no! A chain reaction! Death, where is thy mortal/dancing at 54 i will not be/AUUUUGH!

"'Dorothy, wake up.'"

Anonymous bob k. mando August 11, 2014 9:44 PM  

Markku August 11, 2014 9:15 PM
Yeah, the alternative that I'm entertaining



listen to that interview i linked, Markku.

yeah, it's funny and all to make fun of a Hollyweirdo offing himself.

and there's a certain karmic balance to heckling a comedian's death.

but these are issues that Robin has been dealing with his whole life. consider his realization that the audience was sending him shots because they wanted him to crash and burn on stage.

contrast that with his self-knowledge that THESE WERE THE PEOPLE HE WAS LOOKING FOR ACCEPTANCE FROM.

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 9:46 PM  

I don't know why you would think I was making fun. Perhaps you read that word "entertaining" wrong, or something.

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 9:48 PM  

To entertain a thought = to take a thought seriously (but not think it certain).

Anonymous Red Comet August 11, 2014 9:52 PM  

We'll probably never know the whole truth, but I'm surprised we don't hear about more celebrity suicides or overdoses considering how much (unprescribed) prescription drugs flow through Hollywood.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 11, 2014 9:54 PM  

if you're not making fun, then there is no point in trying to push the 'auto-asphyxiation gone wrong' trope.

we currently have no data to that effect. but we do have Robin's own testimony that he has considered suicide before.


OT - this is how public opinion is molded:
http://www.citylab.com/commute/2012/04/invention-jaywalking/1837/


not that i think the way we do things today is wrong, mind you.

it would be positively ridiculous to tell the driver of an 80k pound vehicle traveling at 40mph that he was 'responsible' for the death of a pedestrian that stepped out in front of him without looking.

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 9:56 PM  

if you're not making fun, then there is no point in trying to push the 'auto-asphyxiation gone wrong' trope.

I should think that's the BETTER option, from a Christian perspective. Sure, it would be reckless endangerment of God's property, but at least it wouldn't be deliberate.

Blogger ray August 11, 2014 10:00 PM  

Demon drink kept dragging him down, and God wasn't there at the bottom to push him back up. Cause we all go down there. 'Depression' my ass.

Instead of the LORD, his Father, Robin chose his false politics, his false friends, and so forth. Not enuf when the Juice is telling you every day how much you suck, then you're wonderful, then you suck etc.

Thank God that Robin gave us some respite. So mebbe ask for respite for him, tho he doesnt deserve it, having ignored the only one who really loves him. Pray for ole mork. He's gonna need it.

Anonymous Jake from State Farm August 11, 2014 10:05 PM  

Another Hollywood suicide. And still all the kids still want to be famous and put their treasure in this world. Because then they'll be happy. Or something.

Blogger ray August 11, 2014 10:07 PM  

if they realized that the source of their gifts wasn't their pain or their darkness, but the grace of God, they might have a fighting chance. Father i pray for his soul and for all the entertainers of hollywood, that they might catch a glimmer of your light, and the healing that is found in your Son.


seconded Scooter, thx

Anonymous bob k. mando August 11, 2014 10:18 PM  

Markku August 11, 2014 9:56 PM
I should think that's the BETTER option, from a Christian perspective. Sure, it would be reckless endangerment of God's property, but at least it wouldn't be deliberate.



if you're going to adopt the RCC hierarchy of sins, you should at least be aware that masturbation is also considered 'mortal'.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortal_sin

Anonymous YIH August 11, 2014 10:20 PM  

For those who were mentioning his wealth it's seems he wasn't as well-off as you think:
"The idea of having a steady job is appealing. I have two [other] choices: go on the road doing stand-up, or do small, independent movies working almost for scale [minimum union pay]. The movies are good, but a lot of times they don’t even have distribution," he told the magazine. "There are bills to pay. My life has downsized, in a good way. I’m selling the ranch up in Napa. I just can’t afford it anymore.”
The 'steady job' he's referring to was a return to TV the fate of the show is unknown, but most likely cancelled.
The sitcom Redd Foxx died on (yes, it was 'the big one') died with him.
ABC tried to continue John Ritter's sitcom (including writing his death into the show) but that didn't work out too well either.

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 10:20 PM  

if you're going to adopt the RCC hierarchy of sins

I believe in the existence of a hierarchy of sins, the exact details of which I don't know, but it has nothing to do with the RCC.

Anonymous bw August 11, 2014 10:21 PM  

Some witty and smart comedy but not my style, but he was outstanding to me on the serious acting and drama front:
Dead Poets
Good Will
Insomnia

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation

Blogger Tommy Hass August 11, 2014 10:26 PM  

"His life was a gift, and he threw it away."

His life WASN'T a gift, but a curse, which is why he threw it away.

I think that is pretty obvious.

"Instead of the LORD, his Father, Robin chose his false politics, his false friends, and so forth. Not enuf when the Juice is telling you every day how much you suck, then you're wonderful, then you suck etc.

Thank God that Robin gave us some respite. So mebbe ask for respite for him, tho he doesnt deserve it, having ignored the only one who really loves him."

If you wonder why not more non Christians believe: the kind of self righteous BS that seems to look down on the man is part of it.

Anonymous Pellegri August 11, 2014 10:30 PM  

Demon drink kept dragging him down, and God wasn't there at the bottom to push him back up. Cause we all go down there. 'Depression' my ass.

Speaking as somebody who's both religious and clinically depressed, God surely helps but the lows involved in clinical depression are a different monster from "being down". It would be easier to fight them if they could be traced simply to life kicking you in the balls, but they rarely can.

That said, going back to church and getting involved with the community again has done a great deal more for my depression than drugs did. Drugs just made me fat and nervous.

Anonymous Pellegri August 11, 2014 10:31 PM  

If you wonder why not more non Christians believe: the kind of self righteous BS that seems to look down on the man is part of it.

Heh.

Anonymous Dr. Doom August 11, 2014 10:32 PM  

Are you sure the Kenyan Clown Boy didn't have a hand in this? At the risk of starting ANOTHER CONSPIRACY THEORY, Robin Williams was from Chicago. Its been rumored for years that Williams was bisexual, so he probably was part of the Gay Underground that Bathhouse Barry was known to belong. If he was drinking, he might have been telling stories about things that a certain Mysterious Unknown with a Meteoric Rise in Politics does not want to be circulated. Several of Bathhouse Barry's former lovers have died just before his sudden appearance on the Washington D.C. scene.
It wouldn't surprise me if Williams knew about Barry's dalliances if he was bisexual. He was well known in the Gay Bars of Chicago. Alcohol has a tendency to make people talk about things they normally wouldn't say out loud, such as the tirade by Mel Gibson that killed his Hollyweird career.

Blogger Vincent Castrillo August 11, 2014 10:32 PM  

Does anyone else remember that oddly wonderful What Dreams May Come? His wife commits suicide and Robin Williams goes through actual hell to get her back from her own despair. I wonder if this was a bit in the back of his mind.

As a Christian I weep for his soul...

Anonymous kh123 August 11, 2014 10:35 PM  

Even if they'd grown up, he had kids. A family. And plenty of monies, connections, and talent to have helped many more if he'd wanted to, or had the wherewithal to see beyond his own self, addictions/illnesses or no.

From ground level, I'll look down upon that. A f*cking waste.

Anonymous zen0 August 11, 2014 10:40 PM  

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation

Whereas comedians live lives of loud desperation.

Thanks for the interview link, bob k.

Blogger Tommy Hass August 11, 2014 10:44 PM  

I didn't know Landsberg could be so subtle. I just considered him an annoying twit based on the few interviews I've seen from him.

Anonymous RJ August 11, 2014 10:47 PM  

"The true source of humor is not joy, but sorrow." - Mark Twain

RIP Mr. Williams

Anonymous bob k. mando August 11, 2014 10:50 PM  

Markku August 11, 2014 10:20 PM
I believe in the existence of a hierarchy of sins, the exact details of which I don't know, but it has nothing to do with the RCC.




so you have no means of determining if "suicide by masturbation" is more or less serious than vanilla suicide?

okay, i can go with that.

come on down, we've got a two for one sale on mortal sins today. buy one and get the second one free. call us at Billy Bob Sample's Sin Shop, BR-549 and we'll give you a free sock to beat off with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xhTomqDTzE

*tips hat to Robin*

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 10:52 PM  

so you have no means of determining if "suicide by masturbation" is more or less serious than vanilla suicide?

It would be the same difference as between gross negligence manslaughter, and murder. This is, of course, assuming that the death was not intended.

Anonymous FP August 11, 2014 11:00 PM  

"But the skill demonstrated in Live on Broadway: THAT'S what he should be known for. Not movies, and playing the same role over and over again."

Yup. I enjoyed his standup the most, he was a master at improv and impersonations.

My favorite bit from his movies:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXlvy3sTTBk

Anonymous bob k. mando August 11, 2014 11:00 PM  

but the inferred masturbation would certainly have been intentional.

and that balances the scales ... how?

you've just told me you don't know.

Anonymous Wyrd August 11, 2014 11:01 PM  

It begins with the king as a boy, having to spend the night alone in the forest to prove his courage so he can become king. Now while he is spending the night alone he's visited by a sacred vision. Out of the fire appears the Holy Grail, symbol of God's divine grace. And a voice said to the boy, "You shall be keeper of the grail so that it may heal the hearts of men." But the boy was blinded by greater visions of a life filled with power and glory and beauty. And in this state of radical amazement he felt for a brief moment not like a boy, but invincible, like God, so he reached into the fire to take the grail, and the grail vanished, leaving him with his hand in the fire to be terribly wounded. Now as this boy grew older, his wound grew deeper. Until one day, life for him lost its reason. He had no faith in any man, not even himself. He couldn't love or feel loved. He was sick with experience. He began to die. One day a fool wandered into the castle and found the king alone. And being a fool, he was simple minded, he didn't see a king. He only saw a man alone and in pain. And he asked the king, "What ails you friend?" The king replied, "I'm thirsty. I need some water to cool my throat". So the fool took a cup from beside his bed, filled it with water and handed it to the king. As the king began to drink, he realized his wound was healed. He looked in his hands and there was the holy grail, that which he sought all of his life. And he turned to the fool and said with amazement, "How can you find that which my brightest and bravest could not?" And the fool replied, "I don't know. I only knew that you were thirsty." It's very beautiful, isn't it?

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 11:02 PM  

and that balances the scales ... how?

Though I don't know the specifics of the hierarchy, it just seems to me patently obvious that masturbation is the much smaller sin (if indeed a sin) than intentionally killing oneself. Like, no comparsion here.

Anonymous zen0 August 11, 2014 11:04 PM  

Tommy Hass August 11, 2014 10:44 PM

I didn't know Landsberg could be so subtle. I just considered him an annoying twit based on the few interviews I've seen from him.


He IS an annoying, obsequious, fawning twit. Its just with this subject he has to go out of character.

Anonymous Anonymous August 11, 2014 11:13 PM  

I run, with a friend, a charity that raises money to help teenagers who have trouble with suicide and depression (it's small and local).

People have no idea how incredibly, horrendously horrible depression really is. Suicide is a cowardly action, but then so is publicly renouncing your Christianity with your family held at knifepoint. Objectively, it's cowardly. In practice, would any of us do any differently?

It's a question I pray to God I never have to know the answer to. Same with "How would I deal with crippling depression?"

Anonymous Anonymous August 11, 2014 11:16 PM  

For anybody wondering how the "little sins" can keep us out of Heaven, I highly recommend Lewis's "The Great Divorce". A telling little book that shows us just how easy it is for us to reject God's grace.

Blogger rcocean August 11, 2014 11:19 PM  

Beloved? Well that's overstating it. Liked him with a script but too often he gave "zany" a bad name. Its not enough to have a rapid fire mind, you need a wit to go with it.

Blogger rcocean August 11, 2014 11:21 PM  

And 63 isn't a bad life. Kovacs died at 43. Belushi, Candy, and Farley all died young.

Blogger SQT August 11, 2014 11:24 PM  

Having been through postpartum depression I can't judge Williams for the choice he made. It's a darkness that seems to have no end. I'm just so sorry for his family.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza August 11, 2014 11:32 PM  

Alas, let us live for the Lord. light, health, good music, happy hobbies and a splash in whats left of summer.

Anonymous YIH August 11, 2014 11:32 PM  

My hunch is that's Robin's death was not an accident (I'm thinking 2-6 weeks before all the details come out).
Though in Markku's defense, I could see how such a scenario might play out.
Nor would be the first episode of Deathstyles of the sick and twisted.
My guess is fading film career, plus falling off the wagon, plus financial issues (it seems two ex-wives got whatever money he had that didn't go up his nose) made him say ''oh fuck it, check out time''.
Too bad he didn't take Vox's suggestion on how to become an hero.

Blogger pyrrhus August 11, 2014 11:36 PM  

Great as he was in comedy, and I accidentally saw the first episode of Mork and Mindy, Robin Williams was arguably the greatest dramatic actor of our generation. In The World According to Garp, a movie not even mentioned on Wikipedia, he was superb, not to mention Dead Poets, Good Morning Viet Nam, Good Will Hunting, and the rest.

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 11:38 PM  

YIH: By definition, he became an hero already.

But he could have been a hero.

Blogger Tom Kratman August 11, 2014 11:43 PM  

I'll remember him for this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD9QAAEfQEA

On the other hand, when I do remember him, I suspect I will append to the memory, "You fucking dumb ass."

Blogger Outlaw X August 11, 2014 11:49 PM  

The eyes are the window to the soul. Not only do I believe it I see it much of the time. Take a look at Williams last picture in the link on Drudge and see if you see what I do. May he find peace now.

Blogger Tom Kratman August 11, 2014 11:50 PM  

"Yeah, the alternative that I'm entertaining is that it was accidental death during autoerotic asphyxiation, and the police made a quick call that it's probably more dignified to call it suicide, initially".

Funny, that was the first thought I had too, either because he didn't seem the type for suicide or because I just didn't want to believe it.

Blogger Outlaw X August 11, 2014 11:56 PM  

" he didn't seem the type for suicide or because I just didn't want to believe it."

One cannot hide from the depths of the soul, and he was evidently a tortured soul. We can run away or hide secrets from everyone but ourselves. I don't think it was accidental asphyxiation.

Blogger Markku August 11, 2014 11:57 PM  

Or, because it's the official story and hence automatically suspect. One immediately thinks, "could the police really bring themselves to telling the truth?"

Anonymous automatthew August 12, 2014 12:02 AM  

Thank you for that video link, TK. That's a good way to remember him.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 12, 2014 12:08 AM  

somehow, this seems apropos:
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/08/12/original/y4e4ynum.jpg



Markku August 11, 2014 11:02 PM
it just seems to me patently obvious that masturbation is the much smaller sin (if indeed a sin) than intentionally killing oneself. Like, no comparsion here.



really?

God judges, not you.

and i've never heard of anybody claiming that they masturbated without lusting after something ... don't think i'd believe them if they did.

and you can't deny that lust is a major sin, denounced by Jesus himself:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A28&version=KJV

Blogger Markku August 12, 2014 12:15 AM  

really?

Really.

and you can't deny that lust is a major sin, denounced by Jesus himself:

The fact that Jesus addressed it, doesn't say anything about its minority or majority. It just tells us that we cannot reasonably doubt the fact that looking at a gyne with lust, is a sin. The open question, which my Koine Greek skills don't yet suffice to answer, is whether this means any woman, or someone's wife or betrothed. For that word, this is determined by context. But due to the word moicheuo, instead of porneia being used, I strongly suspect the latter.

Anonymous dh August 12, 2014 12:16 AM  

I never cared for Mr. Williams. I always viewed him as crass for the sake of it. Those who check out early on purpose will surely burn. Hopefully his kids don't suffer from his actions. For the next 30 days a lot of people will beat their chests, and talk about it, a little less each day though. From 31 days to 364 days from now, hardly anyone will say anything about his life or his work. In year, and for each year for the next 20 or so, there will be some re-runs, some little vignette on the television, maybe a pull out in People magazine.

In 25 years, a generation out, a few people here and there will remember him when going through 40 year old DVDs of Good Will Hunting or another movie. What ever happened to him? Oh yeah, he killed himself.

In 50 years, he'll be barely mentioned. Everyone who worked with him will be either aged or dead. People who saw him live will be aged or dead. A few wistful 75 years old will remember the time they saw him live doing stand-up, and maybe remember that old show where he played an alien.

And after that, the cycle will close itself. His legacy will be dust, his bones will be dust, his ego will be dust. All the fame, all the mockery of the decent things in the world, all the lust, all the power, all the prestige will not have bought him or his soul one day of peace, nor one day of salvation. And forever more, the nothingness he earned in life will be paid back to him in death.

Pray for his soul to be held over in purgatory and to be cleansed of the stains earned from his time on earth.

All things that come ashes return to ashes, all things are dust return to dust.

Anonymous YIH August 12, 2014 12:17 AM  

Tom Kratman:
"Yeah, the alternative that I'm entertaining is that it was accidental death during autoerotic asphyxiation, and the police made a quick call that it's probably more dignified to call it suicide, initially".
In the World's Greatest Dad link it even features such a scene.
The person I truly feel sorry for (besides his family of course) was the housekeeper who apparently found him.
Picture going to work, just another day, you go in and you not only to find a body that's not breathing, unresponsive, (and your employer no less) you call 911 (call logged 11:55am) they get there right away to be told ''I'm sorry, there was nothing you could have done'' (death pronounced 12:02pm).
If that had happened to me it most certainly would haunt me the rest of my days.

Blogger Markku August 12, 2014 12:20 AM  

As for me not judging, I bring you the word of God:

1Co 2:15 The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 12, 2014 12:28 AM  

Markku August 12, 2014 12:20 AM
1Co 2:15 The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.



well, we all await your biblical exegesis on lust and masturbation.

Anonymous Sensei August 12, 2014 12:30 AM  

I wish for the sake of Mr. Williams that there was such a thing as purgatory. Certainly he was a tortured soul during his time on earth.

I struggled with severe depression for several years, and as other commenters have shared above, only God's grace kept me alive through it. If you haven't experienced it, you simply can't understand how that dark, cold, despairing tunnel goes on without end, and how tempting those glowing emergency exit signs become. Without an eternal hope, there is no temporal one; merely laughter and being distracted from one's pain for a short time, exactly the service Mr. Williams provided so effectively. I wish that he might rest in peace, but I fear he has escaped from his earthly darkness only to enter eternal night.

Blogger rycamor August 12, 2014 12:35 AM  

He may have been a funny man, but the man understood sadness. "One Hour Photo" was possibly the saddest movie I have ever seen. Not recommended if you want an uplifting evening, but it will help you understand some people.

Blogger Markku August 12, 2014 12:35 AM  

I have no such obligation, because I have made no claims that would require me to do so. If you look back, you'll notice that my only claim is about something seeming obvious to me.

But if you want to know my position, it is that masturbation while thinking someone's wife or betrothed is unambiguously a sin, due to the passage already quoted. If thinking about one's own wife or betrothed, I see no reason to think it sin. If a random woman who is neither of these, I don't know, but it kind of has a sinful smell to it. But not clear enough that I would judge another Christian for it.

Anonymous automatthew August 12, 2014 12:36 AM  

bob k. mando, can a man repent of lust? Can a man repent of suicide?

You seem to be uncharacteristically disingenuous on this topic.

Anonymous Josh August 12, 2014 12:46 AM  

Much, if not most, art, especially comedy, comes from a place of deep pain.

Anonymous dh August 12, 2014 12:53 AM  



Much, if not most, art, especially comedy, comes from a place of deep pain.


This has to have so many qualifications. I've been to Rome, I've been to Milan, I've been to Sarajevo, to Frankfurt, to Florence, to Paris, to London. Art that is classic, that speaks to beauty and creation does not come from pain. It comes from a place of joy. It's why Mr. Williams work will be nothing, and why David persists.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 12, 2014 12:57 AM  

Markku August 12, 2014 12:35 AM
If a random woman who is neither of these, I don't know, but it kind of has a sinful smell to it.



let me help you out.

adultery is a sin.

fornication is a sin.

to lust after a ( married ) woman is to commit adultery in your heart.

in order to weasel out of this, you have to verify that every woman you choose to lust after is unmarried AND you have to determine that lusting after the unmarried is not equivalent to committing fornication in your heart.

that's a mighty small gnat you're straining at.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+23%3A24-25&version=KJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians+6:18&version=KJV

Blogger Markku August 12, 2014 1:03 AM  

in order to weasel out of this, you have to verify that every woman you choose to lust after is unmarried AND you have to determine that lusting after the unmarried is not equivalent to committing fornication in your heart.

Nope. I already said "it has a sinful smell to it". That already settles the issue for me, since "Rom 14:23 But he who has doubts is condemned, if he eats, because he does not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin."

The only open question is, should I judge others. And it would be kind of funny, not to mention disingenuous, for you to protest THIS, having just a while ago told me not to judge at all.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 12, 2014 1:11 AM  

automatthew August 12, 2014 12:36 AM
You seem to be uncharacteristically disingenuous on this topic.



disingenuous?

one way or another, it appears that Williams committed suicide.

did he INTEND it?

too many have died too notoriously at the choking game over the last couple of decades. even if you assume this was for gratification, there's no way that Robin was unaware of the risk inherent in the practice. meaning, that some measure of the thrill comes FROM the risk.

so, guilt of 'suicide' is a given in this situation.

to assert otherwise is to assert that someone who plays Russian Roulette twenty times before the hammer finally falls on a primer "didn't really commit suicide".

i may be disingenuous but if the above is your argument you are absurd.

now we're just dancing about trying to figure out whether Markku wants to append lust, fornication or adultery and masturbation to the charges.


i note with approval the comedic value of commenting on this subject with the handle "automatthew".


[ golf clap ]

Anonymous bob k. mando August 12, 2014 1:12 AM  

Markku August 12, 2014 1:03 AM
for you to protest THIS, having just a while ago told me not to judge at all.



that's not what i said.

Blogger Markku August 12, 2014 1:13 AM  

there's no way that Robin was unaware of the risk inherent in the practice.

Exactly why I presented the alternative as gross negligence manslaughter, instead of involuntary manslaughter.

Anonymous automatthew August 12, 2014 1:13 AM  

"that's a mighty small gnat you're straining at."

Projection. Again, curiously uncharacteristic.

Blogger Markku August 12, 2014 1:13 AM  

that's not what i said.

Do you understand the words "would be"?

Anonymous automatthew August 12, 2014 1:21 AM  

i note with approval the comedic value of commenting on this subject with the handle "automatthew".

Not all puns are dirty, bob. This particular one comes from the title of a Stanislaw Lem story.


one way or another, it appears that Williams committed suicide.

This is wordspergery. Are winners of the Darwin Award suicides? Yes, intent matters.



so, guilt of 'suicide' is a given in this situation.

to assert otherwise is to assert that someone who plays Russian Roulette twenty times before the hammer finally falls on a primer "didn't really commit suicide".

i may be disingenuous but if the above is your argument you are absurd.

now we're just dancing about trying to figure out whether Markku wants to append lust, fornication or adultery and masturbation to the charges.



This is a tissue of bad argument. No, not that kind of tissue, bob.

Anonymous automatthew August 12, 2014 1:26 AM  

Blogger has the worst commenting system of any major player. It's inexplicably bad.

Blogger Vincent Castrillo August 12, 2014 2:24 AM  

Bob and Markku, is death by skydiving suicide?? Or bungee jumping?? Maybe more in line with your narrow "sinning while suicidin' " what if you contract AIDS from a prostitute??

"even if you assume this was for gratification, there's no way that Robin was unaware of the risk inherent in the practice. meaning, that some measure of the thrill comes FROM the risk.
so, guilt of 'suicide' is a given in this situation.""

This is monstrously false and Churchian in its picking at nits for moral superiority.

Some, like my wife say masturbation is a major sin. Fair enough. I believe something that comes naturally to EVERY 12-15 year old boy, even to the point of coming out on its own at night, can be no more than a venial sin. If Williams was only intending to sin in this manner and something went wrong, he has most certainly not committed the most grave of mortal sins.

This is silly. Beyond silly. You're basically piggy-backing on the legal assertion that if you have a gun on your person you are in effect multiplying your crime by some exponential figure. But if you line up our legal code with sins, you are essentially saying since I was shoplifting candy while I had a .22 in my pocket, I've actually committed genocide of an entire race of people, such is the stretch you are attempting.

Suicide is not to be confused with accidental, unwitting, or unwilling death of any sort. This isn't really up for debate. It's the definition in every Christian faith I am aware of. If Williams, like Kung Fu guy did not intend to kill themselves, then there is no sin of self-murder. Period. Stupidity or naivete' does not mean intent. All of the other sins, including lusting after your neighbor's wife can come into play, but self-murder is not one of them. Be careful of the wording as it is self murder not suicide in the Bible.

Now as to you guys' other squabble about lustful thoughts. On this I am not as sure, but it would appear that the more modern (and to me often wrong) tendency is to simply say all lust (or by implication sexuality) is wrong. This opens a very impossible code to live by for anyone other than saints.

What I mean is surely you would both agree that lusting for one's wife while actually in congress with her is fine, yes? Or perhaps when one is at work? No, Bob?? So how do you think a man ever gets to that point with his wife?? He lusted after some maiden (old term) or woman on the street, etc. He used this powerful force to approach her, etc.. Men think about this dozens of times a day. It's how civilizations continue and God's children are born.

What is immoral and a violation of the Commandment is when one knowingly lusts after another man's wife. No dispute there. This is disrespectful to God, the husband, and her family. Notice I did not include her. Might it be more likely that a code presented to Moses 4,000 years ago meant for women to be thought of more as family property than as an individual actor? You offend the husband and the family and destabilize His peoples' society
by disrupting this code. Hence like all the other COmmandments it is highly positive for civilizations.

However, without letting that controversial tidbit obscure my point, I truly believe that men have natural urges that do not simply disappear when they become married or a confirmed Christian. Not falling into lust as an addiction or a substitute for your wife is a duty of Christians, but lusting after women that are not known to you to be married is no more than a venial sin, if that. There is some wiggle room to even assert a case that mistresses that do not interfere with the family are fine as well, but I don't want Bob's head to explode just yet. I ask respectfully that you please don't read the Bible in a bubble of the last 20-400 years. Especially one that has been translated numerous times by numerous sects into a Christmas cardy type happy feel good faith.

A feminine one at that.

Blogger Vincent Castrillo August 12, 2014 2:34 AM  

Well this sums it up for Catholics at least.

"Therefore, objectively, suicide is a mortal sin. (Moreover, to help someone commit suicide is also a mortal sin.) Here though we must remember that for a sin to be mortal and cost someone salvation, the objective action (in this case the taking of one's own life) must be grave or serious matter; the person must have an informed intellect (know that this is wrong); and the person must give full consent of the will (intend to commit this action). In the case of suicide, a person may not have given full consent of the will. Fear, force, ignorance, habit, passion, and psychological problems can impede the exercise of the will so that a person may not be fully responsible or even responsible at all for an action. Here again the Catechism states, "Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide" (#2282). This qualification does not make suicide a right action in any circumstance; however, it does make us realize that the person may not be totally culpable for the action because of various circumstances or personal conditions.

Only God can read the depths of our soul. Only He knows how much we love Him and how responsible we are for our actions. We leave the judgment then to Him alone. The Catechism offers words of great hope: "We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to Him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives" (#2283). "

Blogger Markku August 12, 2014 2:35 AM  

Bob and Markku, is death by skydiving suicide?? Or bungee jumping?? Maybe more in line with your narrow "sinning while suicidin' " what if you contract AIDS from a prostitute??

Why are you asking me? I have been defending the position that death by autoerotic asphyxiation is not suicide, in the meaning the word is usually used in.

However, those things you mention, I wouldn't even call gross negligence. They are nowhere nearly as great a risk of death as autoerotic asphyxiation. That one I'd compare to Russian roulette. Perhaps not with the exact same probability, but in the same ballpark.

Anonymous Jack Amok August 12, 2014 2:45 AM  

"I don't like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don't like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second's action would end everything. A few drops of desperation." -

-Winston Churchill (1874-1965)


I too have wrestled with the Black Dog. He is the price I pay for my ambition, courage and drive. I vow he will never win, but he is the only thing I fear.

For my part, I will celebrate the 63 years that Robin Williams won rather than the one that he lost.

Anonymous Anonymous August 12, 2014 2:52 AM  

I believe something that comes naturally to EVERY 12-15 year old boy, even to the point of coming out on its own at night, can be no more than a venial sin.

Quick point, but the logic "It must be venial because everybody does it" (I'm going to leave aside ejaculations that occur after unconsciousness, because they're not relevant to the morality of something done consciously) doesn't even remotely follow, for what should be obvious reasons.

If you want to claim that your wife is wrong and masturbation is not a grave sin, you're going to have to actually attack the premises of the argument, which is rooted in natural law. Appealing to some vague idea that because it's really really hard to resist it must be venial doesn't cut it.

That's not to say that you can't make that argument, of course.

And finally, I'd like to note that there's a difference between "grave" and "mortal" in Catholic parlance. Grave sin is mortal ONLY if full consent of will and sufficient knowledge are present, something only God can judge. Due to bio-chemistry I would not at all be surprised if people of a certain age did not have FULL consent of will when it comes to masturbation...but luckily for me, that's God's call.

And all of this talk misses the point anyway. Who cares, from our perspective (which is the one we're all stuck in for now), if it's mortal anyway? If it's a sin, don't do it. If you do it BECAUSE you know it's not a grave sin, then you have committed the sin of presumption, which might itself be grave.

But anyway, this sort of legalistic mumbo-jumbo is really only useful as an intellectual exercise. God would be perfectly just letting all of us go to Hell. If we think it's unfair that some person is in Hell but not another it's our perspective that's wrong, not God's. All who seek, find, and it should be more than good enough for us to trust in that.

Blogger Markku August 12, 2014 2:57 AM  

I would put it this way: Sin is relative. The requirement for entrance to Hell is one unit of sin, where a unit is the magnitude of the smallest sin, whatever it is.

Blogger Brad Andrews August 12, 2014 2:57 AM  

My immediate thought when I heard of this was that his view of how the world worked caused him to pick this route. Not believing in anything beyond yourselves and your own pleasure can do that.

I know how serious depression can be. (Try being rejected by all 4 of your adopted children as they turn adult and choose a very dysfunctional birth family instead, lying about you along the way.)

While I care about everyone as God does, those who chose to wallow in sin will reap the rewards of doing that and it is not pretty. I lost my own sister fairly recently because she didn't really want to get out of the hole she dug, since the price seemed to high for her, so can the moralizing if you are prone to that.

I remembered that he was one who was last with Belushi when he ODed many years ago, so he obviously didn't watch his actions and he had to carry a lot of crud from that with him. Earthly pleasures have a way of corrupting and an act like this (if it was what is claimed) doesn't spring out of just even basic depression, but rather depravity. You make paths for the hooks and they hold you tight.

It won't do much to pray for him now. He either knew Jesus or he did not, it is too late for him. I would pray for his family however, as they need to know the true Prince of Peace.

Whoever griped about how judgmental this kind of statement was is not taking into account that reality is what it is. Only one way to get an abundant eternal life per Jesus own words. Take it up with Him if you don't like it. Lying to people about another way existing is not helping anyone.

Blogger Brad Andrews August 12, 2014 2:58 AM  

Marku, that would be true, but the measure for staying out of hell is whether a person has a reborn spirit per II Cor 5:17. Live spirits go to heaven, dead ones go to hell. All of us are eternal.

At least that is what the Scriptures say.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza August 12, 2014 3:03 AM  

Or baby boomers are leaving b/c their worldviews failed them, they truly couldnot attain 'satisfaction' as the rolling stones plead for. What did he have to end his for?

Anyways, mrs or mr whatever doubtfire was hideous predictive programming, another thing of the 1990's I didn't care for. But the sight of him in drag was funny. Also hideous so was that silly movie about him having a grown son with his gay partner only to meet a ultra conservative senator;s daughter. They marry and its a happy life.

Hollywood produces the worst, most awful films.

God bless err, no...well, here's to clockwork orange.

Poor Robin, Rest in Peace, may you always kep your laughter.

Blogger Vincent Castrillo August 12, 2014 3:09 AM  

Markku, I meant I was jumping into you guys' debate. Thought that would have been clear, but I apologize for not being so. I am in near total agreement with your posts on this matter, but your last bit "They are nowhere nearly as great a risk of death as autoerotic asphyxiation. That one I'd compare to Russian roulette. Perhaps not with the exact same probability, but in the same ballpark.""" I fear has overswung the mark.

Auto-erotic practices happen all the time. Numbers are almost certainly impossible to come by but one would assume like any fetish there are numerous people practicing them many many times. The number of deatks per year are around 250-500 a year. The number of skydiving deaths was 21 in 3 million jumps. Now in order for these to match 1 million men would have to average 3 times a month of this auto-erotic filth. Not impossible, especially for a fetish. Downright easy if 5 million guys are trying it from time to time. And to compare it to a 1 in 6, 1 in 8, or even 1 in 20 chance from Roulette is flat out wrong.

The point is it would appear that death by this method is so rare that it is not gross negligence by your definition either. Hence even the ridiculous non-intent case Bob was trying to make doesn't work since these men would have no reasonable expectation of death from this practice. Certainly no more risk than snorting coke or shooting heroin etc. Hence, is an OD that one did not intend to die in, suicide?? Of course not.

Blogger Vincent Castrillo August 12, 2014 3:24 AM  

Malcolm, one day I will take up the challenge to find out once and for all the magnitude of this sin and more fully debate my wife. For now it's not really a concern other than the trivial. A point of debate in our fun arguments on different topics. Especially when her aversion to all things Hardee's/Carl's Jr. comes up when I want their delicious breakfast. (She says there commercials are basically porn -- you get where it goes from there).

The point of my post was not to discuss masturbation per se or excuse myself from sin as I don't need to do it. The point was to weigh in on a debate I was not invited to between Marrku and Bob and his absurd assertion that non-intentional death is suicide simply because one was engage in the act of another, lesser sin. And yes, despite arguments to the contrary, there are gradients of sin. One who masterbates is not on the same level as one who commits self-murder. For the sheer fact that one can eventually grow out of it and repent. There is no repentance from self-murder.

Blogger Tom Kratman August 12, 2014 3:37 AM  

"I wish for the sake of Mr. Williams that there was such a thing as purgatory. Certainly he was a tortured soul during his time on earth."

Not a word about it in scripture, of course, though there is some....mmm...procedural precedent, at least. It is also consistent with the idea of a space of time between death and last judgment.

We'll find out when we're dead.

Blogger James Higham August 12, 2014 4:00 AM  

Bloody hell. Had to come here to find out too.

Bye the way, Vox, did you see this?

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=6085#more-6085

I've been asked to blog on the SF world. I'll need to come here for a primer on it first.

Anonymous rho August 12, 2014 4:54 AM  

that...sucks. another victory for alcoholism and the forces of darkness. someone needs to set up a ministry for comedians. some of the most depressed, insecure people i've met. if they realized that the source of their gifts wasn't their pain or their darkness, but the grace of God, they might have a fighting chance.

I'm not sure that's possible. There's even a trite cliche for it: "He found God and lost his talent."

Comedians do tend to be fundamentally broken. I suspect it's the main contributing factor to why they are comedians. Well adjusted people don't seek out the worst parts of being human and look for the humor in it.

Not that well adjusted people can't be funny, it's just that they can't be professionally funny. It's the same reason a fervent Social Justice Warrior will never kill at an open mic night--the default position to the idiosyncrasies of the human condition is "that's not funny".

Years ago, I went on a long hiking trip with a bunch of guys. On the way to the trail we listened to the soundtrack to Good Morning Vietnam on incessant repeat. (It's a good soundtrack, the music is great.) While hiking we would often repeat Williams's Adrian Cronauer bits as a cadence. He was a fierce talent, and I can imagine his anguish to see that talent fade, as it must do for all of us eventually. I hope he found peace in the next world that he couldn't find in this one.

Anonymous Porky August 12, 2014 6:12 AM  

Reality...What A Concept was one LP that I nearly wore out from playing it so much.

Many of of the other New York stand ups didn't like Robin very much. He was kind of shy and not very social, and he was also very very good and a tough act to follow. He was also accused of stealing material from other guys. I tend to think he was just intimidating to the rest. Like a chess grandmaster, he could improvise a thousand different scenarios from a given position and choose the one that you would absolutely never see coming. What a mind. What a deep, quick, and gifted mind.

RIP Robin.

Blogger totenhenchen August 12, 2014 6:19 AM  

Suicide is also an act of mental illness, but we all know that Williams was just a coward and not obviously a lifelong manic depressive.

Anonymous Logan August 12, 2014 7:32 AM  

For those who don't know what it's like to suffer from depression, who don't understand why some depressed people gasp for suicide the way a starving man gasps for water, I recommend 'Darkness Visible" by William Styron.

Anonymous Anonymous August 12, 2014 7:35 AM  

Good riddance. Another lefty dead. He's burning in hell for both his lefty beliefs AND his suicide.

Sic sempter liberalus. Thus to all lefties.

As soon as possible.

Rape!

Blogger Nate August 12, 2014 7:49 AM  

". Art that is classic, that speaks to beauty and creation does not come from pain. It comes from a place of joy. It's why Mr. Williams work will be nothing, and why David persists."

And yet 1000 years from now... Starry Night will still be Starry Night.

Blogger Desiderius August 12, 2014 7:55 AM  

Jack,

"I too have wrestled with the Black Dog. He is the price I pay for my ambition, courage and drive. I vow he will never win, but he is the only thing I fear."

Aye, that's well said. Thanks for the Churchill quote.

See also:

To fight aloud, is very brave—
But gallanter, I know
Who charge within the bosom
The Cavalry of Woe—

Who win, and nations do not see—
Who fall—and none observe—
Whose dying eyes, no Country
Regards with patriot love—

We trust, in plumed procession
For such, the Angels go—
Rank after Rank, with even feet—
And Uniforms of Snow.
- Dickinson

Anonymous Anonymous August 12, 2014 8:05 AM  

"About the time the Superman star became a quadriplegic, Williams was reportedly worth $135 million, according to the Daily Star newspaper. That was even after his first divorce, which cost him about $10 million, and a $6.2 million lawsuit after he infected a mistress with herpes in the 1980s.However, 17 years, three children and another expensive divorce later and Williams was forced back into the world of TV to help make ends meet. He picked up a regular TV role, his first in 30 years after his breakout role in Mork and Mindy, alongside Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar in The Crazy Ones.

''The idea of having a steady job is appealing. I have two [other] choices: go on the road doing stand-up, or do small, independent movies working almost for scale [minimum union pay]. The movies are good, but a lot of times they don’t even have distribution ... There are bills to pay. My life has downsized, in a good way,'' he said in one of his final interviews with Parade magazine in September last year.

He also admitted his two separations had almost sent him broke. ''Divorce is expensive. I used to joke they were going to call it ‘all the money’ but they changed it to ‘alimony’. It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet. Are things good with my exes? Yes. But do I need that lifestyle? No.''

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/robin-williams-downsized-before-death-20140812-103al8.html

Anonymous RedJack August 12, 2014 8:40 AM  

DH nailed it.

I have had the opprotunity to meet and know many in the world of athletics. In many ways I am less of a sports fan as a result, but one thing that stuck in my mind was a young twenty something old boy weeping because he had ripped out his shoulder, and could no longer throw the heat.

Just like Mr Williams, the people we follow today will fade rather quickly. When fame is your drug, the down is much more painful. Williams chose to keep following the path that destroyed him. I am not the one to judge (thankfully), but in the end he chose leave rather than face his Black Dog.

I have some depressed tendencies (what engineer/farmer's son does not?) but have never seriously contemplated suicide. I was given this gift of life, it is not mine to take away. I feel sorrow for those who take their own life, but it is a great evil to do so. Pretending it is heroic or noble is profane.

Blogger James Dixon August 12, 2014 8:52 AM  

As my great grandmother would have said, if you can't say something nice...

The man was a comic genius, probably the best of our time. On a scale with Groucho Marx. He will be missed.

Anonymous Thales August 12, 2014 9:03 AM  

I heard a joke once: Man goes to doctor.
Says he's depressed.
Says life is harsh and cruel.
Says he feels all alone in a threatening world.
Doctor says, "Treatment is simple.
The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight.
Go see him.
That should pick you up."
Man bursts into tears.
Says, "But doctor... I am Pagliacci."
Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.

Anonymous physics geek August 12, 2014 9:22 AM  

"Oh no! A chain reaction! Death, where is thy mortal/dancing at 54 i will not be/AUUUUGH!

"'Dorothy, wake up.'"


I still have a copy of that comedy album lying around:"Reality: What a Concept." Very funny stuff.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 12, 2014 9:36 AM  

Markku August 12, 2014 1:13 AM
Do you understand the words "would be"?



do you understand the difference between refusing to judge and substituting your judgment for God's?



Vincent Castrillo August 12, 2014 2:24 AM
Bob and Markku, is death by skydiving suicide?? Or bungee jumping??



are you skydiving or bungeeing to get as close to death as possible? or is it an industrial sized version of a 30' platform dive?

people rack up jump counts in the hundreds and thousands without ever having a dual-chute failure. the vast majority jump their entire lives ... okay, EVERYBODY jumps their entire lives ... without having a problem.

now, if you're one of these clowns who jumps without a chute, requiring that you be able to harness up and pull cord before you make road pizza? and you're unsuccessful?

yeah, that's suicide.


Vincent Castrillo August 12, 2014 2:24 AM
what if you contract AIDS from a prostitute??


you were getting off on the idea that you could contract a VD ( weirdo ) or the VD was incidental to the sin?

on the other hand, hell yes bug chasers are trying to commit suicide.

http://www.narth.org/docs/chaser.html




Vincent Castrillo August 12, 2014 2:24 AM
What I mean is surely you would both agree that lusting for one's wife while actually in congress with her is fine, yes? Or perhaps when one is at work? No, Bob???



*sigh*

explain to me how 'lusting for your wife' is adultery or fornication. or does the Bible actually recommend wedded sex?

then maybe we'll let you sit at the big kid's table.



Vincent Castrillo August 12, 2014 2:24 AM
but lusting after women that are not known to you to be married is no more than a venial sin, if that.



yep. that there is the righteousness that Catholics are known for.

the entire bible speaks against fornication, adultery and lust of all kinds.

here we've got you and Markku both trying to justify masturbation and you're trying to justify keeping mistresses.


Vincent Castrillo August 12, 2014 2:24 AM
even to the point of coming out on its own at night



wow. nocturnal emissions are not 'masturbation'. who you going to call disingenuous now, automat?

and congratulations Vince, you've just adopted the 'born that way' argument of the queers for yourself.

we are all born in sin.

that doesn't make any of the sin 'justified'.



automatthew August 12, 2014 12:36 AM
Can a man repent of suicide?


apparently, some +90% of them can, yes.

http://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures
"suggesting that approximately 12 people harm themselves (not necessarily intending to take their lives) for every reported death by suicide."

http://lostallhope.com/suicide-statistics
"According to a report released by the American Association of Suicidology1, there are 25 attempts at suicide for every one success."



automatthew August 12, 2014 1:21 AM
Not all puns are dirty, bob.



yes, but i am.

y'all have never seen me cut loose.



Markku August 12, 2014 2:57 AM
The requirement for entrance to Hell is one unit of sin, where a unit is the magnitude of the smallest sin, whatever it is.




which is why your tangent about 'masturbation better than suicide' is so bizarre.

i could see a Catholic pulling this stunt. you're just baffling me.



Vincent Castrillo August 12, 2014 3:24 AM
Bob and his absurd assertion that non-intentional death is suicide simply because one was engage in the act of another, lesser sin.



not even close to what i said.

but you've typed way more words than i have so i guess you win.

Blogger Iowahine August 12, 2014 9:41 AM  

Logan: For those who don't know what it's like to suffer from depression, who don't understand why some depressed people gasp for suicide the way a starving man gasps for water, I recommend 'Darkness Visible" by William Styron.

For all Styron's mastery of language, even his account of this dark time in his life only scratches the surface. The things of this life that we choose, especially alcohol and drugs, only add quicksand to the pit of despair.

Anonymous Anonymous August 12, 2014 9:42 AM  

As mentioned above, this does make his excellent "What Dreams May Come" movie look prophetic.

Blogger Markku August 12, 2014 10:25 AM  

here we've got you and Markku both trying to justify masturbation

Now you're just outright lying. I EXPLICITLY said it would be sin for me, due to the "not from faith" principle. Fuck you, Bob.

Go to hell.

Anonymous Pale Moon Convert August 12, 2014 10:26 AM  

Honestly, I never thought Robin Williams was very funny. Never did understand why "Good Morning Vietnam" was such a hit. He was probably better as a dramatic actor than as a comedian. Jim Carrey IMO is much funnier, or at least was during his heyday.

Anonymous Pale Moon Convert August 12, 2014 10:37 AM  

He was sober for something like 20 years, just like Philip Seymour Hoffman, and they both fell off the wagon. Only God keeps the demons away, not rehab. Stay away from drugs, and keep the drinking to a minimum.

Blogger Tommy Hass August 12, 2014 11:19 AM  

"I heard a joke once: Man goes to doctor.
Says he's depressed.
Says life is harsh and cruel.
Says he feels all alone in a threatening world.
Doctor says, "Treatment is simple.
The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight.
Go see him.
That should pick you up."
Man bursts into tears.
Says, "But doctor... I am Pagliacci."
Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains."

I thought of that as well...

Blogger haus frau August 12, 2014 11:33 AM  

My mother in law shot herself in the head. My sister i law died of alcohol poisoning after years of addiction last March. Some people are just weak. They are always innately more vulnerable to life's disruptions and pain than others. Providing they don't take anyone with them they deserve compassion.

Blogger Robert What? August 12, 2014 11:42 AM  

Same with me and other people in my life who are not subject to it. I totally envy people who have no understanding of what depression is.

Anonymous Don August 12, 2014 11:42 AM  

Lots of suicides used to be covered up as 'accidents' 'cleaning a gun', 'hunting', 'accident in bath'.

Now it's more dignified to be a victim of depression than to make a mistake with the radio in the bathtub or while cleaning your revolver. Pray for his loved ones especially his children and for the poor guy who found him. Finding a suicide is never pretty, even if it is a 'clean' one.

Blogger JCclimber August 12, 2014 12:49 PM  

There was a lot to admire about Robin Williams. However, for decades I have wondered if his comedic talent was the result of demon possession, as he even claimed once (indirectly).
Fame, adulation, even fortune (limited) were all his, but if demons possessed his soul, it is no wonder he turned to drugs to quiet the voices.
Since the first time I heard his manic monologues, I have wondered if someone was speaking through him. Few demon possessions result in supernatural manifestations like Exorcist, a movie which gave many a false impression of how Satan works.

Any way, he was obviously wrestling with demons - depression, drugs, alcohol if you don't believe in Satan, and finally gave up the fight.

And many will look back at his life and fail to connect the dots that fame and fortune do not equal happiness.

Anonymous Ragnar August 12, 2014 1:00 PM  

Two things:

This last year has been the happiest of my life. I found a solution for my severe clinical depression in a treatment called neurofeedback. It have never been happier, ever. And every week I get better. Since some readers have claimed to suffer from depression I hope some will look into neurofeedback. It was a god-send.

Second, to Nate's comment about Starry Night, those who suffer from mental problems find solace in beauty. When things were at their darkest I would listen to music incessantly. I never drove the darkness away but it made it bearable. Beauty is healing. Art, in its best form is a light from heaven. It is a reminder that life is not pointless. This is why I hate ugly art. This is why I hate the leftist philosophy that creates ugly art. There is enough darkness in the world, and adding to it is a terrible thing. Beauty is one of the weapons against it. I despise those who use their creative abilities to make darkness. What many leftists do not understand is that theirs is a philosophy of death. They seek the darkness and it is not hard to find.

Anonymous Claymore August 12, 2014 1:03 PM  

But the foul fiend her hateful spell
Threw o’er his wilder’d mind
He saw in every hope a hell;
He was to reason blind.

He grasp’d the bowl to seek relief;
No more – his conscience said:
His bosom friend was sunk in grief,
His children begg’d for bread.

Through haunts of horror and of strife,
He pass’d down life’s dark tide;
He cursed his beggar’d babes and wife;
He cursed his God – and died!

Blogger The Aardvark August 12, 2014 1:37 PM  

The whole thing just makes me angry.
http://aardvarksplumbline.blogspot.com/2014/08/deathlexia.html

Anonymous automatthew August 12, 2014 3:00 PM  

bob quibbled: apparently, some +90% of them can, yes.

This would be the disingenuousness I spoke of. You know exactly what I meant, and you're dodging. Presumably because you know that a true answer would expose the poverty of your position.

Blogger ray August 12, 2014 3:33 PM  

Off and on, I've been around NPs since my military days, sometimes in clinical settings, sometimes not. And nupe I don't believe in 'clinical depression' and all the other excuses and 'diagnoses' that modern folks employ to avoid responsibility for their inner lives. So much easier to externalize our faults, struggles and weaknesses as a 'disease' (oh! oh! I just can't help it, the Bad Disease is making me!) and to dump it on the psychiatric moolah-gatherers, who are as doofussy about the human mind as the rest of the medical behemoth. Their pills, in 95% percent of cases, cause far more damage than help.

PS Yo Tommy Hass, haters gonna hate! How's it working for your life so far? Great? You keep it right on up then.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist August 12, 2014 3:40 PM  

PZ Myers says Robin Williams was a "wealthy white man", and his death distracts us from "news about brown people":

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-depression-and-stephen-fry/

Anonymous cheddarman August 12, 2014 3:41 PM  

"Though Williams had one of Hollywood’s most enduring careers, divorce — from first wife Valerie Velardi in 1988, and from second wife, Marsha Garces in 2008 — had gutted his bank account.

“Divorce is expensive,” he recently said. “I used to joke they were going to call it ‘all the money’, but they changed it to ‘alimony’. It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet.” "

Given these quotes by Robin Williams, one could argue that he would be alive today if he understood game.

Anonymous sawtooth August 12, 2014 6:53 PM  

Betcha every unmarried Christian here thats waxing sanctimonious about the sinfulness of beating off is either a man of middle age or beyond, or a woman, or a eunich.

Jusayin

Anonymous sawtooth August 12, 2014 9:06 PM  

I just heard that Robin Williams death was by hanging. So sad.

He had a comedic talent that ran deep and was multifaceted . I most loved some of his more subtle and nuanced comedic acting.

The dinner table scene in the film "Bird Cage".
I still bring that up to people and they probably think I'm a nuts because I laugh so hysterically just talking about it.

Anonymous Thales August 12, 2014 10:04 PM  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfDyTUiL8xs

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