So strange, the last few weeks I'd been thinking about certain famous names and how I would feel if they died. Robin Williams was one of them.
But that's coincidence more than anything. In any case....this.....is upsetting.
"An upsidedown wire heart
Being sucked into a periscope
Still the mind is dull
Like you need another excuse"
… a theory is primarily a form of insight, i.e. a way of looking
at the world, and not a form of knowledge of how the world is….
.. all our different ways of thinking are to be considered as
different ways of looking at the one reality, each with some
domain in which it is clear and adequate…. - David Bohm
I'm very sad. I always felt like I could relate to him, like he could be my friend. Someone that had a similar view of the world as me. So him dying is like seeing how a part of me could give up. I don't know, it's weird.
I've seen some people on the Internet saying that he owed his fans a letter to explain his death... which I'm still kind of floored by.
It does raise the question of who "owns" a celebrity. He happens to have been in a line of work where people think they feel emotionally connected to you despite having never met you; but realistically he was doing a job that he was well paid for (because he was appealing and talented), and just like any other well-paid professional, he had a private/personal life and in that life he was whoever he was... not the celebrity, just a man as human as anyone else.
I wouldn't expect my plumber or doctor to involve me in their personal affairs or explain in detail whatever emotional distress they might be suffering outside of the job... why are celebrities different? It's like society tries to "own" them to some degree. That must be stressful in itself.
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Conduit
63 is not that old by modern standards. Had he died at 85 of natural causes, I wouldn't be shocked.
Yeah, that's the shocker. Male life expectancy in the US for men is around 78 years right now, and that's not quite accurate because it's always based on people who are already dead, not the people who are currently alive and might live a lot longer in the light of improving medicine/treatment.
So he had another 15 years +/- a few, according to the statistics, if he remained healthy.
Plus, it seems very probable that if he hadn't been suffering depression or another issue, he would have wanted to live. It's not like he decided, "Oh, I'm 63, I've lived a long and profitable life and now I've decided to draw it to a close, it was wonderful," it's likely, "I'm tired of feeling so horrible all the time and just don't have the strength to keep going." At least, that's how depression works.
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Conduit
Same here. My personal favorites are The Fisher King, Dead Poet's, and Awakenings.
Fisher King, Dead Poet's, and Good Will Hunting for me.
Well, and Aladdin.
It was also kind of touching to see him show up in A.I.
"Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"
“Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
Disclaimer: I never liked Robin Williams or his humor; too ADHD for me. Didn't like him as a dramatic actor either. Also, news reports are starting to say that he hanged himself.
Anyway, when older celebrities commit suicide, I've heard it said that it's because they're losing their "edge," and they find that prospect too humiliating or humbling or whatever. So they fight it or rebel against it and commit suicide or sink into depression and drink themselves to death or whatever.
Naturally, any one-size-fits-all explanation like that is going to be simplistic; everyone has their own story.
Still, there would seem to be a grain of truth there. One's sixties and seventies are a time of stripping-away and letting-go. Kids grow old and move away. Friends move on or die. In the workplace, you're less in demand and may be seen by others as past your time. And then there are personal issues: Loss of physical vigor, mental acuity, energy. You're not going to be as creative, what was once effortless becomes difficult, etc.
For many average people, this is a time to let go of old habits, say goodbye to who they used to be and what they did all their lives, take that retirement check, and put their feet up. If they can "let go," then it's a time of relaxation and even celebration. It's a time to cash in on a lifetime of investment and have some fun.
But some people can't "let go." It's said that it can be particularly difficult for the famous and powerful to let go of their fame and power: Note all the great businessmen who continue working right into their eighties and nineties. In the case of creative types (artists, actors, writers), their creativity may be stripped from them by infirmity, loss of mental accuity, physical decline, etc. Unwilling to accept that loss, some creative types rebel by committing suicide.
Difficult to say if any of this applied to Robin Williams, of course. But I think it's a nice prism to help understand understand the phenomenon of celebrity suicides in general. Old age involves a stripping-away and letting-go. Most people accept that process and cope with it; some even welcome it. OTOH, for celebrities who are used to being on top and in control, that stripping-away and letting-go can turn into a long hard fall.