When the laughs die.. what are we left with? When cameras turn off, the lights go out.. the darkness enters..
I was struck by how fast and overwhelming the internet response was to Robin Williams' suicide today.. When the news hit the wire services, Drudge broke the suicide angle.. press reports blew across Twitter.. Facebook froze in shock, and then immediate posts from users proclaiming which movie was the ultimate Williams flick.. DEATH TO SMOOTHIE? ONE HOUR PHOTO? MRS DOUBTFIRE? ...most likely viewings of those and DEAD POETS SOCIETY are taking place in a living room near tonight..
We all seemingly grew up with Robin Williams. The outburst of emotion was so strong that it even caused Williams' Wikipedia page to crash for a time..
Whether your generation was young watching him play MORK, or his most recent return to television with THE CRAZY ONES, every one had some little part of Williams in their lives.. Every high school class of juniors since the early 1990s recited large portions of DPS and Mr. Keating's eloquent lessons about seizing the day and making life extraordinary..
And he did just that in real life..
But deep inside his mind, when the lights of the cameras switched off, another side of Williams existed..
Gossip rags that are too unmentionable to mention have been reporting something for a few weeks--and undoubtedly gossip rags always have some shred of truth to their tabloid papers: Robin Williams was suffering from depression..
Many comedians do.. for some reason, so many people who can quickly fill a room with laughs and smiles are crying on the inside.. Williams was no different.
But his suicide tonight was still unexpected in so many ways..
Call me a little kooky--I am--but I believe in something call a collective consciousness..Frankly, I don't know if a God exists, but I believe a certainly electricity does.. and it somehow binds us all together like the longest math problem ever recorded. On that note, today I felt something a bit off about the world.. I felt a deep sorrow.. I chalked it up to some personal issues taking place.. then contemplated that it possibly was work.. or maybe even a bigger issue like the tremendously horrid news flowing like flood waters from the Middle East.. And then around 6pm EDT time, news hit that Robin Williams was dead. And that sadness I felt throughout the day lifted.. as though a weight was taken off the shoulders of the planet.. Maybe we all felt the death of Robin Williams in some way before we knew about it..? Maybe his personality was so large, so momentous, and so important in the history of entertainment, that it touched our lives in some spiritual way..?
I don't know it that makes much sense..
But what does make sense?
Certainly not suicide..
Certainly not extinguishing your own life..
However I was not in Robin Williams' mind, nor were any of us..
My wife and I laughed during the runup to the CRAZY ONES television show.. Our three and a half year old innocent little son looks a bit like Robin Williams--he makes some faces that are down right scary in the resemblance. But then, suddenly, even despite some popularity, the CRAZY ONES got canceled by CBS.. I wonder how much this cancellation played into the suicide of Robin Williams? I understand it would be pure speculation to ponder..
Come to think of it, any time someone commits suicide, it's pure speculation on why they did. We ponder how a larger than life figure, someone who spanned decades in popularity, can just vanish from this realm..
I read some comments tonight on several message boards or threads on news articles somewhat mocking Williams for his admitted addictions and his choice to end his life. It's always easy for people to hide behind keyboards or smart phones, text the world their feeble and immature emotions, and add thoughtless thoughts to the internet.. But that's fine. People have their right to express whatever opinion they'd like..
Regardless of what anyone says, thinks, or does, Robin Williams is suddenly gone from the planet earth.. Sure, he does have some movies still coming and roles , most likely resulting in some amazing but still awkward audience reactions..
But that's it. The show is over.. Williams, a modern day king of comedy, is dead..
The final summation of emotions of this day can best be seen in Clyde Lewis' part on Facebook tonight:
No words can express the sadness.. tell people you love them, assure them that you support them and that they mean something to you.
Maybe it's as simple as that..
But so simple that few people ever do it.
Robin Williams meant something to all of us..
Now go and find those that mean something to you and let them know..