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Robin Williams Got Us Thinking

Written by Gary North on August 14, 2014

“There, but for the grace of God, go I.” I don’t know when I first heard that, but it was many decades ago.

From time to time, we are reminded of its truth.

I begin with an example of poor timing. KISS lead performer Gene Simmons, on July 31, gave an interview. This part was picked up by the media on August 1.

I don’t get along with anybody who’s a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim. Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: “The world is a harsh place.” My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don’t want to hear **** all about “the world as a harsh place.” She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, “I’m depressed, I live in Seattle.” **** you, then kill yourself.I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. I’m the guy who says ‘Jump!’ when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, “That’s it, I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to jump.”

Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the **** up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.

By the way, you walk up to the same guy on a ledge who threatens to jump and put a gun to his head, “I’m going to blow your ****in’ head off!” He’ll go, “Please don’t!” It’s true. He’s not that insane.

People are different. This is a fundamental premise of libertarianism. Simmons is a libertarian. He has neglected the principle of differentiation. What does not overcome one person can debilitate another.

The world was shocked at what happened to Williams. I had no idea that he was this well respected worldwide. Literally all over the English-speaking world, the news of his death spread.

Like almost everybody else, I regarded Williams as the funniest man per minute I had ever seen. There was only one person I ever saw who came close: Jonathan Winters. The two were close friends. Williams acknowledged Winters as his model.

Winters also suffered greatly from psychological problems. But he never lost his sense of humor, not even at the bottom.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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14 thoughts on “Robin Williams Got Us Thinking

  1. CrustyOldGeezer says:

    There are more important things going on that require airtime far more than his sewer side.

    He is now history. Was he funny? oh yeah, loved his humor from day one on Mork and Mindy.

    But Iraq, iran, Israel, and the Ukraine still progress and are more news worthy and in need of attention.

  2. I had a friend once whose brother a PHD in Psychology killed himself. He suffered from Depression and he couldn't forgive him for this. I told him that I believed it was the illness that killed him. I don't know whether he agreed or not we never talked about it again. Depression is an illness that affect many people and they all handle it -or don't handle it- differently.
    A side note. I thought it was great Robin and Jonathan were friends. I didn't think Robin was funnier than Jonathan. There were differences in their humor however. As far as the funniest I don't think I could decide between those two and others early Richard Prior for example. All of these guys had their demons. I didn't like the fact that Williams couldn't stay away from political opinions in his routines and interviews. Of course Prior was political also in a different way, Williams named names all the time. On many occasions he attacked Regan specifically. He couldn't have cared less that some may find that off putting but he should have. I'm overly sensitive to the one sided purposeful misinformation from all sources of the entertainment and news media for a long time.

    That's one of my many demons.

  3. I'm betting he was on some Prescription Meds that really drove him to suicide.

  4. Too true,but you have to concede his vast public wants to learn about what happened to him.

  5. I like gene but since I have "bi polar" disorder and know what depression is I can tell you every day you tell yourself one more day! At one point I was 15 DIFFERENT meds at the same time and had no relief! I eventually just quit taking the drugs prescribed and just deal with the fact that there is only one thing that works and that, for me IS Christ!!!

  6. I have severe OCD under control chemically. I watched the banter between Williams and Stewart carefully several times. I wonder if OCD is not a factor in all addictions/mental disorders.

  7. I have severe OCD under control chemically. I watched the banter between Williams and Stewart carefully several times. I wonder if OCD is not a factor in all addictions/mental disorders.

  8. stshepherd says:

    I have 2 comments to this story- sort of a "pro" and "con." Pro- MY ex-mother in law was in a Nazi Concentration camp as a child, fled to Russia with what was left of her family, was persecuted in Russia and fled to the US- all before she was 20. She has the heart and soul of an absolute saint. She refuses to complain about ANYTHING, even when she was in crippling pain and confined to a wheelchair. On the other hand, I personally am definitely bipolar, have ben hospitalized many times since the age of 19 (although, at 54 I've been stable, on meds, for about 9 years) and HAVE considered suicide despite not feeling life overly "harsh." The danger for a bipolar (and I'm convinced Williams was from his brilliance and manic behavior) is NOT the depression, per se, but when they "flip" into the manic and get energized to do what they had just been contemplating in their depressed state- suicide. there are a number of things that can "flip" a bipolar from a depression to a manic state abruptly, including medications themselves (notably theSSRI's- Prozac, et al.) and even certain herbs, etc. This is possible as an alternative to he just wanted "aneasy way out."

  9. Besides , Andrew Dice Clay was far far funnier !

  10. Or maybe it was a cold & calculated decision.

    Williams had seen one of his best friends, Christopher Reeves, die impoverished from paying the cost of care after Reeves' accident.

    Williams also worked with Michael J. Fox's foundation, and knew Fox had no 'real money' roles after Fox revealed his Parkinson's diagnosis.

    Williams had already set up trusts for his children, funded IIRC by insurance policies.

    He almost certainly had his 3rd wife sign a prenup, which would have made her the beneficiary of a hefty policy as well (normally what happens, in return for her giving up most claims to his estate).

    So he knows his ability to earn a living is rapidly going away, but his current family is taken care of if he dies.

    I've known of others who ended their lives after being diagnosed with a terminal, but lengthy, illness, so their spouse/kids could get the life insurance proceeds.

  11. kane elysee says:

    Gene Simmons is irrelevant. The world would be a better place if we were all as level headed as Simmons; would it not? It’s not that the guy is a self admitted moral wreck but that he’s so unapologetic about it. Everyone’s heard his remarks about “goys” and their role in his reality. If it were up to people like him this world would have no charity, no compassion, no nothing and if it were up to people like him his mother, a Holocaust survivor, would have been ground into fertilizer and spread over some Nazi farming commune. What a hypocrite.

  12. People who are normal have no excuse for suicide. People who are abnormal do.

  13. Robert What? says:

    Having gone through episodes of major depression myself, I was able to recognize it in Robin Williams’ eyes. I was not very surprised when I heard about his suicide.

  14. Gene Simmons is a moron.

    While temporary blues may seem difficult, they pass. Real depression is biochemical. Some sufferers from it never see a good day. Others have a remission only to see it return. Either way, the end in many cases is that hope disappears. How long can one endure without hope?

    Imagine the worst moment you have ever felt. It may have been when you lost a parent, a spouse or a child. Now, imagine that the pain continues forever. And imagine this… your worst moment may not be close to as painful as what is experienced by the biochemically unbalanced mind of the clinically depressed.

    Drugs strong enough to deal with that type of depression are not an answer. They turn the sufferer into a virtual zombie. This is not appealing to anyone, but especially not to the creative genius type who is more prone to depression than are others.

    I have heard many avenues suggested for helping the depressed. Helping the depressed to understand how devastated his loved ones will be may help. Appeals on moral or religious grounds may help, but I doubt it since one would have to live under a rock not to already know those arguments. The one thing that it seems that nobody ever mentions, is to let the depressed know that you need them and that she makes your life more bearable and how she does that. "It's a Wonderful Life" got it right, in this respect.