Thoughts on Robin Williams and Facebook

It’s been 24 hours since I heard about Robin Williams’ suicide, and I’ve been thinking about it pretty much non-stop. It was a lot to process at first, and I’ll be honest, I thought that it was a hoax until I saw the major media outlets report it. How could someone like Robin Freakin’ Williams take their own life? How could someone who brought joy to so many not save some for himself? It strangely touched me. We see celebrities die all the time, so why does this one matter? Usually I just say “Well damn, that sucks.” Phillip Seymour Hoffman comes to mind (although he did make me think about what addiction actually is). But as an 80’s/90’s child, Robin Williams was certainly someone who I frequently watched on my bedroom television or in the darkness of the Acadiana Mall theater, but didn’t realize it until yesterday. I used to watch Mork & Mindy reruns daily on Nick at Nite. Aladdin is my favorite animated Disney film because of Genie. Jumanji blew my mind when it came out. Hook? Awesome, right? I saw Mrs. Doubtfire at my best friend’s house on a VHS tape that he recorded from HBO. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a dude dress up like a girl and didn’t think it was weird. His comedy special “Live on Broadway” is one of the most important things that I’ve ever watched. I have a love for comedy today that I can trace back to that film, which I saw for the first time in Kinder, Louisiana. If it’s possible to laugh your dick off, I came dangerously close that night. Death to Smoochy is still one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. I can say for sure that the man had an influence on my personality and sense of humor as an adult who can generally find humor in almost anything (seriously, just ask my family).

Of course, I could have just posted all that on Facebook. But if I did, I’d be just another asshole with an opinion on Facebook. I’d be the same as the other person who says “Sry about Roben Williams, but the dude KILLED HIMSELF. What a cowerd.” and “of course the MAINSTREAM MEDIA is talking about Robin Williams but not about ALL THE SOLDIERS who died for our freedom!” You know what I’m talking about, right? Instead of reflecting on the life of a great person and what the fuck made him do this to himself, we get closed minded bits about things that really don’t apply here. Instead of calling Robin Williams a coward, maybe we can use this tragedy as a way of bringing attention to the obvious problems with how we administer mental health care in the United States. It’s easy to just call him a name and never think of it again, but that’s how problems never get solved (see: the Dark Ages). Now, I understand that not everyone has sufficient critical thinking skills, but it’s weird that those same people are generally the ones to mock or trivialize things that make their brain hurt and that don’t directly affect them in some way. And of course, those people would be free to reply to me on Facebook, which is about as pleasant as a colonoscopy from Stevie Wonder.

Now, for those that dub Robin a “coward,” I would argue that courage had nothing to do with it. I would argue that physically killing yourself would probably be one of the hardest things to do. Ever. Most of us have an inner mechanism that prevents us from harming ourselves. For example, I have to mentally prepare myself before I administer my own allergy shots. When I think about how hard it is to prick myself in the ass to prevent the minor nuisance of sniffles, I wonder how much pain someone would have to be in to override those inner mechanisms and actually kill themselves. I don’t think that it’s something that the vast majority of people can understand. Given, I have never dealt with depression or known anyone that has had any serious bouts with it. I also haven’t known anyone who’s taken their own life. But I do know that there are people who believe that depression doesn’t even exist and believe that suicide is a person just “looking for the easy way out.” It’s to you people that I say, with the kindest regards possible, please fuck off. You are not helping. Please read a book or three (Twilight and 50 Shades do NOT count). Maybe take a Psych class! I know, you don’t like school. I don’t like working out, but I do it anyway because I know it’s good for me.

To the people angry about the media coverage, I would say that a person passing who has single handedly touched millions of peoples lives in a positive way is worth at least a two minute segment in the 24 hour news cycle, in between what war is next and Kim Kardashian’s ass. In a few days, we can go back to whether or not the government wants to blow up whatever Middle-Eastern country you hate this week. Are they trying to get ratings? Yes. But it would also be negligent of them to not report on a famous figure committing suicide (to which you would probably also complain about, because you just hate either FOXNEWS or MSNBC because OBAMA!!). I, on the other hand, wish that they would cover Robin’s death even more than they are now. I wish that they would use Robin Williams’ death to begin a national dialogue on how shitty our mental health diagnosis and treatment system here is. But they won’t do that. And even if they did, the same small minded, never been out of south Louisiana country asses would mock them and continue to ignore the problem. They would call people with depression “pussies” or “spoiled,” the same way that they call those who are poor and uneducated “just lazy” and people with opposing views on political matters are simply “libtards” or “tea baggers.”

The only people I’ll let off the hook here are religious people. That’s your faith and that’s fine. My only question to you would be this. How could someone who brought so much joy to so many go to “hell?” Seems a little harsh, don’t you think? I mean, Patch Adams is pretty much the best thing ever made. That would be a dick move on God’s part. But hey, I realize that there’s no changing your mind on this, so I’ll move on.

This is the shit that I see on Facebook from people that I know are not stupid. I mean, some of them are stupid, but I just ignore them. But you friends that aren’t stupid… what the hell, man? If you’re not stupid, then why do you have stupid views or spew non-sense without thinking at all? I believe some of it is that our macho, coon-ass culture frowns upon learning, and in some circles, science itself. I mean, we know everything, right? (YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT? HAHA YOU PUSSY! HEY RON, HE DIDN’T KNOW THAT! WHAT A MORON! HAHA!) Or maybe you are educated, but you were educated in the 70’s and your textbook still referred to civil rights as “the troubling road ahead.”

Robin Williams is not a coward. Robin Williams is not being covered on the news because he’s liberal. Robin Williams is an important man who millions looked up to that couldn’t overcome his medical and mental condition. No, he didn’t have medals from fighting “wars” (even though he was a major contributor to USO). But he did tell some of the funniest jokes I’ve ever fucking heard, which I’ll remember forever. So instead of writing off and wasting his death, let’s use it to improve ourselves and our community. Let’s start on Facebook, bitches.

I fucking love Robin Williams.