August 12, 2014, - 1:20 am
Robin Williams: Incredibly Talented Friend of US Troops, But Suicide is THE Most Selfish Act; Pelosi Donor
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
It’s tragic that Robin Williams is gone, as he was an incredibly talented actor who could traverse comedy and drama and all genres in film. But suicide is the most selfish act a human being can commit, rivaled only by homicide. And Robin Williams committed that act, despite leaving a wife and three adult children wondering why.
Yes, it is true that Williams was mentally ill and apparently sought help for depression. But he had everything in the world compared to most Americans, and everything in the world to live for. Born into a wealthy family, he attended Detroit Country Day School, the most prestigious (and expensive) private school in Michigan. He had incredible wealth and fame, incredible talent, and a lifetime of terrific acting in plum roles. But we coddle those who say they are mentally ill or have depression. In the good old days of America, people didn’t have time to check into rehab and take psychotropic drugs and contemplate their “woe is me” lives in Hollywood mansions. They had to struggle to survive and support their families. And I’ll bet the suicide rate was significantly lower (along with the narcissism rate).
Just because someone is “depressed,” doesn’t mean it’s an excuse for checking out forever. We treat it as if it is, as if this selfish act cannot be condemned and we must automatically condone the action once the “D”-word is uttered. And he willingly chose to use and abuse drugs, which probably led to his depression and other mental issues. Given that my late father–who wanted to live–had his life taken from him by cancer, I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be the 20-something daughter of a physically healthy man who willingly, cowardly took his own life and left everyone who loved him to pick up the pieces.
While no one knows yet–and we may never know–why Seau killed himself, suicide is the most selfish act you can commit against those closest to you and there is no justification for it–unless, for example, you know you are about to be tortured to death, a position in which Seau certainly was not. . . .
And you can pretty much say the same thing about Williams.
Still, I’ll remember Williams for the fabulous acting range he had. While I always thought “Mork & Mindy” was a dopey show (and it didn’t stand the test of time), I loved Williams in “Dead Poets Society,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” (the sequel to this movie, in which he was set to star, is now canceled because of his suicide, a lot of money and jobs now down the drain), “The Fisher King” (probably his best dramatic role and biggest tear-jerker), and “One Hour Photo.” And don’t forget, “Good Morning, Vietnam.” He was pretty good as the creepy neighbor in the recent “The Face of Love” (read my review). Williams wasn’t only a comedy natural whose humor included all kinds of impressions and voices, but a trained, serious Juilliard actor. He won the Oscar for his co-starring role in “Good Will Hunting,” one of the most vastly overrated movies of all time (which brought us the twins of narcissistic conceit (and deceit), Ben Affleck and Matt Damon).
Although he was an avowed liberal Democrat who gave a lot to Democrats (especially Nancy Pelosi) and other leftist causes, Williams spent a lot of time entertaining the troops. If you look on Google Images, you’ll see photo after photo of Williams entertaining American troops countless times and in countless countries, from Kuwait to Baghdad and everywhere else. Contrast that to Oprah Winfrey, who was asked by the Bush Administration to just visit Afghan girls once and ask them to attend school. She refused.
So, I’ll remember Robin Williams for those good things. But it’s wrong for us to soft-pedal suicide as if the perpetrator bears no responsibility or reason to be judged accordingly.
Robin Williams, Rest In Peace.
**** UPDATE: Since there has been some discussion of the Jewish view on suicide, I think it’s necessary to correct the record on that issue, even though Robin Williams was not Jewish (not even half-Jewish as was rumored), and even though I don’t believe my religion’s views on suicide are relevant here.
To wit, real Judaism (not Judaism lite a/k/a “Conservative” and “Reformed” Judaism, neither of which has a clue what the Torah and Jewish oral tradition actually says) considers suicide such a heinous act–akin to murder–that those who commit suicide cannot even be buried within a Jewish cemetery (although politically correct rabbis who know on which side their bread is buttered always find excuses–such as mental illness–to do so).
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