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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Feeling Nothing About the Death of Robin Williams?

Posted by on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 9:06 AM

You're not alone, says Elizabeth Nolan Brown, and there's nothing wrong with feeling nothing:

Now there’s nothing wrong with using the surprising (apparent) suicide of a surface-happy comedian as a catalyst for discussing mental health issues. But how absurd to suggest it’s wrong not to. Maybe some people would prefer to remember the man’s life and work rather than his demons. Maybe some people who are intimately aware of the toll depression can take (or the pain a loved one’s suicide can cause) are loathe to latch their very personal pain to online discussions of a stranger with strangers. Maybe not everybody has to react in the same emotional tones....

There is nothing wrong with feeling genuine sadness over the passing of an entertainer you enjoy and admire. There is nothing wrong with being stung by the way Williams seems to have went. There is nothing wrong with posting Mrs. Doubtfire stills to Instagram and heartfelt missives on your Twitter timeline in response, if the spirit moves you. And the “normalcy” of these responses is shown in the likes and retweets and expressions of solidarity with which they’re met. Collective catharsis exerts a powerful pull.

But in the age of all this public emoting—some no doubt genuine, some signaling—it can be very easy to forget that not everyone is “deeply saddened” by the news of Williams’ death. Some aren’t even moderately saddened. And that’s okay, too.

 

Comments (62) RSS

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Matt from Denver 1
As long as those unmoved aren't also being dicks about it, I agree.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 12, 2014 at 9:12 AM · Report this
sirkowski 2
Damn right.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on August 12, 2014 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 3
I liked the guy. I enjoyed his work. I just don't feel anything when a rich, successful person decides to kill themselves. They can pay for care, go on vacation or buy a new car. I feel genuine sympathy for somebody whose life is a misery because of poverty and disease or old age. Not that depression isn't real or painful. But millions go on with their lives despite it in far worse conditions. And I do wish him peace.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on August 12, 2014 at 9:33 AM · Report this
despicable me 4
What Matt @1 said. Rest In Peace, Robin.
Posted by despicable me on August 12, 2014 at 9:41 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 5
@3
well said Peabrain.

I'd add that depression is socially crippling for many. Glancing at his resume, Williams was busy with work constantly. For many, maybe the most, depression puts one in shackles when it comes to work performance and social situations. Williams is no poster boy, nor a catalyst. Until we stop bowing down to celebrities and their abstract unreal screen lives, nothing will be learned.
Posted by dnt trust me on August 12, 2014 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 6
@ 3, you don't understand the difference between depresion the mood and depression the disease, as evidenced by your blithe remark that buying a nice new car can snap someone out of it. Please read up about that.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 12, 2014 at 9:49 AM · Report this
7
@3 I think that is part of the problem. Buying a car or goin g on vacation, or having a drink, or eating to make yourself feel temporarily less sad don't really help in the long run. And the next time you do them they don't work as good.

I'm not sure why his suicide brought me so much sadness, most celebrity deaths don't, after all I don't really know these people. I guess it's just something I relate to. I see my husband getting increasingly depressed despite an upper middle class life that should on paper make him happpy.
Posted by DJSauvage on August 12, 2014 at 9:51 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 8
I think it's interesting that when a non-celebrity commits suicide, many times the attitude is that they were weak, cowardly or selfish. But when a celebrity does it, it's somehow different. Growing up, we had an elderly neighbor who chose to end her life. I don't know what her reasons were, and though it was very painful for all of us who knew her, we didn't judge.

Another thing about celebrity suicide is that so many people personally identify with the celebrity, even though they have never met them. I tend to separate the actor from the characters they play, and I don't think everyone does that.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on August 12, 2014 at 9:53 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 9
Ooh, Priscilla Lopez! How I loved learning that song. The horror of realizing how few degrees of separation it takes to not give a shit. But I felt connected so tightly to Robin Williams' work I feel like I'm gutted forever now.

P.S. Lopez just joined Pippin on Broadway for a limited engagement. http://www.broadway.com/buzz/176677/tony…
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on August 12, 2014 at 9:54 AM · Report this
10
I'm feeling a bunch of stuff. Some sad, some mad, and some guilt.

I'm mad because we've lost a valuable talent. I wanted more from him. I'm madder because as a society we completely suck at dealing with mental health problems. Worse, our type of society induces them.

I feel guilt because every time I saw Williams performing, I knew, deep down inside, that I was watching someone who was absolutely amazing because he was outside the normal human realm of specifications. He was the candle that burned twice as bright, the motor running without a speed governor, an impossible structure waiting to implode.

While he could harness his manic side and let it run free, to the entertainment of all, he paid for it with the other side, that depressive side he mostly hid from us.

I also feel guilty because I know if he had found a "cure" for his problem, we'd likely have lost that crazy, manic, creative energy of his, we'd have been poorer for it, and I'm selfish enough that given a choice between being entertained and him being comfortable with himself, I'd have chosen the former.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on August 12, 2014 at 9:55 AM · Report this
11
Hey, good job, @5. You glanced at his resume and decided that his problems weren't that bad and aren't worthy of discussion. Top notch diagnosis.
Posted by Genghis John on August 12, 2014 at 9:56 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 12
@11
Thank you very much. I don't get too many compliments on Slog. Cheers!
Posted by dnt trust me on August 12, 2014 at 9:58 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 13
@ 8, actually there has been a small but vocal contingent saying the same things about Williams. It's the personal attitude toward suicide, not the individual.

I think the great outpouring of sadness for Williams, as compated to other premature celebrity deaths, has to do with his stature as both a very funny comedian and as a humanitarian. Unlike a lot of other comedians, he has never been an asshole or unlikeable in some way (think Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, or Mike Myers.) But he was also, I think, a shy and unassuming person at heart. Watching any of his interviews, you catch glimpses if that in between the bursts of hyper, almost manic wisecracking which made me think a lot of that was cover. I think it's possible peole sensed it, whether they consciously noticed it or not, and that made him much more relatable than most celebrities.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 12, 2014 at 10:03 AM · Report this
14
Assuming you have your basic needs met, the stuff - houses, cars, Oscar, money - mean nothing. He didn't really HAVE any more than the average Joe. In the end he was just a man, plopped into the world with his own skills and struggles, trying to be happy or satisfied or fulfilled, just like everyone else. Some people have a harder time at living than others do, and it's sad when they suffer; and when they don't get the help they need and decide to end it.
Posted by Jude Fawley on August 12, 2014 at 10:07 AM · Report this
lyanth 15
@6 You are correct in so many ways. And from my personal experience, I find some people in similar situations will wear a mask of happiness with strangers as a way of protecting themselves. And maybe, just maybe, if you pretend hard enough, you'll believe that you're happy too. So frequently, other's perception of what is going on and how to improve it are vastly different from the reality.
Posted by lyanth http://www.marietietje.com on August 12, 2014 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Alanmt 16
@6 I think you are projecting a bit on 3. Did you miss the part where he said a rich person can "pay for care", which obviously indicates an understanding that treatment is needed?

How about not being a dick to someone trying to explain why they aren't having the emotional reaction you are, which is absolutely okay, as Nolan Brown suggests.
Posted by Alanmt on August 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM · Report this
17
Robin Williams was the end for valid pop culture.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 12, 2014 at 10:25 AM · Report this
18
I felt something and I'm kinda sad for those who don't.

More proof that god doesn't exist is that Williams is dead and Cheney isn't. Another reason to be sad.
Posted by kwodell on August 12, 2014 at 10:28 AM · Report this
blip 19
@16, Why would anyone assume he didn't seek treatment when it's entirely possible that he was so deep into his depression that treatment didn't help? Why make any assumptions at all? All you need to know is that he found himself in such a dark place that death felt like the only escape.
Posted by blip on August 12, 2014 at 10:34 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 20
@ 16, what @ 19 said. There's a difference between being a dick and making a critical observation, and mine comes with no projection at all. "Pays for care" can mean psychiatric treatment, or simple therapy. Which did @ 3 mean? The answer would illuminate more in his understanding of what kind of care was required.

Not that that matters much. The remark about buying a car was the revealing one.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 12, 2014 at 10:42 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 21
@20 Yes, perhaps you are correct. That was a bit flip. But my point was not that it's not sad. It's that I felt nothing.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on August 12, 2014 at 10:53 AM · Report this
22
@19 And I believe he was seeking out treatment. He spent some time in a rehab facility just last month. It was a place meant for long-term/ongoing treatment, so its not like he a major lapse or fell of the wagon, but it does demonstrate he was well aware of his inner demons and was attempting to keep them in check.
Posted by pb1230 on August 12, 2014 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Alanmt 23
@20: Apparently the car remark meant more to you than "I liked the guy", "I enjoyed his work", and "I do wish him peace".

Way to mine the entire post for something to be offended about.

3 was being a bit judgmental about Williams' case vis-à-vis other people's cases. But I am pretty sure his meaning was related to the idea that Williams' wealth and success insulated him from the everyday stressors that poverty, illness and age-related physical and mental effects and social isolation work to exacerbate feelings of depression on those who are less fortunate in those ways. Which is just common sense. Obviously, as this sad event illustrates, even the external freedoms of some stresses that such financial freedom provides are not enough to make a difference in some people with crippling depression. But people with these advantages are more likely to get the help they need and less likely to be crushed under the mere weight of living. If you don't get that, you're kinda like the worst kind of policing transgender activists.

Posted by Alanmt on August 12, 2014 at 11:08 AM · Report this
slomopomo 24
Wait, people going out of their way to bring up the subject and say they don't care he's dead is a thing? I haven't heard this.
Posted by slomopomo on August 12, 2014 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Alanmt 25
Or, I could let Pope Peabrain simply speak for himself. :)
Posted by Alanmt on August 12, 2014 at 11:10 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 26
@ 21, word.

@ 23, now who's projecting?
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 27
If you don't get that, you're kinda like the worst kind of policing transgender activists.


Wut?
Posted by keshmeshi on August 12, 2014 at 11:39 AM · Report this
28
Read up on the "pumphead" phenomena. Williams had heart surgery - which employed a heart/lung machine pumping blood through his body while surgeons operated. There is some evidence, although disputed, that the procedure has some lasting cognitive effects - including depression in those not formerly depressed. The effect on one already suffering? Could be worse...
Posted by AinWA on August 12, 2014 at 11:58 AM · Report this
29
He's been around since before I was born, and movies and television have had the wonderful and sometimes awful capacity to bring us together. It's a fact of life and our society. When my cousin killed himself by hanging - the only people who cared were those who loved him. That's ok. If he had been on the movin' pictures and tv where more than just those who loved him were aware of him and maybe moved by his performances... than more than just those who knew him would have been saddened - or not cared at all. This is a normal thing.

However, #3's comment was disheartening. We are not going to move forward in suicide prevention until more people start to understand that severe depression is not fixed by THINGS. Having money and the ability to get thee to a clinic, or to buy fancy stuff, does not make it better for those with money. Access? Sure. It doesn't mean that their pain is any less real or somehow more solvable. If this were the case, than no one with money would commit suicide and only those in poverty would. Things. Do. Not. Fix. Problems. The same people who would sneer at someone for being rich because they have more than them and bellyache about how money doesn't buy you happiness, are the same people who turn around and say that people with money shouldn't commit suicide because they have stuff. This doesn't add up. The first statement - money doesn't buy you happiness is true. The second one does not add up with the first.

People who kill themselves do not want to die. They want the pain to end and don't know how to stop it. Just because you can't visually see the pain, doesn't mean it's not there... People say they "get that", but then make comments like commenter #3. They don't get it and we will not move forward until someone pours a bucket of cold reality over their heads. Unfortunately, this usually only happens when they get depression for the first time in their lives, brought on by old age and the realization that they are going to die - then their empathy kicks in a bit. Sadly, for many, it's too late.
More...
Posted by happy time on August 12, 2014 at 12:04 PM · Report this
30
I had to use the 'find' command to be sure. NOT ONE comment here mentions alcohol or cocaine. One of the most powerful depressant drugs, and one of the most powerful neurotransmitter fuckers ever.

There is something downright eerie about the categorical unwillingness of the blogosphere to address alcohol. Alcoholics kill themselves in huge numbers. The condition can leave the sufferer at such a dead-end of hopelessness that suicide appears reasonable.

Like millions of others, I'm an alcoholic (sober since '88) and a diagnosed depressive (SSRIs for 20 years, stopped last year) AND a very smart guy (IQ @ 167 in my teens). Glib, ignorant, comments about how money would solve Williams' difficulties are just insulting.

And we still don't know many details. How will we look if the 'asphyxiation' turns out to be a sexual accident?
Posted by Polyphemus on August 12, 2014 at 12:18 PM · Report this
31
I'm sad at the loss of Robin Williams. I felt very out of it when Michael Jackson died, because that had no effect on me at all, while everyone else was weeping and wailing. I get that not every celebrity passing affects everyone.
Posted by originalcinner on August 12, 2014 at 12:26 PM · Report this
32
I'm more curious as to why she felt this was something that needed to be said. (And why Dan felt this was something to put out there.)
Seriously, what is wrong with just letting things go? I've never understood people who have to interject an opposing point when there is no need for it.
Do you think that someone is feeling bad because they aren't sad? If that's true, then they have bigger problems. Or is it too many 12-step programs? All I could think of was Stuart saying "And that's OK".
Does she need a moment of reflected fame or to just be an asshole like Popebrain?
Posted by sfhally on August 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 33
Because of the Brady Bill, and the heaviness of the assassination attempt, I felt more deeply this past week about James Brady's passing away. But this is Slog, so I expect more of an outpouring over the death of a sitcom clown.
Posted by dnt trust me on August 12, 2014 at 12:51 PM · Report this
34
@30
"And we still don't know many details. How will we look if the 'asphyxiation' turns out to be a sexual accident?"

When I saw "asphyxiation" as the cause of death, I thought of Williams' movie, "World's Greatest Dad." His son accidentally dies of auto-erotic asphyxiation, and he tells everyone his son was depressed and committed suicide to spare his son's dignity.

But I doubt that's what happened with him. Depression fucking sucks.
Posted by nearng24 on August 12, 2014 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 35
Let me add, as somebody who has experienced more than my share of loved ones committing suicide, I wish his family some measure of peace as well.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on August 12, 2014 at 1:13 PM · Report this
36
It's okay to not feel anything about it, but if your first instinct is to let everybody know how selfish you think suicide is, you should stop talking and punch yourself in the throat instead.
Posted by treehugger on August 12, 2014 at 1:30 PM · Report this
venomlash 37
Honestly, the whole thing is reminding me a bit of Ned Vizzini's suicide. Vizzini struggled with depression; he contemplated suicide, ended up in an institution for a bit, and wrote a book (among other works) called "It's Kind Of A Funny Story" about a fictitious protagonist in a similar situation. He told people that depression wasn't unbeatable, that people could fight their demons, that it was worth a try. And then last year he jumped off a building at the age of 32. And now Robin Williams, who brought so much laughter to the world, couldn't find enough joy in his own life to keep on.

James Barrie once said: "Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." Honestly, I think he was wrong.
Damn it all, it's JUST NOT RIGHT.
Posted by venomlash on August 12, 2014 at 1:32 PM · Report this
IndicaDogwalk 38
I'm not sure what you are trying to stir up here, Dan, but I'd like to suggest Russell Brand's post in the Guardian about Williams.

It's well written and eloquently makes some strong points about addiction and drugs. It's a good read:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree…
Posted by IndicaDogwalk on August 12, 2014 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 39
A friend of mine yesterday managed to sum up the funk I was feeling when he said, "If someone as rich and powerful as Robin Williams couldn't find the right doctors and right medication to treat his depression, what hope do I have?"

Of course, clinical depression is a very complicated thing. Being able to afford proper treatment is important, of course, but that doesn't necessarily mean that more money will get you better treatment. Everyone's brain chemistry is different, and everyone responds to pharmaceuticals a little differently. A relative of mine has been severely bipolar since was was 18. It took her about 25 years to find the right combination of drugs to help her manage it. That's in part because those drugs didn't exist when she was first diagnosed. But that's only part of it. Two other friends have been on the same medication and for both of them it spun them into severe suicidal depressions (which fortunately evaporated when they were taken off the medication).

As someone who has lost a number of friends to suicide over the last five years, I too wish his family peace.
Posted by Kevin_BGFH http://biggayfrathouse.typepad.com/blog/ on August 12, 2014 at 1:40 PM · Report this
40
His death is not a personal loss; so, my mourning his passing would seem a selfish indulgence without sincere purpose or meaning.

His impact on my life was his work, his art and his comedy. In his generosity he left all of these here with us. It is a gift beyond measure.

Thank you, Robin.
Posted by Measure life in laughter and love on August 12, 2014 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 41
@33, winner of this comment chain.

The point of this Dish article is not to examine the sad phenomenon of severe depression & suicide, but the infectious self-feeding tsunami of wailing as people do their "Oh noes, #RIProbin" spooging on Facebook.

When the subject has died, does star-fucking become star-necrophilia?
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arschbombe on August 12, 2014 at 1:52 PM · Report this
42
Loved him as a kid (I was 11 when Mork and Mindy premiered), began backing away in the 90's (too many sappy roles/films), went into a phase of actively disparaging him, and then was indifferent to him.

Now, I'm remembering being 11 again, and how Mork was must-see TV. That show was important to me.

Rest in peace, and sympathies to his friends and family.
Posted by Functional Atheist on August 12, 2014 at 3:04 PM · Report this
43
Dan, thanks for reminding me what an asshole you can be. It is perfectly fine not to feel bad about RW's passing, but why the need to assert yourself at all in a situation that does not resonate with you? I guess not feeling like the center of attention or the one driving the conversation for even a minute is somehow a threat to you. Narcissm at its finest.
Posted by Tangled Up In Plaid on August 12, 2014 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 44
Yes, who you are and what you have make a difference. If you are depressed and poor, not particularly talented and not particularly insightful, you will suffer the stress/ angst/ despair of life over things like laundry. You will probably have few friends. You might spend your life playing video games and developing anxiety so bad you can’t leave your apartment. You might or might not be able to see a doctor. You might try to handle your depression and anxiety with alcohol and weed.

If you are especially bright, exceptionally driven, remarkably empathetic and brilliantly talented you are going to be surrounded by people who want you to succeed. You will end up with a stack of people dependent on you for their livelihoods. You will be able to access medical care, psychological support and rehab to prop you up while you live your accomplished, demanding life. You will go as far as you can, push yourself to the limit of what you can do, and suffer the exact same stress/angst/despair as the deprived version of you.

Both versions of yourself might kill yourselves. One version just did and had more on the way there.

It’s similar to risk compensation.
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on August 12, 2014 at 4:45 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 45
Risk compensation: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_comp…

> 'Booth's rule #2', often attributed to skydiving pioneer Bill Booth, states, "the safer skydiving gear becomes, the more chances skydivers will take, in order to keep the fatality rate constant". Even though skydiving equipment has made huge leaps forward in terms of reliability, including the introduction of safety devices such as AADs, the fatality rate has stayed roughly constant when adjusted for the increasing number of participants. This can largely be attributed to an increase in the popularity of high performance canopies, which fly much faster than traditional parachutes. A greater number landing fatalities in recent years has been attributed to high speed manoeuvres close to the ground.

*** *** ***
Robin Williams had better gear so he performed more high-speed maneuvers. Just as likely to die. As someone without the gear who takes fewer risks.

(Analogy is not perfect but it will do.)
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on August 12, 2014 at 4:49 PM · Report this
46
@39 "What hope do I have?" The same amount really. Therapy and medication don't work for a lot of people. The treatments we have to offer for this type of illness are quite poor at the moment, particularly if someone has had it non-situationally and continuously from a young age. We have very little understanding of what is going on or how to help. Recovery is a lot more likely if it's 1) not bipolar or schizophrenia and 2) it has a situational cause or component (trauma, etc.). For those who are endemically inherently mentally ill at a severe level (biological illness vs. situational), meds and therapy are a shit shoot, and odds are decent it'll take you out eventually, like cancer or anything else.

I don't know his dx, but RW seemed very obviously in pain for most of his life, and I don't know if it was just his style of comedy, but his public appearances scream mania. If he was bipo, it's the most lethal of them all, aside from anorexia. That risk increases with age. He'd just gone inpatient - for those who aren't aware, inpatient for mental illness does not fix you, it's just a temporary observational period where they mess around with meds and try to stabilize you. The main benefit is it secures you through dangerous periods of time. The downside is the med juggling can be dangerous too, and also that you have to be inpatient to get any benefit out of inpatient treatment - the instant you walk out that door, you're back where you were. No special healing occurs just because you are in a facility.
Posted by gnot on August 12, 2014 at 5:10 PM · Report this
mackro 47
@43.. Dan quoted somebody. I didn't see any asserting. We each can feel differently about this. (I was affected. I'm not upset others aren't.)
Posted by mackro http://mackro.blogspot.com on August 12, 2014 at 5:19 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 48
Thanks gnot @46.
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on August 12, 2014 at 5:41 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 49
Ok, the Peter Principle is also similar: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Pri…

> People will tend to be promoted until they reach their "position of incompetence".
> The Peter Principle is a special case of a ubiquitous observation: Anything that works will be used in progressively more challenging applications until it fails.

*** *** ***
You and I will fail at a lower level than Robin Williams did. That’s all.
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on August 12, 2014 at 6:10 PM · Report this
50
It just means your a soulless piece of shit.
Posted by Second Circle of Hello on August 12, 2014 at 8:17 PM · Report this
51
I like @43 the best of all comments so far.
Posted by caution&daring on August 12, 2014 at 9:41 PM · Report this
52
Something I'm noticing is that if his name had come up someplace like this six months or a year ago, a good third of the comments would have been about how creepy he sometimes was. Now it's as if no one had ever had those thoughts.....

Personally, I think the way he was creepy in a smarmy kind of way in many of his serious roles was part of what fueled him - too much feeling, not quite channeled in a way most people do. It was the other side of the manic energy, and, yeah, probably where he kept his demons.
Posted by agony on August 12, 2014 at 11:10 PM · Report this
53
That's Dan for this insightful post. I hope The Stranger didn't pay you for this one. But somehow, I think you'd post just a leeeetle bit more had this been a famous gay celebrity.

Posted by I'mNotImpressed on August 13, 2014 at 10:16 AM · Report this
54
As an older woman who has lost many over the past eight years I found myself saying, "I can't take this in right now." As you age it's not that you become hardened, it's that you experience close and personal losses that you grieve for. It's almost self-preservation to reserve your grief.... Of course, I felt bad about our beloved Robin Williams, but only shed a tear when I watched the sunset on the night he died.
Posted by Janznparadise on August 13, 2014 at 4:13 PM · Report this
55
Frankly, Dan, this is pretty ungrateful tone to take toward a man who did so much for the gay community. I'm rather embarrassed *for* you.
Posted by herrbrahms on August 14, 2014 at 3:08 AM · Report this
56
@52, yeah "smarmy" is the perfect word, with which I couldn't come up. I found all of his performances annoying and borderline embarrassing and I'm really bored of seeing his name and gurning face all over my fucking newsfeed.

Sorry to his family and all that. But since they don't know me, I highly doubt my complete indifference to his passing will impinge on their consciousness, like, ever.

If that makes me an unfeeling twat, well... whatever.
Posted by karen1573 on August 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM · Report this
57
I'm glad that this is getting people to talk openly about dealing with depression/bipolar without fear of judgement, shame, or even offering a helping hand to anyone out there who feels alone.
I myself have battled depression for years, and believe me there is a lot of stigma out there about it or people who say it's a deal breaker when forming relationships.
Just like sometimes it takes a big name celebrity "coming out" to make people more accepting of LGBT people, it might take a beloved actor/comedian committing suicide to get people to understand it's ok to admit you need help, and depression doesn't mean you are callow.

If you need information on depression or want to talk about your depression , you can call the Crisis Call Center at any time of the day. Their national number is 1-800-273-8255 and all calls are free of charge.
If you don’t like talking on the phone but still want to be heard, forums like the Reddit boards r/depression and r/anxiety have strong communities of people who may be working through an illness similar to yours.
For more information on your depression, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has up-to-date research in the field of psychology as well as articles and fact sheets on mental illness.
To find a doctor or support group in your area, try searching on the Healthfinder for nearby support groups or use this GoodTherapy online tool to locate therapists in your area.
Posted by Elle E. on August 15, 2014 at 1:21 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 58
@33 - As a professional writer and performer who suffers from depression, and given that Brady was 74, Williams's death just resonated more with me. There's no reason to be a shitbag about it. Unless, of course, it soothes whatever mental illness you suffer from, in which case, knock yourself out.
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on August 15, 2014 at 1:45 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 59
@52 - I think the way his career went was a little sad in itself, though it's hard to begrudge any performer paying work. He still had brilliant little pieces like Insomnia or World's Greatest Dad pop up now and again to keep things interesting. But I never doubted the extent of his talent, and never denied that some works were just stone masterpieces.

As for "creepy," "smarmy," or "too much feeling, not quite channeled," well, that was what made him interesting. I'm not interested in the actor who can give me every man; I'm interested in the actor who can show me not-every-man.
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on August 15, 2014 at 2:05 PM · Report this
60
#56, no, what makes you and Dan a twat is your need to comment on it. Get the difference? No one really cares that the outpouring of grief (or whatever it is) over RW is baffling to you. People like you and Dan believe they should have an opinion and be heard on every subject.

An apt comparison would be if David Sedaris died and blockhead fratboy types just had to let everyone know how unaffected they were by his passing. "Why are so many people upset by this guy's death, he was just a pussy little author, amrite? Come on dudes, whose with me?" It is an immature, douchey impulse.

Posted by Tangled Up In Plaid on August 15, 2014 at 2:36 PM · Report this
61
@56 "I'm tired of seeing his name and gurning face all over my newsfeed."

You poor little baby. Maybe you should log off the internet? Or does policing what everybody else wants to talk about get you too hard to consider backing off?
Posted by treehugger on August 15, 2014 at 4:48 PM · Report this
62
Dan Savage is a libertarian sex addict who has lost the common sense of anyone with a semblance of normalcy.

His self-proclaimed expertise on "matters of the heart (aka genitals)" would be laughable if he wasn't taken so seriously by so many people unable to think for themselves.
Posted by Peter Windome on August 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM · Report this

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