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Robin Williams’ several mistakes

2014-08-12T15:40:08+00:00

Comedian and actor Robin Williams killed himself yesterday by hanging. (Early reports said “asphyxiation,” which is accurate yet vague in the way only journalists can be when they’re hiding something. Maybe they wanted people to think it was erotic asphyxiation.) The posthumous press coverage of Williams has been obnoxiously fawning. He was a once-wealthy comedian who was very funny. But he made a lot of mistakes. 

  • He was married three times. His divorces bled him dry, he said, and alimony is like “ripping your heart out through your wallet.” Well, you would think he would have made his wives sign pre-nuptial agreements, especially the second time, and especially in California, where everyone and their dog has a “pre-nup.”
  • He spent lavishly, like the $35 million ranch he had to unload last year because he couldn’t afford it anymore. To his credit, he was also generous with charities and with friends like Christopher Reeve. To his embarrassment, he was also a liberal Democrat, like many Hollywood people, and gave money to progressive causes. Perhaps he should have saved some of it. 
  • He was an alcoholic and a cocaine addict. He was sober for 20 years, say the obituaries… except when he wasn’t. He went to rehab in 2006, and had recently been in rehab again a month ago. 
  • After his movie career tanked at the end of the last century (remember 2006’s “RV”? Funny how that movie is never mentioned in the retrospectives), he had to take television roles like “The Crazy Ones” (CBS in 2013, nobody watched it and it died a swift death), so that he could pay the bills. Well, it happens to the best of them…Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick are taking whatever roles they can get after they lost all their money to billionaire scam artist Bernie Madoff, and they’re not complaining about it. Williams got his start in television with “Mork and Mindy” in 1978. Some would argue that it’s his best work to date. 
  •  If you’re going to kill yourself, you have a duty to your family and dependents to make it look like an accident, or else your life insurance policies won’t pay out. Williams left behind current wife Susan Schneider and three adult children. 

In the end, suicide is a selfish act, a permanent solution to a temporary problem. But remember, addicts are selfish above all else. Their addiction, and their suffering from the repercussions of that addiction, is all about them. So it’s really not surprising that Williams killed himself. Is it unfortunate? Absolutely. Was it an avoidable mistake? Absolutely. 

BTW, I doubt I’m the only one to find the Poynter Institute’s instructions on “how to cover Robin Williams’ suicide responsibly” creepy. They’re worried that his act may spawn copycat suicides. On the West Coast? Among rich limousine liberals who want you to “do as I say, not as I do”? I certainly hope it does. Maybe they can sign over their riches to the charity of their choice before they kill themselves. That would be the socially-responsible thing. But by all means, tweet a selfie as you go, West Coast liberals. Your “public” demands it.

2 Comments
  1. Sweety Pie permalink
    2014-08-15T08:32:05+00:00 08:32

    Another reason that may not have helped: http://www.people.com/article/robin-williams-suicide-parkinsons-disease

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    • 2014-08-15T12:22:52+00:00 12:22

      Yes, odd… he reminds me of Earnest Hemingway, unable to deal with getting old. Michael J. Fox has done reasonably well with Parkinson’s, but he’s rich and most people don’t do nearly as well.

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