There’s a free rag – the “LA Weekly” – in Los Angeles where you usually get exactly what you pay for; but every once in a while there’s a gem like this one from artist, actor, musician, Renaissance man Henry Rollins – telling it like it is about the late Robin Williams.
“… All that “I feel your pain” stuff is bullshit and disrespectful.”
“Almost 40,000 people a year kill themselves in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In my opinion, that is 40,000 people who blew it. Fuck suicide.”
Henry Rollins: Fuck Suicide
Days after Robin Williams died, I kept seeing his face on the Internet. His death seemed to have a momentum of its own. It went from a sad death of a famous person to “a nation mourns” pitch, which I didn’t quite understand. Sites such as Huffington Post swim in their own brand of hyperbole. They call it news and culture, but often, it’s just content.
I understand why people feel Williams’ loss so intensely. His talent as an actor is not in dispute. His performance in Good Will Hunting is unimpeachable. I wonder if he was tapping into his own deep trench of personal pain to deliver some of those scenes. It was brave and excellent work.
The more you think about it, the more you remember one great performance after another.Good Morning Vietnam is a favorite of mine.
When someone with this level of exposure dies in this way, it is confusing. An Oscar-winning actor, well-paid, with a career that most performers could only dream of — how could anyone so well regarded and seemingly fortunate have as much as even a single bad day, much less a life so unendurable that it has to be voluntarily voided?
On more than one of my USO tours, Robin Williams had been on the same stage a few days before me. That’s all I needed to know about him. As far as I was concerned, he was a good man. But it’s here where I step off the train. I am sure some will strongly disagree with what I’m about to say. And I also understand that his personal struggles were quite real. I can’t argue with that.
But I simply cannot understand how any parent could kill themselves.
How in the hell could you possibly do that to your children?
I don’t care how well adjusted your kid might be — choosing to kill yourself, rather than to be there for that child, is every shade of awful, traumatic and confusing. I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So, you don’t kill yourself.
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