[Christopher Reeve's] approaching operation to reattach his skull to his spine (June 1995) “was frightening to contemplate. … I already knew that I had only a fifty-fifty chance of surviving the surgery. … Then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent.” The man announced that he was a proctologist and was going to perform a rectal exam on Reeve. It was Robin Williams, reprising his character from the film Nine Months. Reeve wrote: “For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay.”
I only wish someone was there for him in his last moments. A horrible illness that is truly indiscriminate. RIP.
Far too many people are laughing on the outside to cover up the pain on the inside. I know I've done my share.
My thoughts and prayers are with Robin's friends and family. I hope they are able to find ways to celebrate his life, and aren't plagued by 'what ifs'. I also hope this pushes us just a little bit further down the road of reducing the stigma associated with depression...
I love the work done by Mr Williams and will be watching Mrs Doubtfire tonight.
I was watching The Daily Show with John Stewart a few weeks ago when he had Seinfeld on and Stewart said something that kind of hit home for me, he said something off-the-cuff to the effect that once Seinfeld left TV he was in people's hearts and minds but that once he (Stewart) left TV he would vanish from memory.
It really struck a chord with me and made me want to send him even a brief written note.
Comedians never vanish from memory. They are in our thoughts, our behaviours and mannerisms. We absorb the comedy we love and carry it with us, leaking it everywhere.
I figured I should write to him, even if only so his secretary can filter it out for the trashcan. Everyone can use a pat on the back sometimes, even the people we look up to.
I have resolved to write that note tonight.
His kids went to my school growing up, and I remember him picking them up and always being nice to us schoolmates and doing impersonations for us. He definitely seemed affable and happy then, but typically depression hides beneath the surface in a destructive isolated world.
My first response to seeing this was just shock. Hearing NPR play a clip from Dead Poets Society was when my hair stood on end. The Fisher King and Good Will Hunting as well.
Someone you grew up watching is no longer around. I'm really broken up about it.
Definitely worth a watch, and very poignant in light of his suicide. RIP Robin.
May he rest in peace.
As a child of a parent who suffered from bipolar disorder, his death hits fairly close.
Goodbye, Robin, may all doors be open to you and all obstacles removed from your path.
Alas, my secret wish, for a performance I wish he had given, but never did, will forever be only a wish now:
Khalil Gibran's The Prophet, Read by Robin Williams (in a voice from the Park Scene in Good Will Hunting).
He even goes back to Laugh-In and Carson shows.
In our industry or technology, depression, burnout, mental illness are all areas I don't feel we deal with very well.
A lot of comedy comes from pain. I think Peter McGraw's benign violation theory partially explains this. According to McGraw's theory, humor comes from a "violation" or something negative that is made benign. Comedians learn to take the negative and transform it into something humorous.
People also say that many comedians have a more realistic view of the harshness of life. This reminds me of the quote from GK Chesterton, “Always be comic in a tragedy. What the deuce else can you do?"
RIP Robin Williams
Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain.
Doctor says "Treatment is simple. A great clown, Pagliacci, is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up."
Man bursts into tears.
Says "But, doctor..."
"...I am Pagliacci."
This is sadly true all too often.
Edit: classiness is in short supply.
(besides, I am as saddened as you are. I truly loved his as an actor and comedian - I just used his acronym scene from Good Morning Vietnam 4 days ago in a presentation I gave).
If that doesn't work for you, he was an avid gamer, often talking in interviews about his Doom, Quake, etc, playing back in the day and his daughter is named Zelda (after the game). That has to earn him some nerd points, right?
Case in point, you used his content a few days ago.
His death is deeply saddening to me.
I just never understand and am always disgusted by the human habit of saying nice things of the dead, now that we can no longer actually do anything for them, and then turning around and being ugly to everyone within reach. We seem to mostly be nice when it no longer matters at all.
I heard about it in the car on a sports radio show. People were calling in to a sports show to talk about Robin Williams.
Sometimes the purpose of a community is not the thing it was formed for, but just to be a community.
What a guy.
Who knows. Make something up?
He was an amazing and exceptional person. That's good enough for me.
Because breaking the rules (like what "fits HN") is part of being a hacker. Or a human.
Plus, that's how social sites work. There's no "why X is on top" -- it's on top because it was voted on top.
This sounds like justification for having no rules. I don't know if that's a good idea.
>Plus, that's how social sites work. There's no "why X is on top" -- it's on top because it was voted on top.
This is fair enough, I think.
In any event, R.I.P. Robin Williams!
Does it seem like some general anarchy has erruped on HN, and literary all kinds of posts have been voted on top?
I don't think so: it's just some rule-bending when HN voters feel like it.
I mean, if we were to really discuss this on a substancial level you'd also have to justify what is so great about following rules in the first place. After all, people have been following stupid rules (including laws) for ages.
I'd certainly also have to justify having this conversation with you. I can't do that, so thanks anyway.