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Old 08-11-2014, 06:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Robin Williams died

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Comedian Robin Williams dead - CNN.com

It was a suicide.

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Old 08-11-2014, 06:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/showbi...html?hpt=hp_t1
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Robin Williams Is Dead

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Old 08-11-2014, 06:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Gettin' slow in your old age, Gaz.

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Old 08-11-2014, 06:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Why do you think he was so depressed? You often hear about comedians being really sad.

It makes you wonder if it was pathological or a guilty conscious.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I do wonder if the "comedians = sad people" correlation is because they really are, indeed, generally sadder or if it's just that their natural instinct is to hide any real emotion with comedy.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Orgazmo View Post
I do wonder if the "comedians = sad people" correlation is because they really are, indeed, generally sadder or if it's just that their natural instinct is to hide any real emotion with comedy.
+1, wonder this often. Comedians are actually kind of martyrs of humor for the human race --- "the show must go on!"

I feel that to truly see the comedy that is expressed in...comedy, one has to hit some very dark lows and see humanity as it is --- ridiculous, hilarious, beautiful, and totally absurd.

Maybe the show can only go on for so long. Robin Williams certainly earned a suicide if anyone has, I can say that for a fact.

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Old 08-12-2014, 03:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watchmen
Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. 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." Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I was thinking today after seeing the huge (and continued) outpouring after his death: What celebrities still alive would receive similar (or even more) attention if they were to die today?

I think the amount of people that care about this has to do with 3 things:

1.) What he created. His movies were nearly universally loved (those that hit, at least...of course, many no one gave a shit about, but no one talks about those)

2.) His personal life. You never heard about Robin Williams being a dick in real life. In fact, quite the opposite: We're hearing about all of the USO tours he did without seeking any type of credit or any press releases.

3.) How he died. If he were 85 and died of a heart attack, it would be quite different than 63 and dying of what perhaps everyone would think would be the last thing to take him.

Of course, Michael Jackson's death a few years ago was huge news, but it wasn't like this one. I think that was more news because people were shocked by it rather than people actually caring. I realize that's a narrow view and many people did actually care, but I don't think it was as universal as Robin's.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgazmo View Post
I do wonder if the "comedians = sad people" correlation is because they really are, indeed, generally sadder or if it's just that their natural instinct is to hide any real emotion with comedy.
Sublimation is a healthy defense mechanism. I don't think we can take this one event and come to the conclusion that comedians are generally sadder or more neurotic than the general population. That stereotype or cliche exists because they talk about their feelings on stage in front of 100s of people. Also comedians perpetuate it for humor.

#YOLO
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgazmo View Post
I was thinking today after seeing the huge (and continued) outpouring after his death: What celebrities still alive would receive similar (or even more) attention if they were to die today?

I think the amount of people that care about this has to do with 3 things:

1.) What he created. His movies were nearly universally loved (those that hit, at least...of course, many no one gave a shit about, but no one talks about those)

2.) His personal life. You never heard about Robin Williams being a dick in real life. In fact, quite the opposite: We're hearing about all of the USO tours he did without seeking any type of credit or any press releases.

3.) How he died. If he were 85 and died of a heart attack, it would be quite different than 63 and dying of what perhaps everyone would think would be the last thing to take him.

Of course, Michael Jackson's death a few years ago was huge news, but it wasn't like this one. I think that was more news because people were shocked by it rather than people actually caring. I realize that's a narrow view and many people did actually care, but I don't think it was as universal as Robin's.
Good points. All of them in combination are potent, with #3 being what really puts it over the top; the loneliness and sadness of it, the shock and suddenness, and the fact that he seemed to be able to make everyone else happy but himself. I'm sure everyone he was close with wonders why he didn't reach out to them. On a grander level we're all reminded of our own mortality, and I think a tiny bit scared when we see someone bow to the pressures and sufferings of life.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I like that this happened (not in a morbid way) because it is bringing suicide, something I am very interested in from a personal and sociological perspective, to the public forum.

I have learned through visceral personal experience that most people really, really do not like talking about suicide, especially from a person seriously considering it. It makes them very uncomfortable and usually they resort to cliche responses such as "suicide is so cowardly" (arguably the most insulting thing you could say to a person considering suicide, as I believe it is one of the most courageous things a human being can do, regardless of the morality of it.)

------------------
(On a personal note, the only thing that has kept me personally from committing suicide, after years and years and years of suicidal thoughts, was ultimately realizing that no matter how badly I was personally suffering, killing myself would only bring much more suffering to those who do care about me or "love me", despite my complete inability to understand this on emotional terms. I believe my sister saying something like "I don't want [your niece and nephew] to have to go to your funeral....", and that was when I decided I could probably never do it.

But at the time, I was convinced that if someone really loved me or cared about me, giving me their personal permission to kill myself would be the most merciful and loving thing that they could do. This is how bad existence can be for certain individuals.)
------------------

So, for me, suicide, while bringing relief to the individual, ultimately causes more suffering, which is why I subsequently became much more interested in the elimination of suffering as a concept (hence my interest in Buddhism). Robin Williams deserved to die however he wished; he brought joy to quite literally millions, maybe billions of people throughout his life. However he chose to exit, (which was inevitable anyways), was his choice, and I respect that he had the bravery to go out on his own terms.


Which brings me to my final point; the vast majority of people simply do not understand clinical depression. Maybe they do -- let's not get into subjective vs. objective feelings.

But odds are, if you haven't seriously contemplated buying or borrowing a gun to shoot yourself in the head with, or looked over the edge of a rocky cliff thinking about what the fall would be like, or whether you would die immediately or suffer on the rocks before bleeding out , or stared at pill bottles for hours upon hours upon hours contemplating the effects of the actions you're considering taken, or anything else along the lines, you've probably never been clinically depressed, you've just been really sad.

And that's where the big confusion lies, I think. People who have "just been really sad" throughout their lives, and down, often talk with suicidal people and think "shit, I made it through MY problems, why is this person complaining so much? Why don't they just cheer up?" You simply don't know. You don't know what it's like to wake up every day and immediately wanting to die.

The ignorance behind this line of reasoning is incalculable. It's not your fault, and you should be grateful that you don't know -- the experience of hopelessness and despair that depression brings, every hour of every day, for months, years, sometimes a lifetime --- is a burden I would wish on nobody. Yet millions experience it every day, and feel that they have no one to talk to about it, simply because of how uncomfortable it makes people feel. Often depressed people are very ostracized from society, not because they are down on themselves, but because they don't want to bring others to their level of depression.

There is, quite clearly, a spectrum of human suffering, and only the person experiencing a particular wavelength truly knows how far on the spectrum they are, that is, until we develop empathy-sharing technology. The point is, if you are talking with someone suicidal, refer them to someone who has been through it, don't parrot ignorant bullshit that you've heard from others simply because the topic makes you uncomfortable.

Life may be meaningless, but there are ways to let the parts of yourself that want to die, die, without actually experiencing a physiological death. This should be the focus of this branch of psychotherapy and individuals who have been suffering long and intensely enough to want to commit suicide need way more attention in our society. The Mindfulness/CBT movement is helping much in this area.


[b]TL;DR - Millions of people being on antidepressants is not a normal state of evolution. Evolution does not create individuals that want to kill themselves -- I'm sure I don't have to go into basic evolutionary biology here -- evolution favors the creation of conscious beings which enjoy living and reproducing, indefinitely. Human beings experience depression and suicide because of the high degree of consciousness that we are privileged enjoy, but our society has not caught up--- has not "allowed" itself to fully enjoy life yet. We're approaching, whether it takes hundreds or thousands of years, a time where life can be paradise for everyone on Earth (perhaps through genetic removal of warring, apelike traits through projects like Dent's Hedonistic imperative). Widespread depression and suicidal thoughts is a genetic abberation, imho. Suicide itself is such an interesting concept compared to the almost complete lack of such behavior in animals (fact: lemmings don't commit suicide en masse, this is a myth)


If I had to guess, (and i've read nothing about it) Robin Williams has been struggling with depression for decades, and used comedy as his outlet to offset that depression. Many artists do this; you simply cannot be as honest and aware of society's often hilarious (if not depressing) flaws without being depressed enough to "see things as they are". And that's what comedians do -- call forward, in an entertaining way, the things about every day existence that we take for granted.


If you truly understand comedians, if you truly understand how much joy and humor they bring to this often bleak world, then you will see Robin Williams, despite all his faults, as a true hero of humanity. The planet is a better place him having been a part of it.


Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

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