I was going to write about Morrissey, you stupid ass, when will you grow up and shut your fatuous face once in a while?
I was going to write about road rage, and the horrible occurrence on a racetrack not particularly far from here.
I was going to write about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles being the #1 box office hit of the week, and how that relates to the slang usage of the word “turtlehead” (It totally works in this case).
Then I read about Robin Williams and didn’t feel much like writing at all. And I won’t, except to say a couple of things. Let us be honest — in the past decade the comedic gestalt had gotten pretty tired of the manic Baptist preacher into the fey pirate into the screeching homeless guy schtick. I did too. I think a lot of that comes from the realization he was capable of so much more.
The chilling performances in One Hour Photo and Insomnia. That first time we really saw what he could do in Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting. Heck, even Popeye gets a nod.
And those comedy albums. Reality…What A Concept and Throbbing Python Of Love, out on Casablanca Records, of all places. The last truly great Williams HBO special (in my opinion), Live On Broadway, in the early-2000’s post September 11 when I truly needed it.
For the better part of his career, Robin Williams won because he was able to mock the demons that strode so close by his side. He made them the butt of his jokes and the grease that oiled his particular insanity. But today, and perhaps for a while up to today, whatever it was, or whatever they were, started winning. Today they got him, and it is more than tragic.
If you know someone walking that close to the edge, and recognize they have that personal demon by their side, do what you can to get in between and grab them away. If it isn’t so hard to do, tell them you love them. Don’t tell them everything will be alright, because we don’t know that. But there is merit in trying.
Robin Williams brought a lot of laughter into the world and, starting tomorrow, he’ll bring much more. I’m certain of that, but not for today.
And I circle back to Ringo Starr’s oddly prophetic “Photograph” and just feel like sinking.