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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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August 12, 2014 - 11:50 am
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I hate writing about this. You have no idea how much I hate writing about this.

Here at the Tatler, I tend to avoid writing anything about celebrity deaths. It’s not a policy, just a preference. Others cover them as news, but I generally avoid them.

We all die. It’s the human condition. Celebrities aren’t worth any more than the rest of us. That’s just a fact. Writing about their deaths feels ghoulish to me, as if I’m going for hits off their demise.

When we write about celebrity deaths, we just tend to get it all wrong. They are not worth any more than the rest of us, just because they happened to have become famous in life. But to some extent, their deaths become milestones in our lives because we enjoyed what they brought to us, or we appreciated something about them at some point in our lives. Their passing takes a little of us with them, because they made us laugh, wrote and sang our favorite songs, made that movie or wrote that book that had such an impact on our lives. Without ever meeting us, they touched us in some way, so we will miss them.

But with Williams’ apparent suicide after battling depression, some things need to be said.

First, I didn’t know him. Never met him. I’m not sure we were ever even in the same state. I had no idea he was battling depression. All I knew is that he was a man with almost alien talent and a mind that must have whirred at a billion RPMs. That had to be a blessing and a curse at the same time.

From Mork and Mindy to Aladdin to his more serious work, as an actor he had an incredible range. The same maniac who spun up on Johnny Carson played the wise, unruly teacher in Dead Poets Society. I identified with his Good Morning, Vietnam character both because that character, Adrian Cronauer, and I went to the same military tech school (DINFOS, then at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana), and because he played something I was for a while — a military broadcaster deployed overseas. I don’t think anyone else on earth could have played that role. It certainly wouldn’t have been the same film with anyone else in that role.

After news of his death broke, the Academy tweeted this.

 

On a first glance it’s touching, and for that reason it has gone viral. But it’s wrong.

Williams is free of his depression now, and as a Christian he is in a better place, but the message it sends is that suicide is a way out, a way to freedom. That is a terrible message to send. Many who may be contemplating suicide right now are not clinically depressed. For them, suicide is still very much a choice. No one should provide any encouragement to make the wrong choice. That isn’t what the Academy intended, of course. They had the best of intentions.

Matt Walsh writes that Williams did not die from suicide, but from choice. He chose suicide, says Walsh.

It’s surely true that some — most? I have no idea — who commit suicide choose it. I once found myself talking a friend out of taking his own life. It was a long time ago, practically a lifetime. I’m hardly even the same person I was then. That friend chose wisely and did not take that final, horrible act. He was not clinically depressed. He suffered from self-importance and angst, was angry with a God he claimed not to believe in, and a whole lot else, but clinical depression wasn’t part of the equation.

Top Rated Comments   
"Depression", like Anorexia, is a rich white girl phenomenon."

The ignorance reflected in this statement is astounding & astonishing. There are just no other words here.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (53)
All Comments   (53)
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Now it turns out Williams had Parkinsons Disease. Possibly the last straw...
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good article. Thanks.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder if Belushi was there to greet him.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
While I don't want to get into a theological debate with Gudfala, I really must say this. You do realize that the Scriptures are "church made," right? Jesus didn't write them. The Apostles did, and later the Church fathers, decades after the Crucifixion. In fact, the Bible, as we know it, wasn't codified until 383 AD when Jerome combined the Old and New Testaments and translated them into Latin. The texts have gone through innumerable translations and revisions since.

First came the Torah, which was written down around 900 BC during the reign of David and added to by Jewish scholars until around 300 BC. Jesus, as a Jew, was intimately familiar with the text. But Jesus was a reformer; he realized that Judaism offered no avenue for forgiveness of sin, and that is what he preached. Thus, the Gospel (the Good News) came next, followed by the Sacraments. From these the Church was born. Then the Scriptures were written, and much later the Bible was codified.

Confession and Penance are two of the Sacraments. It is the avenue for forgiveness that Jesus preached. But one must be able to give Confession and take Penance in order to receive Absolution. This is why suicide is the one unforgivable sin. There is no Confession to be given, no Penance to be taken, and no Absolution to be received.

Let me ask you this. Was the Crucifixion a suicide? Jesus, if he was the Son of God, could have easily prevented it. (He actually never refers to himself as the Son of God, by the way, but rather as the Son of Man.) He could have smitten down the Romans and the Pharisees with a wave of his hand. Instead, he sacrificed himself for the Salvation of mankind. His words on the Cross were, depending on the translation, "Fogive them Father, for they know not what they do." He allowed himself to be crucified. And he did descend into hell because of it, according to Scripture, before rising from the dead and ascending to Heaven. Thus providing Salvation for mankind through the Gospel and the Sacraments. The Church, the Scriptures, the Bible all came afterwards.

So, your interpretation of Scripture is misguided. You're worshipping a book, that may or may not be translated correctly. You're not hearing the Gospel or heeding the Sacraments, which Jesus sacrificed himself for to give to this world.

There is but one avenue for the forgiveness of sin. That is through Confession and Penance, neither of which is possible after suicide.

God gives life. God takes away life. Everything else is homicide or suicide. Homicide can be forgiven, but suicide cannot.

Like I said, it is not my place to judge Robin Williams. I do not pretend to be God or to speak for God. I merely believe in the Gospel and the Sacraments. That's all I can do as a man, follow the Son of Man.

Perhaps this is outside your realm of understanding because you worship a book, and misread it at that. But if Jesus descended into hell, you can be damn sure that's where Robin Williams is now. Only he won't get out of it so easily.

Oh, and by the way, which version of the Bible are your relying on? The Aramaic Old Testament, the Greek New Testament, the Latin Vulgate, the Tyndale Bible, the Geneva Bible, the King James Bible, the New American Bible, I mean which is it? There are so many, I know, it's hard to choose.

But you place yourself above all that, right? You've joined a Jesus church! Please.




5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
When Robin died, I told my wife that even in his death, watch all the negativity come out in comments via the internet.

Last night I read hundreds of comments, and for the first time ever I was pleasantly surprised not to read one negative word about Mr Williams.

Sadly, I come to this website, (of which I'm a huge fan), and I'm disheartened by some of the comments.

Oh well, that's life in the big city. I'm a big boy. Perhaps what people say about conservatives being uncaring might in fact be true.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wrong. Negativity is everywhere. I read that Robin Williams' daughter, Zelda, gave up her Facebook and Twitter accounts because of all the vile comments about her father.

And don't get on your high horse about "caring." In our culture, suicide is a controversial subject. What is it? An unforgivable sin, an terrible human tragedy, a public health issue, a fundamental human right, or all of the above? Pick one and get ready for a fight. Any time there's a high-profile suicide, people are going to argue about it. Ugly, but that's human nature.

Oh, but can't we all just be compassionate and feel sorry for the poor man? Well, no. Because we're human beings. Don't like it? Switch species.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Drew Pinsky Podcast with Neuroscience expert Dr. Andrew Hill for a conversation about brain health and how different actions will impact the development of the brain.
Pre cognitive conditioning using brain imaging.

http://drdrew.com/135/

https://trubrain.com/
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder if he did get treated for bipolar, anyone seen anything on that?
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
I suspect that Williams had been treated for bipolar disorder. But like a number of people who suffer from this disorder, his manic "highs" were themselves, addictive. The medications for bipolar disorder and depression are probably the most effective psychotropic medications, and flatten out these highs, and for that reason, some stop their meds. I speak from experience working in psychiatric hospitals. But again, I am only speculating. Regardless, his death is a tragedy.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good point. Emotions can be like drugs. So-called thrill-seekers enjoy their adrenalin rush. I suppose the bipolar "high" is a bit like that. It's even possible to get a kind of rush from rage - even from grief. Some people pursue those emotional extremes. I wonder if they could be literally addicted to their own neurotransmitters?
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
EMOTION is the strongest deciding factor in American life which is how you end up being governed by an EMPTY SUITED WIMP like OBOZO the USURPER.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Enough with all the Robin Williams stories already . So an ENTERTAINER has died post an obituary and get over it this wallowing in SENTIMENTALITY and FAKE grief just exposes to the world how SHALLOW and DISCONNECTED America and its MEDIA are.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Robin Williams was an incredibly foul person. He was a statist who expressed his political opinions in stand up, movies and television for decades. From his comments regarding Calvin Coolidge being the source of the Great Depression to his obnoxious part in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, he always managed to get a jab in on his opponents. His later stand up, especially when he was on HBO, was absolutely vile.

Maybe their really are people who suffer from depression. I've never met anyone like that. Most of the depressed people I've met have been selfish, self-centered narcissists who only wanted to make themselves the center of everyone's attention. Certainly it's possible that there are people who don't fall into this category, but I've never met them.

I'm not happy Robin Williams is dead. If he truly suffered that's unfortunate and I suppose I have some sympathy for that. Otherwise, I don't understand the praise as if he'd spent his life helping children or building homes for the poor. From that perspective, he was a gigantic hypocrite and now we don't have to hear it anymore.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Most of the depressed people I've met have been selfish, self-centered narcissists who only wanted to make themselves the center of everyone's attention."

Speaking from experience, a "big ego" can be a factor in depression. Depression distorts reality - makes it seem unpleasant and hopeless despite objective evidence. Some depressed people compensate for this by constructing idealized versions of themselves. Not intentionally - it just happens. That fake self - the big ego - is extremely sensitive to threats and rejection. And reality, as filtered through the lens of depression, looks extremely threatening and rejecting.

It's not about a self-centered a-hole being sad because the world doesn't think he's special. Everyone feels tension between their self-image and the reality of their lives. It's always the mental world vs. the real world. But the bigger your ego, the more threatening the reality feels. I guess it's like existential terror or something. But it's constant and it drains you. That feeds into your depression.

And the thing is, the depression keeps you from experiencing reality undistorted. Who you "really" are (vs. your big ego) looks really bleak and unviable. You don't want to go there. So you fall back on your idealized self - which is itself a source of distress. Back and forth. You're trapped between two unpleasant extremes.

And remember, this isn't just ideas or feelings. It's YOU. Other than the two extrems, there's nothing. Which is not true. But that's how depression distorts reality.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Robins politics were foul.

3 hours of Robin Williams Stories on Dennis Miller today.
The take by EVERYONE on Robin:
Always kind to Everyone, esp the "little people."

Seconded by Hugh Hewitt who observed how Robin treated restaurant employees when no one was looking.

5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hewitt's producer played a great clip of Robin on Letterman discussing his rehabs.
I thought it would be easy to find and link on Youtube, but there are way too many to search through.

This one also had him recounting his last trip to Afghanistan.
He was taken to an FOB in an Osprey.
Much respect for the exceptional men he met.

Dave asked him how he would feel if his son was there.
Robin said he'd pray for his safe return like everyone else.

Robin Williams performs in Kuwait in 2007
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRh7fanShNc&list=UUPLAYER_stripeschannel

He made MANY USO trips, and had the highest regard for our warriors.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
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