Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Robin Williams - Finding the Funny

Ugh. August 12, 2014 ……….. the day after celebrity Robin Williams allegedly committed suicide. I’ve had to turn off the news, the radio, and the social media watershed as they turn their intensely myopic and often voraciously repugnant eye to the post mortem ……………. They will now pick apart this celebrity’s life and career until they ‘lay bare the truth’, ‘expose the issues’, ‘make sense of this tragedy’ …………. But all they will find is sad dry bones because the media machine won’t stop to consider when the REAL man died. No one can see when his light started to flicker and no one can know when it finally went out.

There is no answer for this, no resolution, and the heartless world of fame cannot comprehend a person with a heart. It’s all very simple really. He died, like so many do, in terrible pain, in terrible loneliness, in terrible despair, and ultimately in terrible violence. Some time ago I wrote a blog entry called 40 things I know by 40 and I included this “I love to laugh. It’s my favourite activity. I wish it were an Olympic event. I think great comedians are the highest form of our ‘so called’ evolved species, because the best ones are heart and soul and joy and intelligence and observation and truth at the point of intersection. And that’s amazing.” And I still believe it. Comedians seem to be shining lights of genuineness in a sea of fake. Celebrity and Fame are almost the new religion and we worship dutifully at it’s alter. We place our famous gods on pedestals and many feed upon attention, but among them are those who see there is no ladder to climb down, and they starve. I think many of those lights are comedians and that is why so very many of them end up dead. Whether the instrument of their death is drugs, or alcohol, or food, or sex, or a willful act of violence the end is the same.

Why were they funny in the first place then? Why get yourself famous if you can’t handle it? These and other insensitive questions will be asked. Finding the funny in life is a coping mechanism for those who feel a lot, have very open hearts, and are cursed with keen observational powers; especially where they observe pain, oppression, irony, villainy, cruelty, and I think (above all) how human beings diverge from their real purpose: which surely is simple joyful and kind living. Finding the funny is an act of faith when you feel over whelmed by the experiences of life. It is an affirmation that life has beauty and purpose. When they share the funny it nourishes themselves and others and sometimes they change minds and hearts, and when you change minds and hearts you change the world. Finding the funny is powerful. Robin Williams himself said “Comedy is acting out Optimism” and I don’t think it can be said better than that. I LOVE comedians, and am as guilty as anyone in this desire to see and hear more of what they have to say, but at some point the machine wants too much, and they give too much of it away. Everyone has to hold on to their own light ………….. A candle may be able to light a 1000 more and never burn out faster (as the proverb says), but it might be snuffed out by 1000s of grabbing hands.

So turn it off. Turn away from this fortune making examination of his death and go put on Mrs Doubtfire (or whatever your favourite was) and then …………… then go out and light some candles with that perfect spark of joy.


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