Williams Blurred the Line for All of Us
August 18, 2014

There's a fine line between genius and insanity. You've probably heard that expression before, and it was probably first used to describe Albert Einstein. But even when I was a kid, thirty some-odd years ago, or however long ago it was, I always thought of that expression when I saw Robin Williams.

Williams walked that line his entire adult life, and maybe even before that. He could do ten minutes of material just from looking at a light bulb. Add political events, pop culture, and even serious acting, and you never knew what you were going to get, but you knew it would be amazing. For whatever reason, Williams apparently got tired of walking that line, and decided to stop. Whether the reason was a rational one or not, we'll probably never know, but the tightrope act is over. Nothing more to see here.

Williams' death is a story that broke a little at a time. He was dead, then it was by suicide, then suicide by asphyxia . That was just the first day. Everyone in our building had their own theory—plastic bag over the head? The car running in the garage? Then we found out it was by hanging, which was a theory none of us had.

It's bizarre for us to speculate. None of us knew Robin Williams, although one of my co-workers met him once. Addiction and other demons were in his past, and we all knew that, but it seemed like he had his life together. Certain things have come out since then. He apparently suffered from depression, and some have written it could have been because his TV show was canceled. His wife has reportedly said that he was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's, but wasn't ready to make it public. Whatever the reason, it's sad that he's gone, and even sadder that he was the one to end it. If it was a tightrope he was walking, he decided to jump off rather than fall. Not that we have a right, or any business to know, it's just too bad for those who loved to watch him at work, that we don't know why. At least his line of work was in a field that is recorded, so we can enjoy those moments of either genius, insanity, or both.

Robin-thon: Speaking of his work, a daughter of another co-worker had a Robin Williams 'movie fest' over the weekend, which brought up the topic—which three movies would you see? Maybe it's the radio guy in me, but Good Morning Vietnam is clearly number one. I think my other two would be World According to Garp (I can't stand Glenn Close but she's so easy to hate in this movie) and Good Will Hunting. If I had to leave it at three I'd miss Dead Poets Society. Throw in The Birdcage or Toys for a fifth. I never saw Patch Adams (too depressing of topic), and missed Lee Daniels' The Butler (lack of Academy Award nominations), but everything he did was good.

The final nanu: Not that anyone should capitalize on anyone's death, but maybe one of those nostaligic cable networks could show reruns of Mork and Mindy. I did find about a half-dozen episodes on YouTube, including one with Jonathan Winters as Robin Williams' son (you age backwards on Ork, remember?) Check those out as part of your own Robin Williams movie fest.

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