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Exploiting a mans suicide

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posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 07:48 PM
a reply to: Deckard9645

I know of some ATS members that shed tears when they heard the news of Mr Williams' passing. I understand the sadness, I understand the questioning behind his final act but I agree with you here. I do not understand why someone would put himself out on Youtube, shedding tears, (no doubt about the sadness here) but only to gain sympathy from his viewers. He could have avoided that.

I've read and seen some pretty crazy stuff, on here and in the main stream media as well, about Mr Williams' death. Some comments I've read are just too much. The total absence of sympathy or respect for the deceased and his family is more shocking that the news itself. Sad but true. I sincerely hope that his family doesn't read too much into them.

Good first thread.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 09:51 PM
I'm very sorry for the man and his family, and also his true fans.
I'm sure his heart was in the right place on many social issues, and he bravely struggled with his demons.
I certainly think his death was tragic, but I also found his acting annoying, and I already dread the altered TV schedules that will once again rebroadcast all his movies ad nauseam.

In a sense he reminded me a bit of Krusty the Klown on The Simpsons.
Doing the same thing over and over by popular demand must make one a bit jaded.
Perhaps it's like musicians who outgrow their audience, yet they must play the same hits over and over, without any space to grow as an artist.
His more serious stuff was largely ignored, and anywhere he could pull his super schmaltzy face was applauded.
OK, some of those movies had their moments, or they were good despite his schtick.
In that sense, I wondered whether there wasn't some tragedy in that gushing, over-sentimental clown-visage all along?
Could he bear doing it for the umpteenth time?

OK, that may be very politically incorrect right now.
As Francis Wheen points out in his chapter on celebrity deaths and virtually forced public mawkishness (which Williams' main characters knew how to evoke), one can even become a pariah by just questioning mass public sentiments, and the infectious display of self-love as public grief.
(See: "Candles in the Wind". In: How Mambo-Jumbo Conquered the World: A short history of modern delusions. Harper Perennial 2004. Pages 185-214.)

Of course nobody should troll a grieving family, or be gratuitously nasty, but almost every post on social media is paying homage to the same stuff. I guess it would be insincere to question anyone's grief, but I cannot join it if I felt long before his death that his acting was annoying, and I had the feeling even he was annoyed at times.
I guess grief as an act of duty, or going with the flow would be a bit like the Victorians, who splashed letters of condolences with water to simulate tear smudges.

I do feel touched by admitting what he meant to me, and that was an actor I grew up with, and whose movies helped to mark the years.
Even in being annoyed there are memories - arguments amongst friends about whether to really see Robin Williams pull his "Patch Adams face" again in a new cinema movie, and call it hilarious.
They were mostly about the triumph of the "little man", and that mass appeal pandered to audiences who were not too critical, and it became formulaic, since we were made to watch Dead Poets Society in high school.
That movie had its merits, but the character just kept repeating in different costumes, unless he played the villain, which was rarely repeated.
I obviously don't know whether he really liked the often type-cast roles, or whether the repetitive expectations of the audience and industry actually contributed to his depression.

Sadly, he was probably very talented with a wide repertoire.
I sometimes laughed at his stand-up comedy shows, where he openly discussed his issues.
I guess they had shock value, because they contrasted his expected movie roles, which were mostly almost cartoonishly cute or sentimental.

Even then I wondered about why addicts on the street are a distasteful, unsightly tragedy at best, but when rich stars do the same and joke about their addictions it is suddenly funny, and people who otherwise mostly wouldn't throw a dime to an addict will pay to see it?
That debate could apply to many entertainers however, and not just Robin Williams.

I see a lot of other people also found him annoying long before his death, but strangely I don't think his critics were his problem.
I think the expectations to do the same thing repetitively must be an immense burden to a creative person.

I never wished him ill, and he wasn't a big issue if one could change the channel and not have to see Good Will Hunting again.
edit on 13-8-2014 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 10:47 AM
1. Robin Williams the brand was a media product, created with meticulous care over decades by both the artists and promoters, from stand-up comedy venues to movie studios. How much wealth did Robin Williams (TM) create so far? A hundred million, five? You cannot expect all those promoters to just acquiesce to the "retirement" of their product. Indeed no, this is their "Last Chance" to cash in on the brand. You know how the value of an artist's work increases after death? That's it, right here. Just like a Van Gogh or a Rembrandt.

2. The youtuber in the original post is strip-mining Robin Williams (TM) for a different kind of wealth: public attention. The post-modern ethic teaches that you exist only to the extent that other people are watching you. This is an extension of the ancient belief that the dead live on in the memories of their descendants. It's all basically a form of ancestor worship: revering the 'household gods' of your departed ancestors, whom you never personally knew, because of their heroic exploits. Whether it's your great-grandma who escaped from Germany, or a departed cultural icon like Marilyn Monroe or Jim Morrison or Abbie Hoffman.

3. the epiphenomena of the youtuber, the original poster (and now me!) taking up your attention with thoughts of Robin Willliams (TM) is the product of popular culture. Actually, my own motive for EVER posting on ATS is that I simply use this free public space to sharpen my own arguments for my writings. I use the public response to them to hone my craft.

4. In the past, before MEDIA became the operative religion of the West, (i.e. before the Decline of the West), A person's privacy was a right, a treasure. But in our brave new postmodern world, privacy is an ailment, a disability that needs to be replaced with the lime-light. And so all of us commenting on the Death of a Comedian are getting healing--the healing light of public attention.

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