Like most others, I was very sorry to learn of the passing of Robin Williams - a great actor, one who was perhaps not always appreciated for the depth of his talent. He was able to go from one end of the spectrum of convincing character to the other; from Mork and Mindy to an Oscar winning performance in Good Will Hunting is a long journey in more ways than one, but for me his outstanding performance was of the sad, lonely loser Sy Parrish in the 2002 film One Hour Photo. In retrospect and given what we now know of the torments in Williams` own life, that performance may have been more true to his own character than that of the one he portrayed.
And at a time like this it is `awkward` to enter a note or two of uncertainty, but a couple of things struck me today about the way in which Williams`death was reported and also the consequences of his leaving. I think it was noticeable that in a number of `popular` newspapers and television news programmes, his death was the first and main item of news and described as `a tragedy,` whilst at the same time the appalling situation in Iraq and the desperate plight of refugees became relegated behind the news from California. It said much about the priorities of the western world when the passing of an admittedly talented and much loved actor was seen to take precedence over what is a real and true tragedy affecting thousands of defenceless people.
As to the consequences of his death, well of course, one feels for the family and friends left behind. And it`s difficult especially for someone like me who has mercifully been spared the depths of depression that Williams is said to have suffered and yet, like another recent celebrity suicide, something suggests to my perhaps less than understanding mind that there might just be a hint of selfishness in leaving so much pain for others to bear.
I mean no disrespect towards the passing of a substantial figure in the world of entertainment and I hope his family and friends can, in their grief, bring themselves to forgive him for leaving them in the way that he did. Well, I said it was awkward.