Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams With Tears

1951-2014

This has almost been too depressing to even contemplate. I laugh easily, but it's difficult to make me really crack up. Robin Williams could make me howl. All I can tell you is that, as a lifelong connoisseur of comedy in general - and comedians in particular - his sudden, stunning death is indeed a milestone event. It's right up there with Christmas Day 1977, when Charlie Chaplin passed into eternity.

A few months ago I wrote a small tribute to Sid Caesar who died on February 12. I ended it by saying that he was the last of the great comedians of the twentieth century; that they're all gone now. A reader gently took issue with that statement. In a private email he told me: "You're wrong on that point, Tom", he asserted, "We still have Robin Williams!" I stood corrected.

Many years ago I read a book by Steve Allen called, "Funny People". Each chapter was an appreciation of a different comedian. At the end of the segment on Peter Sellers (who had only recently passed away), Allen said something that has always stayed with me. He wrote (and I am paraphrasing - it was over thirty years ago that I read this book): His talent as a comic actor was so unique that other comedians can only admire him. They cannot possibly emulate him.

The only other comic that ever walked this earth for whom that assessment would be true is Robin Williams. 

With Pam Dawber
Like everyone else over forty, my first exposure to the genius of Robin Williams was through the medium of television. I always refer to the nineteen-seventies as "the dark ages of American comedy". Mork and Mindy, like ninety-five percent of the sitcoms of that overrated decade, was a dreadful program - with a bad premise, awful writing, terrible acting - take your pick. The only thing that set that show apart, and made it watchable, and the only reason I viewed it whenever I had the chance (I didn't always have access to a TV in those days) was because of the cosmic lunacy of Robin Williams. He would toss the awful script onto the sound stage's scrap heap, and let his imagination roar into the stratosphere. You could see at times his fellow cast members (Pam Dawber in particular) struggling to keep their faces straight while Robin let loose with a verbal meteor storm. It truly was something to behold. There had never been anyone like him before. 

Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that Williams was to comedy what Billie Holiday was to song. Lady Day had the unique gift to be able to take the most mediocre of material and turn it into a thing of beauty. So it was with Robin Williams.

His career in motion pictures was an evolution unprecedented in the history of that medium. His first film, a send-up on "Popeye", was a dismal flop. Within a few years, however, he would receive an Academy Award for his role in the film Good Will Hunting. The last time a "non-actor" won that coveted prize was when Bing Crosby received it for Going My Way in 1944. And let there be no doubt: Robin Williams will be remembered as one of the best actors of his era.

A lot of ink is being wasted this morning in a vain attempt to analyze why so gifted and beloved a performer would take his own life. Predictably, columnists and taking heads are discussing "the tears of a clown" theory. Let's call it "Pagliacci Syndrome":

Although I laugh and I act like a clown
Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown

John Lennon

I would venture to guess that the reasons behind Robin Williams' final, desperate act are a bit more complicated that that. Suicide is usually a lot more complicated than that - as is mental illness.  

There are times when something as awful as this may seem the anticlimax of a tortured life. Other times it may be a thunderous crash on what had been an otherwise blissful day. Whatever the circumstances, it leaves the survivors in torment and wondering: Why? Why? Why? We desperately seek answers we may never have to questions that are almost as elusive. 

Most people can whistle the M*A*S*H theme song. Very few of us know the lyrics. The title of that tune is, "Suicide is Painless". Don't you believe it for a second. Just ask any survivor.

Lenny Bruce
The sad fact of the matter is that the funniest people in the history of the human race were possessed of a darkness that, in many instances, destroyed their careers and prematurely ended their lives. The list is impressive: W.C. Fields, Buster Keaton, Max Linder, Charley Chase, Lenny Bruce, John Belushi - brilliant clowns whose God-given talent for making the rest of the world laugh was scalded by an inexplicable thirst for self-destruction. In fact, of the aforementioned comedic geniuses, only Keaton's life had a happy ending. George Carlin and Richard Pryor spent decades trying to overcome their problems with substance abuse; Jackie Gleason's chronic alcoholism was well known to most of us while he was still living; Both Peter Sellers and Jonathon Winters suffered periods of mental illness throughout their lives. Even Charlie Chaplin was subject to episodes of severe depression and melancholy.

The only two comedians I've ever known of who were fully secure in their beings seem to have been Laurel and Hardy. But then again, the definitive biographies of either of those two gentlemen have yet to be written. It wouldn't surprise me if we were to discover tomorrow that Stan and Ollie were also beaten down by the very act of living.

Robin Williams may have been in very good company, but it was tragic company to be in nonetheless. Maybe we should commission a reputable theologian to compose a "Comedian's Prayer". I believe they could use one.

We may never know why Robin Williams decided that the world would be better off without his presence in it (For the record: IT IS NOT). That he was a gifted, complex, and tortured man is well known. Perhaps it is the people who perceive life's comic absurdity most keenly are the ones most sensitive to humanity's tragedy and despair. That would seem to me to be the most logical explanation. The truth of the matter is, I just don't know. I wish I did. In the last eight months I've been seeking the elusive answers to some of these questions in my own life as well.

Robin Williams was part of our international consciousness for thirty-seven years. And while we were lucky to have him in our lives for as long as we did, the matter in which he died is just so difficult to accept. That's always the case when someone you love takes their own life, you know? It matters not if the victim is sixteen or sixty-three.

He was a true American original. One-hundred years from now they will still be talking about and appreciating the artistry of Robin Williams much in the same way we pay homage to Chaplin and Keaton today. His like won't be passing this way again. He's gone and he's not coming back. This is just so sad. Isn't that funny?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here's Robin Williams on the Tonight Show in 1991 with Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon. This is as good as it gets:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqdSagycCWc

He was a hoot.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

Here is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

If you have ever felt the urge, keep that number handy. Your friends and loved ones would miss you. Don't you know that you are loved? You are, you know!

peace....

For a more complete listing of some recent pieces on this site, please go to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan  

A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

68 Comments:

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Yellowstone said...

Tom - I agree with you. Tragedy and comedy are nearly the same (comedy mime faces). Just different faces. But I go even earlier; into the 50s.

You have commented before on the funnyman Ernie Kovacs. I'd like to mention, too, Don Knotts, Tom Poston, and Louie Nye as some of the most hysterical people I've watched.

Someone that has disappeared with hardly a notice was Jonathon Winters; who I think brought out the charm and wit of Robin. Jonathon was an outrageous comedian that was mimicked - but never duplicated. I miss him!

All met a natural and timely death - and what a tremendous loss to us all. I wonder if there ever be another . . .

 
At 5:09 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

I remember being in an acting class in high school around 1979. The teacher asked us to name out favorite actor, and I said "Robin Williams". The other kids laughed abecause at that time Mork and Mindy was all we had of Robin Williams.

THank you Robin for showing them how good you really were.

Another of my favorite comedians, Richard Jeni, took his own life as well.

Then there was the great Freddy Prinz.

R.I.P all of you.

 
At 6:20 PM, Blogger Cirze said...

Beautifully written, Tom.

Kudos to your sensibility.

Jonathan Winters was one of Robin's comedic mentors and I thought of this fact often when I first heard the unbelievable, horrific news.

Again, thanks for your tribute.

I've been too affected personally to write much about someone who meant so much in my life.

Funny, isn't it?

Once you saw/heard him he ceased to be a stranger.

And I saw him on Carson (as a tyke).

Perhaps it is the people who perceive life's comic absurdity most keenly (who) are the ones most sensitive to the despair of humanity's eternal tragedy.

 
At 8:44 PM, Blogger Patricia said...

Tom, I am without words, thankfully, you gifted Robin with a brilliant send off. I did hear that his beloved dog was named, Lenny for Lenny Bruce. Thanks for this, I hated that you had to write it. However, you helped us all understand so much. He was an Iconclast, if ever there was one. RIP Robin.

 
At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robin Williams lived a life of both happiness and setbacks. It wasn't totally a negative experience for him.
Unfortunately he suffered, literally, from both clinical depression and bipolar disorder. The lows of a bipolar depression are unfathomable to those not familiar with them. Substance use/abuse is used as an attempt to regulate those emotions and are never successful in the long run. They simply exacerbate the wild swings and devastating depressive experiences.
Once someone reaches that precipice between life and death they are not "choosing death". They are trying to escape an unimaginable pain and despair at having fought this pain for decades in the case of Robin Williams. Just one moment exists between being on the edge of that precipice and going over the edge. When someone or something intervenes at that ONE moment the person at risk can be held off for another chance at regaining stability. If no one or thing is there to intervene one can easily go over the edge.
Robin Williams was like lightning in a bottle. In addition to his ingenious yet manic riffs and powerful dramatic performances he was by all accounts a warm, kind, generous human being.
He'd fought this battle for decades. The public had no idea it was as deep and precarious as it evidently was.
Few could make me smile and laugh in amazement at the depth and breadth of his comic riffs particularly when they were improvised on the spot.
The discussion of the crushing depression as well as mental illness in general will last a week or so and then be forgotten until the last "public hurrah" at the next set of award shows. After that the topics of mental illness and life threatening depression will be put away again because those not touched by it in their own lives simply don't want to hear it.
I've been on the edge of the precipice a few times but still had the tools to be here today. The "illness" persists but I'm alive. We've buried one of my nephews due to suicide and dealt with the 8 attempts of his sister, my dear niece. One lives on some pins and needles each time the phone rings yet can only hope for the best outcome with treatment and patient compliance...much like any other chronic illness.
People around Robin's children must be watchful although I assume or hope they are aware of statistics that show children of those who've successfully suicided are at greatly higher risk to attempt such themselves. Although his children seem very sensitive and insightful that isn't an antidote to the nature/nurture effects of family mental illness and/or suicide.
Sorry to ramble. Robin Williams had both great joy and fulfillment in his life as well as intense internal struggles that got the best of him in that one last moment. I will miss his talent and presence on this earth.
Leslie

 
At 5:19 AM, Blogger Lydia said...

This is a beautiful, brilliant quest of a piece, a most fitting tribute to Robin Williams and to others who have left us in this way. Your pondering life/death these last eight months has added a depth to your writing (not that it needed it to be great) and has made richer our pondering together the loss of a comedic and dramatic Captain. What a fine human being he was.

 
At 6:08 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Beautifully written, Tom. This one hurts, and hurts bad. I'm especially sensitive because I had a mother who attempted suicide (unsuccessfully), and aunt who was "successful" at it, and a spouse who battled depression for most of the last decade before his passing from a rare and previously undiagnosed congenital brain disorder, which may have been the reason for his depression. So it's not just the loss of someone who entertained us, it's pushing a lot of emotional buttons as well.

We get greedy about people like Robin Williams. No matter how much they give us, we want more, more more. I remember feeling this way when Belushi died; that feeling of "You can't leave! I want MORE!" No matter how much they give us, we always want more.

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Good one, Jill.

I was thinking not too long ago about all that John Lennon would have accomplished in the thirty-four years that were denied him by some homicidal halfwit with a gun. True, he would have slowed down a bit at age seventy-four, but his best years were ahead of him on December 8, 1980.

He left the stage leaving us wanting more as well.

 
At 11:05 AM, Blogger Paul F. Etcheverry said...

Tom, it's been an awfully sad week for many of us, especially those from Robin's stomping grounds, the San Francisco Bay Area. Unfortunately, the sad circumstances of Robin's passing do not represent an isolated incident. Many of my favorite comics and comedy filmmakers going back to silent pictures and early talkies died young for the same reasons. Severe clinical depression kills.

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Such a sad story.

Thank you Leslie, for sharing your insight and struggle.

Most of us with a sense of compassion feel depressed at times. Loss of family, loved ones, friends, and pets can trigger very deep sorrow.

But most of us move on. The sense of loss lingers, but the depression recedes in time.

With clinical depression and bi-polar sufferers, the trigger never recedes. It is in the chemistry of the brain. While it can be treated, it is still a life-long battle.

So, no, for these people, suicide is not a "permanent solution to a temporary problem", nor is it the cowardly "easy way out". For them it really is, "trying to escape an unimaginable pain and despair".

Take care, Leslie. And thanks again.

 
At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Jerry said...

RIP Mork

The Democratic party institutionally certainly has its defects, the chronicle of which could fill several unreadable volumes, but the more important and more fundamental question here is one of philosophy and policy. Newark, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles — and Philadelphia, Cleveland, and a dozen or more other cities — have a great deal in common: They are the places in which the progressive vision of government has reached its fullest expressions. They are the hopeless reality that results from wishful thinking.

Progressives spent a generation imposing taxes and other expenses on urban populations as though the taxpaying middle class would not relocate. They protected the defective cartel system of public education, and the union money and votes associated with it, as though middle-class parents would not move to places that had better schools. They imposed burdens on businesses, in exchange for more union money and votes, as though businesses would not shift production elsewhere. They imposed policies that disincentivized stable family arrangements as though doing so would have no social cost.

The more progressive the city, the worse a place it is to be poor and/or black. The most pronounced economic inequality in the United States is not in some Republican redoubt in Texas but in San Francisco, an extraordinarily expensive city in which half of all black households make do with less than $25,000 a year. Blacks in San Francisco are arrested on drug felonies at ten times their share of the general population. At 6 percent of the population, they represent 40 percent of those arrested for homicides. Whether you believe that that is the result of a racially biased criminal-justice system or the result of higher crime incidence related to socioeconomic conditions within black communities (or some combination of those factors) what is undeniable is that results for black Americans are far worse in our most progressive, Democrat-dominated cities than they are elsewhere. The progressives have had the run of things for a generation in these cities, and the results are precisely what you see.

 
At 3:45 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Jerry (Anonymous) give it a rest would you please?

 
At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mozart,

Robin Williams is old news now in our advanced progressive society.

When do you think Tom will rant about the innocent inner city boy murdered by cops in Ferguson?

Or is Tom waiting for verification that he was a member of the Bloods?

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Can't we just have one blog about the death of a beloved performer without your incessant whining?

You can go back to regurgitating Limbaugh later.

 
At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK Mozart,

I won't regurgitate Rush since I don't even listen to him.

I did get a kick out of Dave Dubya giving a "Doctor Phil" analysis of the suicide like he is an expert on the subject (What is Dave not an expert on LOL LOL?).

Then at the end he said "Take care, Leslie. And thanks again."

I think saying that would be appropriate if it was his blog, not Toms. Maybe he was smoking some good weed and thought he was on his censured blog where there is no free speech when he posted.

Just Sayin.

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

I think saying that would be appropriate if it was his blog, not Toms.

By all means, let the asshole troll write the rules and declare what is appropriate. He can go off topic and slime others for being on topic, but listen to him cry when he's called out for such asshole behavior.

Authoritarian Assholes can't be any other way, can they?

Read John Dean's book "Authoritarians Without Conscience" to understand Chuckie's hateful authoritarian personality.

His is the hate that fuels fascism.

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

I guess I was hoping Anonymous would act mature for once and show SOME respect.

Silly me.

And I love how people like Anonymous regurgitate Limbaugh word for word the day Limbaugh says something, and then they CLAIM never to listen to him.

 
At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"regurgitate Limbaugh word for word the day Limbaugh says something".

And you know this to be true because you listen to Limbaugh?

 
At 6:33 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Mozart,
Yeah, funny how the authoritarians never admit to listening to Limbaugh, yet spew the same hate. We all know damn well there's not a hair's distance between what Limbaugh and Chuckie the Authoritarian Troll say.

If we were to ask him where they differ, we'd hear crickets...

But he WILL tell us what is, and what is not, "appropriate", won't he?

That is how the Right Wing authoritarian personality works. And make no mistake, these are the kind of authoritarians who want a complete dictatorship over our nation.

Theirs is the hate that fuels fascism.





 
At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That is how the Right Wing authoritarian personality works. And make no mistake, these are the kind of authoritarians who want a complete dictatorship over our nation."

Like forcing people into a Government run HealthCare system, which is 1/6th of the economy, that the majority of Americans don't want but was forced down their throats by the Liberal Fascists?

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

All good comedy begins with a brilliant mind. Williams did have that. And, he was so unpretentious...he knew how to not be overly political, yet include his politics subtly and appropriately and in a way that allowed you to laugh at yourself safely. Never caustic or mean-hearted.

He was a comedic genius... you were caught between wanting to roll over laughing and wanting to stare in awe.

 
At 10:31 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"Government run HealthCare system by "Liberal Fascists".

Oh, man, wouldn’t Robin Williams have a field day with that wild-eyed hysteria?

I can just picture it...

Robin announces the revelation to the audience:

"We learn from our friends in the Radical Right Bubble Cult that public health care and expanding health insurance is "fascism". (Audience chuckles)

Oh, yes, I’m serious. This is what they actually say….and believe….well, either that or they’re all liars. (Laughter) Let’s get real. Yes, reality, what a concept. Our friends in the RRBC have their OWN reality, of course, because reality has a well known liberal bias. (Laughter)

This certainly is disturbing news.... It means every civilized nation on Earth is now fascist....and so are WE!! (Laughter)

Everybody freak out!! All you "real Americans" better panic! (Loud Laughter) Strap on your military sporting rifles and head for the hills!! (More Laughter)

And don't forget your Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck books! (Louder Laughter)

Yes, public health care and expanding health insurance is fascism. Obamacare, Romneycare, Medicare,…it’s ALL fascism. They wouldn’t LIE, would they?? (Howls of laughter)

If that’s the case, we can only wonder what could describe starting a war based on lies for crony profit and political gain...

Gee, didn't Hitler and Mussolini do that kind of thing? I bet they liked to call torture "enhanced interrogation" too.

Just like our "Good Americans". (Laughter and applause)

Thank you, thank you all. I hope our friends on the radical far right fringe understand we're just kidding. After all, they're the reasonable and understanding kind.......Right?"

(Wild Applause, cheers, whistles, and shouts of "WE LOVE YOU ROBIN!")

 
At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, Mozart,
You both must listen to and read a lot of Limbaugh's books to be such experts on what he would say or think or has said.

What's your favorite day of the week to listen to him?
What's your favorite book of his?
Do you subscribe to his news letter?
Do you listen to his podcast?
How many hours a week to you listen to his show?

 
At 12:43 AM, Anonymous Snake Plissken said...

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/sks/4614862334.html


Answer to the violence in Ferguson

 
At 1:58 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Yes Anonymous, I do catch myself listening to Limbaugh sometimes (I listen to sports radio at night and he's on the same station here during the day. Have you never heard the phrase "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"? I can only get through about 5 minutes before he says something so STUPID I have to change over to NPR just to get my IQ points back. He actually had the nerve to say Williams committed suicide becuase of "dissapointment in his liberal ideals". What a turdbucket!. He's exactly like you. Whining and crying because his side LOST and the country is better off because of it. You couldn't even let ONE blog go by without turning it into your usual whinefest. Shame on you.

 
At 3:57 AM, Anonymous Snake Plissken said...

My My sounds Mozart ,is having a bad O-bagger day

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Anonymous has another name. Too ashamed to stick with one are we?

And I'll support Obama any day over anyone from the right. Hell, I doubt I'll even vote for anyone who's middle initial is "R" ever again, given the damage Republicans have done to this country since Reagan was crowned. But it sure is fun watching Anonymous come unscrewed watching Obama put America back on track. It just galls him.
As for Robin Williams, I'm still in shock. It's like losing a family member. He's been a favorite of mine since his Mork and Mindy days. I hope his death at least makes people more aware of depression and how to recognize the warning signs. I had a beloved Uncle who took his own life and only after the fact did we see what we missed.

 
At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Snake Plissken said...

Part of the 47%, Mozart?

 
At 11:27 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Mozart,

Dave Dubya's Prophecy No. 5,483 on Right Wing Bubble Cult behavior:

We all know damn well there's not a hair's distance between what Limbaugh and Chuckie the Authoritarian Troll say.

If we were to ask him where they differ, we'd hear crickets...


Not a peep.

They say the same damn things...over and over again.

We can read 'em like book. Former Nixon counsel John Dean's "Conservatives Without Conscience" is the perfect guide to understanding their authoritarian mentality and behavior.

 
At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, man, wouldn’t Robin Williams have a field day with ObamaCare?

I can just picture it...

Robin has his last standup comedy special:

I'm from the government, and I'm here to help with our 2700 page ObamaCare law. (Audience chuckles)

If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. (Laughter)

If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. (More Laughter)

Your family will save $2500 a year with ObamaCare. (Laughter with sounds of hands slapping knees)

If you are a man, you are automatically covered if you get pregnant after you have your transgender operation which is also covered under ObamaCare! (hoots and howls!)

Oh, yes, I’m serious. This is what they actually say….and believe….well, either that or they’re all fucking liars. (Laughter) Let’s get real. Yes, reality, what a concept. Our friends in the Obama Admistration and the progressive world have their OWN reality where Obama will squat and shit loads of gold buillion to fund all the progressive social programs! (Laughter).

Hell, they lie throught their teeth about the cost of their programs, they don't even submit a budget so you know their spending is out of control. Their accounting is worse than Enron but if you work for the Governmet you can't fucking go to jail! (Ah hahahaha!, Ah hahahaha!, Ah hahahaha!)

Obama claimed to be the most brilliant man for the job. The only brilliant thing he accomplished was sealing his academic records! (Out of control laughter)

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Chuckie proves again the Right has a weak sense of humor, and little imagination.

Robin has his last standup comedy special:

Um, should we tell him that sounds a lot more like the angry and pathetically unfunny Dennis Miller than Robin Williams.

Maybe Rush would like it though.

Right? Far right.

Say, has Chuckie EVER shown ANY disagreement with Rush or the GOP yet? Still the same lock-step cult mentality? Of course.

Crickets.

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mozart,

I'm truly sorry for your loss.
I preferred J. Winters in stand up comedy over Williams, but Williams was hands down the better actor in films.

Dave, how many hours a week do you listen to Limbaugh in order to be become such an expert on him and his listeners?

Why is it so important to you to have people who disagree with your position's be required to disagree with the people they support on some issue? What's your point?

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

What's your point?

If you have to ask, you'll never get it.

Try to develop a sense of humor and comprehension. Try reading to understand what I say. All you do is react, troll off topic, dictate what's "appropriate", call me a Nazi, etc.

I think I've been quite clear. Well, clear enough for open minds.

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Anonymous, Williams supported both Obama and the ACA because he cared about people. And keep whining about things that have already been explained to you. Obama never once said he was the "most brilliant man for the job".

But what can you expect from a guy who didn't know the Senate was part of congress?

BTW, Jonathan Winmters was Williams idol, and Winters himself said that Williams was like a younger version of him, only better.

Once again you make a complete foo of yourself.

 
At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when does having a different opinion than you make one a fool?

Both Mozart's and Dave's last two posts really are an interesting insight to their mental process.

I'll leave it at that out of respect for the late Robin Williams.

 
At 3:46 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Anonymous, if your "opinions" had not already been proven wrong 20 times you'd be fine. But you bring up the same old crap over and over and THAT makes you look foolish.

And if you had any respect for RW you would not have brought your political whinefest into this blog in the first place.

Now I see that the Westborough Baptists are planning to protest his funeral. It wouldn't surprise me to find out you support them.

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Mozart,
As Chuckie the Troll lectures us on what’s “appropriate” for us, but not him, and he spews his hate-filled, humorless and thoughtless propaganda about “Fascist healthcare”, in a Robin Williams thread, he claims he has “insight” to our “mental process”.

Laughable projection.

We can read him like a book. Former Nixon counsel John Dean wrote an excellent book on the far Right Wing authoritarians, “Conservatives without Conscience”. That is Chuckie all the way.

 
At 11:10 AM, Anonymous James Hansen said...

I thought for a moment we had a new literate Conservative posting as Jerry but it was just another copy and paste job. Phoney names and phoney post seems to be the calling card of many Conservatives here.

 
At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Williams supported both Obama and the ACA because he cared about people."

SO?

 
At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/obama-252/

821 Obama lies at this link,
can you handle the truth?

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

821 Obama lies...So?

How many died because of that?

Four thousand Americans DIED for Bush and Cheney lies. But the RRBC is only upset with Obama. Very revealing.

How is that NOT moral relativism, if not outright racism?

Every Klan member shares Chuckie's rage for the Black guy's lies that didn't kill.

Now THAT is insight into their authoritarian mentality.

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Anonymous likes to use the answer "So?" a lot doesn't he?

Now we know where he got it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maFUXy7U2Nc

At least we know who his heroes are.

 
At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So? It's the dave dubya approved answer.

 
At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great piece Tom-very nicely written-we're on opposite sides of the political aisle but on this one, we're lockstep bro.
MM

Dave Dubya looks to be a serious asshole BTW

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

So? It's the dave dubya approved answer

Yes, I sarcastically used the Cheney reply to the fact, upon learning the truth, most Americans opposed his war for crony profit and political gain based on lies.

Thus:

821 Obama lies...So?

How many died because of that?

Four thousand Americans DIED for Bush and Cheney lies. But the RRBC is only upset with Obama. Very revealing.


I don't think Chuckie got that, as Most things go past him, or over his head. It's classic RRBC obliviousness to anything not cult approved.

Chuckie doesn't want to talk about Cheney. He's too busy hating and blaming the black guy for the mess the puppet-master Dick and his hero Decider made.

Obama lied, nobody died.

Bush/Cheney lied...and the body count is still growing. THAT is what we call a Legacy of Death.

So you see, it's far more important for the RRBC to call healthcare fascism, instead of the Legacy of Death that is always the fruit of real fascism.

Basic far Right projection.

Fascists are historically known for lies, starting wars, fondness for torture, and building police states.

Not so much for expanding health care.

But Chuckie can't see that simple truth. Nobody but Chuckie and his Radical Right Bubble Cult, is going to pull the wool over his eyes. No sirree.


 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Dave Dubya looks to be a serious asshole BTW

Thanks, MM. Unlike the "non-asshole" who decided to hijack the thread to attack progressives and democrats, as well as dictate what is appropriate for those other than himself.

Of course, by this unprovoked ad-hominem attack you reveal yourself to be a true authoritarian.

Now if you were brave enough to discuss issues rather than just call someone an asshole, we might listen to you.

More projection, methinks. Hold on to your hate, there chum. It will eat you from inside and make you an angry bitter person.

Personally, I don't hate you authoritarians. How could I? You always prove me correct.

Thanks again.


 
At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."

Mark Twain

 
At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did that get by me, "so" can only be used in a manner approved by the authoritarian Dave D.

Kind of like Clinton and the word "if".

SEE?

 
At 1:24 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Once more Anonymous provides no facts, only childish nonsense.

Too bad he couldn't have showed some class and left this blog alone.

 
At 1:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mozart,

I'm truly sorry for your loss.
I preferred J. Winters in stand up comedy over Williams, but Williams was hands down the better actor in films.

Dave, how many hours a week do you listen to Limbaugh in order to be become such an expert on him and his listeners?

Why is it so important to you to have people who disagree with your position's be required to disagree with the people they support on some issue? What's your point?


I did but you just can't walk away from anything I post can you?

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Again with the "What's your point"?

If you have to ask, you'll never get it.

Ask Rush, he'll tell you. LOL!!

Not that you'd want to understand anything outside your cult anyway. The RRBC has ALL the answers, right, Chuckie? Of course they do.

 
At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do I need to listen to Rush, when you Dave, seem to know everything he says?
Big fan right?

 
At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you cant explain your point, then why should I care if I get it?

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

If you cant explain your point, then why should I care if I get it?

False premise. Nobody needs an explanation, well, except for the deliberately obtuse.

Then why ask? Their cult has all the answers, right?

My point was their cult's lockstep ideology and false belief system, and the members' inability to think for themselves and be critical of their masters dogma.

Everything the cult says is pure GOP doctrine. Period.

Thanks again for always proving me correct.

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger Bea said...

Thank you for this post! I hadn't expected to feel so utterly sad over Williams' death. The news of his passing hit me like a ton of bricks. I hadn't known that WC Fields also committed suicide. Freddie Prinze, if I'm not mistaken, was another comic who took his own life. -all very sad indeed.

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger Bea said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Cheryl Anne said...

How did Tom's prophetic and profound, piece on an icon of our generation, a talent, a comedian, and actor, a man of generosity, to the homeless, and other charities turn into, a political forum for you , idiots, who, had nothing better to do, than hone into, making it benefit your ideals..Which by the way..after the first few words I skipped, it was not the place, or time..."JERRY" rip Mork, that was a character NOT, the essence of Robin..

And, to attack another human being " Mozart" for sticking up for,not only himself, but,Tom's time and piece, and sticking with the point..which is Robin Williams, Anonymous,you had a great amount of info, on Bi Polar and Depression, then State..Robins old news?!? Really....Tom is and amazing,Author, writer, politically savvy, and a great human being, we went to the same school together, know the same families..So, I do know what I'm stating..and, how could you bring up the Ferguson, situation??

Ehhh..

Tom, what about Rodney Dangerfield, Chris Farley, Abbott and Costello..?

Robin Williams was 1 of a kind, it is not for us to understand, it was his decision, he stole laughter from our lives, a father from his children, a husband to his wife, but, it's not selfish, it was his life, he was tortured, and couldn't find his own laughter any longer..

And, I wrote in my piece about Robin, including Belushi and Farley and others...The Clown Syndrome, a lot of very funny are so, to hide their own inner pain..Jim Carey suffers from bouts of depression as, well..

Tom, your piece was heartfelt and sincere with no ulterior motivation, but, to pour your pain of the loss of a great personality in your life, as well as a lot of us, it brought my own demons to the top, once gain..

But, that's a private convo, not on a beautiful piece about a beautiful man..RIP Robin, you have left our Glasses HALF EMPTY...

Cheryl Anne

 
At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything the cult says is pure GOP doctrine. Period.

Is that the same period that followed Obama's ACA promises? Or do you care?

 
At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that this particular blog posting was about Robin Williams... I stand corrected.

 
At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Chalky White said...

"Four thousand Americans DIED for Bush and Cheney lies. But the RRBC is only upset with Obama. Very revealing.

How is that NOT moral relativism, if not outright racism?"


"Now let me be clear -- I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him."

State Senator Barack Obama (Democrat, Illinois)
Speech at Federal Plaza, Chicago, Illinois
October 2, 2002

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Chalky White Chuckie is doing it again. He's trying to blame Bush's war on Obama. Obama had NOTHING to do with the Bush/Cheney cartel's war for crony profit and political gain. Obama opposed the war.

Period. (I use this word because Chuckie has grown fond of it.)

His cult doesn't let him know the context of his quote. Chuckie is clueless to the entire message. As I noted he misses a LOT.

Deliberately, of course.

Shall we see the truth behind Chuckie's, "Blame the black guy" for Bush's war, dishonesty?

Here's the context:

======

That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaida. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.
====

Chuckie HATES it, that Obama was correct.

His is the hate that fuels fascism.


 
At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Chalky White said...

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members...

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well, effects American security.

This is a very difficult vote, this is probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make. Any vote that might lead to war should be hard, but I cast it with conviction."

Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York)
Addressing the US Senate
October 10, 2002

 
At 9:50 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Did Chuckie read what Obama said?

I even made important points bold, just for the comprehension-impaired.

Yes, Hillary drank the kool-ade, or simply decided the war was her ticket to re-election. Either way, she is nothing more than a reluctant social liberal. She's more neo-con than Obama even.

The "Era of big government is over" Clintons were the best Republicans in the White House since Lincoln.

Obama was correct.

Hillary and Chuckie were not.

Thanks, Chuckie.








 
At 1:16 AM, Anonymous Cheryl Anne said...

Anynomous??!
You took it political then your next comment was, I thought this was about Robin Williams..

Bi polar sux Doesnt it. ?

Thank you again for bringing Robins humor to us again.

Netflix started streaming non stop Robin Williams movies...

Rest easy...

Cheryl Anne

 
At 4:35 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Bea:

FOR THE RECORD, the cause of Bill Fields' death wasn't "suicide". He drank himself to death - which is almost the same thing.

Thanks for the comment!

Tom

 
At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the context:

in other words,

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."

Mark Twain

 
At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comment, Perhaps it is the people who perceive life's comic absurdity most keenly are the ones most sensitive to humanity's tragedy and despair, has been shared and will continue to be shared. It's very perceptive and very accurate. Take it from someone with experience.

 
At 3:25 PM, Blogger Pappyz said...

Well, that "conversation" devolved quickly.

Nothing but hate from the wingnuts

 

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