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Author Topic: Robin Williams dead, suspected suicide
Dogbreath
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http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/08/11/robin-williams-dead-at-63-in-suspected-suicide-officials-say/

This is pretty shocking. I've always loved watching his movies.

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Mucus
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Crummy.
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BlackBlade
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Super crummy. So upset he felt that was the only place to go.
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Derrell
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Rest in peace.
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PSI Teleport
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I was very sad to learn this. He was my first favorite. I used to sit on my dad's lap and watch Mork and Mindy every week.
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Kwea
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Rest in peace, and you will be missed.
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advice for robots
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Dang it. [Frown] I will miss him.
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fifaone1
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(Post neutered by janitorblade out of respect for Mr. Williams who would have probably enjoyed this.)
asf kwek iweh jsfd jksdfh jgwyio wer juwr weio wetop er rey wrt cheap fifa coins fifa coins for sale.

[ August 12, 2014, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Heisenberg
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Man had been battling this for decades. He fought it, he tried treatment, and in the end he had a good innings.

He felt he didn't want to continue anymore. He knew better then any of us could what he had to face. I can't judge his decision.

He was a talented, funny, and from all accounts kind man. He shall be missed.

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theamazeeaz
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I don't know.

When you are in that mindset you don't want to live and don't think about much else, but when you are out of it, you remember what a stupid idea that is, that you have a family you do not wish to hurt.

It's also been shown statistically that removing easy means to suicide, does not result in people choosing more difficult methods. Depressed people aren't exactly a motivated bunch.

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
When you are in that mindset you don't want to live and don't think about much else, but when you are out of it, you remember what a stupid idea that is
It never seems like a stupid idea to me, personally.

There are just those times where life seems so painful and dissatisfying that the mind focuses obsessively on the idea as the correct solution to resolve the problem, and those times when the mind is distracted enough by the fleeting pleasures of life that one can ignore the fundamental, intractable problems to which suicide nonetheless still seems like the correct solution.

I sometimes think that the only real difference between the depressive and the "healthy" mind, is that the former is never able to fully embrace the illusion of meaningfulness that the "healthy" mind clutches to ignore the underlying absurdity of our pain-ridden existence.

We tell ourselves (with round societal approbation) that we stay the bodkin from the quietus we would have it make for noble reasons--duty and obligation to our families and loved ones. And this is a good enough reason, I suppose, for a round of back-clapping among those that buy into the narrow paradigm that posits as objectively real the invented social values that measure out the meaning of the interactions between the human goo particles which slime Gaia's surface...

But such a paradigm appears fatuous to me, more oft than not--an easy, self-congratulatory conceit: a fickle focus on temporal triumphs that will, in truth, be swept aside by the tide of entropy that cleans the landscape of the delusional doodles which we humans only tell ourselves are drawn indelibly.

I suspect that the reality is simple: our conscience does make cowards of us all. But rather than admit our cravenness, we clothe ourselves in illusion and delusion, and crow congratulations to one another--which is easier, and feels better, than acknowledging the truth...

This is all fine and good, of course, but I'd not hear as much judgment of the stupidity of the departed who determined not to keep buying in to our shell-game: it doesn't seem stupid to stop chasing the evanescent values we only pretend are permanent...

The suicides, to my eyes, are the most civilized of us all.

RIP Robin Williams.

[ August 12, 2014, 11:19 PM: Message edited by: Nelson Elis ]

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BlackBlade
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I won't begrudge you of your own opinion. But even if I grant there is nothing for us after death, (and I believe there is an eternity of time) the world is incredibly big, and filled with people, experiences, moments that Mr. Williams will never know. I'm confident there was a space for him here. He had a family that needed him. Friends that loved him.

If his health was failing him, or the darkness of substance abuse was weighing him down, and he felt like it was only going to get worse, he was wrong. There's always hope, there's always a way to find meaning at all stages of existence. I don't think anybody should shame him for thinking death was the only way out. But I think what he did was not right. I suspect if something had interrupted him in his attempt to die, there's a strong chance he would still be with us and he would have regretted what he had planned.

I wish he had failed in his attempt at the very least, so those around him could know that he needed more help than he was getting.

But it has happened, and I think he deserves to be known for what his life was on the balance, not what he chose to do in the end. I think he has a kind of peace, but as I believe people live on past death, I know he will miss many important things that happen in his family's lives, and that will hurt. But I also feel he will find there is an eternity of comedic material for him to chew on now.

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Samprimary
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“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of, quote, ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing.

The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise.

Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors.

It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”

― David Foster Wallace

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
I suspect if something had interrupted him in his attempt to die, there's a strong chance he would still be with us and he would have regretted what he had planned.
Sure.

But life is full of regret. Had something interrupted him in his chosen action, he may have regretted his plan, but he may well have also regretted that his enterprise of such great pitch and moment had been turned awry.

That fact that if he still lived, he would experience regret, doesn't actually lead to the conclusion that what he did was not "right."

If anything, it would seem that the "wrong" choice is the choice that leads to the experience of regret--not vice-versa, neh?

As it stands, he apparently does not feel regret for his choice...

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Elison R. Salazar
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Okay, lets compile a list of every movie/tv show/whatever. I want to marathon them [Frown]
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Kwea
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Nelson, you know nothing about mental health, and it sounds like you know next to nothing about life.

That read like a 12 year old trying to sound smart.

[ August 12, 2014, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
Nelson, you know nothing about mental health
Sooth enough, at least in a figurative sense, I suppose...

So tell me aught I ought to know.
quote:
it sounds like you know next to nothing about life.
Hmm. This may be due to an echo in the ether--the tune I'm actually in now rhymes around knowing far more of life than I care to know...
quote:
That read like a 12 year old trying to sound smart.
How embarrassing.

In any case, Know-Nothing as I may be about what's mentally healthy, I've mastered enough of the subject of mental unhealth to read the notes of grief spelled out in both of our respective posts: you read (to me) like you're rocked by the waves of the wake of Robin's ferry-ride out of this sea of troubles...which is pretty much the same way my own post in this thread read (to me).

I'm sorry for your loss. And I'm sorry if my own expression of grief exacerbated your own...

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Rakeesh
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Holy cow.

To assume there is much that really separates us from suffering, whether 'real' or born of illness-or both-seems to me to be the kind of ignorance that is a sign of comparatively good fortune.

But that is no reason at all to believe, or assert, that it is somehow 'right' or virtuous or sensible to end one's life when there is still hope. I can't speak to whether Williams had hope, but I suspect he either did or should have, and illness/suffering hid it from him.

Who was it who told you that a life without permanence is without value, Nelson? That because what is good in life is evanescent, it's more sensible to say nothing of good to simply end it? Who told you you get to, or have to, matter to the universe to be worthy of living? So nothing is permanent. So good things fade. The answer to that sense of insignificance is to make yourself even *less* meaningful? To fade that much faster?

Why in the world is *that* sensible? Good things can happen *now*. You can experience joy and sadness and meaning and alleviate suffering for others and peel back layers of the unknown of the universe that makes you feel impermanent and insignificant *now*. So you won't feel it in a century? So what?

There's a thick vein of vanity running through your words here, just as there is of those who would insist that they would never commit suicide. Rather than reject this impermanence that hurts you, your words are wallowing in it. Rather than lie to yourself about your place in the universe and your importance in it, you embrace your insignificance-and use it as a sign you are wiser and more brave than your fellow evolved primates.

Well, to hell with that. Entropy is terrible to contemplate and it'll claim us all one way or another, but that's no reason to start sprinting for it. I'm sad Williams is dead. He made me laugh, and many others as well. I pity him the suffering, whether 'real' or caused by illness, and the isolation he must have felt. The pain of the thought of the flames at his back. But chances are, those flames could have been extinguished even if Williams was incapable of realizing it. It's unlikely we will know one way or another. But to hell with this reveling in the 'civility' of suicide when there is still hope. I won't condemn Williams or anyone else who committs suicide, but that is still far from *praising* them for it.

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Dogbreath
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Depression is an insidious beast. It magnifies every painful memory, every heartbreak, every embarrassment, while suppressing good memories or stripping them bare of any pleasant emotion, or, worse yet, causing intense nostalgia and a sincere belief that said happy memories are from a good time that will never, ever happen again, because you screwed everything up so much, because you're no longer capable of happiness, because sic transit gloria...

For people who suffer from mild or infrequent depression, like myself, time and experience can help. I may feel like the world is ending, but I'm still capable of rational thought, know that I've felt this before and it's okay, read through old journal entries I laughed about after the fact. We can get up and go for a run, call a friend, go to a movie, do something, anything to take our mind of the pain for the next few hours or day until it passes.

For other people, the depression is so difficult that rational thought becomes impossible. To borrow from the analogy Sam posted, you might feel very uncomfortable, itchy, and claustrophobic trapped in a parked car on a hot day, but you can probably think rationally enough to make your way out. Doing the same while on fire is an entirely different matter. The pain becomes so acute that it's almost impossible to think of anything else, and the more you think it through, the worse it gets. Often times such severely depressed people need medication and professional help just to cope. They're no longer capable of escaping their own mind in a constructive manner without outside assistance.

So, while I respect everyone's right to end their own life, I often doubt people make that decision with sober judgement. My brother-in-law killed himself when I was 15, and most of the time he absolutely loved being alive. Not, put on an act and went through the motions alive. Skinny dipping at midnight, intensely passionate, joyously alive. It was bipolar disorder and a series of unfortunate events that eventually lead to his death, not some well thought out, conscious decision to embrace the end.

It says a lot that the vast majority of suicide survivors talk about how glad they are they're alive and how much they regret the attempt, after the fact. It's because, at the time, they really did feel the magnified weight of all their problems, that there was no other escape, that life was utterly unbearable. Not because it's true, but because they were sick. Their brains were, at the time, incapable of rationally assessing the situation and putting things in perspective.

Also, everyone's experience of depression is different. It varies in intensity and symptoms. Some people may simply feel sad and lethargic, and spend a few days laying around. Others may experience humiliation and heartbreak so intensely that it overrides any other thought or emotion. This is also why it's an incredibly stupid, idiotic, and dangerously irresponsible to tell people to stop taking antidepressants, or claim that they just need to "push through" the depression and stop being so weak minded.

I too honestly believe that if Robin Williams had gotten help in time, he would be glad to be alive. I commend him for successfully battling depression for so many years, and for having such an amazing and successful life despite it. RIP.

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Sean Monahan
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What Dogbreath said.
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Dogbreath
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Also:

quote:
Originally posted by Nelson Elis:
...

So, there's this part in Neil Gaiman's American Gods where the character remembers hearing a riddle he was told as a child. I don't know if Neil made it up himself, or is recounting something he heard once, but it goes something like this.

"There was a tale he had read once, long ago, as a small boy: the story of a traveler who had slipped down a cliff, with man-eating tigers above him and a lethal fall below him, who managed to stop his fall halfway down the side of the cliff, holding on for dear life. There was a clump of strawberries beside him, and certain death above him and below. What should he do? went the question.

And the reply was, Eat the strawberries."


I also think of an absolutely brilliant scene with Robin Williams that totally wrecked my world as a young man.

I don't know if you're actually serious about the things you said or you're just trying on angsty nihilism to see how it fits, but on the off chance you actually believe those things:

I, too, know what it's like to contemplate the abyss that is death and entropy. There's no easy way to accept it, or to be at peace with the concept of my own nonexistence. One day, I will die. Everyone I know will die. Everyone and everything that has ever existed will eventually disappear, the sun will burn out, the universe itself will go dark. And there will be no one left to remember me.

But, for a little while at least, I can enjoy being alive. And life is so full of endless beauty and wonder. There's long childhood evenings, and the smell of fresh cut grass and charcoal, lightning bugs and laughter and games. There are mountain trails to be hiked, rivers to be kayaked in, books to be read. There's the soaring feeling, when standing in the bottom of a canyon, or maybe really looking at all the stars for the first time, of being part of something so much greater than yourself that you can't even fathom it. There's the infinite pause right before you first kiss someone.

There's snowy winter nights and hot summer days and vast ocean expanses. There are more books to be read, more places to travel to, more people to meet and know and love, than you could experience in a million lifetimes.

And all this is made infinitely precious by the knowledge that it doesn't last, that the last page could be right around the corner, that everything is fading quickly and I need to drink it all in as fully as possible while I still have the chance. I sincerely disagree that choosing to live makes me delusional or cowardly. And I hope you are able to appreciate the tremendous gift that is life, and don't waste it.

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scifibum
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I don't think Nelson was recommending suicide quite as much as it might seem, although that is the most accessible meaning of the post.

I also don't think he meant to say that it's bad to participate in the consensus that we should strive for mental health and enjoyment of life.

I think overall the point is: he'd prefer not to denigrate suicides as stupid or short sighted or broken.

I'm not sure it's realistic for us not to.

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Dogbreath
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I don't think he was recommending suicide either, but his overall point seems to be that those of us who are mentally healthy are just delusional, or too cowardly to kill ourselves. I think that's incorrect.
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scifibum
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"We are all delusional" is a statement I'd expect Nelson to be inclined to defend, but he probably wouldn't mean it in the way most people would hear it.
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Dogbreath
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Well, presumably he can defend it himself? I'm not trying to be dismissive, and I'm certainly willing to debate your own thoughts on this. But if Nelson is being misunderstood, he can enlighten us himself. Debating what he did or didn't mean isn't really productive. The rather... lush terminology he employed certainly isn't helpful when trying to determine how much to take at face value. (i.e, "human goo particles"...)
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scifibum
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Of course you're right about the fact that my intercession is not really needed. Just so you know why I was bothering: Nelson only drops by occasionally and may, IME, be more likely to tease than to explicate/simplify.
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Wingracer
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I have only had one person I know well commit suicide and in his case, I really can't blame him for doing it. Yes I miss him and for my own selfish reasons I wish he was still around but I also can hardly imagine the pain he was dealing with on a daily basis. For him, suicide was a sweet relief. The more I learned about his condition, the more amazed I am that he held on for 34 years and knew as much joy as he did.

None of that really applies to Williams as that would seem to be psychological pain instead of severe and incurable physical pain but I still feel that at least in some rare circumstances suicide may be a valid choice.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
Okay, lets compile a list of every movie/tv show/whatever. I want to marathon them [Frown]

Of course you must start with Mork and Mindy.
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Derrell
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It looks like the wonderful, caring folks from the Westboro Baptist Church are planning to attend his funeral. idiots.
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BlackBlade
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I think he'd want to see them there.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I think he'd want to see them there.

He would definitely have a good joke for it.
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Sean Monahan
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Actually, I think Robin would be proud of that.
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Belle
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It hit me harder than I would have expected it would have. Not that I have any deep personal connection to Robin Williams, but I guess the suicide death my family suffered three years ago (almost 4, now) is still raw and painful.

I have to say, it's very hard. I struggle with my anger. I see how my sister-in-law's suicide has profoundly affected my brother, niece and nephew and I imagine sometimes she's here and I can see her and talk to her, I simultaneously feel the urge to both beat her senseless, and hug her and tell her I love her. It's so hard to know how you're supposed to feel. [Frown]

Suicide is awful. [Frown] I am very, very sorry for the pain his family is feeling right now. May they find some type of comfort and peace.

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