August 13, 2014

"I was aware too that this burbling and manic man-child that I watched on the box on my Nan’s front room floor... struggled with mental illness and addiction."

"The chaotic clarity that lashed like an electric cable, that razzed and sparked with amoral, puckish wonder was in fact harvested madness. A refinement of an energy that could turn as easily to destruction as creativity.... Robin Williams could have tapped anyone in the western world on the shoulder and told them he felt down and they would have told him not to worry, that he was great, that they loved him. He must have known that. He must have known his wife and kids loved him, that his mates all thought he was great, that millions of strangers the world over held him in their hearts, a hilarious stranger that we could rely on to anarchically interrupt, the all-encompassing sadness of the world. Today Robin Williams is part of the sad narrative that we used to turn to him to disrupt. What platitudes then can we fling along with the listless, insufficient wreaths at the stillness that was once so animated and wired, the silence where the laughter was?... That all around us people are suffering behind masks less interesting than the one Robin Williams wore?"

Wrote Russell Brand.

ADDED: Brand is an interesting (if purple) writer. I like the verb "burble," and had just used it myself, before reading this, in a comment on an earlier post: "Hate speech. When is it cool and cute and something to burble about?"

AND: "The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame/Came whiffling through the tulgey wood/And burbled as it came!"

98 comments:

St. George said...

When you are in a tulgey wood.

Nonapod said...

Brand make's a few good points here if you can get past his purple prose.

When someone gets to 63 I imagined, hoped, I suppose, that maturity would grant an immunity to adolescent notions of suicide but today I read that suicide isn’t exclusively a young man’s game. Robin Williams at 63 still hadn’t come to terms with being Robin Williams.

This is what shocked me about Williams' death the most. It has always just seemed so weird to me for people over the age of 40 to commit suicide.

Ann Althouse said...

"When you are in a tulgey wood."

I was just noticing that and doing my update before I read that (which you wrote before my update posted). Thanks!

Ann Althouse said...

From the OED's definition of "burble":

b. trans. To say (something) murmurously or in a rambling manner. Also transf.

[1871 ‘L. Carroll’ Through Looking-glass i. 22 The Jabberwock..Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as it came!]
1891 R. Kipling Light that Failed viii. 150 You only burble and call me names.
1906 B. von Hutten What became of Pam iii. iv, Miss Wantage..began to burble, and then to roar.
1920 C. E. Mulford Johnny Nelson vii. 67 ‘Forty feet of rope an' a sycamore tree,’ burbled Smitty.
1921 Blackwood's Mag. July 31/2 A sleepy dinner it was. We burbled a few plans for next day, and fell asleep by the fire.
1934 T. E. Lawrence Let. 6 Aug. (1938) 813 You send me a sensible working-man of a letter..and I burble back in this unconscionable way.
1965 Parade 15 May, ‘I think they just called our flight number,’ burbled Carter.

Jane the Actuary said...

See, that's just the thing. All the reports, clips, people speaking about Williams -- there was one where a fellow celebrity was quoted as saying something to the effect of, "I've never seen him when he's not 'on' and don't know what the 'real' Robin Williams is like."

Were we watching a comedian who turns on his act as a skill, to entertain his audience, or were we watching something else? And is the "comic genius" that we're celebrating really a symptom? (Not that I know much of anything about mental illness.)

http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-obligatory-but-short-post-on-robin.html

Richard Dolan said...

"What platitudes then can we fling along ...."

Well, to judge from his prose, he seems able to fling quite a few.

"[T]hey would have told him not to worry, that he was great, that they loved him." Whatever sense "love" is supposed to have there -- did they love him or his persona? -- it's too abstract to sustain a person. Contrast that with the scene at the end of It's A Wonderful Life, where George is rescued from his despair by the active support of people who knew him well enough to see the problem and whose love he had earned.

Tibore said...

Yeah, he is just a bit extravagant in his declarations, isn't he? Well... that purplish-ness is sort of an artifact of how Brand sees and chooses to describe things. While undoubtedly present, it's less a deliberate affectation aimed at appearing impressive and more just his natural self coming through.

------

And to Robin... Some of Brand's observations were fairly astute, if not particularly difficult to discern. While this is obvious, I still think it bears stating: I get the feeling that a lot of comedians understand Williams' dark place a lot better than the rest of us because that's where some of the most genuine, most biting, yet most gut-bustingly hilarious comedy comes from. It's not hard to see that many are essentially soul siblings to Robin Williams to a far greater degree than most of them would like to admit. More than a few probably see themselves in his place, thinking the same thoughts as he at one point or another and wondering if it'll get that deep for them at some point. An empathy like that is both sad and frightening. The last thing you want to see is yourself in someone else's tragic place, yet I get the feeling that's exactly where some of these professional jokesters see themselves. It's got to be sobering and worrying.

I don't want to read about any more suicides, especially among the ones who've got the talent to make so many laugh and be happy. Problem is, there's no real cure for some of these problems. And as long as they exist, we'll have awful instances like this.

William said...

I felt a little more fragile upon hearing of Robin Williams' death. If a guy like that with wealth, fame, a lifetime's experience in demon taming, and access to the best therapists and call girls available could decide to end it all, then we're all vulnerable. Russell Brand looks like he has some of Williams' talent and most of his afflictions. Williams' death must have touched him like the visit of Christmas Future hit Scrooge.

SteveR said...

Brand seems to imply that Western Society is at fault in some way. OK who's that Russell? Was he a friend, colleague, partner? Was in any of Robin's movies? Maybe a neighbor?. Take care of your own.

phantommut said...

Nonapod, suicide rates tend to increase as a function of age:

In 2011, the highest suicide rate (18.6) was among people 45 to 64 years old. The second highest rate (16.9) occurred in those 85 years and older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2011, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 11.0 (Figure 3).

When kids commit suicide it seems particularly tragic, but it's a myth that young people are more prone to it than adults. The whole "It get easier" campaign is simply propaganda, at least with regards to the urge to self-destruction.

St. George said...

Snicker snack!

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Tort.

Any university that allowed the discourse to transpire that looking at something changes it, yet doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is insanity, deserves bankruptcy.

Spoon fed idiots unable to understand, if looking changes it, doing the same thing will have differing results, unless you deny time. Blind yourself to it because of the difficulty.

You can send the payment you owe me to Wounded Warriors or Feed the Children.

rhhardin said...

"The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame/Came whiffling through the tulgey wood/And burbled as it came!"

Teach aver walk width Aesop blame
Game whipple untruly told she wouldn’t
Purple tacit game.

link

RonF said...

Mr. Brand actually does some good writing here, and I'm glad I read it. But I would disagree with this:

"[T]hey would have told him not to worry, that he was great, that they loved him."

No. They adored him. But adulation is not love. Adulation is, or at least can be, fleeting, and does not have the depth of empathy and understanding that love does. Robin may well have been dpressed about that.

This, OTOH, is a great line:

"That all around us people are suffering behind masks less interesting than the one Robin Williams wore?"

Indeed, Robin William's death is being marked as broadly as it is because his mask was entertaining, wildly and widely so. But for every artist - and there's a lot of them - who have been able to take financial and emotional advantage of such a mask, there are millions who cannot.

The classic definition of tragedy is the exposition of how that which makes someone great can also lead to their downfall from greatness. In that sense, Robin Williams' death is truly a tragedy.

RazorSharpSundries said...

My estimation of Brand just arose 100%.

Anonymous said...

@RazorSharp -- yes, Brand's thoughts and and arguments here are interesting and cogent. But god, you have to peel back so many layers of verbiage before you get to them. (Layers that, in some cases, tug against what he's really trying to say; is "man-child" really an appropriate description given the rest of the argument?)

Anonymous said...

@phantommut -- actually that data doesn't contradict the "it gets better message." If the factors that push young people to suicide are different from those that push older people -- which seems likely -- then it stands to reason that the young person can outgrow his particular problems while an older person has accumulated an entirely different set of problems over time.

Specifically -- I've seen some quotes from friends that Williams was not where he thought he'd be at 60. Despondency at what -- TO THE DESPONDENT INDIVIDUAL, it must be emphasized -- seems like a wasted life is a factor that young suicidal people don't have to deal with.

Robert Cook said...

"Brand's thoughts and and arguments here are interesting and cogent. But god, you have to peel back so many layers of verbiage before you get to them."

Is "verbiage" always a bad thing? There used to be an art of oratory, where the speaker's intent was not just to convey ideas or opinions but to do so with creative extravagance, to create a music of words. This was back in the days before most of the entertainments available to us today existed, but there's still much to be said for (well-done) excess (or purple) verbiage.

(I always thought Hemingway's prose boring. But then, I always thought Faulkner's prose too florid, baroque, impenetrable. There's somewhere in the middle that's just right.)

FullMoon said...

Ya know, for all the talk about what a kind and caring fellow Williams was, it was a pretty goddamn selfish and rotten way to go.
"Accidental" overdose, "accidentally" driving off a cliff would certainly saved the family and apparently most of America a lot of grief. Not to mention a possible nullification of his life insurance policy.
If not for the "bloody knife" allegedly found, I would suspect accidental hanging while masturbating. Because of the knife, I would hope to believe he was seriously drunk to do something so hurtful to his friends and family.

BDNYC said...

Norm MacDonald's twitter eulogy was amazing.

m stone said...

The guys a Brit. What did you expect but verbiage?

Well said, nevertheless.

traditionalguy said...

Wearing masks to be accepted is socialization 101. Every teen does it and many never stop. But a secret part still knows that the acceptance of your best people pleaser mask is NOT acceptance of you at all. They would never accept the real you if they knew you.

That's about it folks. All Psychologists just riff of that.

Williams' humor amounted to a desperate mixture of the real Robin Williams with the acceptable man Robin Williams. But even that was never enough because repressions under masks eventually wear you out.

And the older folks cannot keep up their energy draining masks, and they become grouchy old realists. And we do accept them after all.

phantommut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phantommut said...

I agree that for a person dealing with "otherness" things may get better as they get older. (Worked for me, even though sexual orientation isn't one of the places where I'm out in the bell curve boondocks.) But for the person whose demons include a tendency to suicide it's flat-out untrue that it gets easier.

I don't point this out maliciously. Anyone who's older and feeling the draw of the dark should realize that they aren't alone, that it isn't some sign of deviance. And for heavens sake, pay attention to your older friends who may show signs of need; they really aren't too old to do anything "stupid" like young people might do.

Cedarford said...

Brand is an interesting one. Some of his humor and persona (Forgetting Sarah Marshall?) I can't stand.

But this is a very bright, unusually perceptive on some matters writer/entertainer/former addict.

Not the 1st time he did a stunningly good tribute. His homage to Amy Winehouse was awesome.

Fen said...

Yesterday was a bit excessive on social media. Everyone grieving for a comedian they never met who chose to end his life.

So how many days are we going to do this? I think no more than 3 right? Otherwise, all this celebrity worship indicates a greater problem.

Shanna said...

RW has always come off as incredibly manic to me, which is part of the reason I couldn't deal with most of his acting choices. In the movies where he toned it down, he was fantastic.

Some of his humor and persona (Forgetting Sarah Marshall?) I can't stand.

See, I thought he was hilarious in that movie, but he was mostly a side character. I did catch him on the MTV Movie awards for about 3 minutes before he said something completely ridiculous and political and I turned it off. I think I prefer him as an actor to a personality.

Shanna said...

today I read that suicide isn’t exclusively a young man’s game. Robin Williams at 63 still hadn’t come to terms with being Robin Williams.

This is what shocked me about Williams' death the most. It has always just seemed so weird to me for people over the age of 40 to commit suicide.


It is extraordinarily common, actually. In my experience, there is higher probability in youth, that subsides for a while in your 30's-40's, and then pops back up at 60+. Very sad.

Carol said...

Everyone grieving for a comedian they never met who chose to end his life.

We had a prominent local suicide here locally, just a couple days prior..an accomplished pianist, writer, gainfully employed, very well liked. Called the cops from a ball park and blew his brains out when they arrived.

No word in public that it was a suicide. No one wants to talk about it. It's very, very private. Much easier to go on about a celebrity no one ever met.

Fernandinande said...

Nonapod said...
[Brand] When someone gets to 63 I imagined, ... Robin Williams at 63 still hadn’t come to terms with being Robin Williams.


If those silly sentences were in the article, I'm glad I didn't bother reading it.

This is what shocked me about Williams' death the most. It has always just seemed so weird to me for people over the age of 40 to commit suicide.

You'll see slightly different percentages elsewhere, but:
"Although the elderly (age 65 and older) comprise about 13% of the U.S. population, they account for over 18% of all suicides."

Friends dead, bad health, gonna die anyway...

Fen said...

Fair enough Carol. And thats a good take on it. I guess I'm just tired of seeing it plastered all over social media - it seems so affected and fake.

Brando said...

"See, I thought he was hilarious in that movie, but he was mostly a side character. I did catch him on the MTV Movie awards for about 3 minutes before he said something completely ridiculous and political and I turned it off. I think I prefer him as an actor to a personality."

Yeah--when he tried to make his character a feature length star, like in "Get Him to the Greek", it was annoying and the film stank as a result.

A lot of actors are like that--good in small doses. I usually enjoy Will Farrell when he's got a cameo, but his schtick wears thin over the course of a film.

Fernandinande said...

Dog elected mayor in Minnesota

Looks like a great Pyrenees, a breed known for good mayoring.

Shanna said...

Yeah--when he tried to make his character a feature length star, like in "Get Him to the Greek", it was annoying and the film stank as a result.

I didn't see that one. Half the fun of his character was seeing other people interact with him and the contrasts (Paul Rudd saying 'I'm from england" in a bad english accent when he was bleeding on the beach and everybody else getting smashed at dinner while he was sober were both pretty funny scenes).

Carol said...

plastered all over social media - it seems so affected and fake.

well isn't that the way everything is now? huggy-huggy attention whoring *burbling* and emoting for the cameras. Hysteria on the loose!

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

My guess would be that his purple-ness is all about desperation. He desperately wishes to be perceived as an "author and activist," which are the last two occupations on his (I'm guessing) official bio. The amount of purple is always directly proportional to insecurity about formal education.

Anonymous said...

If he just could have put on a pointy hat, red nose, and big floppy shoes before he hung himself, we could have all had one last good laugh.

Alex said...

Robin Williams was a comic force of nature. That guy just never had an off switch. It's like there was a demon inside him always needing to GET OUT.

jr565 said...

I'd like to see Russsel use "clad" in a sentence.

Freeman Hunt said...

Post after post after post on social media linking to articles that begin with someone going on about a past experience with clinical depression, a story about almost killing themselves, and then asserting that suicide isn't a choice, depressed people can't help it. Everyone back patting each other about how exquisitely sensitive they are. So much bullshit.

You want to help depressed people? If you know them, show up. If you don't, stop propagating the false idea that suicide is inevitable in the deepest depression. Instead remind people that (1) suicide is hell on family and friends and (2) no matter how bad a person feels now, he'll probably feel a lot better later on; the vast majority do.

I once stopped a guy from killing himself. Now his life is great. He is happy, enjoying grandchildren and many friendships, creating things, thinking, etc. He wouldn't be doing any of that if he'd offed himself, and his joyous little family would be miserable.

You hang in there for the sake of other people and your future self. Surely they are worth it! Think of one person who would be broken by your suicide. You can hang in there for that one person.

Though a family member is an obvious choice, that one person doesn't have to be family. I was an acquaintance of a girl who killed herself. Years after her suicide I met a friend of hers. The friend hadn't seen her for a couple years before the suicide. When she found out I had known her, even barely, she pulled me aside and started weeping, asking me if I had any idea what had happened, any insight because she didn't understand how it could have happened. (Of course, I had nothing to offer. I barely knew the person.) That could have been her one person, a friend she hadn't seen in years who ended up traumatized by her death.

One person. Hang in there for one person.

That one person could even be the future you. Future you almost certainly isn't so depressed. Future you likes things. Future you finds things interesting. Future you has all sorts of experiences ahead. Don't murder future you.

Hang in there for one person.

CStanley said...

I think that is all valid and potentially helpful, Freeman, but after the fact I don't think it is helpful to the family members to focus on suicide as murder that's what I think all the empathy is about, to frame it as a desperate decision made in the fog of pain that overtook reason.

jr565 said...

Robin was rich, and had a loving daughter, and friends. How could he, of all people, not find life worth living?

jr565 said...

And he was rational. And so this has some level of selfishness involved. Your pain is more important to you then not causing your loved ones pain. Not even a note? You're going to make your loved ones find your body? For the rest of their lives they're going to think what they did wrong and how they should have noticed the signs. or have resentments that Williams hung himself and left them for no good reason.

jr565 said...

"He must have known his wife and kids loved him, that his mates all thought he was great, that millions of strangers the world over held him in their hearts, a hilarious stranger that we could rely on to anarchically interrupt, the all-encompassing sadness of the world."
Yet another lefty, describing a pessimistic world view. It reminds of how Woody Allen said you have to get by with distractions to keep yourself busy until you die. No meaning in life.
Is Russel Brand the next guy to off himself due to the bleakness of the human spirit?

Anonymous said...

This publicity got me thinking about "Mindy." Here is what Wikipedia says.

Her real name is Pam Dawber, she got married and stayed married, she raised two sons out of the spotlight and her husband, Mark Harmon, has an active acting career with several awards.

They have lived through the shooting death of one of Pam's other co-stars, a family crisis where Mark tried to adopt a nephew from a bad home life, and a time when Mark rescued two teenagers from a burning car near his home.

Robin, Pam, and Mark were all born the same year. They used their time differently.

I wish the press was trying to improve the character of the people who read their articles. If so, the Harmon family would be on the front page as role models and the depressed, promiscuous, drug-addicted comedian would be mentioned as someone whose life activities are to be avoided.

CStanley said...

Addendum to my 6:01:
I should say,, it's not helpful for the loved ones to see the deceased as the perpetrator of self murder, but rather as the victim of it.

Maybe it is helpful though, for everyone who struggles with depression to contemplate this when they are not in the throes of it.

MathMom said...

I didn't know Russell Brand was this lucid. That is one impressive piece of writing. He ran over a nail and punctured it right at the end with

That we must reach inward and outward to the light that is inside all of us? That all around us people are suffering behind masks less interesting than the one Robin Williams wore? Do you have time to tune in to Fox News, to cement your angry views to calcify the certain misery?

Too many notes. Just take out a few, those in bold, and it will be just right.

jr565 said...

"
That we must reach inward and outward to the light that is inside all of us? That all around us people are suffering behind masks less interesting than the one Robin Williams wore? Do you have time to tune in to Fox News, to cement your angry views to calcify the certain misery?"
I'd tune into MSNBC if I wanted to "cement your angry views to calcify the certain misery?"

rhhardin said...

Speaking of this man-child, Richard Epstein characterizes Obama as the worst President ever, with reasons.

Law Talk 61

An entertaining hour, but towards the end.

Paddy O said...

Very well put, Freeman. I agree entirely.

khesanh0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Richard Epstein characterizes Obama as the worst President ever

Demonstrating that Americans schools really *are* terrible at teaching American history.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Freeman
You are correct. The problem, as you probably understand, is to identify that one person to hang on for. For me, most of the time, it was the reluctance to embarrass my family . Some of the time, though, it was the thought of leaving a hunting dog with no one to work him. Sounds silly, but it's true.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Revenant

I agree that he may not be the worst, but he is going to be near the bottom of the list. We may not live long enough to see that reckoning. It will come eventually.

Quaestor said...

"And burbled as it came."

I encountered this word a few times before I first read Jabberwocky, and that was after seeing the nearly incomprehensible and unfunny film* by Terry Gilliam of the same name. In context I assumed the word meant to make a sound reminiscent of a boiling pot, and was related to babble. To babble is to speak unintelligibly or to make a sound like unintelligible speech, like the sounds a baby makes. For example babbling brook makes a sound like a crowd of human voices heard from a distance. Babble must be an old word because the King James Bible refers to it obliquely in the Genesis story of the Tower of Babel. Therefore burble was similar to babble. Burble-burble-burble sounds like a boiling pot to me. Surprised I was to learn it was one of Lewis Carroll's playful neologisms.

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! Vorpal is apparently an adjective applied to a blade or sword. Swords can be swift or cumbersome, bright or tarnished, sharp or dull, straight, curved, or wavy... Since the vorpal blade decapitates the monster with dispatch vorpal must indicate some quality or mix of qualities one would want a sword to have. (When shopping for a blade do inquiry about its vorpalness, or is that vorpality?) Vorpal is good. Vorpal is dabomb, swordwise.

Snicker-snack is harder. Perhaps it's the sound the vorpal blade emitted when it struck the jabberwock's flesh, if flesh it had. Or it may describe the motion of the blade. Snickersnee, word used by W. S. Gilbert and nobody else to my knowledge, means a cut-and-thrust sword, and was borrowed from 17th century Dutch. Ergo snicker-snack means a cutting motion followed by...? hell if I know.

* The film Jabberwocky is the most filmy film I know. Everything is shot underexposed and backlit on grainy stock. The sets are wreathed in smoke and draped in threadbare muslin. Gilliam evidently thought a filmmaker was someone who make the scum that floats on stagnant waters. It's the visual style of Monty Python and the Holy Grail turned up to 11. And it's not funny. I think it tries to be, but Gilliam's lugubrious jokes fall flat from a great height and don't even bounce.

Quaestor said...

burble To say (something) murmurously or in a rambling manner.

That's hard to jibe with the word's original usage:

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

The jabberwock is a monster, it's going to make a monstrous sound, or at least a beastly sound. It's not going to discourse in a murmurous, rambling, or any kind of manner.

The 1906 citation is consistent with Lewis Carroll's apparent intent. However, by the time of T. E. Lawrence's letter the meaning of burble has taken on a decidedly Humpty-Dumpty character.

traditionalguy said...

Exorcists will tell you that no one ever committed suicide without a demon talking them into it. The most powerful human instinct is to live.

Bob R said...

"Is it melancholy to think that a world that he couldn't live in must be broken?"

So let's make it a rule. If you are going to talk this kind of sentimental bull, you can't make fun of people who think that the world is only 4,000 years old.

AReasonableMan said...

While we are on the topic of death, a shout-out to the doctors attempting to stem the Ebola outbreak. That takes balls.

Quaestor said...

Revenant wrote: Demonstrating that Americans schools really *are* terrible at teaching American history.

So who is the "Worst President E'vah?" Lefties with an axe to grind (the axe being Obama's miserable presidency, and the need to distract attention from it) say without hesitation "BOOSH!"

More thoughtful but conventional historians will hem and haw and say the consensus opinion grants James Buchanan the dubious honor. The reason? Well, Buchanan did nothing to avert the Civil War -- and then neglect to say what he could have done. What little Buchanan did do during his tenure didn't accomplish anything except to aggravate both sides. This was probably because neither side was in a compromising mood, and because Buchanan didn't command votes in the 36th Congress sufficient to make his policy, if he had one, stick. This is unlike Obama, who along with his 110th Congress, is entirely responsible for the dire straits we find ourselves in.

Richard Epstein is right.

Revenant said...

I agree that he may not be the worst, but he is going to be near the bottom of the list. We may not live long enough to see that reckoning. It will come eventually.

I can think of three Presidents of the last century alone that are worse: FDR, Johnson, and Wilson.

FDR quintupled the size of the government, obliterated federalism as a principle of said government, put an actual Fascist in charge of the US economy, set up the USSR to become the greatest existential threat in our nation's history, put Americans in concentration camps, *invented* using the IRS and FBI to harass political opponents, routinely used executive fiat to bypass the courts and Congress, threw racial minorities under the bus to shore up political support with Southern whites, and created the welfare-warfare state that is currently bankrupting us.

Saying Obama is in the running for worst US President is like saying Francisco Franco is in the running for worst 20th century dictator. He can run in that particular race, I guess, but he sure as fuck ain't winning it. :)

Anonymous said...

Re: "Everyone back patting each other about how exquisitely sensitive they are. So much bullshit."

I love you, Freeman, but I can't agree with how you have dissolved the solution into the saline solution.

I wish -- in retrospect -- I hadn't posted about ECT, but I have noticed no one has responded to what it particularily is in regards to the subject: how old school, I guess. Almost knitting needles under the eyelids, Frances Farmer?

When you choose your brain to be convulsed by electricity a dozen times or more just to get the suicide voices to SHUT UP for awhile... thoughts anyone? Same time next year? Want to go through it to be twinsies?

Wisdom received: Also, God save us from people who think they are funny; its not worth reading through the dross to find the occasional nugget.

I would like to know the person who will eat the glass of my mental lightbulb when it pops.






Revenant said...

So who is the "Worst President E'vah?" Lefties with an axe to grind (the axe being Obama's miserable presidency, and the need to distract attention from it) say without hesitation "BOOSH!"

Please, lefties started saying Bush was "the worst President ever" in January of 2001. "The most recent President from the enemy party" is always a popular choice for "worst President EVER" among political partisans, be they Republicans or Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Also:
"Also, God save us from people who think they are funny; its not worth reading through the dross to find the occasional nugget."

Don't make me go all humor on you: no one will laugh.

Freeman Hunt said...

I wish -- in retrospect -- I hadn't posted about ECT, but I have noticed no one has responded to what it particularly is in regards to the subject: how old school, I guess.

I didn't respond when I saw you mention it because I wasn't sure whether or not it was part of a character.

That's more for psychotic depression, isn't it? That's sort of a different animal with an effect on a person's perception of reality more like schizophrenia.

My thoughts on psychotic depression would be significantly different than my thoughts on regular depression.

Michael K said...

"I can think of three Presidents of the last century alone that are worse: FDR, Johnson, and Wilson."

FDR did a pretty good job with the war. He made a mess of the economy but Hoover gave him some ideas.

Johnson was awful with Vietnam and domestic policy. He might be worse than Obama.

Wilson has pride of ownership of the fascist left orientation to the Democrats Party. I would place him next to Johnson and marginally worse than Obama.

Freeman Hunt said...

(They wouldn't be different as regards hanging in there, but they would be different in stressing the importance of recognizing psychotic symptoms early and going for treatment immediately. Hanging in there in a different form.)

Revenant said...

FDR did a pretty good job with the war.

A trained monkey could have led the USA to victory in WW2. A competent leader could have done it without rescuing Stalin in the process.

rcommal said...

"Must" is an interesting word both in the cog and gear of the English language and also in its flexibility, by which I mean the various ways in which it can be, has always been, and no doubt always will be employed.

Smilin' Jack said...

Ann Althouse said...
From the OED's definition of "burble":...


There are many here who should profit by Ann's example. Leave Williams' judgment to God, and rather devote yourselves to the exegesis of pointless gibberish. As another Williams said, "If you don't think too good, don't think too much."

rcommal said...

Heh. Man oh day, my oh my.

To anyone who's ever thought I can't hold my tongue nor still my keyboarding, I have to this say:

You're wrong.

In this thread, in particular, this is so.

--

Carry on, in all passion and certainty. By all means, bless your heart

rcommal said...

I think, sometimes, that too many have gotten so twisted up in their own suspenders that they can't see how harshly they wield their belts.

I am certain that ^ will be seen as a stupid observation. So be it. Have at it. Time has moved on and carried lessons along with it.

: )

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, betamax, I didn't know that you were collecting your stuff on a blog. What a treasure!

CStanley said...

The judgment of people with mental illness is particularly cruel. It involves the expectation that the person must exercise high moral character, when the organ that facilitates that function is broken.

Giving the benefit of the doubt, I'll assume that those who are passing that judgment just don't have a close enough perspective on the issue.

MathMom said...

Johnson was awful with Vietnam and domestic policy. He might be worse than Obama.

No matter how bad Johnson was, he at least had the sense to quit after one term and change. Obama just keeps showing up at the golf course and collecting his paycheck, so as long as he does that he's worse than Johnson. I'd develop a grudging respect for Obama if he'd stand up like a man, acknowledge he doesn't like the job and is no good at it, and resigned, taking Valerie Jarrett with him..

The line of succession is pretty scary, but you have to start somewhere.

Robert Cook said...

"This is unlike Obama, who along with his 110th Congress, is entirely responsible for the dire straits we find ourselves in."

So...before Obama--admittedly a terrible president--everything was peachy? Life was good? The economy was humming? Peace and prosperity reigned throughout the world? Respect for the law and for the rights of the citizenry by our government was at its acme? Corporate crime was swiftly punished? The government wouldn't dare spy on its own citizens? Human harmony rather than suffering and discord was the order of the day?

The several wars we're involved in, the financial collapse--from which we have not recovered, (any news reports that are obviously propaganda or stenography of government lies to the contrary)--the rapidly vanishing middle class and disappearance of good (and well-paying) jobs from America, the adoption by America of torture as policy, the surveillance of all our electronic communications by our government, the increasing militarization of our police forces around the country (with a concomitant increase in over-use of force by the police, that is, "police brutality"), etc., etc. are all the "entire responsibility" of Obama and the current Congress?

Robert Cook said...

"A trained monkey could have led the USA to victory in WW2. A competent leader could have done it without rescuing Stalin in the process."

Without Stalin and the Russian army having substantially broken the German army in the Battle of Stalingrad, the ultimate defeat of the Nazis by the allied forces--not just the USA--might very well not have been assured.

You seem to think the Germans were an insubstantial clutch of clowns to assert that "a trained monkey" could have defeated them.

Don't believe what you see on Hogan's Heroes.

Phil 3:14 said...

What an odd thread this is. Like an Altman movie with multiple conversations going on, sometimes intersecting, sometimes spinning off

I guess like Robin Williams train of thought (now derailed).

AReasonableMan said...

Robert Cook said...
"A trained monkey could have led the USA to victory in WW2. A competent leader could have done it without rescuing Stalin in the process."

Without Stalin and the Russian army having substantially broken the German army in the Battle of Stalingrad, the ultimate defeat of the Nazis by the allied forces--not just the USA--might very well not have been assured.


If you are going to assign credit for the allied victory it is the Russians who turned the fight. Stalin rescued himself. The US had to rush to stop Stalin from annexing even more of Europe than he did.

pm317 said...

I read somewhere that he was afraid to make all the movies he had signed up to do because he feared he would go back to his old ways of drugs and alcohol. I guess creating art in a normal fashion is difficult for some artists. But he had to do it for the money or go bust. He went bust in a different sort of way. Sad. I blame his ex-wives if that was led up to his demise. There should be a limit on the ex-spouse milking from a divorce.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
"A trained monkey could have led the USA to victory in WW2. A competent leader could have done it without rescuing Stalin in the process."

Without Stalin and the Russian army having substantially broken the German army in the Battle of Stalingrad, the ultimate defeat of the Nazis by the allied forces--not just the USA--might very well not have been assured.
----------------------------------

After the Battle of Kursk not Stalingrad.

Robert Cook said...

If you are going to assign credit for the allied victory it is the Russians who turned the fight."

I did. I pointed out that the Russian army substantially broke the German army at Stalingrad, which made the ultimate victory over the Nazis by "the allied forces" (which included the Russians) essentially assured.

Where did I fail to make it clear that the Russians turned the fight?

AReasonableMan said...

The idea that Obama is even in the same league as Bush when it comes to failed presidencies is absurd. Bush had a singular presidency, the largest financial collapse since the Great Depression, the largest attack on US territory since Pearl Harbor and the most unnecessary war since WWI. That is a record of achievement that will not be matched in our lifetimes.

AReasonableMan said...

Robert Cook said...
Where did I fail to make it clear that the Russians turned the fight?


Double quote, I was referring to Revenant, who made some uncharacteristically myopic statements.

Robert Cook said...

Ah, ok.

Shanna said...

The judgment of people with mental illness is particularly cruel. It involves the expectation that the person must exercise high moral character, when the organ that facilitates that function is broken.

While I completely understand where people like Freeman are coming from and even agree with much of that, especially the impact on family members, I know that it is different for people with severe mental illness. I think it is hard to tell from the whether it is moderate, severe, psychotic depression or schizophrenia or bipolar. I weep most for the young, because they have not yet lived and they are probably the ones who if they get through this moment of crisis they will turn it around and be ok. But every suicide is tragic. Stopping them is a complicated, and maybe impossible task, though.

I still remember a guy from high school who killed himself in his girlfriends front yard after she broke up with him. So tragic, all these years later and I wasn't even a friend of his at the time although we played together when we were small children.

AReasonableMan said...

Shanna said...
While I completely understand where people like Freeman are coming from


While Freeman's stance is a modest improvement over Althouse's blame the victim hysteria, neither attitude has much relevance to the reality of mental illness.

Some people have a deep affinity with a God that others cannot see. All the skeptics in the world cannot stop this feeling. Why assume that the feelings and ideations of the mentally ill are so trivial that they can be simply wished away?

Seeing Red said...

Brand will always live in a pessimistic angry world because that's the type of people who he surrounds himself with. Holly weird feeds on each other. To think that if "the other" disappears, his world will get better is childish.

Quaestor said...

... etc., etc. are all the "entire responsibility" of Obama and the current Congress?

The current Congress is the 111th. The 109th Congress, which totally ignored the burgeoning mortgage liquidity crisis which touched off the 2008 collapse, shares some of the blame. Bush, in his own feckless way tried to draw attention to the problem only to be rebuffed by the likes of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd as a crank with racist motives. However, the 109th Congress was virtually the same as the 110th, so I stand by my original claim.

Freeman Hunt said...

So many assumptions like so much cut grass.

khesanh0802 said...

@ revenant

I must say that I agree with your formulation , but you will never get the libs in the history department to go along. The mythology is too strong for the facts to overcome. Since Obama has done little or nothing other than Obamacare (which seems well on its way to self-destruction) he may, indeed, escape the harsh but accurate analysis of those such as we!

khesanh0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

It is relevant that Williams had previously unrevealed early stage Parkinson's.

khesanh0802 said...

@ ARM

Remember that Bush tried to rein in Fannie and Freddie but Barney and Chris wouldn't go along. They should be blamed for the financial mess more than Bush.

AReasonableMan said...

khesanh0802 said...
@ ARM

Remember that Bush tried to rein in Fannie and Freddie and the Dems but Barney and Chris wouldn't go along.


Crap. A representative and junior senator were all that stood between Bush and saving the finances of the country and he just folded like a pack of cards? This is supposed to be exculpatory?

khesanh0802 said...

@ ARM

Barney and Chris would be very hurt to see you denigrate their status. You will recall that while the crisis was coming to a head there were Dem majorities in the House and Senate. Chris was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and Barney was chairmen of the House Financial Services Committee and both repeatedly told us there were no problems at Fannie and Freddie.

Here's the Bush case just to add some balance.

AReasonableMan said...

That was the perfect link.

khesanh0802 said...

@ ARM

You're right - perfect. I screwed up by one letter. Here's the link. Tested it this time!