It's not really my story. It's a story a friend who worked in the film industry told me. He'd worked on many many sets, with many well-known actors. One he remembered had been kind of a pompous ass. He had his people send a memo out to the entire crew, asking them to please not approach or speak to the famous actor. Robin Williams was a little different my friend said. One day at lunch time, he came down to where the crew were eating and tried to foment a mutiny, crying out "we'll storm the gate!" He played around with them for a while and then I guess they went back to shooting whatever film it was.
And it just makes me wonder: Why is it never the assholes who kill themselves? Why is it always the good and kind people, the sensitive ones, the ones who light up other people's lives? Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are just as many jerks offing themselves but we just don't notice it as much, or care as much. I don't imagine there are any studies comparing asshole suicides to non-asshole suicides, so I guess we'll never know. But it seems to me that the people waging wars, torturing prisoners and shooting unarmed kids are not the ones who are wracked with self-doubt and depression. They should be, and if there was any real sense to the universe, they would be. But they're not. I don't imagine that famous actor who sent around that memo is either.
And who knows - nobody can know what's inside the mind of a person they know only through their performances and the media and stories other people pass on. But I don't see much evidence to make me think that the people committing real crimes against other people are troubled by their actions. And I'm sorry for now turning this into a political post. It's just that there an awful lot of people out there who have every reason to be tormented by demons. Robin Williams just wasn't one of them.