The commentators 13-08-14
...on Robin Williams
Depression is like being forced to wear a cloak made of lead. You don’t get to choose when to put it on and take it off. It is a second skin which gradually seeps into your own, real skin and poisons it until you are a walking, toxic, corrosive bundle of infectious awfulness. The thought of suicide is the only real respite and the only chink of light at the end of the tunnel. You can "pull yourself together" only inasmuch as you can make yourself three feet taller
- James Rhodes, Daily Telegraph
The shock of Robin Williams’ death has prompted a great outpouring of tributes, too many of which fall back on the cliché of the tears of the clown. But this is a false, simplistic dichotomy. Seriousness, intelligence, wit, and joy are not mutually exclusive from pain
- Sarah Churchwell, The Independent
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.
- Russell Brand, The Guardian
Robin's best performances were those where he accessed the gnarled, black little creature who lives in the guts of every comedian, the moments when he chose to play sinister: One Hour Photo and Insomnia are unparalleled studies in cinematic nastiness. Robin said of himself: “It is not a muse that drives you on… it is a demon!”
- Alexei Sayle, Daily Telegraph
Williams will be remembered as someone whose death was another staging post in the changing attitudes to mental health and mental illness that are desperately required all around the world. If he’d had a heart attack, lost a fight with cancer or been knocked over by a car, would there be a need for a debate about what this says about the state of heart disease, or cancer care or road safety? There still needs to be a debate about depression as an illness because there is still a lack of understanding that illness is exactly what it is.
- Alastair Campbell, The Guardian
First World War centenary
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