The 11th of August I got an e-mail from imdb.
It said "On September 1st, 2014, IMDb will be removing the ability to log into the site using a nickname. Starting on that date, in order to log into their IMDb account, users will need to enter their full email address instead of their IMDb nickname"
This was a change that I had no problem with and I decided to go to imdb and login this way to get get into the new routine. When I came to the page I saw a picture of Robin Williams and assumed that: a: He was making a new movie, or b: He had signed on for a new season of "The Crazy Ones". Then I saw the Headline: "Robin Williams found dead".
My reaction was: "Wait, What?!".
And that´s how I first found out.
It took some time for it to sink in. I usually don´t write my two cents about celebrity deaths (and the keyword here is usually, it does happen, just not that often) but this felt like a good time.
So why are we so touched by his demise? I don´t know the reason to why other people reacted this strongly, I can only speak for myself, but for me, it´s childhood nostalgia.
But isn´t Bob Hoskins also nostalgia? Why didn´t his death leave an impact? Bob Hoskins is indeed nostalgia and his death left a mark in the hearts of people. Search deviantart for his name and you´ll plenty of fan art that will tug at your heartstrings.
But I can´t deny that Robin Williams´s death has gotten (from what I can see at least) more attention. (Heck I´m contributing to it myself right now.) So why is that?
We´ll, Bob was older, and his death was a little more natural (pneumonia). It´s still sad but more acceptable.
Where as Robin Williams was younger and it was self inflicted. It becomes something you talk about because he succumbed to a serious decease that today still takes many lives.
It also goes so much against what people were expecting from him, for a man, who makes people laugh and seems so jovial, to end his life like that. Yes I know, it´s the old "sad clown syndrome": the funniest people are often the saddest ones. We´ve seen it before and yet we always miss it when it´s right in front of us because these people have the ability to makes us believe that everything is gonna be fine.
Plus, he gave us some memorable performances in a few dramas showing that he could do drama as well as comedy. (And yes, I know he´s not alone in that department, but still.)
And I know I´m oversimplifying it by making these comparisons and trying to figure it out like some kind of mathemaical equation. To be perfectly honest I don´t know the exact reason why he affected so many this much. All I know is that he was Robin Williams, and he was good at it.
Was he perfect? Were all of his films gold? No. Several of his later films were mostly just OK. But the ones that were good were very memorable.
Suicide is like ending a journey to early and abruptly. It is a shame to give up and not to see what could have been if you had stayed with it to the end. But I´m not saying we should think less of him for doing it. I don´t know what it´s like to have a depression and can´t imagine what he must´ve gone through so I can´t really judge him. It´s possible to dislike what he did and still like him.
"You´re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn´t loose it"
Nanu nanu Robin Williams, nanu nanu.
We´ve never had someone like you.