I confess a certain confusion when a famous person, with whom I have witnessed grow up, decides to engage in the act of suicide. Robin Williams delighted generations of American with his wit, his madness, and a certain gentleness of spirit. Born in 1951, he died in August, 2014. Obviously, I never met him, my knowledge of the man comes from movies. However, for many of us, witnessing the growth in acting ability, laughing along with the madness in spirit of Mr. Williams, brought us closer to the man. For example, it is strange not writing, “Robin” Williams, because he was never, Mr. Williams. There was something about him that led me to feel as though I knew him. Perhaps, it was the madness of his humor. He took the normal and transferred into the absurd. I was raised in the Bronx, New York, and the essence of our humor was just that. Everything “normal” contains the germ of absurdity. That is the spirit of what Robin Williams captured for millions of Americans.
He was a humorist for a generation living in the Cold War. His film about the Vietnam War best conveyed the absolute insanity of this conflict. Ironically, the Vietnam War was about American soldiers caught in a civil war. Nothing about this conflict made sense, and Robin Williams captured this feeling. He portrayed a broadcaster bringing news to soldiers. Good Morning Vietnam unfortunately was Good Night sweet soldier. I have no idea why he killed himself, reports were that he was despondent. Too bad he was not offered an opportunity to broadcast to modern American soldiers with a Good Morning Iraq!