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article imageOp-Ed: That was a great game Robin

By Kathleen Creighton     Aug 12, 2014 in Entertainment
Too often the media, at the mercy of its handlers, turns minds away from real tragedy and dire problems that need attention. But today the media is flooded with a story about pop culture that needs to be making headlines.
Enough journalists, bloggers and anchorpeople will talk about the dark side of Robin Williams passing, as they should. Mental illness is that shadow subject, a buzz-phrase that never really gets dealt with. However, there is the other side of Robin's life...HIS LIFE!
This editorial is about how that life affected at least four generations. This man made a major impact on people without being a world leader or a humanitarian in the dictionary sense. But he brought a form of healing that even medical doctors put stock in. In fact Robin portrayed one of those doctors — Patch Adams and that powerful medicine is pure, unfiltered joy.
Recently, this writer has noted that there are two things infants do not need to be taught — to cry and to laugh. How many YouTube videos are there of adults doing the simplest thing just to hear the baby laugh and how many of us watch them and laugh along? I think my first experience with Robin's comedy was Mork and Mindy. Besides the fact that he was hilarious, there was also a compassion in the show when people like Tom Poston and Tom Sullivan became regular characters. We youth learned that older folks and the physically challenged were to be laughed with, not laughed at.
Next was Robin's first HBO special. Although I didn't analyze it that deeply at the time, I knew I was watching something I hadn't experience before...comedic genius. Years later I would understand how Robin got into cocaine, he was trying to keep up with his own brain. Every time he was put in an ad lib situation he just plugged into this endless stream of characters and words and actions and the audience was at his mercy. All we could do was laugh. Last night I found myself re-watching his episode of Inside The Actors Studio and wondering how James Lipton was not doubled over on the floor by the time it was over.
All of Robin's characters were wonderful, magical, brilliant and perfectly played. He put his roots deep into my spirit with Hook. The trio of himself, Dustin Hoffman and Julia Roberts along with a dash of Dame Maggie Smith was perfection. But it was my son's speaking of a project Robin was in the middle of at the time of his death that finally brought me to tears, Night At The Museum 3. Seeing Robin as Teddy, astride his horse advising Ben Stiller, melted my heart in that moment and I broke down.
Last night and this morning I went through all my social media and read posts from my family and real-life friends along with those of the arts community that I follow. Many of them are mine or my kids' ages and everyone's words are genuinely from the heart. Many have posted video clips or still shots of their favorite Robin moments. From the 20-30 year-old crowd I see a lot of Jumanji, Sesame Street, What Dreams May Come and Aladdin references. The Genie made a huge impression on them. As for Jumanji, I now wonder if myself or any of my family will walk the streets of Keene, NH hoping to feel a little of Robin's spirit, maybe see the back of Alan Parish has he rounds a corner.
At the beginning of his life, Robin Williams was more like one of the Lost Boys and we were adult Peter Pan, dropped into Neverland where we were goaded to "come and play". The younger generations, with no inhibitions, joined in quickly. For older people, it would take that baseball-to-the-head to become comfortable with pure joy before they could "Fight, fly and crow."
Robin, thankfully you got to have the "great adventure," the adventure of living. But now, hopefully in a very different and better way, you will find an "awfully big adventure" in death. It was a "great game." There are many of us left to look after Neverland and all its denizens, even "neverbugs...little ones." Some of us will graduate college as senior citizens wearing aloha shirts and Chucks under our gowns. Others will come to work wearing red rubber noses. Some will put on a wig and perfect the Mrs. Doubtfire "Hallloooo" or just do what we have to to create new separate and/or blended families. We will be fearless like Alan, friends like Genie, courageous like Teddy, fabulous like Armand and inquisitive like Jack. And we will laugh. We will carry on the joy that was your special gift from The Divine. "Good form, Peter. Good form." May your barbaric yawp ring through the Universe forever as you stand on that heavenly desk.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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