I’m not depressed. I’m British.
Well, not technically, but on a spiritual level. Thing is, my manifestation of Anglophilia has repeatedly been characterized by people in this tyrannically “perky or else” culture of ours as some sort of mental disorder or spiritual distemper. I don’t happen to agree. Don’t confuse my curmudgeonly temper w/distemper; my humors are perfectly in whack: pissed-off is a sane response to the world right now. Thus, as I said, it’s not that my bodily humours are out of whack, but, rather, I think those who judge me are WHACKED out.
I broach this topic because Robin Williams suicide is all over the news. Also, all over the news, the wars and genocide taking place around the globe including the most recent in the ongoing series of racist-state assassination of a young black men, this one shot in Ferguson, Missouri.
Pardon me, but I don’t think dancing in the streets or wearing a smiley-face is the appropriate response to current events. Pardon me if I think suicide is a viable and reasonable response in many situations.
Now, I am sure my having typed that sentence will send some into paroxysms of alarm and worry, considering options for having me fitted for one of those chic one-sleeved jackets. I know people mean well, people love me and want me to have a more sushiney view of things, but, that would not be who I am.
I’ve seen counselors. I’ve been diagnosed as “dysthymic” – but what my best (and last) counselor told me was that “dysthymic” is just a meaningless label for the fact that I am extremely sensitive to the moods and energies of other people, vulnerable to the sufferings of others — even strangers — and acutely empathetic. It’s who I am.
I could drug it away — like a huge percentage of this country (not to mention the people I know) but for me that is something like a semi-death, to have my receptors turned off. So, I decided ages ago that when, at last, my receptors become too worn out, I will turn them off completely.
And I think that is a viable, reasonable choice. Everyone dies sooner or later, I think one should have the option of determining whether that is sooner or later, should one wish to do so.
And in the case of Robin Williams, listen, the space between the fantasy of art and creation and the real world is sometimes insurmountably difficult to traverse. Example; in The Dead Poets’ Society, believe me, every single one of those boys would have thrown Keating under the bus and let him leave that classroom without saying a thing, without ever really thanking him for what he’d done for them, without showing him any sort of loyalty at all. Possible exception, the boy who had already killed himself. I think – having been in a few shows and done some creating and saving of my own – the gap between the idealism and fantasy world of that film, and the hard facts of reality and the truth that self-interest almost always wins is a very difficult “reality” with which to come to terms, so lots of people deny it. Some people can’t. It has been my experience that people for whom you would have sacrificed and in fact did sacrifice a great deal, who you loved without boundary or question, defended, protected, lifted and gave to soar, will walk away without a second glance, let you walk away without a word of thanks, will not stop to take a breath – unless, sadly, they are inhaling in the build up of oxygen enough to stab you in the back.
Now, sometimes, that reality versus the ought to be and should be and might be and could be – well, sometimes it is just time to go.
Like I said, all sorts of people who love me have suggested methods by which to alter me, alter my outlook, counseling and drugs and such, all based on the assumption that my sometimes very deep unhappiness is a flaw, a glitch — they want me to feel better. However, after having been labeled – early in life – gay fag etc – and had people who loved me suggest ways to be less that in order that my life be made easier, I am suspicious.
I believe that my emotional response to the world and situations in my life is reasonable. Now, an argument can be made that I am flawed for not having changed those situations earlier, or in a better way, but, I don’t think that’s the case. Many might (and do) disagree – people love to take what you say or do and turn it into a narrative that supports their view of the world – and of you – but, people, this is my song. I need to sing it my way.
And at the risk of seeming even more insane, I present Miss Miley Cyrus to say it for me.