RIP, Robin Williams | Thoughts on Brilliance & Legacies

In recent months, Nick and I have watched Hook and Aladdin with our four year old, Claire. It was fulfilling to introduce Robin Williams to a new generation–in fact to the third generation for my family. I recall as a child watching Good Morning, Vietnam with my parents who talked about “Mork and Mindy.” I was too young to understand the movie, but it wouldn’t be long before I fell in love with Aladdin and Hook and eventually with Dead Poet’s Society and What Dreams May Come.

In his comedic and dramatic roles, Robin Williams was intense, engaging and inspiring. His intensity was palpable; his work suffused with a persistence and a desire almost for perfection.

He was entertaining across his long career. It’s almost unheard of to see an actor with his range, his ability to be both dramatic and comedic, and his ability to appeal to audiences of all ages. His movies will continue to be watched for years to come by those craving sentimentality, to be transported back to the moment we first discovered this genius.

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For those of us interested in artistic pursuits–whether our own or others’–we can rattle off the names of authors, poets, musicians, artists, actors and more visionaries whose brilliance was cut short by their own hand. We mourn not only that person, but the loss of their brilliance. And we’re left wondering how much their brilliance had to do with their struggles, how their brilliance may have contributed to a tightening darkness. The brilliant genius with a dark side has become a trope, a cliche.

In The Wire, Dashiell Bennett wrote about an episode of “Mork and Mindy” in which Mork meets Robin Williams. In this episode, Williams himself addresses the curse as Mork. Bennet writes, “Yes, celebrities get money and attention, but they also get harassed and attacked and everyone who comes in contact with them makes unreasonable demands on their time and energy.” Mork learns that “if you can’t learn to say no, then ‘there won’t be no more pieces for yourself.'”

Between the demands for time and energy, the drive and the pressure to be brilliant, it seems, darkness lies. We can speculate that acting and substance abuse helped Robin Williams and others cope, but there comes a time that without treatment those things won’t work. It seems we need our own self worth to come from the inside, not the outside. But amidst the utter darkness found in deep depression, there’s almost no way to understand this, to embrace it.

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This summer Williams visited Hazelden in Minnesota for maintenance at the substance abuse rehab facility. He took a picture with a local Dairy Queen employee, looking a little tired, shabby and slightly unenthusiastic–not the public Robin Williams we’ve come to know and love. But what demands we place on celebrities to be who we want them to be, to be the person we see on the silver screen. Ultimately, the demand we place on them to be brilliantly entertaining all the time.

The picture made the rounds on the local TV news–Williams had essentially hit up two Minnesota establishments. Watching the 10 o’clock news later that night in June, Nick turned to me and said, “If I ever meet a celebrity, I don’t want their picture. I want to talk to them, see how they tick, how they think. What makes them who they are on the inside.”

In our “no picture or it didn’t happen” society I thought that was an interesting approach. Last night, as we discussed William’s untimely passing, we both wondered what would have happened if more people had demanded less from him and had gotten to know and understand the inner Robin Williams instead of just taking a photo.

If you or someone you know is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at  1-800-273-8255.

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Great Grammy Looks

Did you watch the Grammy awards show last night? Unlike other awards shows (Oscars & Golden Globes, I’m looking at you!), I actually watched the entire Grammy show. Of course, it helps that a large portion of the “boring” awards are handed out/announced before the show and it ends up being a concert with a great variety of artists, but let’s not get into that!

Last night was such an interesting night for fashion. Grammy wardrobes are usually more daring but thanks to the poorly timed e-mail from CBS, attendees were requested to tone it down! For lack of a better term, the memo’s reference to covering up “female breasts” gives me douche chills. And on to the poor timing of the announcement. How many attendees waited until the week of the event to pick their outfit? Because of that, I really don’t have any thoughts on poorly dressed people. It seems a little unfair to judge when I don’t know if what they actually wore was what they had planned out.

So that means I’ll just move along to the good looks.

Trudy Stylar & stingThese two look really good together. Most men couldn’t pull off wearing
a scarf 
like that and still look cool, but Sting can!

Allison Williams & RihannaBoth Allison Williams and Rihanna look elegant.

John Legend, Solange Knowles & John MartinMen on the Grammy red carpet just look so much better than men
on the other red carpets.Those musical men know how to dress!
And Solange Knowles just looks fantastic!
The colors, the cut and the hair are great!

Maroon 5

Yes, all of Maroon 5 are on my best-dressed list!
They look so great and cohesive without being too matched.

So, who was on your best-dressed list? What did you think of the wardrobe memo?

SAG Awards’ Fashion Winners Among a Sea of Bad Looks

The SAG Awards were last night. I easily found a great red carpet slideshow at Gossip Cop, but it really wasn’t so easy to find some looks I like. I know it’s January, and I admire that a lot of the women didn’t rush out to tanning beds to get a nice glow. However, that doesn’t excuse too dark lipstick and fabric colors that made their porcelain skin look a little more pukish.

Sheer florals were still big on the red carpet. Some looked better than others. A couple women decided to wear ankle length dresses. The result was more stumpy than classic. The other thing I really noticed were improperly fitted dresses. Some busts were squeezed while others’ stomachs were squeezed. I think a few tailors might have lost clients after these dresses.

Well, that’s enough for criticism; here are my favorites from the night:


Rocsi&Zuleikha Rose&Ellie Amanda&Jenna

More detailed images can be found at Gossip Cop.

Do you like my best dressed? What did you think of the dresses?

 

Golden Globes Fashion!


I really love these posts! They are so easy; yet, the topic is something that does have a large impact on the United States (whether we like it or not). Fashion is, was and will always be important at least in it’s ability to somewhat reflect the current state of our culture.

Before I actually get to my favorites, I wanted to talk about one thing: boobs! They were everywhere. The fashion tape industry must be making bank after the Golden Globes.

So, here they are, my favorite looks from the Golden Globes:

J.Lo_Zuhair Murad

J. Lo

Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig

Claire Danes_Versace

Claire Danes

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba
(minus the furry pet)

Julianna Marulies

Julianna Margulies

Johnny Galecki

Johnny Galecki

Kunal Nayyar

Kunal Nayyar

Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher

What do you think of my list? Would you add or subtract anyone?