In this time of economic hardship, many American people cannot see even the
slightest glimmer of hope. The price of food, gasoline, utilities, and living
in general, all continue to increase, yet the paycheck of the Middle and Lower
Class remains the same. An entire generation is paying into a Social Security
system from which they will likely never see a dime, while another generation
is benefiting from this should-be travesty. A war, which has already cost so
many people and nations so much time, money, livelihood and lives, a war which
had not even truly ended to begin with, is being renewed between American
forces and the Middle East. In short, Mr. President, the prospects the world
once offered, as well as the promised opportunity to pursue happiness, has
never seemed less attainable. That said, I believe there is something you can do, as
Commander-in-Chief, to lessen the burden that all Americans carry with them,
even if only to a small degree, and even if only for a short while.
Music has been scientifically proven to alter human emotions and
mentality. Similarly to the above, many Americans agree that music has never
been quite as unsavory and uninspired as it is today, both melodically and
morally. I believe that you, Mr. President, have the power to raise the morale
of the older generations and the younger, by enlisting a committee of musicians
with vastly different styles, that will shatter the walls between all ages, all
classes, all ethnicities, and provide the nation with a much-needed moment of
My humble proposal,
Mr. President, is that you enlist the likes of Eric Clapton, Skrillex, Mike WiLL Made-It, Justin
Timberlake, Willie Nelson, and Norah Jones, and fund the creation of Tears in Heaven:
A Star-Spangled Remix. I have explored many options, my research spanning tens
of minutes, and have determined, with 100% certainty, that the seemingly unlikely and unholy union of Tears
in Heaven with the Dubstep genre will be the most perfect musical creation in
The sorrowful lyrics
will allow the American people to grieve for their own tragedies, while the
driving beat will entrance and ultimately reassure the nation that there is
life beyond loss. The soulful voice of Eric Clapton being punctuated with sounds
that Skrillex has sampled from placing a large bee-hive into an American-made
microwave, will not only inspire the disenfranchised, but will excite the
cynical, humble the proud, and motivate the masses as well.
Can these feelings
exist forever? I submit that they just might. With enough dedication, proper
funding, and a true, conjoined effort from all parties involved, I believe the creation of Tears in
Heaven: A Star-Spangled remix, may just inspire the citizens of the United
States of America to reach into our hearts, for the greater good of every
citizen of this country, and inspire us to begin taking the necessary steps
towards restoring our country to its former days of glory, prosperity, and
Mr. President, I thank
you for taking the time to consider this petition. May God bless you, may God
bless this project, and may God bless America.
Of all the hoaxes that ever were, I've never wished so deeply that this was one of them.
I've wondered for a while now which celebrity I was sincerely attached to would pass away in my lifetime first. Philip Seymour Hoffman was halfway there. His acting was thoroughly impressive. I'd enjoyed his reemergence into my line of sight with The Hunger Games. Twister, in which he played the outlandish "Dusty" has always been one of my guilty pleasures. If I had a dime for every time I've watched that movie, I'd be retired, which would be slightly embarrassing, but it doesn't matter, because fuck you, I'm retired.
But Robin Williams.... Despite his struggles with addiction and depression, I think it was just something too sad for me to even imagine.
I avoid the evening news, because the world is sad enough without shoving its horrible violence down one's throat any more than you absolutely have to, which is what most mainstream media in America seems to pride itself on.
As a result, last night, while the world was mourning the loss of a brilliant actor and comedic legend, I was playing video games, brushing the cat, convincing myself that cheese cubes and cranberry juice were a sufficient dinner, and watching Hook for at least the 100th time. This is probably literal. In my varying states of depression or anxiety, I find repetition very soothing, and tend to watch the same movies over and over, for the background noise and familiarity.
Hook was one I never became tired of, because it changed with me as I grew older.
As a child, it was simply and naively a movie about Peter Pan. The food fight was, of course, the best part of the movie, and I watched it with extreme envy every single time. I loved Captain Hook and his fabulous, curly locks, the majesty of which were surpassed only by his larger-than-life personality. He was everything I loved, and still love, in a good villain. Even now, I would argue that he outshone even Peter Pan himself, driving the plot with his passionate agenda, and forcing Peter Pan back into the world he'd long forgotten.
Tink growing in size and kissing Peter Pan, the death of Rufio, the entire first half hour or so of the movie- these were just transitional, unimportant filler scenes to me. Potty breaks. Snack times. My childhood self knew where the real story was, and it wasn't in these boring, confusing moments.
Childhood wonder, manifest.
Of course, when I grew older and began to re-watch my childhood favorites, I began to see things in a new light, as we all do. But Hook stood out for me among the rest. Hook was one of a very finite number whose meaning and entire story line did a complete 180. I felt almost betrayed by Peter and by the Lost Boys as I realized just how sad the plot actually was for a majority of the film.
Peter Pan wasn't glad to be back in Neverland at all. The place he had lived and loved for so many years had turned into a frightening and dangerous obstacle course. He had no playful vendetta against Captain Hook, no desire to tease and torment and humiliate him, and worse than that, was now at his mercy. The Lost Boys had looked up to him as their leader, and he had deserted them. He deserted his people, his paradise, his Neverland, only to come to earth, become an adult, ignore his own children, abandon his beloved Wendy for decades at a time, and obsess over money. As Dame Maggie summarized it best in the film, "Peter... You've become a pirate."
The movie ends well enough, but it's still very, very bittersweet. Tink and the Lost Boys have lost their leader once again. Peter Pan will live with the memory of his beautiful, magical Neverland, as well as the curse of never returning to it. Captain Hook, the great villain, is dead.
It's a poignant and heart-wrenching analogy for truly growing up. Neverland is the light inside us that the world will do it's level best to extinguish. We abandon our dreams, and our inner children. We forget our own brilliance and let our hearts take a back seat to simply surviving.
It's so hard to imagine a man like Robin Williams forgetting his brilliance. It's unfathomable. When I was young, he was my genie and my Peter Pan, my friend trapped in the jungle and my cross-dressing British nanny. As an adult, he was my bearded mentor and my tour guide through the hell, my inappropriately-mourning father and my captain. Even what some would consider his lesser films seemed to shine just for the mere fact that he was in them.
In his dramatic roles, Robin Williams would smile this smile... It's the kind of teary, wincing smile you wear when smiling is the last thing you want to do. It was so sincere. It was sincere in a way that only someone who regularly made the world laugh through extreme inner turmoil could portray. I think he so excelled in those cinematic moments, because he felt it in his own life. Maybe, in those moments, he wasn't even acting.
For however much I noticed it before, I know I'll never be able to see these moments the same way again.
I feel it appropriate to mention that Kevin Pollak is currently post production with a documentary called Misery Loves Comedy, which I'm sad to see does not list Robin Williams among the cast members. He summarizes his film as follows: "If you’re a fan of stand-up comedy, and those who perform it, you’re no doubt aware that a staggering percentage are truly miserable. We’ve lost number of great comedians to drugs, alcohol, and suicide. How can they be so entertaining to strangers and so filled with sadness and/or rage with family and friends? The main goal of this film is to shed extensive light on this bizarre dichotomy. ... It’s gonna be a hoot." -Kevin Pollak
I wish Robin Williams had been interviewed. I hope he knew he wasn't alone. I wish he'd been able to find some sort of relief for himself that involved breathing, and I know it wasn't for lack of trying that he never did. He smiled as long as he could. Maybe for some people, anything is better than living with the extinguished flame of Neverland.
For my own sense of coping, I choose to believe that Robin Williams, heartbreaking as it is for those left behind, has found relief. He deserves relief. I choose to envision him in beautiful fields of painted flowers, enjoying his own laughter as much as the we did, in a place that will bring him more peace and happiness than he found here with us... somewhere past that second star on the right.
Rest in peace, Robin Williams. Your legacy will outlast us all.