Russell Brand Reflects on Robin Williams’ “Sad” Suicide, the “Sadness” of the World

Russell Brand pens column about Robin Williams death
 Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images; John M. Heller/Getty Images

Russell Brand has penned a column for The Guardian titled "Robin Williams' divine madness will no longer disrupt the sadness of the world." In the post, the 39-year-old comedian not only reflects upon — and praises — the late actor, but ponders "our fractured and unhappy planet."

Addressing the news of Williams' death, Katy Perry's ex-husband began his post by praising the 63-year-old legend, who took his own life on Monday, Aug. 11. "Robin Williams was exciting to me because he seemed to be sat upon a geyser of comedy. Like he didn’t manufacture it laboriously within but had only to open a valve and it would come bursting through in effervescent jets," Brand wrote. 

"I was aware too that this burbling and manic man-child that I watched on the box on my Nan’s front room floor with a Mork action figure…struggled with mental illness and addiction," the Forgetting Sarah Marshall actor continued. "The chaotic clarity that lashed like an electric cable, that razzed and sparked with amoral, puckish wonder was in fact harvested madness. A refinement of an energy that could turn as easily to destruction as creativity."

While Brand acknowledged that Williams' "spoke candidly about his mental illness and addiction," he admitted that he "thought that his articulate acknowledgement amounted to a kind of vaccine against the return of such diseased thinking, which was proven to be hopelessly naive." 

Brand further questioned the "mad" state of the world itself. "Is it melancholy to think that a world that Robin Williams can’t live in must be broken?" he asked. "To tie this sad event to the overarching misery of our times?"

He went on to write that "we live in a world that has become so negligent of human values that our brightest lights are extinguishing themselves." Noting how beloved the comedian was, he added: "Robin Williams could have tapped anyone in the western world on the shoulder and told them he felt down and they would have told him not to worry, that he was great, that they loved him. He must have known that. He must have known his wife and kids loved him, that his mates all thought he was great, that millions of strangers the world over held him in their hearts, a hilarious stranger that we could rely on to anarchically interrupt, the all-encompassing sadness of the world." However, he added, "Today Robin Williams is [now] part of the sad narrative that we used to turn to him to disrupt."

Brand ended his post declaring his intention to attempt a life of kindness amidst his proclaimed mad world: "What I might do is watch Mrs. Doubtfire. Or Dead Poets Society or Good Will Hunting and I might be nice to people, mindful today how fragile we all are, how delicate we are, even when fizzing with divine madness that seems like it will never expire."

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