(NaturalNews) Like many Natural News readers, I was devastated by the news of Robin Williams' suicide this week. The man was an extraordinary comedic genius who was loved by millions.
We're all wondering the same thing right now, probably: How could a man with such talent and such professional success feel so tormented by life that ending it seemed like an easier option than living through it? From the outside, it's seductively easy for all of us to second guess the reasons, but in truth we can't know what it was like to be Robin Williams.
On the surface, it's all too easy for us to say, "He had success, money, fame and fans. He had it all!" And yet, as any successful celebrity can tell you, it's not that simple.
When you're famous, it's difficult to have real friends. The more famous you are, the worse it gets. You never know if people like you for who you truly are or if they just want to get close to you to exploit your celebrity or influence for their own aims.
As most famous actors can readily attest, being famous is a lonely life path. Privately lonely, that is. Regardless of what public persona famous actors must put on for professional reasons, in truth, at the end of the day, when you're sitting in your hotel room readying your next public performance, being a famous person is often a very lonely existence.
Robin Williams said it himself as depicted in this quote: "I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone."
Bill Burr, the next generation of philosophers secretly pretending to be comedians
Robin Williams' comedic genius makes me think about Bill Burr, an extraordinary thinker who I would even categorize as a special kind of cultural philosopher. Don't be misled by the smoothness of his comedic delivery: Bill Burr is actually far more informed, thoughtful and "awake" than most of his fans probably realize.
Like many pioneers who explore the limits of cultural boundaries, Bill Burr is so many years ahead of his audience that he has to translate his ideas down into simpler mental chunks for his audience to keep up. If you listen carefully, however, he gives you numerous clues indicating he's well aware of the staged theater being put on by the media, political parties, corrupt pharmaceutical companies and so on.
Bill Burr also knows what it's like to be publicly criticized for pointing out an unpopular truth. He's fully aware that forcing people to face their own glaring contradictions in self-thought will only earn you scorn, not applause. Burr famously said, in fact, that only 13% of internet users were cool, while the other 87% were a@%holes. "It's brutal!" he once commented on the Conan O'Brien Show. What he means is that telling the truth in a world of politically correct thought police is an invitation for criticism.
Why we should celebrate people like Bill Burr
I think we need to celebrate people like Bill Burr. He challenges our backwards cultural notions and silly contradictions. He forces people to confront their own stupidity with laughter or outrage. Thanks to the social rules surrounding comedy, he also has a platform from which he can delve into some very serious subjects that society needs to confront.
As a case in point, if I write an article saying the human race is devolving into runaway stupidity because a woman who wipes her face with a fast food bag mates with the guy at the airport who scratches his back by rubbing against a structural support beam, I would be publicly condemned for insulting the human race. When Bill Burr says it, it's a hilarious joke that simultaneously earns a round of laughter (while quietly pointing out an important truth about the human race, which really is devolving into a race to the bottom of the cognition barrel as depicted in the movie Idiocracy.)
Seriously, who else has the balls to publicly question the cult following of Steve Jobs? I applaud Burr for this piece, which I'm sure earned him horrible scorn from the all the dreamy-eyed iCult Kool-Aid drinkers:
Reflections of George Carlin
In Bill Burr, I see reflections of George Carlin, one of the most genius comedians and public commentators of all time. Carlin's best work was found in his later years when he stopped caring what the public thought of him and just ripped into every topic that needed to be publicly aired, regardless of the consequences to his reputation. When you're old enough to have nothing left to lose -- and as Carlin says you "just don't give a s*%t anymore" -- your comedy transcends the usual boundaries of entertainment.
Sure, you get banned from late night television, but who cares? Today we have Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime video and other direct delivery video services. Does anybody really watch TV anymore and endure commercials? I swear I haven't seen a television commercial in at least five years. I have no idea what social engineering tactics they're using these days, but I'm sure not going to turn on CNN and find out what kind of engineered disinfo they're trying to float under the banner of "news."
Some people hated Carlin's later work, but I saw him as a genius finally set free to say exactly what was on his mind, with zero requirement that the audience approve of it. Carlin died a man who said what he wanted to say and let the world just deal with it. That's beyond art. That's philosophy.
The pandemic of conformity
Human society suffers from a horrible mental virus that I call a "pandemic of conformity." It's an insidious idea that spreads from one mind to another, shutting down original thought and replacing it with the banal idiocy of political correctness. Sadly, perhaps 99% of the population has now been infected with the pandemic of conformity, and every time some event happens in the real world, instead of looking at the facts and evidence of what happened, they first look to the TV news to tell construct their "reality."
To this very day, in fact, nearly the entire population of the United States still believes there were only two buildings destroyed in the 9/11 attacks on New York City. Nobody talks about the irrefutable fact that the third building, WTC 7, collapsed in a perfect demolition-style pancake after being beset by a very small number of office fires. Never in the history of architecture has a concrete-and-steel building collapsed with such perfect symmetry from a few office fires. But evidence be damned, those who dare discuss this third building with anything resembling reason are immediately branded heretics by the thought police. In order to conform to political correctness on the issue of 9/11, you must abandon any belief in the laws of physics and architecture and you must swear allegiance to the "Cult of Official Stories" where logic and reason are forcibly replaced by politically correct lunacy.
In the 1800's, doctors thought mercury was amazing medicine, and they prescribed it for all sorts of health maladies. Anyone who said, in the 1800's, that "mercury was poison" would have been strongly and immediately condemned as being "anti science." But of course mercury really is poison, and for hundreds of years the best doctors of the day were actively poisoning their patients (and making them pay for "treatment" as well!). Ever wonder what treatments doctors are making patients take today that will be condemned as toxic poisons in a few more years?
The social construct is the world pulled over your eyes...
We don't live in the real world, you see. We live in a social construct of delusional myths crafted by institutions, governments and high-level storytellers sometimes called "experts." This is the world pulled over your eyes to make sure you never see the truth.
It is the job of comedians, I believe, to challenge those cultural delusions and force us to think in new ways about the world around us. If you thought the role of comedians was simply to make us laugh, you've missed the bigger picture. Their real role -- and their deeper value to society -- is in making us laugh at our own stupidity so that we recognize the insanities as the first step toward reforming them. In the days of kings, the King's favorite advisor was often the court jester. Why? Because he was the only person who would tell the King the truth (disguised as humor, of course, if he wanted to keep his head attached to his neck).
Today, anyone who allows their speech to be subject to audience approval is surrendering to the cultural myths of the day and retreating from their true voice. True comedy must ultimately be based in a philosophy of truth, even if that truth is unpopular. Nobody did this better than Bill Hicks, although Hicks destroyed himself in the process, resorting to the seduction of extreme substance abuse. But in his time, Hicks was far more than a comedian; he was the guy who dragged you kicking and screaming into the denials and contradictions of your own mind, then shoved your face into a mirror and screamed "LOOK AT YOUR OWN F*$*%NG INSANITY!"
Bill Burr, already an accomplished comedian, has the potential to be an extraordinary voice who shatters cultural delusions. That's why I personally wish him well and urge him to tread carefully down the path of fame and fortune, learning from the lessons hard won by people like Robin Williams, Bill Hicks and George Carlin. The world is a house of mirrors, but the most frightening mirror of all is the one that reveals to the audience their own contradictions, insanities and insecurities. To hold up that mirror at the world takes more than mere courage and talent; it takes a profound commitment to being a vehicle of radical change in a society steeped in insanity and self destruction. Want proof? Go look at the surge of frantic well-drillers in California right now who are tapping out the last few million acre-feet of water the state will probably ever see.
My heart goes out to Robin Williams tonight, and my best wishes also go out to people like Bill Burr who have the rare gift of being able to carry that torch of laughter and self-reflection for many years to come.
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