Over the past few days the airwaves as well as the ether has been filled with tributes to Robin Williams. I understand the natural outpouring of sympathy and feeling of loss but what I don’t understand is the underlying assumption that he was, in some way or another, known to us. He was not. What we knew was the public face he wished to portray nothing more.
Whilst I was I thinking about this a scene from probably his best movie, Good Will Hunting, came to mind. In it he is explaining to Will that he may have read everything there was to read about the Sistine chapel but he didn’t know what it smelt like. I didn’t know what Robin Williams smelt like nor did most other people. I know what his public image was but what he was really like I haven’t got a clue.
This brings me to any likeness you might want to make without actually meeting the person. How real is it? The reason I bring this up is because this likeness was based on a photograph of Williams not really looking like Robin Williams. I have no idea whether it is a good likeness or not but it is my interpretation of what I saw. It is not a copy and it certainly doesn’t tell you anything new. It is just how I saw the photograph at that time.
I really don’t know what I’m saying other than the world is a little worse without having Robin William’s to brighten it up. I, like virtually everyone else on this planet, haven’t the first idea what he was like I just know it will be a little less full without him around.
Secrets of the Big Sky.