I have had to create a transcript of this ‘Trews’ episode here. It took me 4 hours + and (me being the lovely person that I am!) therefore I thought that I would share it with the world so no one else has to go through the torture of listening to broken english and trying to document it. My transcript is by no means perfect – please point out errors in the comments but it is good enough! Without further ado:
Robin Williams: What Should We Think? Russell Brand The Trews (E121)
Hello welcome to The Trews, today we are doing a obituary to Robin Williams, who we just heard the news of his sad death, it’s confusin’ isn’t it because… Why am I confused? I mean in a way the story of like a famous person committing suicide or a death bought abou’ somewhat by their own, you know, behaviour, it’s kind of, that exists don’t it for us as er er er a concept or Marilyn Monroe, more recently Philip Seymour Hoffman with da drugs, an’ Winehouse it’s kind of exists er so er I always sort of wonder what is it the particularity that er that the defines the sadness that you feel in each case an’ I reckon with Robin Williams there’s ‘s a nostalgia, isn’t there, like because the age we are now, people in their thirties an’ forties and maybe a bit younger like watched stuff like ‘Mork an’ Mindy’ an’ ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ so there is this sort of nostalgia connection to our childhood and of course that he was a person that we associate with a kind of, near hysterical laughter an’ humour. When I think of him, I think, like, you know sort of the word er um er genius is obviously banded about a lot, I think that er um when the word genius makes sense to me is when you don’ understand where something is coming from. When you sort of can’t go well of course he spent ten years in comedy school and he refined his techniques, like Robin Williams he looked like he didn’t even really know what he was doing you know like he was this vessel for this weird, vibrating err um ludic, joyous light, pan-like craziness like he was somethin’ speaks that quickly and thinks that quickly and he is that full of *merf* where it is so child-like it seems sort of unrefined, so I suppose there is a real beauty and relief in it and like it seems that proper humour, disruptive and chaotic, don’ know where it comes from. I mean I like sort of super-smart comedians too, like urr arr I love the ‘Thick of it’ or ‘Yes minister’ or Lenny Bruce but those comedians we think ‘OH MY GOD THIS GUY HAS JUST DONE, LIKE A LUNATIC CHILD!’. There is something very very sort of charming and wonderful, of course, like he’s um, he’s a man who suffered his whole life with addiction issues as well isn’t he hmm. For me the corollary between err addiction an’ mental illness is sort of an absolute one that addiction IS a mental illness and people with substance misuse issues have, I think, uniformly, always, absolutely got mental health issues and often characterized by the kind o’ mania that he exemplified and was the sort of the most apotheosis of, the absolute realisation of like ‘OH MY GOD, OF COURSE YOU’D PAY A HIGH PRICE FOR THAT ICARUS-LIKE ABILITY FOR MAD, MECURIAL, MANIC, HIGH-PACE LAUGHTER’ and of course in just in their sort of economy of consciousness, they would have to be some point where you go ‘ome and sit all gloomy an’ lost an’ terribly alone that it would create some deficit to have access to that degree of mania… The other thing is that Robin Williams was sixty-three years old an’ you’d think that by kind of then by that age you have kind of resolved the kind of problems that caused people to commit suicide, the idea that you could get to sixty-three years old, be married, have children, successful career, seems like you would have come to terms with yourself so what must that have been like, that that er um private, lonely, mournful, so’ sort of space that he found himself in when like suppose when any when you know by virtue of being famous is a person we all know commits suicide and yet, oh no!, if only they had known: ‘OH NO! ROBIN WILLIAMS’, almost like anyone you could tap on the shoulder in the street would have gone: ‘OH NO! DON’T DO THAT MATE! YOU’RE REALLY REALLY LOVELY!’. But now, as eventually for everyone that’s no longer a possibility. I was thinking before a minute-ago it, there must be something wrong with the world, if the world can’t accommodate Robin Williams. It almost seems like, you know like a sort of a cold, cynical reading of it is like: ‘OH PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE AND GET DEPRESSED AND HAVE DRUG PROBLEMS AND COMMIT SUICIDE’ but it if doesn’t it feel like oddly because it is happening at the same time as we are going to bomb Iraq again, problems in Israel and Palestine, seems like ‘OH GOD, WHAT DOES IT MATTER, ROBIN WILLIAMS HAS KILLED HIMSELF, AH JESUS’, it’s just like this sort of like *schlu* of broken, mismanaged, malfunctioning, malady all about us. It seems sort of connected, if we could draw anything from it, I think it is that those acts of desperation, suicide, 34,000 people a year commit suicide and it is rising, it seems like a canary in a cage of a toxic situation that is broader than what Robin Williams, why is this happening? Why, why great people with successful lives committing suicide, it is, do you wanna ascribe it to one of those things, just one of those things or do you wanna risk looking at it for a moment as potentially being indicative of a kind of loss of connection; connection to ourselves, connection to one another, connection to our environment. It seems to me that is a story with it, that you can take from it, that there is a kind of sad disconnection that is, the, that is someone that is capable of generating so much humour and joy and laughter reaches that point. So it is er very sad and I suppose if, as a people, as humanity we want to take anything from it, perhaps what we can take from it is to remember how precious and special people are and how vulnerable and fragile people are no matter how they seem, not a close ourselves off from one another and to be present for each other an’ go: ‘OH YOU ALRIGHT?’. Like we are here on this little planet in infinite space, a little team of people and not to encourage stories and ideas that isolate and make us adverse to one another and agitate each other and con’, in conflict with each other and instead promote stories and ideas that are about our mutual togetherness. If there is any conclusions that can be drawn, and I hope there is cos otherwise we are living in a nihilistic, meaningless space where really really funny people get so sad they kill themselves. That’s the Trews then.