"I heard a joke once: Man goes to the doctor. Says he’s depressed, life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Doctor says, “treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town. Go see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. “But Doctor” he says, “I am Pagliacci.”"
Okay so it’s been about a whole day now and if I don’t put this somewhere it’s just going to annoy me to death. It is sad that Robin Williams is gone, but I honestly think the reaction a lot of people are having is disgusting. I say disgusting because that’s the only word I can think of, and I think it has less to do with people being upset or mourning a loss and a whole hell of a lot more to do with how the internet community has changed.
I haven’t been around since the beginning, I don’t know what any early forums are like, but I’m almost positive that 95% of the internet has evolved into an identical structure. There’s a lot of it I could complain about but honestly I’m going to complain about something I learned back when I was knee high to a grass hopper: The Bandwagon Effect. Bandwagons occur all of the time for everything, I’m not upset that it happens in general and I can say for a fact that the only reason I had pokemon/yugioh trading cards is because everyone around me had them and I didn’t want to be left out. Everyone experiences a need for togetherness and belonging and that’s perfectly normal, however, with the evolution of the webernet these bandwagons have become so large that they must be ready to seat two of every animal and more often than not must be able to float steadily on the tears of the wagon riders.
Let me take a brief moment to compare everyone in the entire world to the League of Legends community. Within the competitive League scene there are probably at most 100 amazing players who can perform at a level that leaves the viewers in awe. Because of this whatever these top 100 players say becomes infallible law; you can’t play outside of the “meta” because HotRodGG says that that weapon doesn’t work or SKT1 WildPiglet doesn’t think that champion works. Millions of people will believe the words of the top 100 just because that’s what they’ve told is right and if you aren’t right online then you should probably just go climb in a pile of horse shit because that’s all you’ll ever be good for.
Alright so what’s the point of that tangent? Here’s the fucking point: League of Legends, in my nerdo opinion, is an excellent sample size for what average act like in a modern online environment. Maybe there’s a little less toxicity outside of that game, but the idea remains the same: people only seem to do what is “right” because everyone else around them believes the same thing. I honestly feel like half of the people talking about Robin Williams and posting all of this content about him would of done little but giggled had it been someone like Justin Bieber that decided to end it all. I’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate the man’s life, everyone deserves praise and love even when they feel it least of all, but what I’m saying is for the love of fuck if you really don’t even care please stop making little comments and posts about the loss of someone. I’ve seriously talked to people who could not name a single thing the man was apart of except Mrs. Doubtfire who were going on and on about how sad it is.
When I was in 9th grade a close friend pass. It was weird having someone I joked and shared with everyday just disappearing off of the face of the earth and although I went to his funeral I never really got to say goodbye or anything because the whole ordeal was so unexpected. I remember very vividly a girl in my class who was nothing but a bitch to the both of us for laughs, and upon hearing of his passing she thought it was a joke. After learning the truth she seemingly made it her entire goal to show off just how sad she was and how important it was that she was so sad compared to the rest of the world. I wasn’t upset that she was lying, because everyone wants to feel involved and loved and there are few people in this world who want to be seen as heartless monsters who wouldn’t cry if a boy who sat two seats from you died overnight. I mostly just remember feeling bad for her because she viewed herself as someone so important that it was worse that she was sad about something than the fact that a real human being lost their life. It was more important that she threw herself and her opinion into other peoples’ faces than to just let people feel the way they needed to feel.
I guess really what I’m saying is that I really wish people would just be themselves instead of an idea of themselves only reacting to events in order to get others to like you more. You can care or not care about Robin Williams all you want, but for the love of all that is good and decent in this world if you find yourself not caring in the least bit please don’t shove it down everyone’s throats how hard this is all hitting you. He was a real person, not just a portrayal of real people, and there are people in this world who are actually dealing with the consequences of his life in a larger way than posting screenshots of their favorite scenes for online internet points.