Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Robin Williams and the other guy

Unfair and Unbalanced

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 6:05 PM CDT
The Reporter this week introduces a new local columnist, Marilyn Langford of High Falls. Langford offers an alternative view to the Reporter’s conservative editorial page. Langford said she’s such a committed Democrat that she’d vote for a yellow dog if it had a “D” by its name. While we may not agree on much, we welcome Marilyn as she gives our left-leaning readers representation on these pages.

I felt kinship to Robin Williams since I learned over twenty years ago that he was dyslexic.  I used Robin as an example to my son that dyslexia was not a disability and that he, too, could use the other gifts that God gave him to be successful.

ALWAYS A fan, in February 2013, my husband and I traveled to Savannah to finally see Robin Williams live in concert.  It was called a “Sit Down with Robin Williams.”  He sat in a stuffed chair (occasionally) and had a conversation with the audience about his life, career, successes, trials and tribulations. He exuded kindness, honesty, understanding and wisdom, qualities we see less of these days.  You can’t fake that stuff.

I'M NOT one to be in awe of a celebrity but I admit Robin Williams was an exception. Previously, if I learned that a celebrity died, I would say, “Hey, did you hear? What’s on TV tonight?”  When I learned Robin Williams died, I felt a great sense of loss.  I realized that I was grieving as if he were a close friend.  That’s a feeling Robin Williams evoked in people.

That other guy referred to in the title is Rush Limbaugh. I say it that way because I could not bear to put Robin Williams and that other guy’s name in the same sentence.  Both of these guys are entertainers, but one used his gifts to make people feel love and joy, while the other uses his gifts to make people feel fear and divisiveness.

When I heard what Limbaugh said about this man who was an integral part of our culture for forty years, I felt deep sadness.  Not only was I grieving for our loss, but I was grieving for our country.   You see Limbaugh connected Robin’s death to liberalism.  "They're always angry about something," Limbaugh said. "No matter what they get, they're always angry."  He said a lot of other things that were too disrespectful and downright mean to repeat.  He was right about one thing, though.  I was angry!  But I wasn’t angry because of “liberalism.”  I was angry because I was taught that no matter how we felt about a person, we never speak ill of the dead and show proper respect to the grieving family and friends.

Limbaugh is nefarious for espousing hate and lies for shock value. We allow him to keep raising the bar by not deploring his behavior. Where does it end?  Turn him off!

Marilyn Langford and her husband, George, are retired and live on the Towaliga River in High Falls.

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