The recent suicide of Robin Williams shocked the world and there has been no shortage of public speculation and amateur psychology about why he took his life. The sad fact is, as with most suicides, that no one will ever know for sure. Even experienced health professionals, with a detailed understanding of mental illness, cannot reliably predict who will commit suicide or explain why someone did after the fact.
Obama foreign policy has long resembled the old Abbott and Costello “who’s on first” routine: a dazed and confused mush of leftist ideology and demonstrable weakness. The left hand hasn’t known what the far-left hand has been doing. Or the far-left hand has had to take the left one out to the woodshed for not being appropriately apologetic or irresolute.
“The One I Love” is an example of a movie with very appealing actors (Mark Duplass, Elizabeth Moss) which mistakenly gives you more of them than you need, want or can absorb without an increasing sense of their becoming tiresome. Playing a married couple already in trouble and seeing a therapist, the two eventually become four in a bizarro version of “The Enchanted Cottage,” a 40’s movie with Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young. Sent by their doctor to a “retreat” in order to restart their ailing marriage, the two discover that they have doppelgangers who inhabit a guest house on the property. Some reviewers have refused to disclose this, acting as if revealing this development was as much a spoiler as revealing the finale of Psycho. Hardly. For film-goers who have seen other versions of altered states of mind, of dimension and even of being, this mind-boggling puzzle soon becomes more shtick than a carefully thought-out philosophical or psychological rendering.
We live in cages of conformity, shuffling, shackled by habit and timidity. How we act, what we wear, even how we think, are limited to traveling along these set rails of behavior, and it can take an iconoclast for us to even realize it.
Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon resigned from office. I was a very young child as I watched him announce his decision to resign on Aug. 8, 1974, but I remember seeing Nixon’s face fill the television screen, full of emotion. I could not have grasped that that brief speech was the culmination of a tragic series of events that had brought down his presidency, nor could I know that I would work for him years later.