I've been thinking a lot about him this last day or so, and I hope you'll forgive me being focused on it. A few things come to mind.

1. There's one thing I'm hearing a lot that kind of rubs me the wrong way: "He made everybody happy but in the end he couldn't make himseff happy." I've only ever had mild depression, but that's not how I've experienced it. Depression doesn't mean that you are never happy. I think that's important because when people see a depressed person enjoying themselves they assume the person is "cured." It's not that simple.


2. I think it needs to be said again that the whole idea of the "tortured artist" is bullshit. Good art does not excuse or explain depression. I'm convinced that depressed and bipolar people would be just as creative if their illness was treated. (For a good exploration of this idea, read Ellen Forney's excellent graphic novel Marbles).

3 I feel selfish for saying this, but I was hoping he would be around for a lot longer. I would have not been surprised if he had died 30 years ago when he was matching John Belushi in drug intake, but I thought he had beat it.

4. Hug somebody.