robin williams sqI’m sure you all have noticed that sometimes my posts are due to a sudden burst of inspiration by something I’ve read or watched. Well, this is one of those posts. While my bouts of insomnia are in full effect I find myself often browsing movies on Netflix to watch and tonight I stumbled upon a movie called World’s Greatest Dad starring Robin Williams. Let me just warn you now, I basically lay out the movie for you so yes, SPOILER ALERT! I love Robin Williams (R.I.P.) and yet I had never even heard of this movie. I will say that there were some things that really caught me; first it has a really awesome soundtrack which I thought was inspiring enough to write something, and second Robin William’s naked…ok well yeah that caught me off guard, I never suspected that I would see Robin William’s junk.
Okay, but really so the movie is about Lance Clayton (Robin Williams), a middle aged single father. He so happens to be a teacher at his son’s high school. Lance is seeing some shady female teacher, Claire Reed (Alexie Gilmore) that seems to have some side action going on with a really attractive teacher, Mike Lane played by Henry Simmons…anywho his son Kyle (Daryl Sabara) is kind of a douche-bag. Kyle is 15 years old and is completely anti-social aside from his friend Andrew (Evan Martin). I’m pretty certain that Andrew is only his friend because he is shy and doesn’t seem too social himself. Andrew is cool though and a good kid, why he puts up with Kyle is beyond me…but I had friends like that, too, growing up.
Kyle has a hate for everything normal; school, music, movies, and everything else. His father tries hard to build a bond with him, and spend time with him but Kyle just refuses. Kyle’s idea of a fun pastime is to stay in his room, watch porn on his computer, and masturbate while choking himself. Lance actually walks in on his son doing that and tells him it’s dangerous. Does that stop him? No…because this kid is an asshole. Anyway, so Lance is an aspiring writer and has a very small number of students that elected to take his poetry class. He is always being outshone by Mike Lane. The principal even says that he may have to cut the class altogether if enrollment doesn’t pick up the following semester. Meanwhile, Lance gets another rejection letter on yet another novel. Life doesn’t seem to be going all that great except for his wishy-washy teacher fling.
Kyle kills himself accidentally after he attends a dinner, reluctantly mind you, with his dad and Claire. During dinner Kyle drops his fork and sees Claire’s underwear because she doesn’t know how to keep her legs closed and takes pictures with his cellphone which leads to more masturbating and choking…and death.
Lance is obviously upset by this, because even though his son is a complete asshole, it’s still his son. However, he decides he wants his son’s death to have some dignity to it, and for him not to be seen as the pervert degenerate that he actually is, so Lance fixes Kyle’s pants and makes it look like he hung himself in the closet and writes a very eloquent suicide note and sticks it in his pocket. One thing he didn’t plan on was that the note would be found by a student and it published in the school paper. The only person that really questions this often is Andrew, because Kyle was his best friend and he knows that Kyle was never eloquent or even smart for that matter.
The note is so inspiring that people suddenly forget that they hate Kyle and see him as some intelligent, misunderstood, complex individual. So of course they go ape-shit with t-shirts and posters around the school. The problem is, they want more…much more. Enrollment spikes in Lance’s class and the kids are so into what Kyle was thinking or feeling that Lance decides to write a journal on his son’s behalf and publish it. Of course it’s a farce because Kyle didn’t write anything and didn’t know the difference between perspiration and precipitation. The book is a hit and Mr. Clayton finds himself going on television and book deal proposals. The school decides to dedicate the library in Kyle’s name and it is then, right then that Mr. Clayton decides to come clean.
This is when I started thinking about how people lie about the person you were when you die. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about focusing on the good and positive, but let’s not downplay who they really were, especially if you knew them. Like when I die, I don’t want people to get up there in front of my family and friends and say only nice things about me. I want someone to get up there and have the balls to say, “Hey, you know what…sometimes she was completely fucking crazy, and sometimes she was a bitch. Oh yeah, and a bit of a control freak. She lacked follow through and yet she was sweet and I loved her and sometimes I wanted to smack the shit out of her.” I want to be remembered for all that I was, not just what people want to remember about me, because it just seems that when you do that you aren’t really keeping that person’s memory alive, you are losing them with a falsehood of remembrance to suit the occasion of my mortality. That is the opposite of what I want. Yes, I want people to know that in so many things I seemed to fail but by damn I tried. I want people to know that people have different experiences with me because it is true. Like what Lance tried to portrait Kyle as, some complex, deep individual, I actually am that. I am multi-faceted and sometimes people get different pieces of me but rarely does anyone get all of who I am in my entirety. I want the people that remember my sense of humor, though it may be fucked up sometimes to tell people. Keep me alive, whatever parts of me you had and I can rest in peace forever when I leave this world. I certainly hope that people can keep Robin Williams memory alive the right way, because I am sure that is what he would have wanted.


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