After reading Henry Rollins' current LA WEEKLY column, I'm rather chagrined to admit I devoted a blog post to something he wrote weeks back on the state of Las Vegas in the 2010s.
I'm partially aware of Rollins' career as tough-guy actor--never bought Black Flag albums when he was the frontman, or the later Rollins Band albums and spoken-word recordings.
One good thing Henry Rollins did was to publish a book by Los Angeles poet Ellyn Maybe through his 2.13.61 small press imprint.
Ellyn's one of the nicest, kindest, most sensitive Major Poets in the Southern California community.
So, imagine my discomfort when I read articles excerpting Henry Rollins' "I'm going to take the blows for speaking out" cruelty at the expense of the late Robin Williams, his widow and three adult children. I can also imagine the WEEKLY/VILLAGE VOICE conglomerate's glee over Rollins writing something Controversial that gives the LA WEEKLY (which went from Left to Right-leaning under the bad stewardship of Michael Lacey) some Worldwide Attention.
Let's look at one excerpt from Rollins' bilge; if you kill yourself and you're an actor/comic/writer/musician, your work is forever dead to Henry Rollins:
When someone negates their existence, they cancel themselves out in my mind. I have many records, books and films featuring people who have taken their own lives, and I regard them all with a bit of disdain. When someone commits this act, he or she is out of my analog world. I know they existed, yet they have nullified their existence because they willfully removed themselves from life. They were real but now they are not.
I no longer take this person seriously. I may be able to appreciate what he or she did artistically but it’s impossible to feel bad for them. Their life wasn’t cut short — it was purposely abandoned. It’s hard to feel bad when the person did what they wanted to. It sucks they are gone, of course, but it’s the decision they made. I have to respect it and move on.
Link to the complete column (with the charming title "Fuck Suicide") is here:
Bidding goodbye to Henry Rollins as he takes his place on the bench alongside other folks like Gene Simmons (who also made a "suicides are weaklings looking for attention" type of comment about Robin Williams, but Simmons did back away from his toxic statement after members of the KISS Army objected) and Ted Nugent. These are pathetic people who engage in verbal sadism/chest-thumping Superiority in order to keep outdated cartoon notions of toughness, "brutal honesty" and manhood alive for their won't-think-for-themselves fan bases.
Graphic example of this--Rollins' close to his Robin Williams/suicide column:
I have life by the neck and drag it along. Rarely does it move fast enough. Raw Power forever.
UPDATE: Henry Rollins later apologized: http://m.pitchfork.com/news/56440-henry-rollins-apologizes-for-robin-williams-criticism/