Thursday, August 28, 2014

Henry Rollins apologizes for suicide rant

I wanted to get to this sooner, but I was a little preoccupied the past two weeks with my fellow citizens getting hit with tear gas and rubber bullets by a curiously militarized police force and a local media clueless when it comes to issue of race, so I think I can be forgiven for not writing even a few short sentences about Robin Williams's suicide and the treatment of mental illness, both in and out of the media. Henry Rollins did, insensitively, in his post for the LA Weekly, "Fuck Suicide." He apologized Monday in what should be a model for celebrity apologia:
I cannot defend the views I expressed. I think that would be taking an easy out. I put them out there plainly and must suffer the slings and arrows — fair enough. I won’t attempt to dodge them. However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t be taught a thing or two. I have no love for a fixed position on most things. I am always eager to learn something. I promise that I will dig in and educate myself on this and do my best to evolve. Again, thank you.
I think it's important to note that he writes as a person who's also struggled with depression:
In the short amount of space afforded here, hear me out. Like a lot of people, I have battled depression all my life. It’s nothing special, in that it’s too common to be considered unique. This state has made me have to do things in a certain way to remain operational. There have been some truly awful stretches, as I am sure there have been for anyone who deals with depression, that have at times rendered me almost paralytic. Hours pass and I slow-cook on a cold spit. I have likened it to being a peach in a can of syrup yet fully conscious. In an attempt to keep moving along, I must stay in the immediate present tense, acutely aware of everything happening, like driving a car on a highway. If I conclude that I am not citizen grade, I do my best to avoid people so I do not act unpleasantly. No one deserves it. This has kept me in hotel rooms, my kitchen and the corners of gyms. When I have a show that night, it’s minute-to-minute.

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