Sunday, December 6, 2009

Is This the Future?

I'm currently reading Art to Choke Hearts and Pissing in the Gene Pool by your friend and mine, Henry Rollins. My friend Blue noticed I was reading it and asked why. I explained that I had read Rollins a lot in my teen years and early twenties and was now just reading it to read again. It's always good to revisit the books you like. She knows some of the stress I'm under, some of the problems I'm having, so she asked if maybe I wasn't reverting back to those years. I stated I wasn't and couldn't; I'm a different person now.

At the same time, Celebrity Watchdog George Anthony Watson commented on a comment I left on Mirror's blog (all these names -- sounds like The Usual Suspects). He said my comment sounded like a bad chapter out of one of Rollins' books and then added that they were all bad chapters.

I haven't read much of Rollins' later stuff. I imagine it is in the same place as before. Isolation. Hatred. Rage. Introspection. Questioning society. I don't think those are bad things to write about, as they are constants in society. Yeah, it may show little progression, but should we really progress beyond these things?

I read Rollins now not because I have to in order to stay centered, but to remind myself of where that center is. I don't feel all that he feels. I don't relate to all of it or even most of it, but I relate to it enough and always have to know that reading Rollins can put the world back into the right light for me. It's not about reversion. It's about navigation.

I believe that in 200 years from now, Rollins' books will still be in print and still be relevant. There may be college classes focused around them. It seems insane to say that now, but I do believe it. I believe that his writing touches on something in a set group of people (larger than anyone can imagine) that isn't being written about today -- and definitely isn't being written about in that way. One of the closest things I can think of that came close to capturing some (not all) of that spirit on a mass level was the film Fight Club. Too bad most of the people who saw it misunderstood it, but that doesn't dilute the message.

And that is why I'm rereading him. The message got diluted. This clears it up.


  1. You know I only jest with you. Everyone else is afraid to say anything remotely confrontational to you. I'm not, because I know you can dish as good as you get, if not more. Same goes for Chocolate Thunder. You know she tried to kill me once? Well, maybe three times.

    I heart Rollins.

    Though, I do disagree with you about his stuff being in print 200+ years from now.

    Unfortunately, the only reason Rollins' books are still in print today is because he's footing the bill to keep the stuff in circulation.

    Rollins is good guy. The bastard just emailed me a few days ago. Always great at replying in a timely manner, even when it's the most ridiculous question(s).

    "Dear Mr. Rollins, sir, uh, what is in the darkness?"


    I'll be on tour in CA during the spring. Come to a show and I'll answer you. Thank you for the email. - Henry

  2. I heard that you e-mailed him. I still disagree about his works being in print. Someone will keep them going. We don't have anything out there like this now ... at least not that I can think of.

    I know you jest, and I like it. I heart you!