Gray Flannel Dwarf


Perhaps some of the best Rollins ever.

Henry Rollins’ letter to Ann Coulter.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 12:58 am


Henry Rollins now ‘person of interest’ in Australia.

Well, if there’s one person I wouldn’t suspect of terrorism in the US, it’s Henry Rollins. Outspoken? Yes. Loud? Yes. Angry? …probably. Hater of western civilization? Not at all. However, it seems he’s caught the ire of the Australian authorities for reading a copy of Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia on the airplane. This raised the supicions of the passenger sitting next to him… and by all accounts, the end result raised Rollins’ hackles, too. In typical Rollins fashion, he sums up the event in a succinct and candid manner. From this bit on…

“The guy phoned me in to their, like, anti-terrorist board, and they found me – they looked me up,” he said. “They looked up the flight and found out who was sitting in seat 10A and they got to me. And they said, ‘OK, you’re now a person of interest. The man next to you does not agree with your politics and he didn’t like the book you were reading.’ This kind of provocation, I don’t respond very well to. I was furious. And so I wrote back, ‘You can tell everyone at your office, including your boss, to go f— themselves. This book has been read by a ton of people – I am not a threat to your state or any state or any republic.’ ” In the actual text of his online response, Rollins added: “Baghdad’s safer than my hometown, and your PM is a sissy.”

A capsule of this event was apparently reported as far back as February 16th in Australia’s Furthermore, Hank himself recalls the account to some degree in his Dispatches. Rollins, who opposes both the war and the current administration, nonetheless supports the troops insofar as he feels they do their duty in serving their country and that they’ve gotten screwed over by their government; he has done several USO tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, and even Honduras. In that light, it’s a shame to see that Australian officials have consumed enough of the White House kool-aid to unquestioningly paint someone with the same broad brush. Hank won’t take it sitting down, however…

“He didn’t even leave his name and address [when he called], and that, to me, is pretty cowardly,” Rollins said. “The next time I get out to Australia — that is, if they let me in — I am going to talk about that guy in every interview I do. And it will get to him. It’s a small country, in that there aren’t a lot of people there and most of the country’s just sand and flies. So it will get to him.”

… and really, I think he could teach us all a lesson with this one. For far too long, those opposed to this war have allowed itself to be stereotyped as unpatriotic… and sans a bit of whining, navel-gazing, and weak, “but, but”-laden denials regarding such accusations, no one has stood up and made a bold statement against such claims. Will anyone have the cojones to tell these warmongers to step down next time the accusation is hoisted? Will you? When will we hear something like:

I don’t support the war or this President, but that doesn’t make me patriotic. And I would recommend that you think twice before questioning me again.

Or -

Opposing the war is not ‘treason’, and to say otherwise puts your own well-being at risk.

I’m sure some of you can come up with better slogans.

If the attacks on those who oppose the war continue to succeed, it will be due to the continued passivity, as opposed to pacificism, of the anti-war crowd. One can oppose the war without being afraid to stand up for one’s self, in a defensive posture if necessary, amidst personal attacks. In closing, I’ll quote Rollins one more time, from his account of this event, as to how he feels about rabid accusations:

I really don’t take kindly to that kind of shit. I like it though. Love it. Confrontation. Tension. Adversarial relationships. More please. It’s the only time it gets real.

Tags: , , , , , — cswiii @ 10:59 am


Found the “lyrics” to this.

Found the “lyrics” to this. It’s a fifteen-minute spoken bit off the Rollins Band Album, Get Some, Go Again. Probably some of the truest words I’ve ever read, in my opinion, it reflects pretty accurately the pain I feel when I listen to today’s radio.

Pretty sure the words are right. Italicising and emphasis have been added by me. If you want to hear it, I’m sure I can rustle up an MP3 somewhere along the way.
‘L.A. Money Train’ — Rollins Band

Alright, everybody. We’re here in Los Angeles in the wonderful Cherokee Recording Studios, and tonight we’re gonna vent some steam and talk about this town. And hangin’ out and jammin’ with us tonight is one of the great guitar gods of our time, none other than the brother Wayne Kramer. So, Jason, are you ready? Alright. One! Two! Three! Hit it!

Yeah. I wanna talk about the LA Money Train. Hollywood, California. The place where people come to make it. The train makes many stops on its route. And many try valiantly to get on. Like the rock star from Portland, who works at the office supply store for years getting his hair together, waiting for that train to stop and take him to fame and financial excess. And then there’s the actress from Houston, who’s spent six years preparing for her big screen debut, by dancing naked on a stage, and ends up realizing her celluloid dreams by going straight to video, co-starring in “Ten Miles of Tough Tongue.” Hey, it’s work. You gotta keep working. You gotta keep working it. Some people will do anything to get on. Sounds pretty wild, right? All aboard, y’all.

Yeah. Now what about that new visionary turned big spender, taking all those musical genres and puttin’ ‘em in a blender? The music shake he makes made the critics get up on their little hind legs and exclaim: “Now this is what’s happening!” Ah! It’s just more crap from a culture that’s evaporating. Stealing from here and there. He’s on the cover of every magazine with his deer caught-in-a-primetime-limelight stare. Really cosmic. Pretending to be totally unaware as to what all the fuss is about as the record company moves with ruthless efficiency and lightning speed to attract every last cent from his listenership before they move on to real drugs, sex, and suddenly find his music one hundred percent unnecessary. You know the situation. Feel free to choose one or utilize any combination. You loose your job. You get your ass kicked. Your woman leaves you. You spend a night in county jail. Reality gets all up in your face, and says: “Hey, man, the rent’s due.” And all of a sudden that Offspring record just doesn’t do it for you anymore. Did I just say that? Man! So what if it’s true? Yeah. Money train. Money train. Just get on. Just get on the money train, man.

“But, fellows, you know… You know we got brother Wayne Kramer here. So we gotta get outta the way, so he can step up and get into it. Alright, brother Wayne. You got it, man. Go ahead. Yeah.”

Yeah. Yeah. Alright. I wanna talk about some more people on the train. I wanna talk about some more people ridin’ that money train. You know sometimes failure brings success and I got the proof. I heard about a man, who’s ridin’ on the train right now, who got kicked out of the 5th floor window and landed way up on the roof. Right time, right place, good rap, nice face. We have the same analyst. Lose your integrity, sell your soul, kiss the right (ass) and up you’ll go. From the lofty heights you’re residing in they look like ants and their flesh tastes just like chicken. Boy, if your friends could see you now. The ones back from the old town that you left to come out here to get on the money train. You know what they’d say? They’d say: “Uh, were your teeth always that straight and white?” Forget about it, man. As long as you’re on the A-list you’re in the mix, you’re the man. You got the force, the power, the vision, the intensity, the focus, the drive. You are the master of your destiny. Sure to get what you want. Sure to get on that train. Sure to get on that train. Yeah.

You know, in this town, what you drive up in determines who you’ll be driving home with. How you dress determines who you’ll be undressing. Makes a man wanna get a nice car, cool clothes, and get in touch with his haircare products. On the other hand, you can always go to the video store and see the guy who used to sell millions of records and then snorted, drank and burned his fortunes. All he has left is the dyed hair, eyeliner, and attitude. The receding hairline, gut, and double chin only add to the visual intensity. And from him you can rent a video, and watch his old girlfriend, who’s now your next-door neighbour, do things that are definitely moving too fast for primetime. It’s an option. Yeah.

“Hey, Jim. I don’t wanna leave you out, man. So if you wanna step up and get some, go ahead. Jim Wilson.”

Yeah. I get so tired of all the drama. I get so tired of all the drama. I get so tired of all the fakes jumping up and making it. Hard to see all the people who really believe in the soul power of music, standing on the side and getting run over by those with perk breasts, dyed hair, and wonderful cheek-bones. So tired. At this point all I’d like is the truth. At this point all I’d like is the truth. I get so tired of hearing the stories of people who worked years and years, and their lives are nothing but bitter, burning tears, falling into their shoes as they wait on the boulevard for the bus as the man with no talent drives by in a brand new BMW 540i. Yeah. Disgusting. Disgusting on an epic scale. Disgusting like huge Godzilla-size disgusting. Obscene the way they go to the bank with. Obscene the way they stretch it out. Obscene the way they’re so self-satisfied. As the real soul goes down the drain. As the one triple nine rolls over to the two triple zero. You’ll see that the only heroes left, are the ones who are railing in the dust, punching their fist to the sky, still burning with soul intensity. As the smirking fakes just say: “Whatever, man. It’s cool.” Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

For years I’ve waited. For years I’ve waited for the real thing to come along. For years I’ve waited, for nights I sweated. And in all the small rooms I occupied, I thought to myself: “It can’t last for long. This facade can’t stay up forever. Someone’s gonna come along and knock it down.” Well, many tried and many fell away. Many tried and many left with nothing to say. And they were seen as losers, and they crashed and burned into the sea. Or went up north and vanished or slid back to the midwest. Or were burned and scattered in the south or smashed to bits by the brutality of the east. Yeah. Yeah.

Now I don’t mean to sound like they beat us or anything, but sometimes I think it’s all over. Sometimes I think it’s all over. No more Coltrane. No more Duke. No more Monk, Jimi, Otis, Aretha, J.B., or Sly. And no one seems to stop and wonder why. And I turn on the radio and it makes me wanna cry. Because I know it’s never gonna come around again. And it makes me cry because I know that there’s so many people who’ll never get to hear Mahalia Jackson, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightning, Lemon, Curtis, Marvin, and the Reverend Al Green.

The airways are clogged, and it’s not looking good. In fact it’s looking pretty mediocre out there, but I digress…

You hear that saxophone player in the background? Yeah. We brought him in, so you could get a glimpse of my new found maturity, and still get a sense of my street credibility. He’s a session guy. He doesn’t even know my name. He’s no fool, he’s gettin’ that session work. He’s ridin’ the train. Yeah. Good work if you can get it. Just like a stuntman. Just like a pornstar. Oh, wait a minute. He’s an actor. “Hey, man, what was your motivation for that last scene?”

Yeah. Yeah. Money train. Money train. Sometimes I too wanna get on and ride just like you. Sometimes I’m just like you, man. I wanna get on and have a ride. I wanna get on and ride, and take these fakes for every penny they got. Yeah. Yeah.

Oh, and uh, don’t forget to keep it real. You always gotta keep it real. Ah-ha, ha, ha, ha! Ah-ha! Ah-ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Keep it real, man. Yeah. Yeah. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Whoo…

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 3:32 pm


Don’t justify your complacency to me.

“You say your job is a pain
It’s pulling you down the drain
I think you’d rather complain
Than quit it!”
– Henry Rollins, “Change It Up”

Tags: — cswiii @ 4:14 pm


“How does anyone connect with

“How does anyone connect with anyone? The woman I was with recently is great but I see that I upset her balance. I have only good intentions but I feel intrusive and strange. I want to be with her but I think my presence stresses her out. It hurts to know I have this effect.” — Henry Rollins

Preaching the gospel, Henry.

Had another debate with my roommate. We have never yet had a fight, although this was the closest we’ve come. It was still far from one, however, don’t get me wrong. We were just coming from things at completely different perspectives. I was trying to figure out why thing were happening in my life, and she thought I was making excuses for things. Maybe she’s right.

I keep finding myself surrounded with negative, cynical, grey people, and it affects me. Now, there is no fate. We determine our own destiny. I posted a Rollins quote about this concept before; he said this in the pages I read tonight, and my roommate said it, too. She says that I must be only looking for the negative sides of people, and I’ve heard that before. It’s probably all very true.

But how come, when I had a helluva lot more problems, and was a lot more cynical, I still managed to find supportive, positive-thinking, interesting people? This is what I cannot figure out.

In other news… had an e-mail discussion with this cool cat, Jin Wicked. Well, it was more of a one-sided thing, but she wrote back, and I appreciated it, and understand that her current situation doesn’t warrant a lot of time for chatter. Please visit her site at the URL above. She’s a really talented individual.

Time to go.

Tags: — cswiii @ 10:39 pm


Canoeing the Shennandoah yesterday was

Canoeing the Shennandoah yesterday was pretty good. I’d been down that stretch of the river several times in my youth, and a few times when I worked at the camp, but it never loses its thrill.

Party yesterday was great, too. Met a bunch of cool new people, chattered, had good food and wine (and rum and coke, pina colada, etc., etc.) Reintroduced to two prior, one-time accquaintances who I found out speak Mandarin. This is a good thing. We’ll have to have them over for dinner.

Smile, You’re Traveling is turning out to be a great read. Rollins might piss some people off, turn others off, lead others to assume he’s just some washed-up middle aged punk rocker. Hardly the case.

Rollins inspiration for the day. Used without permission.

“…It’s amazing. I want a moment to myself, so I go to fucking Madagascar. Here I can open up my gills and breathe. Places like this is where I belong. Alone in a remote corner of the world. This suits me. I like staying out on the road for as long as possible. I come home and it’s always a letdown. I don’t want to hear about people’s little trials and tribulations about their car fucking up or their bullshit job getting to them. What did they expect? How can you complain that you’re bored unsatisfied when you surround yourself with mediocrity and a grind that slowly drains you of your will to live? You can have it any way you want or have a hell of an interesting time en route if you have the guts to go for it. Or you can let events run your life and determine how it will go. The concept of fate is hilarious to me. “It was fate.” Please. That’s just giving up when you can’t figure out how to make the VCR record something while you’re away… “

Tags: , — cswiii @ 10:04 am


* John Lee Hooker died

* John Lee Hooker died today. Crushing. I read someone’s words elsewhere: “Damn, this is not a good year for my heroes. First Gregory Corso, John Lee Hooker.” Couldn’t be more true.

* Went to Borders tonight. For some reason, slipped into my old self. Woman sitting next to me, a recent college grad, from what I could gather, researching the job market. Could have led to interesting conversation. Couldn’t get myself to talk to her. Geez — I couldn’t even get myself to ask if she knew the current date, as I needed it for some various chart I was tracking in my notebook.

* Bought all three of the books currently in Henry RollinsBlack Coffee Blues series. I’d read most or all of the first two, in bits and pieces, at prior Borders trips, across the three different Borders I’ve lived near in the past 2 years or so. Started reading Smile, You’re Traveling tonight. Just great.

* Isolated thunderstorms. Isolated just outside my condo, I think, they don’t seem to be going anywhere.

* Drano, bleach in the tub. I hate housekeeping.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:47 pm