Unofficial Fame Day: Henry Rollins

Today’s post comes to you late because my iconoclastic, point by point take down of liberalism (yep, liberalism) wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be.

Well, that’s at least part of the reason.

Since our collective busy schedules have forced us to [temporarily] drop Fame Days from our rotation, I’ve also been concerned that this blog might get a little too negative. I figure I’d put off alienating everyone I know and point out something positive at the same time- and that “something” is actually a “someone“.

Henry ****ing Rollins.

Now chances are that you’ve at least seen this guy somewhere (when your neck is bigger than your head, you tend to be hard to miss). The front man for hardcore/punk legends Black Flag…

Back when “Punk” meant “You WILL leave this concert bleeding… Possibly before the band even goes on stage…”

…Or possibly from his antagonist role on Sons of Anarchy as a psychotic Neo-Nazi…

…Or even from his spoken word and stand-up comedy gigs.

The dude isn’t so much multifaceted as he is a modern-day Renaissance man. Being a good musician, a good actor, a good comic, or a good writer is tough enough- this guy is good at all of ’em.

But while we like to laud talent here at CWR, the folks we like to showcase aren’t just cultural forces but forces for good as well, and ol’ Rollins is nothing if not committed to an all-around concept of decency.

In addition to his vocal stance against homophobia and racism, Rollins has been involved in a number of good (if oft neglected) causes, including defense for the West Memphis Three, speaking out on behalf of the Bhopal disaster victims, and participating in a array of veteran services. Now you might be thinking “Hey Gordon, what’s with the absence of handy little links so we can figure out who the West Memphis Three are or what ‘Bhopal’ was.”

Well, that’s kinda my point. Plenty of celebrities will, with good intentions or bad, throw their support behind trendy, major, well-known campaigns. I try to appreciate any move towards justice, and I don’t want to judge ’em for picking the big-ticket movements (I hate the term “cause célèbre”), but I think it speaks to Rollins’ character that these are the things he speaks out for. Not stuff which is going to earn him universal acclaim- just things which simply need to be spoken out against. We’re all for that.

Nope, still no links. Go look this stuff up.

And yeah, the dude’s still on angry guy when it comes down to it. Something this world could stand to have a lot more of, in my opinion- conviction born out of reflection with the raw rage to make it all hit home.

But we’re not going to finish on that note.

Fun fact is that Evan and I are pretty into stand-up. Not experts by any means, but we’d like to think of ourselves as more immersed than your average man on the street and since it was actually his stand-up which first got me hooked, it’s that which I really want to talk about.

It’s weird.

Heck, it’s almost tough to even classify what Rollins does as comedy. He makes you laugh, but the actual jokes are comparatively few and far between. More than anything it’s just him on stage for hours telling you 20-minute stories, each and every one of which is totally enthralling. Imagine this guy running back on forth on the stage, shouting, whipping his hands everywhere, and at the end of it all you never feel like you’ve wasted a second of your time.

Don’t believe me?

Check this out.

Now if that- all that- isn’t something to be celebrated, I don’t know what is.

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