Henry Rollins, terror of your eighth-grade gym class, also has some opinions on depression and suicide, as is now required of any musician who’s ever donned face paint and screamed into a microphone. Writing in his latest L.A. Weekly column—in a post titled “Fuck Suicide” that nevertheless still got published—the erstwhile Black Flag frontman decries the act of killing oneself as self-centered and senseless, doing so in a rambling blog about why he, Henry Rollins, doesn’t have any respect for those who do it.
It’s an argument that should cause anyone who’s similarly on the brink to pause, then ask themselves whether Henry Rollins might think they’re being a pussy. If they are, maybe they should walk it off and take those emotions right to the squat cage. After all, it’s hard to think about suicide when you’re blasting your quads.
“I am no doctor,” Henry Rollins declares, lest anyone mistake these opinions for that of a licensed mental health practitioner. He further makes it clear that—although he’s personally known two friends who have killed themselves—he knows that “you can’t understand anyone else’s torment.” He also knows that the inner workings of a severely depressed person remains a uniquely personal, inexplicable mystery to everyone on the outside, and that depression can be “more isolating than anything else you have ever experienced.” Nevertheless, Rollins seems certain that all of this can and should be instantly negated by thinking of the children:
I simply cannot understand how any parent could kill themselves. How in the hell could you possibly do that to your children? I don’t care how well adjusted your kid might be—choosing to kill yourself, rather than to be there for that child, is every shade of awful, traumatic and confusing. I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So, you don’t kill yourself.
Should inescapable parental responsibilities and overwhelming guilt somehow not quash the suicidal thoughts in a person suffering from mental illness, there’s another consequence to consider: If you kill yourself, you will no longer mean anything to Henry Rollins, and you will be denied a life everlasting in the heaven of his personal regard.
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.
(Of course, it’s possible that being removed from Rollins’ “analog world” still allows for you to be stored on digital implants; after all, he once starred in Johnny Mnemonic. But know that, even in the virtual reality realm, you will fill the sting pulsing along the wires whenever Henry Rollins passes your albums or movies on his shelf and gives them the side-eye. And your deaths shall be infinite.)
“Almost 40,000 people a year kill themselves in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In my opinion, that is 40,000 people who blew it,” says Rollins of all those losers who really let him down, and are now permanently cut from the roster of Team Kick-Ass. “Fuck suicide. Life isn’t anything but what you make it,” he adds, in a sentiment that is no doubt already being printed over a photo of a soaring hawk, for distribution to the nation’s mental hospitals.
“I have life by the neck and drag it along. Rarely does it move fast enough. Raw Power forever,” Rollins concludes, in case you took any of this preceding shit seriously.