The iconic Black Flag frontman turned writer and activist opens up about America,’ mediocre’ Hillary Clinton, and’ racist’ Donald Trump.
I think there are a lot of people who voted for[ Obama] who have great remorse…Hence the fact that Donald Trump can be so obnoxious and crass and racist and xenophobic .
Ive had a lot of human inputI get peopled a lot, but Im not a people person, told Henry Rollins, the punk philosopher whos been attracting fans with his brand of unabashedly loud and clear-eyed bluntness since his days as the lead singer of Black Flag.
The 54 -year-old has expended three and a half decades filtering his perspective on the human experience through a varied career as a musician, spoken word artist, radio host, Tv host, globetrotter, activist, columnist, and performer. Hes been peopled so much, as he puts it, that fans tend to see him as the confessor of their sins.
People have confessed assassinations to me, he told The Daily Beast on a recent morning in Los Angeles, hours after hopping a plane from New York City. Theyve confessed war crimes to me. I have it in writing. Youre like, OK . I dont know what to say. Im not a doctor.
Maybe its Rollinss frankness, his everyman openness, the impassioned sense of curiosity he clearly has for the world and its inhabitants. His is a measured inquisitiveness that comes through in his radio proves, in his politically-leaning LA Weekly column( Lets invaded Canada ! he suggested in a recent piece ), in the explorers spirit on display as the host of several National Geographic documentaries.
He tapped into that innate sense of connectedness in his latest movie, which also marks his first starring turn as a leading man. In the indie horror-comedy He Never Died , Rollins plays Jack, a gruff introvert living with a curse: Hes been doomed to live for eternity while hungering only for the taste of other humans. And as if hearing the screams of thousands of years of human atrocities isnt enough to keep him up at night, Jacks miserable routine is interrupted when the daughter he never knew shows up on his doorstep.
Director Jason Krawczyk wrote the duties of the irascible immortal cannibal antihero with Rollins in intellect before sending the gory dark comedy to the actor. Fortunately, Rollins connected to the part of a cynical loner tortured by the weight of historys incorrects whod truly just prefer to be left alone the majority of members of the time.
I dont want anyone to succumb, but I dont go to bars, he told. I go to a party and Im nervous. I cant wait to leave. Im not good around people.
These days Rollins pet causes include LGBT rights, and while hes thrown his support behind Bernie Sanders hes actually skeptical that America will ever feel the Bern.
Oh, hell never get elected, laughed Rollins. I like him, because I think hes a straight shooter. I love his progressive ideas about health care, electoral campaign reform, and foreign policy. Ive always liked him because hes honest to a fault. Hes a true statesman.
Obviously you cant sell him to the Midwest or the South. But I just think hes the best guy running. His ideas are route too revolutionary for America in terms of health care and all that, but I dont guess any of his ideas are threatening. I dont guess any of them would be bad. I dont think he wants the next war.
Rollins lately branded GOP presdiential nominee Donald Trump a sad Joke, but that sad joke hasnt lagged in popularity despite running his campaign by waging ugly wars on an increasing list of targets, from Mexicans to women to Muslims. Im not a Trump fan at all, but he will say whats on his intellect. Like, No more Muslims! Rollins snorted, amused. You just told that. And of course in this country, a lot of people concur. Trump, the working day he held up his cellphone and told, Heres Lindsey Grahams number! I could not not chuckle. That was FUNNY. He would be a disastrous chairwoman, but at the same period I dont think he wants to be president. I think hes a bored rich guy just being crass.
During the age of Reagan you could not go on the ballot box and say what hes telling and not have other Republicans run, Get him out of herethats not us, he continued. Now, that is a version of the GOP. That tells, Americas done, were all cynical about Washington on the left and right. You guys are all one-trick ponies. You all suck.
For what its worth, Rollins says he would not consider running for office himself, even if he has some perspective and ideas on how to fix America.
[ Trump] bespeaks of an America thats sick of war, sick of a crap economy, sick of the richest economy in the world with poverty, and nobody on either side of the aisle seems to want to fix itotherwise we would have. Its not that big of a bargain: you fill up the schools and empty the prisons. Takes you a hundred years but you can do it.
Want a clearer sky? More solar panels, thanks! Next period youre in Australia, look down when you land in any cityevery roof, solar panels. Theyre having trouble with fresh water, but theyre trying to be cleanser. This country, our heels are dug in in the past, were prehistoric. And thats where Trump is getting off. There are those who do guess the president is coming for their firearms. They are afraid of Muslims. They are afraid of Latinos. Theyre taking our undertakings! Dude, you dont want to sell oranges under the 101 Donald Trump tells those are the bad ones. Truly? I think theyre the salt of the Earth. You should shut up.
As for 2016, Rollins may be vocal, and he may be a Bernie backer, but hes not optimistic.
Bernie is not a factor. Hes not going to go anywhere, Rollins sighed. It very well could be Hillary, who I guess will be astonishingly mediocre. I guess shes a brilliant female, shes just kind of status quo and we wont get anywhere. That sucks.
I want the Hollywood objective for my country, he continued. I want us to be clean and cool and respectful of each other. No homophobia. Bill and Tom can get married and nobody cares unless they cant get some free cake!
But were not there, Rollins lamented, because we dont want to be.
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