Rollins?


I've always admired Henry Rollins. And I get what he thought he was saying. When there are people in the public eye who are our heroes or role models, who accomplish great things and resound with us at a gut and heart level, and then just they just kill themselves, it confounds our personal narrative about what we saw on the screen, the presentation that formed our idea bubbles about who these people we admire really were.

Henry, while admiring their work while they were alive, chooses to characterize his administered asterisk for these people's chosen ending as disdain. (Though he spelled it "distain," and the hot new clickbait editorial principles of the L.A. Weekly let it stand.)

But what he said undercuts the whole lot of us who aren't famous, who aren't offered high-profile outlets to work on our feelings, for whom trudging through our regularly dispensed despair is mostly a mysterious and frustrating affair. And then there's those of us for whom depression is a real, physical, mental, diagnosable condition, whose traumas I won't insult by saying something on stuff I don't know enough about to be conversant. I, too, am not a doctor.


Getting attention for depression, for any kind of condition that affects one's behavior, attitudes or decisions, is still stigmatized. It's not taken seriously, many times not even by the people who experience the depression themselves.

We can't just Jazzercise or mosh our way to happiness. It's not always a matter of pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, jumping on the back of Captain America and taking pre-emptive victory laps. I’m sure all of us would be very happy if it was merely something we could solve by weightlifting, being a punk icon, having dependable media outlets for our views and obtaining tattoos on a semi-weekly schedule. But as much as I haven't lived in his shoes, I'm surprised Rollins said something that implies he's not even willing to acknowledge some people's feet.

And if I was a majorly depressed, fatally hopeless, peripherally distended and exhausted, crushed soul -- and believe me, I have been that person, long ago and fairly recently -- I'd read what Henry wrote and think, well, that stigmatization isn't going away anytime soon, is it?

I'm pretty sure Rollins will amend his statement, because I don't believe he's the bad guy. But yeah. It's hard not to feel just the slightest bit bullied.

Holy crap -- I'm taking the Morrissey side in this argument, aren't I? Well, that's it, the circle's complete now.
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