Last week, when Robin Williams offed himself, I wrote — perhaps insensitively — that I couldn’t feel bad for someone amply resourced, with children, ending it all by taking the easy way out.
At the time, I was wholly unaware of how severe Williams’ depression was, or that he was dealing with the onset of Parkinson’s Disease. Still, I stand by what I wrote. I don’t feel bad for the suicided. I feel bad for the ones they leave behind — the victims of their selfish acts.
My words sparked outrage on Twitter, and I was none the wiser. I had no fucking clue all these turd smugglers were talking mad shit, and still don’t give a fuck about them. I just think it’s funny lesser men in states I’ll never set foot in tried starting a Twitter war with me and I was completely oblivious to it. These attacks legitimately had me wondering if I fucked someone’s sister.
Anyways, Henry Rollins — who isn’t as metal as he is hardcore, what with his work with Black Flag and the Rollins Band — has stirred up some controversy over his recent editorial on Williams’ suicide.
It ran in LA Weekly.
It starts off praising Robin’s work, but then, takes a turn towards the honest.
“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.
“Many years ago, I lived in Silver Lake with a housemate who suffered from severe bouts of depression. When she wasn’t in her small bedroom with the lights off, crying for hours, she was bright and hilarious. Anywhere we went, we laughed our asses off. She fought her depression with everything from bike rides to drugs, prescribed and otherwise. Years after the last time I saw her, I guess she could no longer keep up the battle and killed herself. No one who knew her was surprised. When she was in her deepest misery, she was unrecognizable.
“The hardest part about being around her was you knew there was nothing you could do to help.”
Later, Rollins continued: “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.
“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.
“Fuck suicide. Life isn’t anything but what you make it. For all the people who walked from the grocery store back to their house, only to be met by a robber who shot them in the head for nothing — you gotta hang in there.”
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