Henry Rollins Pens 'F--- Suicide' Essay Criticizing Robin Williams, Suicidal
Henry Rollins' newest article for LA Weekly is sure to raise some eyebrows. In his weekly column posted Thursday, titled "Fuck Suicide," Rollins lambasts the suicidal, including the deceased Robin Williams.
In it he begins with compliments to Williams' talent and legacy, saying Good Morning Vietnam is a personal favorite, before turning his attention to our cultural values and admiration for celebrity that might make us so confused over how someone so seemingly successful as Williams could end his life in this way. But soon he turns critical, struggling to understand how a man could leave his family behind with such a move:
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.
Rollins continues in an attempt at compassion, saying, "And I get that you can’t understand anyone else’s torment. All that 'I feel your pain' stuff is bullshit and disrespectful." And he recalls stories of a few friends of his who have committed suicide in the past, but he doesn't accept their reasoning and turns sharply critical:
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 distain. 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.
He adds to close:
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.
Read Rollins' full essay here.