Sunday, March 23, 2008

Henry Rollins in Olympia

A little bit of truth in a field where there's much bullshit is how I'd describe the Olympia performance. Rollins didn't go for any cheap laughs or hit any of the typical buttons that are pretty much guaranteed to get certain responses in liberal/lefty college town, which Olympia no matter what you say is one of. Rollins had a progressive message about the war, America in general, but put it across in a way that wasn't looking over its shoulder every second to make sure that the language police weren't coming around. Instead, he described things in ways that actual human beings would, which unfairly or not is sort of the anti-thesis of Jello Biafra.

In fact, he made a point through the talk of mentioning the less-than-canonically-cool things he's interested in musically and sometimes otherwise: not only praised Slayer but mentions that he's friends with them, mentions Marilyn Manson and says he's a fan of his.

The biggest applause, more than any statement about war killing people or democracy being torn to shreds, was the reasonable idea that men should not dictate what women do with their ovaries. But. Later on he talked about visiting Iran and how nice it was over there without mentioning the idea that all Iranian women are oppressed, without mentioning the status of women in Iran at all, which no doubt disappointed or confused the audience members, used to eternally self-consistent sound bites that don't challenge people to actually think.

Ah, Jello Biafra, who I've seen speak as well. In many ways representative of typical west coast bullshit. Sanctimonious but without real content. Much like many Dead Kennedy songs. Where Biafra once sang that he'd "rather stay a child and keep my self respect if being an adult means being like you", Rollins clearly doesn't give a fuck.

Blyah. I'm still tired and worn out from celebration with friends afterwards. Don't drink much, certainly don't get hammered much, and when I do my body hates me afterwards.

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