Beefcake Episode #3 “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou
I have always been intrigued by Henry Rollins. Ever since I was a fat, cocky teenager with long bangs, a skateboard, and a really bad Jeff Spicoli accent, I knew of Henry Rollins and what he represented…or at least I assumed I did. I really didn’t know anything about him, but I made him out to be who and what I wanted him to be. That is what I do, I judge. I wrap people up as quickly as possible and cram them into whatever box I need them to fit, this way I can justify my thoughts and actions. I wanted Henri to be this badass, tough guy, who yells and screams, and jacks people up, so that is what I made him. I molded him from hot-wax, like one of those animal figurines that you buy at the zoo, and I placed him in a pedestal inside of my brain. I just left him sitting there, like most of the people in my head, who I have made uniformed judgements, either for or against.
I recently came reconnected with Mr. Rollins through an article that he wrote, “White America Couldn’t Handle What Black America Deals With Everyday”. I was moved, to say the least. After reading this, I went in search of some more Henry Rollins material. This weekend, I listened to a 2-hour podcast interview with him on the You Made It Weird Podcast. “Wow”, is really all I have to say. Here is why (I will try to be brief)….
Henry Rollins is fucking lighting. The kind of lightning that you love to watch from a distance, until it hits too close to your home, kills your favorite tree, and knocks your power out for the next couple of days. Every word that he speaks is deliberate and has direction. He has intention with his life, and action behind his existence. It is impossible not to FEEL something when you listen to him speak. You might feel hate, you might feel appreciation, you might feel opposition, or you might feel passion….but you will FEEL. You will feel as if your traps are about to rip out of your shirt. You will feel rage, or peace, or anger, or ecstacy, but his energy and his voice evoke a response. As I listened to him off-and-on throughout my day, I felt as if I was having a boxing match, and with every round was a different exchange of blows, because that is the way that he communicates. He speaks so deliberately that it is as if he is putting out stiff jabs, until eventually hitting you in the teeth with a right hook, or comes straight at you with an uppercut.
The beauty in Henry’s intensity is that he is so passionate, yet still seemingly open-minded. To disagree with him is equally as welcome as agreeing fully. To blindly agree with Henry Rollins I feel would be an insult. I felt as if behind the power in his words was also a man who welcomed and appreciated debate, disagreement, and the opinion of others. Not because he wants an argument or to create a spectacle, but because he has a yearning for knowledge and perspective, and is willing to fight for it. What he says, he believes. But there is a side to him that is so eager to find truth, that he is willing to step back and listen to the other man’s opinion. He is really a fascinating creature. He is a man who has made the decision to drive forward, and to drive forward with passion and fury to enjoy the things he wants to enjoy, change the things he wants to change, and hate the things he wants to hate. His hate is why I wrote this article….
On the You Made It Weird Podcast, Henry makes a reference to Ann Coulter. Ann once said that she “loves Sarah Palin for her enemies”. Mr. Rollins points out that humans, especially ones in inferior positions, are not worthy adversaries. If you are going to make something your enemy, make it a “thing”, not a person. Make your enemy a situation, not a human-being. If you are going to have an enemy, make it a cause, something you can put action behind. Henry points out that if you “hate” something, you need to put action behind it. If you don’t put action behind your hate, than you are wasting your life. He compares hate without action to drinking the entire ocean and still remaining thirsty.
I am envious of the hate that Henry Rollins holds. The hate in his heart brings about action, which brings about change. The passion in his voice, the conviction in his words, left me wanting to leave the same impression on other people when we interact. I want to feel and be felt with every conversation. I want people to know that my intentions are good, even if not agreeable, they are well-intended. I want to live as if I am a thousand volt live-wire and the people around me are in the same puddle. I was soothed by the sound of fury that Henry Rollins injected when he talked about hate, as well as love. His fury was power, and the power was passion, and with passion comes change, and with that change comes fulfillment, and fulfillment is life. I most certainly want to die someday, but before then I would like to live, feverishly.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,