Sunday, December 08, 2013

Henry Rollins - Talk Like a United Station

Let's get this right out of the way now; I like Henry Rollins. I like the music he has made, the books he has written, the fact that he has an opinion and can express it intelligently. I enjoy his spoken word videos and if I ever get the chance to see him live I will do that. So, what don't I like? Every so often Henry pulls the ugly American out of his back pocket, in it doesn't look good on him. In the Shock and Awe video, which every one should go out and buy, Henry talks about going to Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a USO tour. He mentions seeing a woman in a burqa, and he is shocked and offended by it. Here's the thing, I don't like the idea of a burqa either. It is the symbol of a religion that holds women a higher standard than it does men. Men are without self control, like spoiled children, so blame women when anything happens to them, so cover them up like something to be ashamed of. I get it, it's the sign of a "civilization" that is only worthy of contempt because the "men" refuse to take responsibility for their own actions because some twelve hundred year old superstition says they can (I'm looking at you, Muhammad!)

The thing is, the woman he saw has to live there, all the time. I think at that time the allied forces had been in Afghanistan only a few years, and the backwards thinking that considers burqas a good thing is centuries old. There are always going to be assholes who think that a woman without a burqa is fair game, and until that crowd is wiped out, being judgmental of a woman wearing one is a little off-side.

Remember, it was in 2002 that 15 school girls in Saudi Arabia were burned to death because the religious police wouldn't let them be saved when the school they were in burned down. Why were they allowed to burn? Because they weren't wearing correct islamic clothing. That is the mindset that we are up against in that part of the world.

The second example is from Henry's 50th birthday show in Washington DC (where he was introduced on stage by Ian MacKaye - how amazing is that?) He is talking about his trip to Pyongyang, North Korea. Of course as a tourist from the United States, he is escorted by handlers, AKA: spies, one of whom he likes, and one he doesn't. The fellow he likes is named Kim, and Kim tried to tell a joke, which Henry sort of makes fun of, and then later Henry decides to try to get Kim to admit that maybe the North isn't quite all that (which it isn't) He kind of makes fun of how Kim just can't get it through his head that maybe the South is doing better than the North. One again, Henry gets to leave, Kim has to live there, and if Kim says anything bad about the North, he won't be living there long. Also, once again, Kim, his father and his grandfather have all lived under the dictatorship in the North. His entire life of learning has been under the control of a dictator, and it is all he knows (it would be like telling a member of the tea party that the United States is no exceptional.) Oh, Kim also probably knows that if he diss's the North, he will disappear. I don't mind trouble makers, but if you are going to cause trouble you had better be there to face the consequences, and Henry was leaving. Kim was not. Henry is well worth listening to, always, but I still get to think for myself, I suppose.

Anyway... Humouroceros

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