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Henry Rollins - Critical Conversations

16-10-18




I remember reading about Henry Rollins back in the days I used to read Metal Hammer and Kerrang in the post-industrial British West Midlands. It must have been in the years before I lost the plot the first time around. I didn't know what to make of him, or I don't remember what I made of him. But I think I was fascinated. Here was a guy who was travelling around doing spoken word tours before that was a thing; before, at any rate it was a thing for punk frontmen. But then it seems he was always somebody who understood punk in the broadest sense. It would take me twenty years or more to find his work. I came across him while searching YouTube for interviews I could play for my upper intermediate English students in class. YouTube had by now demonstrated beyond all doubt its capacity to corrode public discourse and boost the alt-Reich and I felt dirty every time I used it. But here now, I would discover Henry and his words and stories and obsessively find everything I could of his for a number of days, listening to him and watching him. In this video, perhaps the second I was to find of him speaking, he talks about global citizenship and how he travelled to the Middle East during the catastrophic presidency of George W. Bush, to see for himself the countries he was being told were evil. The first fifteen minutes of this speech almost made me cry. My students, I think, approved of him and his words. I hope you will too.





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