“All who are not versed in some professional weapon- including tongue and pen as weapons- are servile.” Friedrich Nietzsche.
Henry Rollins is coming to Cape Town, the 18th of May, to the Baxter theatre. It’s been three years since I first laid conciousness on the man’s material. Describing him without igniting some knee jerk countering sentiment seems important, because I think his work is important, his potency (read radical bordering on rabid) causes the kind of ripples that make us think about the right things, his agenda chimes with all things progressive.
Distilled & fierce free flow militant liberalism encased in a Kerouacian style devotion to understanding the spirit of our age. A voice in receipt of cultivation, a secular broad sword, an energetic ball of controlled chaos that celebrates and defines alternative consciousness simultaneously.
Few boast successfully trumping the steaming pile of pop that eats at our stages & airwaves, Rollins serves the Hicks-esq quest to merge entertainment and thoughtfulness. A rare side of the line to commit to and, what more, an infinitely difficult feat to pull off authentically. Every tattooed square centimetre of the man challenges the ever widening suburban collective soft-in-the-gut-blob that festers so determinedly.
His spoken word shows leave the impression that mediocrity can be squared off and dealt with & that it’s our responsibility to make sure this happens. He seems to find joy in feeling the heat of a smouldering consumerist fuselage; sniping, hacking and kicking the shit out of our grey scale middle class utopian sentiments all the while being fucking entertaining. A kief mix.
A one man watchtower operation sporting a state of the art bullshit detector, set permanently to stun. The grit that textures his commentary, his ferocious logic and his unashamed insistence that the world tow a meaningful line are only a few of the things l like about this Rollins man. He’s also pretty funny.
Looking at his body of work one can’t help but notice leadership- embracing his message can be done by behaving like him. That’s why he’s important, he’s a working replica of applied, thoughtful ferociousness.
When John Wesley was asked why Methodism was becoming so popular his response was beauteously succinct; “I simply set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.”
Go & watch him burn, 18th of May, the Baxter Theatre.
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