Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Henry Rollins: terrorist threat?

An interesting article today in about punk rock bon vivant Henry Rollins and his recent run-in with the Australian government.

Rollins, on a recent flight to Australia to play The Big Day Out festival, was apparently turned in to the government as a possible terrorist suspect, because of the book he was reading on the plane, Jihad: The Rise Of Militant Islam In Central Asia. The author, Ahmed Rashid, is a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and the book is published by Yale University Press. Nevertheless, the book's title coupled with Rollins' completely tatooed body and tough-guy demeanor no doubt scared his seat-mate silly, and he fingered Rollins as a terrorist suspect.

The irony about this incident, of course, is that of all entertainers currently working today, Henry Rollins has spent more time in Iraq and Afghanistan directly supporting our troops, through the USO, than virtually anybody else. Yes, he's vehemently anti-Bush, but he's a total hero to the troops for performing over there.

Here he is playing in Afghanistan. Good thing he's surrounded by soldiers, what with him being such a threat and all.

Now, as we all know, there are two sides of Rollins, and it's always a crapshoot as to which one you're gonna get on any given day. There's the super-snarky and sarcastically funny Rollins (my personal favorite), and then there's the meathead "Pain is good, life is pain" Rollins who's a lot less fun and kinda reminds you of that guy who hangs out in the gym all day, even after he's done working out.

So, as he describes in his web diary, Hank gets this letter from the Australian government, and, looking at it objectively, it's actually a fairly nice letter.

“I hope this finds you before you leave Australia as I think its something that won’t surprise you but might give you a smile when you are sitting in a hotel room. I work in one of those Government areas that deals with anti terrorism matters. A fine service is provided but unfortunately we get to read a lot of things submitted by lunatics. The Australian Government set up the National Security Hotline to report terrorists.

The person who sat next to you on the flight from New Zealand does not agree with your politics or choice of reading and so nominated you as a possible threat. As they were too cowardly or stupid to leave their details I can’t call them to discuss their idiocy with them.”

Not so bad, right? I mean, can you imagine the US government writing a letter like that? Hell no, you can't. There would not even be a letter, you would just wake up in Gitmo wondering what the hell is being shoved into the back of you.

So guess which Rollins wrote back?

"Please tell your government and everyone in your office to go fuck themselves. Tell them twice. If your boss is looking for something to do, you can tell him I suggest he go fuck himself. Baghdad's safer than my hometown and your PM is a sissy. You have a nice night.”

Then, on the diary, added:

I really don’t take kindly to that kind of shit. I like it though. Love it. Confrontation. Tension. Adversarial relationships. More please. It’s the only time it gets real.

Sigh. Well, maybe next time, right? I'm sure that the kids are impressed.


Blogger lgolanty said...

That's funny, the exact same thing happened to me on the way home from Los Angeles - except the book that tipped off the person next to me was a script called "Mr. Kolpert"...

2/17/2006 7:30 AM

Anonymous David Gieselmann said...

"Mr Kolpert" is a threat? good! i wrote it!

10/20/2009 3:22 AM


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