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Henry Rollins Says Suicide Is A Decision People Make,… I Say Wait A minute!


Henry thinks he is in control

Ha Henry, I usually love everything you write and how elegantly you write it, but I can’t approve your last take on Robin Williams’ suicide! Henry Rollins has a column in the LA Weekly and on Thursday, he wrote a very compelling ‘Fuck Suicide’ essay, basically saying how much he admired and loved Robin Williams but also admitting that he simply couldn’t ‘understand how any parent could kill themselves.’

‘How in the hell could you possibly do that to your children? I don’t care how well adjusted your kid might be — choosing to kill yourself, rather than to be there for that child, is every shade of awful, traumatic and confusing. I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So, you don’t kill yourself.’

But Rollins is no Gene Simmons, he is not an idiot bully but a very articulate and intelligent guy, very well aware of the controversy he is starting. If I totally get his point about being a parent, I wish things could be as simple as ‘how could you do this to your children’.

‘When someone negates their existence, they cancel themselves out in my mind’ he continues later. ’I have many records, books and films featuring people who have taken their own lives, and I regard them all with a bit of distain. When someone commits this act, he or she is out of my analog world. I know they existed, yet they have nullified their existence because they willfully removed themselves from life. They were real but now they are not.’

I probably would not be able to count how many people he has pissed off by saying this! But I should let him talk a bit more:

‘I no longer take this person seriously. I may be able to appreciate what he or she did artistically but it’s impossible to feel bad for them. Their life wasn’t cut short — it was purposely abandoned. It’s hard to feel bad when the person did what they wanted to. It sucks they are gone, of course, but it’s the decision they made. I have to respect it and move on.’

Rollins is a tough guy, in all the sense of the term, and if he thinks he can control everything in his life, he is greatly mistaken… A decision they made? If he thinks we consciously decide and have free will, neurobiologists are gonna argue back that this is a total illusion…  I know it’s a hard one to swallow, but studies show that unconscious electrical processes in the brain precede conscious decisions, meaning that our brains make decisions on an unconscious level before we even consciously know we’re going to act! Where is the control so? Just an illusion… and new studies in neurobiology have demonstrated the death of free will, so dear to the human species. So let’s just say that the situation can’t be different in the case of suicide, especially when the brain chemistry is so damage that people fell in a deep dark hole.

‘Fuck suicide. Life isn’t anything but what you make it. For all the people who walked from the grocery store back to their house, only to be met by a robber who shot them in the head for nothing — you gotta hang in there’, concludes Rollins, ‘I have life by the neck and drag it along. Rarely does it move fast enough. Raw Power forever.’

Sure, fuck suicide, I couldn’t agree more, it’s a terrible trauma for the ones still alive, and we have to hang in there for all the people whose life were cut short. However, this is a very intellectual and philosophical way to analyze suicide, but it’s not reality, it’s not what science says. Plus Williams had an early stage of Parkinson and studies also show that depression is more common in people with early Parkinson’s disease than healthy controls… so did Robin Williams have a choice? Did he make a conscious decision? Hell no!

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