Henry Rollins: The Column! My New Year's Resolution: To Rock Out
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Saturday KCRW broadcast.]
For many years I tried to make New Year's resolutions. I made lists and shot for great heights: I would show altruism and exert moral strength, patience and all those other great attributes.
For a few weeks I was able to hang in there, be disciplined and do good, as the resolutions dictated. Then, invariably, real life crept in. I would do things like forget to sit up straight, and I went back to the way I was in the previous year.
The only thing I have done consistently for decades is to listen to music damn near every day. I am sure there have been days when I didn't listen to music, but I can't remember any of them at this moment -- they must not have been all that great.
We city dwellers, we residents of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, are for the most part urbanized to some extent. We know deadlines, start times and traffic. We pay rent, we pay the mortgage, and we look ahead to guard our very bright futures. These forces shape our conduct to some degree. To get by, we have to keep a fair fraction of our lives in check, lest we lose the plot through poor planning. Freedom gives you all you need to fail on a monumental scale.
Speaking for myself, and not to put my country in a bad light, but since I was 23 I have thought of America not so much as a nation but as a situation you survive, fail or prevail in.
Never once have I thought that Social Security would be something that would ever be available to me. No "safety net" created by the people for the people would ever be anything I could rely on. Please don't think that I am against these New Deal institutions. I am very much for them. I just reckon I am on my own in the wide-open America and have to be prepared for whatever comes.