Henry Rollins: To Get Through These Next Four Years, Medicate With Music
As I write this, comrade Trump has been “in office” for 66 days and a few hours. If you were not producing results at your new job after two months, someone would probably tell you, “You’re fired.”
I don’t know if his fans are able to deal with the fact that the man is a failure machine. He can blame the media and Democrats for his massive blowouts all he wants; the truth remains glaring back, unblinking.
Further confirmation of his inability to deliver on his ridiculous campaign promises happened when he Hail Mary’d his dipshit son-in-law into the ambiguous position of Supreme Fixer-Upper of All Things, like righting all the wrongs in that whole Israel-Palestine thing, upgrading the Veterans Administration, and other matters we can file under “everything else the president is supposed to do.”
Basically, Trump is turning his office over to a younger but equally unqualified version of himself. If that causes you any stress, just know that insta-kinda-prez Jared will be guided by Priebus and Bannon. Thinking of those two reminds me of when Rodney Dangerfield’s character, Al Czervik, looked at spoiled rich kid Spaulding in Caddyshack and said, “Now I know why tigers eat their young.”
The days are flying by and nothing is getting done. I completely understand where Trump is coming from. I don’t want the job either.
Burning too many calories wringing your hands over how hopelessly fucked these people are is a waste of time, but since they are doing their level best to further moronify the electorate, filthify the soil, toxify the water and strip the art out of American culture, there is no short amount of things to be done.
I have, more than once, in the pages of this fine publication, advocated for the sending of recorded and live music from speakers to be heard by people. In these bizarre and morale-obliterating times, there cannot be enough music, art or film.
It is obvious why the Trump/Kushner madmanministration hates the idea of public airwaves. They know full well that when the music is on, people are better for it; that when people go to galleries and dig art, it feeds a part of them that no meal can reach. Once you get a taste of how good things can be when exposed to artistic expression, you never go back. It’s how rock & roll prevailed against every force that sought to neutralize it. Even the major labels, with all their resources, endless amounts of money and bad taste, couldn’t turn music into the paragon of mediocrity they wanted it to be.
Trump and his sociopath pals want a country full of incurious, diversity-opposed, dull-minded cogs, through a haze of prescription drugs, tobacco, alcohol and bad food, serving out their lifespans in minimum-wage Dickensian employment. If there is a salary you can’t call it slavery, but that’s exactly what it is.
What these leisure-at-your-expense leeches can’t and will never understand is that with the almost unimaginable power available to them to twist, subvert and marginalize, they have nothing nearly as potent as Curtis/Live! by Curtis Mayfield with which to hold you down.
Even in the first 100 “salad days” of this presidential farce, the cracks are starting to show. I wonder what press secretary Spicer gets up to before he hits the stage to play dodgeball with the media. There is no way he thinks to himself that he’s the only one in the room who gets it and it’s up to him to straighten all these hacks out. He’s not stupid, just trapped in a bad job.
Spicer is in an iron man gruelathon of his own making. How long can he hold this stress position? He should come to the podium in a jacket covered with the logos of vodka makers and antidepressants. “This briefing made possible by Oleptro and Absolut.”
One of the best ways to fight the power is putting on one record after another, filling the room with music and pushing back relentlessly against the catastrophe that the Trump crime family is trying to perpetrate. The volume doesn’t even have to be up that much, just as long as music is playing more often than not. It’s not a solution, but it is a really cool form of nonviolent resistance that will keep you sane and always looking in the right direction.
Let’s say that you devoted a small CD player to the single, monastic task of playing only one disc on repeat somewhere in your living space, like a prayer candle that never goes out, until Trump strokes out of office. Like a hunger strike without the starvation. If you had to pick one album to play for what could be years, which one would it be? What record would be able to pull together enough of the existential dent you’re making second by second to where you could say, “This is me”?
This idea is a bit intense but I actually did a very abbreviated version of it when, years ago, I had to break in some speakers by literally keeping music going through them for several days. It was a strange experience to have David Bowie’s Scary Monsters album playing nonstop, but that was the one.
I am not recommending that one pretends what is happening is not, or doing nothing about it. I do think that in order to remain effective and not get too much on you, medicating and fortifying with music is a great idea. Whatever it takes to get through this American horror story.
More from the mind of Henry Rollins:
White America Couldn't Handle What Black America Deals With Every Day
Bowie's Blackstar Is on the Level of Low and Heroes
No Matter Who Wins, America Is Only Going to Get Angrier
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.