In these crazy times, we need Henry Rollins more than ever. Throughout 2016, we clung to his witty and clear-eyed observations on American politics and culture like a life raft. He helped us mourn David Bowie, make sense of Donald Trump's improbable rise, and attack our nation's seemingly intractable racism and homophobia with words that hit harder than a Black Flag riff. We here at L.A. Weekly are extremely grateful to have him as our columnist.
In case you missed some of Rollins' best moments of 2016, here is a recap (with key quotes) of his 10 most popular columns from the past year. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll marvel at how clearly he foresaw the likelihood of a Trump presidency. You may even get inspired to start collecting limited-edition colored vinyl. Thanks for another great year, Hank.
10. America Is In for a Long, Hot, Violent Summer
"No matter what happens in November, the establishment wing of the Republican Party will have to do some restructuring. After Trump, it will never be the same."
9. Embrace Your Inner Pussy
"So the Pussy Generation has arrived! I am so glad. I would like to thank Clint Eastwood for coming up with the cool name and the free promo."
8. I'm a Collector, Not a Hoarder
"I have a weak spot for records I like that are released in different colors. I think it’s the coolest thing. I have emancipated myself from the tethers of redundancy!"
7. No Matter Who Wins, America Is Only Going to Get Angrier
"Sometimes I get the feeling that there are a lot of Americans who get off on the deeply divided state of things, as if it helps them to define themselves."
6. American Politics Is Getting the Honey Boo Boo Treatment
"I try to imagine how Trump would have been able to hang with a guy like Henry Kissinger. I think Trump would have been laughed out of the room as a lightweight pretender."
5. Trump's Win Has Shredded the Veil of Civility, and Maybe It's About Time
"Being on the ground and moving from place to place during the recent election cycle has been like watching an animal in agony as it slowly dies."
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4. Bowie's Blackstar Is on the Level of Low and Heroes
"I can’t think of any other musician who achieved such a level of intimate distance with their audience. The more you think about him, the more amazing and enigmatic he becomes."
3. North Carolina, I Love You, But Your Governor Is an Asshole
"Gov. McCrory will be dimly remembered as the asshole who signed that fucked-up bill that embarrassed the majority of North Carolinians."
2. Trump Is Going From Grabbing Pussies to Being One
"I don’t think he counted on getting this far and am not convinced he really wants the job."
1. White America Couldn't Handle What Black America Deals With Every Day
"I’m an educated, Caucasian, heterosexual male. Does this ensure I will have success and live the American Dream? Obviously it doesn’t, but it damn sure drops me on second base with a great opportunity to steal third."