Henry Rollins on Robin Williams, Suicide: ‘I No Longer Take This Person Seriously’
By Philip Cosores
In the thoughtful, empathetic piece, Rollins lays out his appreciation of Robin Williams, whom was found dead by his assistant last Monday from apparent suicide. He cites his acting in Good Will Hunting and Good Morning Vietnam, as well as both’s involvement with USO performances, with Rollins calling him “a good man.”
“When someone with this level of exposure dies in this way, it is confusing,” Rollins says. “An Oscar-winning actor, well-paid, with a career that most performers could only dream of — how could anyone so well regarded and seemingly fortunate have as much as even a single bad day, much less a life so unendurable that it has to be voluntarily voided?
“I am sure some will strongly disagree with what I’m about to say,” he continues, “And I also understand that his personal struggles were quite real. I can’t argue with that.
“But I simply cannot understand how any parent could kill themselves.”
Rollins goes on to question how a parent would voluntarily leave their children in the distress of dealing with their own death, and is quick to point out his inability to fully grasp the complications of both addiction and depression. He includes a personal tale of living with someone dealing with depression.
“The hardest part about being around her was you knew there was nothing you could do to help,” Rollins says. “I get it, but then again, maybe I don’t.”
Despite his self-admitted lack of full understanding of the human brain and how someone could take their own life, Rollins has a definite stance with how he reacts to suicide: “When someone negates their existence, they cancel themselves out in my mind.”
“I no longer take this person seriously,” Rollins says. “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.”
“Almost 40,000 people a year kill themselves in America,” Rollins notes. “In my opinion, that is 40,000 people who blew it.”
“F–k suicide,” Rollins concludes. “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.”
Buy it or sell it, Rollins presents the piece as opinion, and it is certainly a strong one, which fans of his work or Black Flag wouldn’t expect anything less.
More on Robin Williams on Radio.com
- Robin Williams’ 5 Best Dramatic Movie Roles
- Watch Robin Williams in a Trailer for His Final Film Appearance ‘Boulevard’
- Henry Rollins Mans Up: ‘I Cannot Defend the Views I Expressed’
- Henry Rollins on Robin Williams, Suicide: ‘I No Longer Take This Person Seriously’
- Paramore Dedicates ‘Last Hope’ to Robin Williams: Watch