A few weeks ago, KISS frontman and ridiculous clown-person Gene Simmons made some pretty Gene Simmonsy comments about depression and suicide in an interview:
"Drug addicts and alcoholics are always, 'The world is a harsh place.’ My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear fuck all about 'the world is a harsh place.' She gets up every day, smells the roses, and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed, I live in Seattle.' Fuck you, then kill yourself."
After Robin Williams committed suicide last week, the quote started spreading around and people were quick to pounce on Simmons. One radio network in Australia banned KISS’ music as a result. But really, how seriously are we collectively supposed to take the opinion of a 64-year-old adult man who wears makeup for a living?
But then today, people’s ire shifted towards Henry Rollins, who you may know as the former frontman of Black Flag or talking head in every music documentary ever made. Rollins is something of a self-elected spokesman for a generation who grew up with 90s punk or alternative music, and while he’s probably regarded as a bit more dignified than Simmons, he’s always come off like a high school gym teacher waxing intellectual about serious issues.
This morning, Rollins published his weekly column for LA Weekly. The title: “Fuck Suicide.” He took his usual no-bullshit, take-life-by-the-balls, go-out-there-and-bench-press-away-your-problems attitude on the topic which has worked for him the past towards issues like juice cleanses and getting things shoved up your butt but on the subject of depression and suicide through the lens of Robin Williams’ death, it didn't exactly go over as smoothly:
“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.”
Naturally, this didn’t sit well with many people who have suffered from depression, know someone who has suffered from depression, or do not have the empathy level of a raging sociopath. Many took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the Hot Animal Machine, which is common in the wonderful world of kneejerk outrage-response internet writing. But it was particularly personal in this case:
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