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If Henry Rollins thinks you have too many tattoos, you might be a hipster
November 7, 2010 5:50 AM   Subscribe

Henry Rollins and Iranian artist Shirin Nishat visit NYC's Cake Shop, where a young woman acknowledges Rollins's presence by shouting a "very famous" catch-phrase of his at him. Hilarity ensues (language NSFW).
posted by kittens for breakfast (192 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
(As is inevitable in the five seconds after posting, I spotted by own typo just now: Ms. Neshat does indeed spell her name correctly as "Neshat," not "Nishat," as I would have it above.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:53 AM on November 7, 2010


MY own typo, even -- good God, I think I need more coffee.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:53 AM on November 7, 2010


Or a nice, hearty breakfast of kittens.
posted by indubitable at 5:55 AM on November 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


Wow, he completely misunderstands his reputation and standing in the music community. He's got some self esteem issues.
posted by dobbs at 5:59 AM on November 7, 2010 [30 favorites]


All those squats come in useful for supporting the massive chip he carries on his shoulder.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:03 AM on November 7, 2010 [49 favorites]


Is that how you impress a date?
posted by MegoSteve at 6:12 AM on November 7, 2010


So obnoxious. I hate how he parades Shirin Nishat in their faces as if her existence and her experiences immediately cancel out the existence/experiences of the "hipster" who he knows absolutely nothing about. Also Shirin Nishat is an artist who lives in the East Village, so if he had never heard of her or what she did, would he also conceivably rail against her being a hipster if he met her in a bar there? And what if the young woman in this clip was an artist he didn't recognize doing important work? Etc. In conclusion, I like his music but fuck a Henry Rollin.
posted by naju at 6:14 AM on November 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


I know who's got the 10 1/2 minutes of 'roid rage.
posted by sourwookie at 6:17 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


What dobbs said.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:20 AM on November 7, 2010


haha i know that girl. she is so not a hipster. but i guess that term is just a generic dis, the modern equivalent of calling someone a poser. man, he makes himself look clueless and sad.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 6:20 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


What dick. Seriously how can you simultaneously be so full of your self, and have such a negative self image? Is he drunk?
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:20 AM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I mean, dude... your proletariat is listening to Physical Graffiti, which sometimes goes by its alternate title: Four Bloated Men and a Needle.

So, what dobbs said.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:22 AM on November 7, 2010


I was disappointed at the complete lack of cake.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:22 AM on November 7, 2010 [26 favorites]


"Why can't all these Gods just get along? I mean, they're omnipotent and omnipresent, what's the problem?"
posted by bwg at 6:23 AM on November 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


I have a ton of respect for Hank, but he didn't handle that well. He seems troubled by his age, which I can relate to. I'm roughly the same age as him, I listen to a lot of music made by "hipsters", but know full well they'd see me as and old man.
posted by davebush at 6:24 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I know I'm invading your world."

Ohhh, it's satire. Brilliant satire. You win, Hank.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:24 AM on November 7, 2010


Rollins grabs Ms. Neshat's shoulders there and hangs onto her for dear life. It's like he's using her as a human shield against the unruly young hipsters.
posted by longsleeves at 6:24 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


longsleeves, that's how it appeared to me too. Hard to believe this is the same guy who wrote that "Iron and the Soul" essay.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 6:25 AM on November 7, 2010


Rollins: "We're just picking up the flavour of the East Village..."

Neshat: "...er, I live here."
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:26 AM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


In conclusion, I like his music but fuck a Henry Rollin.

This. But in fairness, people who meet him have been saying this for several decades now. I can remember reading Henry-is-a-dick articles in Maximum RocknRoll back in the 1980s, for example, and in the late 80s he went off in a similar way (more roid-rage-esque, less calmly) on some friends of mine at one of his shows. This big ego, big anger thing has been a central part of his (dare I say) branding since the beginning, and commercially he makes it work for him. Personally, he doesn't strike me as a happy person, but maybe looks are deceptive.
posted by Forktine at 6:27 AM on November 7, 2010


MY own typo, even -- good God, I think I need more coffee.

Whenever I make a spelling error of a name that was originally written using a non roman alphabet I just wave my hand and say "Well, you know - transliteration can be tricky".
posted by atrazine at 6:30 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Rollins: "We're just picking up the flavour of the East Village..."

Neshat: "...er, I live here."


I work there. The flavor is kind of like time-expired energy drink.
posted by jonmc at 6:31 AM on November 7, 2010 [14 favorites]


He seems like he came into this with this self effacing "I'm old and in the way" bit/rant already prepared and was just looking for an excuse to begin the piece.

One of the things I like Rollins for is his passion for the music and art he loves and his enthusiasm for sharing it with others. But he can be so damn frustrating when he gets off track on one of his misguided rants and still runs with it. He knows where he stands in the music community and he knows to at least some degree what he means to various generations of fans and mildly interested parties. I think he had an intended message here, but failed in getting from his head to the people he was talking to and, more importantly to the camera.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:33 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


So...Henry...Everyone in the place is a hipster? You were there, too, right?
posted by Thorzdad at 6:34 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"The chick mouths off"?! What a sexist asshole. Seriously. Watching this filled me with roid rage.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:37 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can't quite figure Henry out. I think he went from 1 to 11 rage-wise way too fast just because some chick shouted the name of his book at him. I can definitely see what he's getting at, but going off on someone who's probably jazzed beyond belief to meet you is completely the wrong time to start lecturing.

To contrast, there's stories like these that I enjoy immensely: The Death of Joe Cole
posted by pyrex at 6:40 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


And indeed, calling what the girl said "mouthing off" is just.. ugh. Bad day, Henry?
posted by pyrex at 6:42 AM on November 7, 2010


Thorzdad: So...Henry...Everyone in the place is a hipster? You were there, too, right?

I think he's saying every YOUNG person in there is a hipster.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:42 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't quite figure Henry out. I think he went from 1 to 11 rage-wise way too fast just because some chick shouted the name of his book at him.

Didn't Ryan Adams flip his beanie because of some "Summer of '69" shout out at a concert? The guys are little fucking divas, arent they?
posted by jonmc at 6:42 AM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't think Henry has ever claimed to be a 'happy person', nor a balanced or even socially well-adjusted one. I've seen him talk a number of times and it's always been quite obvious to me that the man is profoundly insecure, and I'd hazard a guess that he's either depressive or bipolar. His personality seems to be a precarious balance of macho posturing and primal rage-channeling, and intellectual geeky sensitive-new-age-guyisms. Square blackframes, speeches on Nietzche, muscles and tatoos. I mean, he is some respects a founding father of Hipsterism. I can understand that he would have issues about being seen as a 'sell-out'; Black Flag was a genuine underground pioneer, but in the last 20 years the man's main claim to fame has been his hammy bit-parts in Hollywood B-grades. I find myself wondering who his real friends are.
posted by jet_manifesto at 6:42 AM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I can definitely see what he's getting at, but going off on someone who's probably jazzed beyond belief to meet you is completely the wrong time to start lecturing.

What? No, those girls where making fun of Henry Rollins to see how he would react. They were not jazzed to see him, they were jazzed that they were able to get under his skin so easily.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:48 AM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


that man has creeped me out since i first met him a thousand years ago.

and i feel so terrible for shirin nishat; that whole scene must have been embarrassing.
am i wrong to think she was trying to escape into the basement where the show was happening?
posted by artof.mulata at 6:50 AM on November 7, 2010


It's always been his deal to escalate when challenged and people who mouth off to him know this. Rollins was like the 3rd or 4th vocalist for Black Flag, and the phrase "Get in the van" comes from the way he was treated dismissively by the older members of the band, so he was taking it back.
Just like you don't say something stupid during the Q&A portion of a Shellac show unless you like getting a verbal beatdown. Seems like the only one surprised was Neshat. Predictable Rollins, but bad date behavior.
I should also add that Rollins is an incredible superfan who has great taste & puts his money where his mouth is, that Black Flag laid the groundwork for having good bands tour to small towns, and that he was much beloved by his staff when he managed a Häagen-Dazs.
posted by klapaucius at 6:52 AM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


What? No, those girls where making fun of Henry Rollins to see how he would react.

How was anything they said making fun of him? I mean, shouting the name of his book (which he later goes on to really obnoxiously hawk to Neshat) to get his attention and then telling him that they like his band?

What bothered me the most is that the girl tries to tell him about her band and he ignores her. Which wouldn't be bad (as I imagine that he gets that a lot, and it gets annoying), except he turns around to take a demo tape from a dorky male teenager, who he treats completely politely.

Grr. It makes me angry.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:53 AM on November 7, 2010 [14 favorites]


What dick. Seriously how can you simultaneously be so full of your self, and have such a negative self image?

To br fair, he was in Johnny Mnemonic. Who knows what kind of thing that can do to a guys soul.
posted by generichuman at 6:54 AM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


We are all Henry Rollins.

We are all hipsters.

We are all Shirin Neshat.
posted by entropone at 6:59 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


He seems troubled by his age, which I can relate to.

I don't think his personality has changed much, but everything else has gotten older. So now instead of being treated as a angrier version of your kindred spirit, he's Grumpy Old Man: Extreme Edition, veins throbbing sweat out his forehead because of some kid-lawn-traipsing.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:01 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Someone should tell him that a simple 'Get off my lawn' will suffice next time.
posted by unSane at 7:05 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


How was anything they said making fun of him? I mean, shouting the name of his book (which he later goes on to really obnoxiously hawk to Neshat) to get his attention and then telling him that they like his band?

"OH HENRY ROLLINS IS HERE!!!" in a smarmy tone followed by audible laughter. Follow that up with "Hey sweet tooth, get in the van, man, get in the van."
posted by 23skidoo at 7:06 AM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


He totally blows it here, but I will say that yelling across the room at a famous person to get their attention is pretty rude, regardless of WHAT you're saying. If she'd walked up to him and said, "Oh my god! You're Henry Rollins! 'Get in the van,' amirite??" he would have probably been very flattered. Trumpeting it across the room in a way which causes everyone to swivel their heads around and laugh (more at her dumb outburst than at him) is a guaranteed way to drive someone away or get the sharp edge of their tongue.

That's just plain old New York City etiquette. Yeah he should have handled it more graciously by about a thousand percent (especially with a camera rolling). But seriously, so could she.
posted by hermitosis at 7:07 AM on November 7, 2010 [19 favorites]


Badly handled, like a scared cop. Personally, I don't think she was mouthing off as much as being rude. She didn't exactly say "I have an opinion about your book" as much as scream it like some half-assed cultural reference as shorthand for an opinion. That's annoying, and I can somewhat relate to Rollins' reaction. But, shit Henry, there are better ways to actually find out if someone deserved that level of takedown.
posted by hanoixan at 7:12 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oops, I mean, pretty much what hermitosis said, and my thumbs took 5min to write.
posted by hanoixan at 7:13 AM on November 7, 2010


Oh, you can't expect people to be too quiet in a bar. And I'm guessing if she's in a band and knows what Get in the Van is, she respects the guy. Her outburst/laughter was just a combination of drunk excitement at seeing Henry Rollins, and a sort of WTF lol at seeing him there in her regular hangout?
posted by naju at 7:14 AM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Well, having watched my friends blow it while meeting famous people, I can empathize. Her tone didn't sound smarmy to me when she shouts "Henry Rollins is here?!" at all--and you can see from her expression that she's actually pretty thrilled to be talking to him.

And, like, I hate hipsters. But seriously, those girls were right--he was making an awful lot of asshat assumptions about them based on nothing.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:14 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't think he intentionally dissed homegirl in ignoring that she has a band; if you didn't notice he seems to be going deaf. when the mister gives him the presents and tells him the tape is of his band Rollins has to be told more than once what's going on.

That going deaf thing sure can make you grumpy. ask Beethoven.
posted by artof.mulata at 7:16 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


He gives us old men a bad name.
posted by Sailormom at 7:17 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Her tone didn't sound smarmy to me when she shouts "Henry Rollins is here?!" at all--and you can see from her expression that she's actually pretty thrilled to be talking to him.

When I want to be a complete ass to someone, I say things that suggest that I really like them, I just stifle laughter the whole time I'm doing it.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:19 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shut up and turn on Matlock.
posted by jonmc at 7:20 AM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I thought the reason all these famous people live in New York is because this is the sort of thing that happens in Kansas City and never happens in New York.

Also: how tall is Henry Rollins?

(The spoken word stuff is pretty cool; the singing is gross, and I like punk music.)
posted by bukvich at 7:21 AM on November 7, 2010


I like this particular rant of his a lot. But yeah... I know people who've met Rollins in person, and this video illustrates just what they've told me—that he's so busy trying to show people how smart and independent-thinking and "with it" he is, so busy just lifting that chip on his shoulder, that whatever message he might have gets lost in all of his huffing and puffing and presumption. He's always ready to have a problem with someone.

Now, to some extent, it's refreshing to see someone so ready to just get into it at a moment's notice. So many of today's independent musicians are so friendly and collective, and like to hang out in huge groups playing what amount to richly arranged lullabies. Completely inoffensive. Definitely not "fuck you" music. And so many of their fans are all about consuming the right things rather than doing the right things.

Per that n+1-excerpted New York magazine piece, "What Was the Hipster?":

The rebel consumer is the person who, adopting the rhetoric but not the politics of the counterculture, convinces himself that buying the right mass products individualizes him as transgressive. Purchasing the products of authority is thus reimagined as a defiance of authority.

I could see Henry Rollins looking at those girls in the shop and thinking, well lookie what we have here, a girl in peasant garb who likely wouldn't know the first thing about "peasant" life, a girl in a punky cut-off T-shirt who knows only the title of my book, a trucker-hat-wearing girl who has no idea what that look originally connoted... It's easy to see these kids playing dress-up and think, oh God, just look at these fucking hipsters. But they're all so clearly wearing that mainstream-indie "record store" look, it's ridiculous.

That's where Rollins' own ageism comes into play—he doesn't know a thing about them personally, and yet he gets into it with them over the things he assumes about their "type," including their supposed ageism and shiftlessness—so of course they turn it around on him!

And Neshat, you can tell, feels completely embarrassed about the way he's "introducing" her, since this is her neighborhood! She'll have to see these girls again! I can just imagine her coming back later to apologize for her "friend."
posted by limeonaire at 7:22 AM on November 7, 2010 [16 favorites]


Oh, you can't expect people to be too quiet in a bar.

It's not really a bar. The upstairs of Cake Shop is a tiny little coffee-shop with a space further back where the albums are sold. It's a fairly placid environment even when there's a band playing downstairs. If you're saying that being drunk is a good excuse for being rude, then we are going to have to just agree to disagree on that.
posted by hermitosis at 7:24 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, maybe in his old age Henry could have a TV show where he plays a simple but wise country lawyer. with a shitload of tats.
posted by jonmc at 7:24 AM on November 7, 2010 [17 favorites]


TATLOCK (someone make this happen, please)
posted by 23skidoo at 7:26 AM on November 7, 2010 [49 favorites]


Also: how tall is Henry Rollins?

According to celebheights.com, 5-foot-9. That's corroborated by the people I know who've met him. So yeah, short man syndrome.
posted by limeonaire at 7:26 AM on November 7, 2010


TATLOCK (someone make this happen, please)

Who'd be the sidekick? Glenn Danzig, maybe? or should we go all interracial buddy flick and make it Ice Cube?
posted by jonmc at 7:29 AM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


i am also a small person.

(p.s. i really like how Recent Comments now says, "just posted.")
posted by artof.mulata at 7:30 AM on November 7, 2010


also, Henry and Glen Forever...
posted by artof.mulata at 7:32 AM on November 7, 2010


Glenn comes into my store occasionally. He is really short. Also, I seem to remember that way back in the day, somebody suggested that these two do a tour together: The Biceps Of Rock, sponsored by Marvel Comics. Oh well, I still like my Misfits and Black Flag...
posted by jonmc at 7:35 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


So yeah, short man syndrome.

i am also a small person.

To be clear, I have nothing against small people—my fiancé and I are both 5-foot-6ish. We can't even change some of the light bulbs in our apartment without calling maintenance. But every so often you see one of those wired-up short guys like Henry Rollins, and you're like...yeah. He's got it bad.
posted by limeonaire at 7:37 AM on November 7, 2010


Pssst, step stool
posted by Bovine Love at 7:40 AM on November 7, 2010


Pssst, step stool

No, the ceilings are actually too high up for a step stool or chair to even be of use. My former roommate (6-foot-3) could reach the fixtures, but we can't.

This is getting pretty domestic for a Henry Rollins thread...
posted by limeonaire at 7:47 AM on November 7, 2010


i have decided to grow taller.

come henry; come glenn.

join me.
posted by artof.mulata at 7:49 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tattoos look better on Rollins than a mid-life crisis. This honestly makes me kind of sad.
posted by zylocomotion at 7:50 AM on November 7, 2010


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 7:59 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't wanna moderate this thread, and I won't, but I will say this: In what crazy universe is five-nine considered to be short? You won't be a point guard in the NBA, sure, but you're not exactly a hobbit over here either.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:05 AM on November 7, 2010 [25 favorites]


I should also add that Rollins is an incredible superfan who has great taste & puts his money where his mouth is, that Black Flag laid the groundwork for having good bands tour to small towns...

Rollins refused to be interviewed for my documentary, which is (partially) about this very thing. Greg Ginn, on the other hand, did an interview for us.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:16 AM on November 7, 2010


Wait - 5' 9" is short man syndrome now? I thought that was average height?
posted by Nabubrush at 8:20 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I purposely didn't follow the Cake Box link in hopes that the Cake Box really was a bake shop of some sort with Rollins there showing his companion the unique craftsmanship and the hidden details that these pastry artisans are capable of. Then a set of set of NYC hipsters come in to ironically enjoy a cupcake and Rollins goes after them for demoting the importance of the common-man in everyday life. My fantasy is of course ruined when the video opens in a record store. How cliche...

I'm at the the very tail-end of Gen X, which Rollins himself is squarely part of. Really I'm on the fence between it and the next (Gen Y?). I have younger siblings who are definitely part of that next generation, and my pre-teen son is the generation beyond that. It's interesting to see the difference between how different generations view and react to situations. I'm around people all the time who are Rollins age. They have a good ten years on me, but to them I'm considered part of their generation. As they age, their environmental conditioning starts to show through more and more. The type of sexism the Rollins exhibits at the end where he seems to relish in shutting down that "chick" is as much a product of his time as it is a conscious choice on how he treats women; probably even more so the former.

In many ways generational sexism is similar to the generational racism the leaves us aghast that your grandparent (or probably great-grandparent for some here) exhibits when they comment on their view of the world. We are all very much shaped by our environment and the attitudes that are prevalent in your formative years become part of you whether you're conscious of them or not. What we are witnessing with Rollins is a person who in many ways is forward-thinking and actively trying to rail against the convention of his generation, but he still is bound to how it thinks. And as he becomes older, those mental constructs that he hasn't been able to push past become more and more ingrained.

That said, to me it was pretty obvious that the young women was trying to goad Rollins, which is also a generational thing I believe. The confrontational attitude seems to be part of the norm for the generation after mine and my son's as well. My grandparents and father were very left -- as in literally blackballed and physically attacked for their beliefs -- but despite their social confrontation, their interactions with individuals were very polite and conventional. They have very hard time with the new type of interaction that people exhibit now. So when this young lady starts in at Rollins, for her it's probably something of an ice-breaker, which Rollins would come back with a friendly little jab and then they'd have a nice conversation and call it done. How Rollins probably took it was, "Hey, Henry Rollins, you're a washed up loser, suck my dick! HA, HA, HA! Old people..." So when you couple that generational difference with his already controversial nature and his insecurities (both exacerbated with age) you witness the exchange we saw.

I guess when societal heroes start to approach their expiration date, it's a good thing. When someone who was once controversial and pushing the boundaries of society, seems now outmoded and a bit backward thinking, it probably means that we've moved forward as a society. They may not be able to continue the journey with us at the same pace, but I'm thankful they were there to lead the way for awhile.
posted by bionic.junkie at 8:23 AM on November 7, 2010 [24 favorites]


In what crazy universe is five-nine considered to be short?

It's not actually short (in fact I think it's almost exactly average), but some men who are that height feel short.
posted by Forktine at 8:29 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


According to celebheights.com, 5-foot-9. That's corroborated by the people I know who've met him. So yeah, short man syndrome.

5'9" IS NOT SHORT, ASSHOLE. DO YOU WANT TO GO? DO YOU WANT TO GO? BECAUSE I WILL FUCKING END YOU!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:30 AM on November 7, 2010 [58 favorites]


Or what Forktine said.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:31 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


5'9" is not short in the US, but it is in the Netherlands. No wonder the US has more trade with Holland than with India, as Barack Obama pointed out yesterday.
posted by lukemeister at 8:34 AM on November 7, 2010


> I was disappointed at the complete lack of cake.

Hmph, Cake Shop is distinguished by being a bar with excellent cakes and cupcakes and an absolutely killer fresh mozzarella sandwich - plus it's one of the last bars that does buybacks if you consistently tip the bartender, which is aces.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:35 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that was some massive paranoid dickish behaviour from Rollins, there.

I do not have short man syndrome. I am 5' 8.5", and if anyone forgets the half inch THEY WILL BE SORRY.
posted by Decani at 8:37 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


it's one of the last bars that does buybacks if you consistently tip the bartender, which is aces.

just about all the bars I frequent do buybacks, in Queens and Manhattan.
posted by jonmc at 8:44 AM on November 7, 2010


I purposely didn't follow the Cake Box link in hopes that the Cake Box really was a bake shop of some sort with Rollins there showing his companion the unique craftsmanship and the hidden details that these pastry artisans are capable of. Then a set of set of NYC hipsters come in to ironically enjoy a cupcake

Cake Shop is a bake shop. It has like, tons of different cakes (and a few cupcakes), mostly vegan but still delicious, and no one who is eating there is ironically enjoying anything.

It also houses a bar/performance venue/record shop. This is NYC, we have to make the most of what little real estate we can afford.
posted by hermitosis at 8:46 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can think of a lot of things I would yell at Henry Rollins if I saw him, but - "Get in the Van?" really? I would expect a hipster to try a liiiitttle harder than that.
posted by contessa at 8:46 AM on November 7, 2010


You guys can say what you want about Rollins but when I was at the end of my tether on this planet I sent Rollins an email about being given a year to live and he wrote back with some encouraging words. That was 2002 and I decided I had to fight back. And here I am.
posted by Bubbles Devere at 8:50 AM on November 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


According to celebheights.com, 5-foot-9. That's corroborated by the people I know who've met him. So yeah, short man syndrome.

According to about.com, the average height of a man in the US is 5' 9.2", DICKFACE!
posted by ennui.bz at 8:53 AM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


"that's the title of a very famous book i wrote....it's very well done."
posted by kitchenrat at 8:55 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


For being the singer on Damaged, Henry Rollins has a lifetime get-out-of-jail card from me for any public displays of assholery.

That is all.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:07 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Henry Rollins being a dick? My world is collapsing around me!

I thought this was why we loved him. Sure, he's overreacting, but it's pretty clear to me that the girl was being hipsterishly ironic if not actually making fun of him. If she knew what the book title referred to she would not have yelled it (or yelled anything across the room) if she were being friendly. If she did not know, then she should not have yelled it.

Also, is, "mouthing off" sexist now, or is, "chick" that off limits?
posted by cmoj at 9:13 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Now, to some extent, it's refreshing to see someone so ready to just get into it at a moment's notice. So many of today's independent musicians are so friendly and collective, and like to hang out in huge groups playing what amount to richly arranged lullabies. Completely inoffensive. Definitely not "fuck you" music

Okay.

And so many of their fans are all about consuming the right things rather than doing the right things.
"

So the "fuck you" music is more about doing the right thing...? Getting into it at a moment's notice is the right thing? Whereas being collective and friendly is, what, the wrong thing? I think it's pretty awesome to get along with other people.

"[...]But they're all so clearly wearing that mainstream-indie "record store" look, it's ridiculous. "

You mean...they're consuming the wrong things?
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:23 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, is, "mouthing off" sexist now, or is, "chick" that off limits?

Please, no. There'll be another 5000 comment MeTa thread. and I have shit to do.
posted by jonmc at 9:24 AM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


In my book, 5'9" and under correlates with yayawesomesexyfun!
But weird, self-absorbed fight-picking with strangers correlates with angsty.do.not.want
Therefore, Henry Rollins just got demoted to meh.
[makes note in book]
posted by iamkimiam at 9:24 AM on November 7, 2010


For being the singer on Damaged, Henry Rollins has a lifetime get-out-of-jail card from me for any public displays of assholery.

I take it that you are not familiar with Family Man? Because that dreck pretty much took that get-out-of-jail card and tore it up into tiny lil' shreds, never to be put back into its original shape.
posted by NoMich at 9:30 AM on November 7, 2010


If you saw Henry Rollins wander into a record store with someone who looks a bit like an older sophisto art curator, with a camera crew in tow, you'd be perfectly justified in thinking that his companion was nothing special, while Rollins was being a commercial, reality-programming douchebag again.

And you'd be half-right.
posted by markkraft at 9:31 AM on November 7, 2010


Imagine, for a minute, if it were a group of guys calling out to Rollins and acting rudely.

What would you call a guy with this kind of smug, passive-aggressive belligerence?

I'm thinking "douche."

Is there a female equivalent of this word?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:32 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hating hipsters is weird. "I hate hipsters" is a really shallow and judgmental thing to say.

(But...but...hipsters are the ones who are shallow and judgmental!!! Yeah, well, in this video only one person was bringing up pointless shit like how many tattoos someone has as though it mattered.)

I hated the popular kids when I was in 8th grade, too. They were cool and hot and they had lots of friends and they seemed lucky and like they'd never want to hang out with me and...

When adults do this it sounds ridiculous and more than a little petty.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:34 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


WTF. Willful hipsterism at Cake Shop. Yes please, Henry, rain fire on these foolios.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:37 AM on November 7, 2010


Ha I was living in Brooklyn and making fun of Rollins 15 years ago. I've got it on split 7 inch.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:43 AM on November 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


While we're getting all personal and stuff, that's one fancy haircut Henry has. Maybe he goes to the same stylist as John (who?) Edwards. I call rude narcissism (but, I admit, it takes one to know one, sometimes).
posted by emhutchinson at 9:49 AM on November 7, 2010


Yeah every bar does buybacks unless it's full of hipsters. I like my bakery, performance spaces, record stores ( are CDs ironic now I thought everyone had switched to cassette as ironic media of choice) and bars to be separate. I hope these kids enjoy the bedbugs, mommy's money and working part time while they have the chance. They will be old soon too.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:53 AM on November 7, 2010


henry, you pretentious loser, as a 53 year old man, it is my duty to tell you that you are not old and in the way

you're just in the way
posted by pyramid termite at 9:55 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Black Flag was a genuine underground pioneer

I swear to God, the other day I saw a Black Flag sticker on a Jaguar. And then I couldn't get that damn song out of my head.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:06 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


'Out on the road today, I saw a Black Flag sticker on a Jag-u-ar
a little voice in side my head 'It's probably Henry's car..'
posted by jonmc at 10:10 AM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yeah, working part-time because the job market is shit is incredibly enjoyable.

Totally part of evil young hipster elitism.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:13 AM on November 7, 2010


I hope these kids enjoy the bedbugs, mommy's money and working part time while they have the chance.

"Where did this theory begin that hipsters are all rich posers? I’ve met thousands of them over the years and have yet to meet a soul who lives off a trust fund. (I’ve met plenty of trust-fund kids, but they’re more into being fabulous in Monaco than going to see a punk band.) They have the same amount of money young people have always had: barely any. They don’t drink Pabst because they’re trying to appropriate working-class culture. They’re drinking it because it’s cheap. They drive track bikes because they don’t get stolen. They listen to iPods because it’s the most musical bang for your buck. When you look into modern youth culture and examine all the criticisms, one truth becomes impossible to ignore: Today’s kids are the best. They are savvier, better connected, more informed, less consumerist and more capable of everything—including partying—than my generation or yours." -Gavin McInnes
posted by naju at 10:19 AM on November 7, 2010 [14 favorites]


He's about to have a nervous breakdown.
posted by orme at 10:20 AM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


His 19th?
posted by jonmc at 10:21 AM on November 7, 2010


It make me squirm to hear guys my age, like Rollins or Mark Maron brag about how old and experienced they are. It's our version of hipster cred.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:23 AM on November 7, 2010


Also, is, "mouthing off" sexist now, or is, "chick" that off limits?

Well, okay, maybe he's not being sexist--maybe he's being just plain patronizing. But he also acts this way toward Neshat in the video (check him out 'educating' her on which CDs are elitist and which aren't), too.

What it comes down to it, for me, is that he clearly walked into there with a vendetta and was looking for a target, and decided--based on her appearance--that it was fine doing so to this woman. He clearly had no interest in hearing what she had to say, either. I'm open to the possibility that she was being a jerk--that I'm missing something in the tone here (though, again, I think there's a fine line between obtuse enthusiasm and rudeness, and I'd think that celebrities would be familiar enough with this kind of stuff to be used to it), but then, at best, this is a pair of jerks being jerks to each other. Ugh.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:24 AM on November 7, 2010


"And so many of their fans are all about consuming the right things rather than doing the right things. [...]But they're all so clearly wearing that mainstream-indie "record store" look, it's ridiculous. "

You mean...they're consuming the wrong things?


That's a cute turnabout. But no, I mean that they appear conformist and mainstream in their behavior—and that includes not only their manner of dress, but also their manner of diss. Very predictable. And that's what I find ridiculous about the whole interaction—these women appear about as transgressive as a lollipop, yet Rollins reacts to them as if, well, there's actually anything about them worth reacting to.

In fact, it occurs to me that maybe the women's very lack of transgressiveness is part of what Rollins is reacting to. I could imagine that if I were Henry Rollins, walking into a supposedly independent record store and finding these trendoids working the counter would kind of piss me off, too. These women may well be making awesome, subversive, independent music and supporting worthy causes ("doing the right things") in their spare time, but that's not anything you'd be able to tell about them upfront.

Now, I'm not really sure how they should be behaving, but their appearance and manner of speaking does project a certain obedient abdication of choice. And since the entire interaction (on both sides) is based on appearances...

So the "fuck you" music is more about doing the right thing...? Getting into it at a moment's notice is the right thing? Whereas being collective and friendly is, what, the wrong thing?

I don't know that I can generalize about "the 'fuck you' music" or about how that music addresses the concepts of right and wrong. But a lot of my favorite songs are about doing what's right for you, rather than what's right to the friendly, cuddly collective. About being an individual and figuring a few things out for yourself. About not being a pod person.

I think it's pretty awesome to get along with other people.

Yeah, I do that in my day job, too. Have fun with that.
posted by limeonaire at 10:26 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not that hipsters are 'mainstream' or 'non-mainstreams' (terms that, in a society as large and complex as modern America, are virtually meaningless). It's that they're trendy conformists, which isn't so annoying in and of itself, but hipsters believe that they're the opposite.
posted by jonmc at 10:31 AM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I thought the women were reacting more to "Everywhere I go people film me doing it" aspect of this. I mean, how self important. Henry's all "Look at me give my ever-so-noteworthy opinion on these CD's". They know his reputation as being a self important jack-ass and now they are getting to witness said jack-assness in its full glory like he's a sideshow freak to be gawked at.

And for their and even the viewers playing at home's extra enjoyment he takes it to newer heights of jack-assness. I have never heard of Rollins having any kind of sustained relationship with any other human but himself. And an audience. any audience.

At 45 that is pretty sad.
posted by readery at 10:32 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Trust fund? Do those exist anymore? I meant mommy transfers 500 bucks to cover part of. The rent, or when they need new shoes for and interview, or maybe daddy pays for the cell phone and credit cards.

Anyway I dislike rollins and hipsters equally so I have no dog in this fight. I see that this video was shot in 2006 so all these kids are already old. Also explains why they have CDs at that bakery.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:34 AM on November 7, 2010


They don’t drink Pabst because they’re trying to appropriate working-class culture. They’re drinking it because it’s cheap.

Horseshit. Pabst isn't less expensive, more readily available or qualitatively better than Budweiser, Miller, etc. Pabst's cachet was precisely that it was a dead brand. If Frank Booth had said "Fuck that shit. COORS LIGHT!" then we'd all be making "silver bullet" jokes about hipsters.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:37 AM on November 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


You don't have to be short to have SMS, you just need to perceive yourself as short. Yeah, 5'9" is average in the US, but that's just facts talking. All manly men are 6'+, etc etc.
posted by Evilspork at 10:38 AM on November 7, 2010


In what crazy universe is five-nine considered to be short? You won't be a point guard in the NBA, sure, but you're not exactly a hobbit over here either.

Even hobbits can be point guards!

(And even 45-year-olds can keep their cool about being 45, Hank.)
posted by scody at 10:42 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I meant mommy transfers 500 bucks to cover part of. The rent, or when they need new shoes for and interview, or maybe daddy pays for the cell phone and credit cards.

What's the qualitative difference? Daddy paid for your art history degree, and is now paying for your Brooklyn apartment while you pull espresso shots and check out the "scene." Whether it's an actual trust fund or a credit card that bills to Daddy is the same thing.

Trust funds don't exist like they used to because ATMs and credit cards are now ubiquitous. "Trust fund" today is just a catchall term for "unending pile of unearned money you get to draw from."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:42 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Henry Rollins has massive self esteem issues. He is like a social studies teacher with a chip on his shoulder.
posted by M83 at 10:54 AM on November 7, 2010


Good publicity for the Cake Shop (the last unpretentious venue left in Manhattan).
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:55 AM on November 7, 2010


The difference is your parents picking up the cell phone bill won't fund a life of hanging around monaco or whatever that quote said. But it will fund living with 5 other people in Brooklyn.

Don't get me wrong I have no problem with parent as ATM. But brooklyn was once a borough of working families. Parents with 3 kids have extra mouths that also need space. They have 3 people that cannot work to pay they rent. A group of 5 kids right out of college can all contribute. They simply price the working families out of the market. I spent most of my life being driven deeper and deeper into Brooklyn.


Btw where I drink pbr is $5 for two . The next cheapest is miller light at $4 bucks a pop. Nobody drinks it unless they are broke. Hipsters now pride themselves on drinking cask aged ale.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:56 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"These women may well be making awesome, subversive, independent music and supporting worthy causes ("doing the right things") in their spare time, but that's not anything you'd be able to tell about them upfront."

This is massively shallow. Again--consuming the wrong things. It's not a cute turnabout. It's the meat of what you're saying: I don't find the clothes you buy and wear to be immediately interesting.

Or perhaps she brushes her hair in an overly conformist way.

I love people who surprise me with the way that they dress, but that is by no means the only way that a person can be creative.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:58 AM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Pabst isn't less expensive, more readily available or qualitatively better than Budweiser, Miller, etc.

What? Have you been broke recently? I was dead broke like a year ago, and whether it was in bars or in stores, Pabst was always cheaper than Budweiser and the like.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:02 AM on November 7, 2010


I don't get hank: he has done quite well financially himself and he goes off on her for supposedly being a trust-fund kid. seriously? that's such a cliche, dude. and you're the one pretending the big difference between you and them is age when it's your income.

rollins band was the first concert I ever went to. loved it. but spoken word stuff he does sucks. he's like bill maher, just likes to hear himself talk way too much.
posted by krautland at 11:03 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ugh...I hate it when people are presumptuous like that. I felt sorry for Shirin, who seems like a lovely woman. I don't think it's going to be a love connection between those two.
posted by Jess the Mess at 11:11 AM on November 7, 2010


Stay off Hank's lawn!!!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:11 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love people who surprise me with the way that they dress, but that is by no means the only way that a person can be creative.

And I'm by no means saying that it is. There was a lot more to my response than that.
posted by limeonaire at 11:18 AM on November 7, 2010


I want to go on a date with Ms. Neshat. I promise I won't make a scene.
posted by fuq at 11:19 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person here who thought Rollins was speaking with tongue in cheek? He didn't seem genuinely angry, he seemed to enjoy sparring playfully with the hipster chick sitting down and the hairy armpitted one standing up.

You guys can say what you want about Rollins but when I was at the end of my tether on this planet I sent Rollins an email about being given a year to live and he wrote back with some encouraging words. That was 2002 and I decided I had to fight back. And here I am.

A friend of mine, while he was still in high school, wrote Henry Rollins and got a number of letters back from him. I thought that was pretty decent of Rollins.
posted by jayder at 12:06 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hi, I'm on Metafilter, and I make massive assumption about young people based on the way they're dressed.
posted by !Jim at 12:21 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmph, Cake Shop is distinguished by being a bar with excellent cakes and cupcakes

Gentrification sucks.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:27 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


But he also acts this way toward Neshat in the video (check him out 'educating' her on which CDs are elitist and which aren't), too.

What it comes down to it, for me, is that he clearly walked into there with a vendetta and was looking for a target, and decided--based on her appearance--that it was fine doing so to this woman


I dunno, I thought Rollins' thing was taking upon himself to "educate" everyone, male or female. A lot of his spoken word stuff grates my nerves because of that condescending know-it-all tone of his. I also think he singled out that woman because she shouted at him from across the store, not because of her appearance. He was already halfway into that anti-hipster "young people think I'm a sellout" rant when looking at CDs, and just finished it at her. I'd guess this is something that's happened to him before, it almost sounded like he had tried to mentally script how this whole confrontation would play out in advance.
posted by Hoopo at 12:33 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmph, Cake Shop is distinguished by being a bar with excellent cakes and cupcakes

Gentrification sucks.

Wrong. This place is good. Like I said in my earlier post, Cake Shop is one of the last cool underground venues in Manhattan. It was opened by good folks and remains a respectable club for underground small bands.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:34 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


walking into a supposedly independent record store and finding these trendoids working the counter would kind of piss me off, too. These women may well be making awesome, subversive, independent music and supporting worthy causes ("doing the right things") in their spare time, but that's not anything you'd be able to tell about them upfront.

Now, I'm not really sure how they should be behaving, but their appearance and manner of speaking does project a certain obedient abdication of choice.


I don't get it, what could they possibly be wearing/doing at that moment instead that would make them not hipsters? What are the other choices she's abdicating? To me they look like normal girls doing normal things that they like to do. Not particularly transgressive, no, but what would be? Standing on their heads and eating poop for Tibet? Like someone mentioned up thread, Shirin also seems like a normal non-"transgressive" person too, but she's in fact quite the badass upstart.

And since when is dismissing people solely based on their surface qualities not about the most utterly lame and mindless thing a person can do?
posted by Jess the Mess at 12:35 PM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


The funny thing is that 'The Cake Shop' will probably be a Starbucks in three years and Henry Rollins will still be Henry Rollins.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:37 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


"they appear conformist and mainstream"

"appear about as transgressive as a lollipop"

"trendoids"

"obedient abdication of choice"

"being a pod person"


ATTENTION OLD PEOPLE

YOUR NEUROSES ARE NOT OUR NEUROSES

SOMETIMES WE WEAR, EAT, DRINK, OR DO THINGS BASED ON OTHER CONSIDERATIONS THAN THEIR UTILITY IN SIGNALLING TRANSGRESSION, REBELLION, AND SUBVERSION

SOMETIMES WE WEAR THINGS BECAUSE WE LIKE THEM AND THINK THEY LOOK NICE

I KNOW THIS IS HARD FOR YOU TO HEAR

THANK YOU
posted by enn at 1:21 PM on November 7, 2010 [18 favorites]


cmoj: "Henry Rollins being a dick? My world is collapsing around me!

I thought this was why we loved him. Sure, he's overreacting, but it's pretty clear to me that the girl was being hipsterishly ironic if not actually making fun of him. If she knew what the book title referred to she would not have yelled it (or yelled anything across the room) if she were being friendly. If she did not know, then she should not have yelled it.

Also, is, "mouthing off" sexist now, or is, "chick" that off limits
"

Modern feminist PC usage of the word is "chyck".

(OK, this was a bad joke my friend and I came up with when we were first being exposed to the real world as opposed to our backwoods upbringing)
posted by symbioid at 1:42 PM on November 7, 2010


Henry Rollins reminds me of the Pesci parody in the Animaniacs segment "Goodfeathers".

"Oh, you like my music? Is 'like' some hip new trendy hipster way of saying you hate my music? Is that what you're saying? You come up in my face and tell me you hate my music? Huh? Huh?"
posted by Wataki at 2:08 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


ATTENTION OLD PEOPLE

I have no idea how old you think I am, but...yeah, no.
posted by limeonaire at 2:24 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


SOMETIMES WE WEAR THINGS BECAUSE WE LIKE THEM AND THINK THEY LOOK NICE

ALSO WE HAVE RECEIVED SO MUCH ATTENTION OUR ENTIRE LIVES THAT WE ARE BARELY CONSCIOUS OF HOW ADDICTED TO IT WE ACTUALLY ARE.
posted by hermitosis at 2:36 PM on November 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


What the hell are buybacks?
posted by RakDaddy at 2:43 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rollins walks in there with a bad attitude and finds what he's looking for. Instead of being a friendly dude from moment one he's like NO ONE IN HERE LIKES ME I AM AN INTERLOPER AND EVERYONE HATES ME. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.
posted by GilloD at 2:53 PM on November 7, 2010


What the hell are buybacks?

I think it's a New York thing; I'd never heard of the term before this thread and had to google it: example, another, another.

Free drinks for (cute, nicely behaved, well-tipping) regulars is normal in many, if not most, bars -- I'd just never heard of a name for it, nor was I aware that it was sometimes so codified.
posted by Forktine at 3:09 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whoa! Shirin Neshat is 53? She looks about 35.
posted by Jess the Mess at 3:49 PM on November 7, 2010


Any decent bar will give you at least 1 for every 4 drinks purchased. Even better is the rare buy forward, where your first drink is always on the house. There are other perks that might be local to NYC such as staying after last call, being able to smoke in the basement and getting to-go cups of jameson. There is also the flat-rate where they charge you 20 or so for all your drinks and the ever popular running tab.

All this has nothing to do with rollins though.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:10 PM on November 7, 2010


Very depressing to find my suspicions about Mr. Rollins so summarily confirmed.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:44 PM on November 7, 2010


Hmm, I've read most of these comments and I'll tell ya, I almost want to watch the thing now.
posted by rhizome at 5:01 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, no, it's the young chick yelling out who comes off as clueless here. If you know of Henry Rollins but haven't worked out he's not going to react with delight to be shouted at in a store your knowledge of the guy is so limited you probably shouldn't be yelling shit out.

"Hey, guy I don't know! You're famous! I'm yelling at you! Isn't this cool?"

No it's not.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 5:17 PM on November 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


This is one of the most appalling videos I've ever seen. For one thing, he knows absolutely nothing about these girls but not only does he throw superficial insults around like confetti at total strangers, he uses Shirin's background and ethnicity as a way to one-up them. What he's saying to these girls, for having been born in a Western country, is: "You guys should be ashamed of yourselves for not growing up and struggling in an authoritarian regime." Fuck you Rollins. Do you think that makes Shirin feel superior in some way? No. It only makes you feel better. This is not a simple White Guilt act, this is a I Know Someone Ethnic Whose Life Was Hard and Man, Do I Ever Value What She's Been Through -- Now, What Have YOU Done Lately to Reduce Your White Guilt? move. That is the most condescending, manipulative bullshit I've seen in my life. I've had friends like this, who live off my token Iranian-ness like it's a way to make themselves cool and different and progressive and politically conscious. Do you think Shirin finds it charming? Do you think she wants her life to be compared to young NY hipsters? No, she doesn't. It's her life. If you want to respect it, don't use it as White Guilt ammunition and compare what she's been through to complete and total strangers. Do you think my partner (who is British) pulls the Iranian girlfriend card every time he wants to impress someone? Do you think I would date him if he did? I am so fucking pissed off right now.
posted by Menomena at 5:25 PM on November 7, 2010 [22 favorites]



The funny thing is that 'The Cake Shop' will probably be a Starbucks in three years and Henry Rollins will still be Henry Rollins.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:37 PM on November 7 [2 favorites +] [!]


Yeah, um, the funny thing is that this video was shot in 2006; it's 2010 and the Cake Shop is still there.
posted by johnnybeggs at 5:31 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I find myself wondering who his real friends are.

True dat. I think his only real friend was shot to death in front of him while they were hanging out on the front porch. Take already-fucked-up person, add fucked-up-tragedy, shake well with media/fan adulation of performance pieces and writings that include attempts to make sense of said tragedy and then multiply by n years since tragedy, throwing in a dash of paranoia about being stuck as "that guy" for the rest of your life. You wind up with Henry Rollins, here and now (also, there and then, based on the date of this video).

Personally, I think he needs to stop the spoken word thing and make some music again or focus on his writing. I won't go see him do spoken word anymore, because it's devolved into a socially conscious stand-up schtick. Seeing this video just drives home the nagging feeling that Hank is bottled up (both creatively and emotionally) and that he's becoming a caricture of himself, which is a terrible shame, because at his best, Rollins can blow you away with his raw passion and honesty.
posted by KingEdRa at 6:10 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


> Rollins refused to be interviewed for my documentary, which is (partially) about this very thing. Greg Ginn, on the other hand, did an interview for us

Greg Ginn, swoon! Would that an FPP were about him.

I have nothing useful to say other than that. Oh, but I do feel the pain of whoever upthread mentioned how stools and chairs are STILL not enough to make them tall enough to reach lighting fixtures. That always makes me feel a little bad about my height, I admit (then I get reminded it's cute, which makes me feel better). If I wasn't married to a tall dude I don't know what I'd do re: burnt out light bulbs...
posted by ifjuly at 6:39 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"ALSO WE HAVE RECEIVED SO MUCH ATTENTION OUR ENTIRE LIVES THAT WE ARE BARELY CONSCIOUS OF HOW ADDICTED TO IT WE ACTUALLY ARE."

What does this even mean? Do you even know the people involved? Are people my age now somehow more...attended than people 10 years ago?

Really, this is out of nowhere as a response to someone who is saying "hey, I like to dress in clothes that make me happy, don't judge me for it".

Someone talk about how Mr. Rodgers fucked us all up by telling us we're worthwhile people. That's the next stupid stereotype on the list.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:49 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


johnnybeggs: "
The funny thing is that 'The Cake Shop' will probably be a Starbucks in three years and Henry Rollins will still be Henry Rollins.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:37 PM on November 7 [2 favorites +] [!]


Yeah, um, the funny thing is that this video was shot in 2006; it's 2010 and the Cake Shop is still there
"

Like I said, give it another three years. Once the 'cake' thing wears it's welcome out, sayanora. Or maybe it will turn into a bacon cupcake emporium?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:03 PM on November 7, 2010


Horseshit. Pabst isn't less expensive, more readily available or qualitatively better than Budweiser, Miller, etc. Pabst's cachet was precisely that it was a dead brand. If Frank Booth had said "Fuck that shit. COORS LIGHT!" then we'd all be making "silver bullet" jokes about hipsters.

Don't know if this was already said, but I compare cheap beer prices on my way home from work every day and you are wrong.
posted by chaff at 8:08 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by geekhorde at 8:17 PM on November 7, 2010


I'm going to bookmark this so I can watch it and feel better about myself the next time I start to feel like I'm just irredeemably hopeless with women. I mean, seriously? This is the guy's schtick to impress his date? I was cringing from the getgo, and it got worse from there.

"hey, I like to dress in clothes that make me happy, don't judge me for it"

See, here's the thing. The hipster aesthetic is basically appropriated piecemeal from a host of older counterculture scenes, with punk and gay/lesbian as the most prominent influences.

In their original incarnations, these fashions were subversive, and did serve as signifiers of the wearer's values and ideology. Wearing them wasn't a simple matter of fashion—it was a choice with real social consequences. It was a statement that you were willing to ostracize yourself to stand up for what you believed in. It took a certain amount of guts and conviction.

But such things tend to gradually become commodified, until they lose their original associations and get absorbed into the culture's general vocabulary. In the 60s, hippie fashions carried a heavy stigma; by the mid-70s, the pages of the JC Penney catalog were filled with watered-down flower-child versions of the same fashions.

Similarly: to a generation that grew up with a Hot Topic in every mall, punk fashion is no more a personal statement or social risk than preppie fashion or beach-bum fashion. It's just clothes.

So, there's a disconnect. People who were part of those original counterculture scenes still see the fashions as social and political statements. But today's young people inherited these fashions as nothing but fashion, devoid of signifiers.

Yeah, it's just clothes, and it's all a bit silly, but clothes are more than pieces of fabric—they're symbols. It's always been that way. The disconnect arises because the meaning of symbols shifts over time and (cultural) space. Some people wear crucifixes as fashion accessory, and it annoys people who understand that symbol to mean something a little less frivolous. Suburban white kids wear Rasta colors, and fuck, it annoys the shit out of me, so I can only imagine how actual Rastas feel. From the viewpoint of a Rasta or a devout Christian, these people—by wearing these symbols—are claiming to be something they're not. Which can be a little offensive if the thing in question is important to you.

Hipsters: seen from certain eyes, you are the suburban housewife who has never seen a protest march or a joint in her life, ordering the corny paisley hippie-dress knockoff from the JC Penney catalog, to give herself a bohemian edge. You are the middle-class college freshman with a crisp new Bob Marley T-shirt and dreadlocks made possible by special white-person dread wax.

You're also demeaning the (often marginalized or outright oppressed) cultures that you cannibalize, by treating their symbols of identity (the keffiyeh, working-class wear, gay styles) as nothing more than fashion trends to be mixed-and-matched like so many scarves and jackets.

That's why you annoy people. Well, it's one of the reasons.
posted by ixohoxi at 9:27 PM on November 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


ixohoxi, what became punk fashion was largely invented and popularised by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. If you're getting angy at "hipsters" for appropriating bits of it, well, you're only waving a profound ignorance of how manufactured most of what is associated with "punk" really was/
posted by rodgerd at 11:06 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hipsters now pride themselves on drinking cask aged ale.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:56 PM on November 7


I was drinking cask ale in 1976 FUCK ME I'M A HIPSTER HOW DID THIS HAPPEN
posted by Decani at 3:45 AM on November 8, 2010


Yay! I am 5'11.5" and I thought I was short-ish until I moved to the midwest, then it was all "Get that down from the top shelf and all for me.

My only hipster-ish attribute is, I think, a loathing for logos on my clothing. Those bastards want me to advertise their brand, then they can pay me for it.

Oh, yeah, I'm 43 and untatooed.
posted by Samizdata at 4:42 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]



I find myself wondering who his real friends are.

True dat. I think his only real friend was shot to death in front of him while they were hanging out on the front porch.


His best friend, to this day, is a guy named Ian Mackaye.

Really should do your homework before talking out your ass.
posted by gcbv at 5:02 AM on November 8, 2010


Another graduate of the Henry Rollins School of Charm. Sign your kids up now!
posted by unSane at 5:10 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


What a cool show.
I never watch German TV (it's generally excruciating) but a show that matches these two people together?
I know of Rollins from punk rock but I know of Shirin from this gallery I worked at a million years ago where she showed her work. Her work wasn't my thing (real cool was Ghada Amer) but she was totally nice, hard working and not a dummy. (I wanna say that she and her husband ran "Storefront for Art and Architecture but I'm not sure if that's right.)

And boy, Rollins really is a tense guy. The hawking his book in the back of the car - I would be astonished if at some point, while at Berkley, Shirin didn't catch a Black Flag show - or at least know about them.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:30 AM on November 8, 2010


gcbv: "
I find myself wondering who his real friends are.

True dat. I think his only real friend was shot to death in front of him while they were hanging out on the front porch.


His best friend, to this day, is a guy named Ian Mackaye.

Really should do your homework before talking out your ass.
"

"Joseph Dennis "Joe" Cole (April 10, 1961 – December 19, 1991) was a roadie for Black Flag and Rollins Band. He was also the best friend and roommate of the musician/author/actor Henry Rollins."
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:16 AM on November 8, 2010


His best friend, to this day, is a guy named Ian Mackaye.

Really should do your homework before talking out your ass.


I don't know if Ian and Henry have halves of alocket or anything, but clearly what happened with Joe Cole was Big Deal to Henry and is what was being talked about.

Oh, Henry. I was so mad, SO MAD, at you when I saw you on MTV making googly faces with Kennedy. How could you be so, so, so common? And that was, what, 15 years ago? You've become neutral to me - I'll give you Mr. Beese's lifetime pass for Damaged, and to a lesser degree, the Henrietta Collins album, but boy have you ever had to show that pass again and again. I hope you got it laminated.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:19 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


dirtdirt: "Oh, Henry. I was so mad, SO MAD, at you when I saw you on MTV making googly faces with Kennedy. How could you be so, so, so common? "

My same feelings when I saw Frank Zappa on 'Solid Gold'.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:59 AM on November 8, 2010


My first thoughts on watching this video, after hearing that girl's tone when she said "Henry Rollins is here? <laughter>", and then seeing the one in the trucker hat:

"Give em hell, Hank"

My thoughts after his first little lame rant at them:

"That was super lame, Hank"

I've always had a fondness for Henry Rollins and his brand of particularly loud and cranky anger. But this was just kinda... Meh.
posted by antifuse at 7:21 AM on November 8, 2010


Hating hipsters is weird. "I hate hipsters" is a really shallow and judgmental thing to say.

The other night, I wanted to check out this restaurant who's sign says "Best little italian restaurant in Seattle", but when I got there, they didn't open for another half hour (seriously, who opens for dinner at 5:30?), so I ended up in a restaurant down the street called "Hunger". The decor is all wrought-iron modern art with gothic influences. The place has an absinthe menu, and served a (very delicious) butternut-squash gnocchi. As I'm eating, I overhear one of the servers complain about hipsters ruin everything good about his life.

Metafilter: eating poop for Tibet
posted by nomisxid at 8:57 AM on November 8, 2010


If PBR is popular out of sheer economics, then why aren't they drinking Schaefer? Or Olympia? There are plenty of generic beers available -- hipsters likely don't visit Costco, but here's an example. And if you just want to get drunk...

Why is it only this one brand? A dead brand, traditionally associated with blue collar workers and crazed drug addicts played by Dennis Hopper?

Moreover, most bars don't make a distinction in price between domestic bottles. All domestic bottles are usually priced the same.

I'm still calling horseshit on the "we only do it because it's cheap, not that we're making some kind of ironic statement."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:01 AM on November 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


Well, Schlitz and undrinkable things like Iron City were popular among the hipsters I've known in various cities too.
posted by ifjuly at 9:25 AM on November 8, 2010


In Texas Lone Star is the same thing, though there's still PBR. There are $1 PBR/Lone Star nights all the time while Coors or whatever is still $3 or whatever.

Also, Franzia, Mad Dog, and Thunderbird are pretty common too.
posted by cmoj at 9:30 AM on November 8, 2010


Hey, guys, I just came up with an idea for this crazy game. The name of the game is, "Let's pretend Henry Rollins is a human being." The idea is that you scrape away the layers of pop culture and history and what you thought of Weight and that story that you heard that one time about Rollins getting into someone's face at a concert and so on and pretend that Henry's a regular guy, albeit one that's gotten some exposure over the years for different things that he's done.

OK, so in this fictional parallel universe where Rollins is a person, as opposed to a bolus of pop-culture detritus, Rollins is showing Nishat around, maybe trying to impress her, but also being pretty self-deprecating. Whether they're dating or he wants it to be a date or whatever is not known to us, just that he's chatting with her (and maybe is conscious that there's a camera following them around at the time), and he gets obviously, verbally recognized by a couple of patrons of the establishment, and he's not acknowledging it directly to them at first, just kind of commenting on it, but then they shout "Get in the van!" and he comes over. And he's telling them, yeah, he knows that he's just kind of a bolus of pop-culture detritus to them, and he can play that game too, by dismissing them as elitist hipsters, but there's this other person in the equation, and did they figure her into the interaction? If they don't want to respect him, well, whatever, but could they maybe just set aside their pop-star baiting for a minute or two? Would a few simple, basic manners clash too horribly with their PBR and golf caps?

That's just my apology for someone that I've been a fan of for quite some time. I acknowledge, as Menomena notes above, that he's also invoking yet another trope by way of making his point. But, you know, I spent my own time in NYC without going "Woo! Lou Reed! Take a walk on the wild side!" when I saw him. Manners, people.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:39 AM on November 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


Schlitz really is actually OK, as cheap beer goes. PBR tastes syrupy.
posted by jonmc at 9:39 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some of my most impressive vomiting was the result of MD 20-20 (Mad Dog) and Night Train. Mad Dog is responsible for me missing the entire 10th grade. Ah memories.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:41 AM on November 8, 2010


If PBR is popular out of sheer economics, then why aren't they drinking Schaefer? Or Olympia? There are plenty of generic beers available -- hipsters likely don't visit Costco, but here's an example. And if you just want to get drunk...

Why is it only this one brand? A dead brand, traditionally associated with blue collar workers and crazed drug addicts played by Dennis Hopper?

Moreover, most bars don't make a distinction in price between domestic bottles. All domestic bottles are usually priced the same.

I'm still calling horseshit on the "we only do it because it's cheap, not that we're making some kind of ironic statement."


Look, I'm no hipster, but:

1. I can't get Schaefer or Olympia at the grocery store on my bus line or corner store by me. I can get PBR at those places. Costco is way the hell out of my way.

2. At every bar I go to, there's one beer that's priced a good 25 to 75 cents cheaper than all other domestics. I am not lying.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:47 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, interesting to read the comments.

In my reading of his book, "Get in the van" was a pejorative used to remind Henry of his low status in the band and life in general. Yelling out "Get in the van!" is not the mark of a fan, it's the mark of someone mocking him.

From my point of view, Henry was reacting to what he sees as the super-conforming 'hipster' trend. Personally, I don't 'hate' hipsters. I don't understand them, like many trends that have come and gone where the intent is to reject conventionality by conforming to some new non-conventional trend.

As a Gen-X person, Henry will always represent much the the Punk attitude that I grew up with. Coming of age in the 80s, Punk represented rejecting the adherence to a specific look or style and conformity to a group ideal. Punk was about being different on your own terms. Contrary to many people's view, the majority of punks were not mohawked, leather jacket wearing, skin heads. We were people that didn't fit easily into groups.

Of course, even this has changed where Punk has it own dress codes now. Even being 'straight edge' has changed into a ideology with dramatic manifestos.

But I fear this subtlety is missed in the MeFI snarkfest. I love people trying to defend drinking PBR as anything other than a trendy affectation.

Also, get off my lawn.
posted by Argyle at 10:59 AM on November 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


No, hipsters (at least NYC hipsters) don't go to costco because they don't have cars and you have to drive to costco. It's not always practical to buy in bulk anyway, when you don't have a huge amount of room for storage.

I mean FUCKING HIPSTERS, TOO GOOD FOR COSTCO, EH?
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:00 AM on November 8, 2010


Coupla things:

Wait, Henry Rollins is on a date? With a woman?

PBR was popular because it was dirt fucking cheap. Then it got hip. At the local dive when I lived in Ypsi, it went from $1.50 a can to $3.50. At $2, they're kinda worth it almost. At $2.50, Old Style (just $2) starts to look good. At $3.5o, it's like, fuck it, man, you got Blatz for $1.75? Gimme that then.

Now I'm out in LA and see $7 PBRs and am like WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK.
posted by klangklangston at 11:01 AM on November 8, 2010


Schlitz really is actually OK, as cheap beer goes.

it's hard to find, but they've come out with a 60's gusto formula schlitz that uses the old recipe - it's about 6 or 7 a six pack, and it's very good
posted by pyramid termite at 11:07 AM on November 8, 2010


I love people trying to defend drinking PBR as anything other than a trendy affectation.

you do understand there are midwestern factory towns where people actually drink this stuff because it's cheap, they like it and they have no idea what a hipster is, right?
posted by pyramid termite at 11:10 AM on November 8, 2010


Also, that Costco beer is $19 for 24 bottles. That's not really cheap.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:14 AM on November 8, 2010


PBR also had the advantage of being better-tasting than the promoted brands - not as sweet as the other Lawnmower Lagers or watery as the Lites. It was also cheaper, because PBR didn't waste much money on advertising. So, no annoying ad campaigns and it was somewhat drinkable? That's a good combination.

In places where beer is appreciated, and local brands are popular - New England, Pennsylvania, Texas, Louisiana - PBR is a super cheap pallate cleanser after a round of shots, or starving-college-student beer.

In other places, it's a fashion statement, and idiotically overpriced.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:47 AM on November 8, 2010


I find the PBR debate really weird. I mean, I know this has come up on metafilter before--how the brand has systematically marketed itself to counterculture kids quite carefully, through not advertising to them directly (so as not to seem inauthentic or like a sell out, highly commercial brand) but through promotions at dive bars and indie concerts and by sponsoring NPR shows. I can only imagine that the low price point of the brand at cool bars is a carefully considered part of its branding--it's the easiest way to put it in the hands of cool college students and 20-somethings, it allows people to say things like "there are midwestern factory towns where people actually drink this stuff because it's cheap, they like it and they have no idea what a hipster is" whether or not it's true (none of the working-class guys I know drink it--Miller or Coors is probably the way they go--but it conceivably might be the case), because it makes the brand seem that much more ubiquitous and authentic, all at once. Without them having to film a single commercial with, I don't know, Henry Rollins drinking it to show how genuine and non-hipstery it is.

I don't think there's anything wrong with drinking it. But I think it's strange to deny how carefully they've cultivated the brand by creating an image that you don't lose any cred by drinking it because it's cheap and working class and tastes okay.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:08 PM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


There are midwestern factory towns Tibetan valleys where people actually drink this stuff because it's cheap, they like it gets them drunk and they have no idea what a hipster is.

That's the weirdest thing about Tibet. PBR and Budweiser being the predominant alcoholic beverages.
posted by cmoj at 12:18 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


you do understand there are midwestern factory towns where people actually drink this stuff because it's cheap, they like it and they have no idea what a hipster is, right?

I actually I think this is bullshit. Keystone and Natty Light are the same cost or cheaper in every market. This attempt for PBR to exclude blue collar authenticity is marketing, pure & simple. In the fabled "midwestern factory town" the popular beer is one on sale at Walmart, not Frank Booth's favorite.
posted by Argyle at 12:35 PM on November 8, 2010


Keystone and Natty Light are the same cost or cheaper in every market.

PBR ain't great, but it's a lot better than natty light or keystone. AND, as has been exhaustively explained here and elsewhere, there's a constellation of influences including but not limited to: packaging, marketing, Frank from Blue Velvet, my dad, NPR, Michael J. Fox, and anti-anti-hipster backlash such that, given the choice of those three beers at the same price point, I'd go for PBR every damn time
posted by dirtdirt at 12:46 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


AND its magical power to turn any thread, no matter how tangentially related, into a PBR thread.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:46 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


GET IN THE CAN!
posted by KingEdRa at 1:32 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why is it only this one brand? A dead brand, traditionally associated with blue collar workers and crazed drug addicts played by Dennis Hopper?

'cause my momma used to sing their ad jingle to me as a lullaby. That and the fact that – at least when I was drinking PBR on a regular basis – the only comparable beer in terms of price was Natural Light, which is pretty much not even potable.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:02 PM on November 8, 2010


Actually, Bud is the brand that most people have when the go to a bar and say "gimme a beer." PBR was a midwestern staple Dad beer, that was marketed in the Northeast as a nostalgia product, but wound up appealing to hipstwer kids, and then to broke people because it's only $1 at some bars, but it still tastes terrible.
posted by jonmc at 4:23 PM on November 8, 2010


The only people who win in that video is the band politely waiting to move their equipment.
posted by paddysat at 8:27 PM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


you guys understand that not only do i come from a midwestern factory town, i work in a midwestern factory, don't you?

but go on - tell me i couldn't possibly know anything about it - i enjoy it when self-appointed cultural know-it-alls show their utter ignorance of my environment

oh, and guess what? - walmart sells PBR - 30 pack for 15.99 - so, obviously, the person who made that comment never bought beer there
posted by pyramid termite at 9:22 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


i enjoy it when self-appointed cultural know-it-alls show their utter ignorance of my environment

Uh, in my response I mentioned the possibility that I was wrong (and I mean, how are we supposed to know where you work or live?!). Knee jerk response in thread about Henry Rollins' knee jerk response is knee jerky!

I've bought beer in walmart, but only Miller High Life. On account of liking the logo, mostly.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:51 PM on November 8, 2010


I've bought beer in walmart, but only Miller High Life. On account of liking the logo, mostly.

if you think the logo's good looking, you should see the horse who helps bottle it
posted by pyramid termite at 10:11 PM on November 8, 2010


I'm the biggest ignoramus in the thread because I didn't even know who Henry Rollins is (I don't have much of an ear or an interest for music).
However, just watching his and Shirin's body language, that has to be a perfectly horrible date. He spends the whole time lecturing her and hectoring others and OMG is he full of himself or what? And the palpable insecurity about him at the same time. And to top it off he pushes HER into the limelight and makes it all about her vs. hipsters and you can see her cringing.

I mean, I assume she knew what she was getting herself into when she agreed to the trip. Maybe she thinks Henry Rollins is secretly adorable or something. But that...is not what a pleasant evening with a great guy looks like. I'm imagining her posting it to AskMeta and getting a chorus of DTMFA.
posted by Omnomnom at 11:11 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's "AskMeta"?

I keed, I keed
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:55 AM on November 9, 2010


Watching that is not unlike watching an episode of "The Office".

"Ack, no, Henry/Michael you probably shouldn't say tha... Oh boy. You said it."
posted by notyou at 12:05 PM on November 9, 2010


In their original incarnations, these fashions were subversive, and did serve as signifiers of the wearer's values and ideology. ... But such things tend to gradually become commodified, until they lose their original associations and get absorbed into the culture's general vocabulary. In the 60s, hippie fashions carried a heavy stigma; by the mid-70s, the pages of the JC Penney catalog were filled with watered-down flower-child versions of the same fashions.

OK, I know I'm late coming back to this thread but I just can't let this one go. In their original incarnations? Do you think the hippies invented blue jeans out of whole cloth? They appropriated what had up until then been workwear, exactly like today's hipster with a trucker hat or a flannel shirt. All culture is appropriation; nobody is an "authentic" user of a cultural signifier. Are khaki-wearers disrespecting the cultural traditions of WWII GIs? Were those GIs disrespecting the British soldiers in colonial India? Come on.

This is the height of delusional boomer narcissism: "everything we did was completely original, owing nothing to our antecendents, and everything that comes after us is completely derivative."
posted by enn at 10:31 AM on November 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


The only way to stay current and relevant is to always be poor.
posted by fuq at 11:03 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Huh, weird. Apparently New York magazine posted its own annotation of the video a few days before this post, and a few days after the Stereogum post. Stereogum picked it up from Free Williamsburg.
posted by limeonaire at 4:01 PM on November 15, 2010


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