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9 questions with Henry Rollins

The musician-writer on patriotism, curiosity, and reading Ann Coulter books.

Javier Zarracina

This week, Henry Rollins — musician, writer, actor, radio and television host, and generally fascinating human — answers our questions.

What’s the first piece of media you consume every day?

I read articles online. Huffington Post, New York Times, BBC, Washington Post.

Name a writer or publication you disagree with but still read.

I’ve read Cheney’s and Bush’s autobiographies. Books by Sarah Palin and Anne Coulter. I read articles on Breitbart.

Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think?

Ian MacKaye for the good things.

When was the last time you changed your mind about something?

I used to consider myself a patriot, and now I think that position is a hollow idea, used to protect oneself from criticism. I used to think that in the USA “we shall overcome,” but I see that “we” will not. “We” had myriad chances since 1865, and all that happened was Jim Crow laws, the KKK, the failure of the civil rights movement and now a president that is the result of decades of targeted bad education and misinformation.

What’s your worst intellectual habit?

Rushing to judgment. Looking for the bad in someone else before anything else.

What inspires you to learn?

Curiosity. A desire to be able to defend my points of view with facts.

What do you need to believe in order to get through the day?

That I do not care when I die.

What’s a view that you hold but can’t defend?

I am frustrated that I won’t be able to kill and maim the people I want to kill and maim.

What book have you recommended the most?

Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore.

You can read last week’s edition of 9 Questions with Dominique Dawes here.