Henry Rollins’ thoughts on Robin Williams suicide has led to much controversy that it seems better if he had said nothing at all.
Millions of people have felt the loss and dissatisfaction of those who commit suicide. Although the person intends on taking their own lives, in reality, it can alter harmfully the lives of others, leaving family and close friends (or in Robin Williams case—millions of fans) also a little dead inside.
A country mourns the loss of a comedy legend—Robin Williams. And that’s alright. But According to Spin, Henry Rollins joined musician Gene Simmons in “his harsh criticism of people who commit suicide” and how people keep talking about it.
Rollins recently wrote a lengthy editorial for LA Weekly today, regarding the affect of suicide on him and possible others that feel the same way that he does. Despite the frankness of his opinions, he goes forward with first warning readers that they may not like what he has to say:
But it’s here where I step off the train. I am sure some will strongly disagree with what I’m about to say. And I also understand that [Williams’] personal struggles were quite real. I can’t argue with that.
Suicide is a terrible thing. And it is sad to say that many people commit this crime not only against themselves but also against others. Rollins may have been trying to explain this when he talks about “waiving your right to take your own life” in the case of a parent who may be considering taking their life instead of putting their children before their own apparent struggles with life. This statement does not justify a person’s actions, but it may also not be satisfactory to those struggling with suicide or those who have suffered grief because of a close relationship with someone who has committed suicide. Rollins could have explained it in a better way that would not disqualify a person’s emotions or way of coping with someone who does commit suicide. Instead he states, sounding a bit more critical than compassionate for the sake of those who felt the loss of Robin Williams:
But I simply cannot understand how any parent could kill themselves.
How in the hell could you possibly do that to your children? I don’t care how well adjusted your kid might be — choosing to kill yourself, rather than to be there for that child, is every shade of awful, traumatic and confusing. I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So, you don’t kill yourself.
Suicide is unfortunately common even among celebrities, which is why a country often takes the time to cope with an untimely circumstance such as Williams’ and Hoffman’s deaths. Rollins continues with his personal views on the matter and how it affects him, as he writes,
When someone negates their existence, they cancel themselves out in my mind. I have many records, books and films featuring people who have taken their own lives, and I regard them all with a bit of distain. [sic]
He then ends with a blatant statement that sends forth a message of his resentment toward suicide:
F*** suicide. Life isn’t anything but what you make it.
The post speaks for itself on Rollins’ thoughts about Robin Williams and suicide. His opinions have received a lot of attention but not in a positive way, as people have posted many upset comments to Twitter about this.