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Waving the Flag

For those of you who know me, you may be surprised to find out I am a HUGE BLACK FLAG FAN. So, how did a freshly scrubbed southern girl fall in love with Black Flag?

It was a love affair born in the ’80’s when Reagan was Prez, protesting was a thing of the past, unions were dying,  MTV actually played Music on TV 24/7, and the pop-music scene drove me more than a little insane with bubble-gum smack tunes.

I could go on and on about how Black Flag was different, harsh, and smart, but not so smart that it turned off the blue-collar kids. Black Flag never directly looked down their noses at anyone. They just threatened to punch everyone in the face who disagreed with them. As a teen, that resonated with me.  During the Reagan Era, when the word “Republican” was synonymous with “good guy”, and no one cared if you were starving to death (“Get a job!”), it was refreshing to see punk-rock rage take aim at everyone – not just the establishment – for being ill-informed.

The reason I still love Black Flag is because of  Henry Rollins. And here’s why: He’s a life-school graduate who stretches his mind, his body, and his geo-political talent by actually LIVING his story. He goes to the edge of the abyss like any respectable artist, stares into it, and then comes back and reports on it. But, with Henry Rollins, he’s so in your face, and he puts so much of himself into what he’s doing that you actually feel like he brought the abyss back to you….and you can’t possibly escape it….you just have to endure it. You simply must.

He’s well read, well-travelled, and has a punk-rock rapier wit that cuts to the bone. You may disagree with him on some points, but you will understand where he’s coming from. There’s just no escaping it. Even if you’re not familiar with Black Flag or the Punk Rock Scene, there’s something about Henry Rollins that makes you want to hear him, understand what he’s saying, know what he knows, and part of you feels like he just might punch you in the face if you ignore him. You don’t have to agree with him, but you’d be wise to listen.

His latest book, titled, “Occupants“, is a collection of pictures taken in various war-torn places with his own narrative as an added bonus. Like it, or hate it, you will understand it. Either way – don’t miss it.

Check out this awesome interview with Henry Rollins written by Jason Leopold for Truth-Out:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11085-hard-travelin-with-henry-rollins-an-exclusive-interview

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