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DISPATCH 12-16-12 LOS ANGELES

12-16-12

1340 hrs. At the office, now that the holidays are here, I can stop goofing around and get to work.


Last Friday, I did the last show of the year. The wonderful Wits show, performed live at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, MN. It was a great night. I think you can check it out here:
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/programs/wits/


They band and crew were very cool to me. The host guy reminded me twice that the reason I was on the show was because his sister wanted me on there. It’s always good to be wanted. Thanks!


I got back here yesterday on not much sleep but managed to get it together and do the radio show. It’s hard to do something fun like the radio show when something terrible has happened. By having a good time doing anything almost makes one feel like he or she isn’t being respectful. Doing the Wits show and the radio show in the days after the school shootings almost felt mean. I also think it’s best to do what you were going to do and provide others with something to do or listen to and that not doing either shows would not have been the answer. Still, it is a hell of a thing that is no doubt hanging over the heads of people all over the world right now.


In the next several days, there will be hundreds of hours of politicians and pundits talking and miles of internet content about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. The topic of gun control will be argued from every possible side and angle. I think to a certain degree, it’s a little late for that. There are approximately two hundred and seventy million privately owned firearms in America. I’m not saying that it’s not a discussion that America needs to have, I am saying that there are a lot of guns out there and I don’t think anyone will be melting them down any time soon.


The subject of mental health care is, to me, the topic that really needs to be addressed. The last two horrific shootings, Aurora and Sandy Hook where both perpetrated by young men with mental issues and were in need of care. This is where all that rugged individualism stuff breaks down. Lincoln was right in 1838:


“If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”


This is what happens when everyone is “on their own” and pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps and all that. The only possible upside to what has happened in America this year on the gun homicide front is that the lives that were taken were not in vain. From all of this has to come some way forward. It has to be non-partisan, adult and very determined. Will America and its democracy be able to rise to the challenge?


The bottom line is that this kind of thing costs money, it takes time and at some level, will have to involve the government. This is a reality that some can’t get their heads around. There are some people who insist that government is worthless and all it does is get in the way. I don’t have this opinion. Jefferson reminds me that we are the government. I can’t separate it from myself and hold myself above blame.


The question that gets asked is what is America’s thing with guns? It’s a question that needs to be addressed but it doesn’t necessarily get at what the problem is. Being an American, I have been around guns all my life, yet I have no desire to go and shoot anyone. I guess I could go out today and find some drugs but just because they’re around, doesn’t make them appealing to me and if they were taken off the street, I would still have the same lack of interest in them. I think we Americans have to look deeper than just guns, their availability and relative danger. We are not always all that good at holding up the national mirror, so I don’t know what the future holds.


Talking about anything else here seems a bit lame. In the days after the run of shows at Largo, I had an accumulated year of adrenaline from all the shows but in the last few days, the exhaustion has settled into my frame and I see that it has been a long year out on the road and that I am in need of some rest and good nutrition.


Thanks for coming to all those shows in the nineteen countries I was in this year. You make it worth every mile.


If you get a chance, see the West of Memphis documentary West of Memphis. It’s an excellent piece of work and I think it’s coming out right about now.


For you Los Angeles based folks, I will be doing two sets at McCabe’s on Friday January 18th. http://www.mccabes.com/condata.html


Also, we pressed the End of Silence Demos onto a nice 2LP set that just came back from the plant. It sounds great. http://henryrollins.shop.musictoday.com/Dept.aspx?cp=14511_59330


Next week’s radio show will be another great one and we will be live like we were last night. Tune in if you can.


Thanks for reading this.
Henry

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