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Manship Theatre: Henry Rollins talks politics during 50-state ‘Capitalism’ tour

Sunday, October 14, 2012 - 6:03pm

Celebrity endorsements are not new to the campaign trail. Nor are commentaries from just about everyone in the media. Where one generally says very little, the other seems to say too much. Combine the two together and you’ll gain the blunt, somewhat slanted views of Henry Rollins – the former punk rock frontman for Black Flag turned publisher, writer and advocate for human rights issues.

“I’m a hack. I’m an opportunist. I’m person of the minimum wage working world. In that, I move forward,” Rollins said when discussing how he evolved from the life of a touring musician to where he is now. “I think that’s what sustained my career. I never had any high faulting ideas about myself. You get more laps around the track if you’re just aware of who you are and what you’re going for."

That same tell-it-like-it-is mentality towards his career is what Rollins brings to the table when discussing politics during his current tour “Capitalism,” which is set to make a stop in Baton Rouge at the Manship Theatre on Monday, Oct. 15.

“We’re going to all 50 of the capital cities in America and I’ll be in the nation’s capital on election night. As far as it being in all the capital cities, that was my publicist’s ideas – I’m not nearly that creative,” he said with his particular brand of sarcasm.

Although politics is the primary topic of the “Capitalism” tour, politicians are not necessarily his only target. Rather, Rollins takes cues from his road life and his observations of “real people.”

“What’s been most interesting to me about the past four years of the Obama administration has been that it’s brought out some of the less flattering aspects of some of the people we share our country with, and some of the things I’ve heard said are far below what we should consider American,” Rollins said.

Rollins believes that the Obama administration has brought with it new concerns for the old issue of racisim in America.

“There has always been the Klan. There has always been white power movements,” he said. “You see a bit more of it during tough economic times. Some people become desperate and they want to push it off by finding someone to blame.”

For Rollins, the answer for the blame-game lies in one place within government.

“Congress drives this country. They’re bums,” he said. “You have a President who’s putting things across, and a Congress that’s saying no.

“People need to do more looking for information, but more looking doesn’t always give you the outlook you want.”

When seeking out information, Rollins notes that it’s important to keep the source in mind, as well as what gains attention from media outlets.

“The louder you are, the more you act out, the more attention you’ll get from the media,” Rollins said. “Sarah Palin is the perfect example for that. She doesn’t really say anything that makes sense, but yet she’s everywhere.

“For that matter, why would anyone pay attention to a buffoon like Donald Trump? It was his father’s money and he lost a lot of it,” he added. “The media is basically a lobbyist for the people they serve. And that’s okay, as long as you understand that and prepare yourself appropriately. CNN is fluffy and mediocre. MSNBC is hardcore. FOX is Clint Eastwood shaking with anger. One should be available to multiple news sources.”

Ultimately, no matter what views you share or disagree with, Rollins hopes everyone will hear one message during his show and take it to heart.

“If you’re eligible to vote, do it,” he said emphatically. “You’re vote does matter. Democracy is about all of us and making our voice be heard.”

The dramatic finale to Rollin’s “Capitalism” tour will end on the night of the election in the nation’s capital. Once that tour ends, Rollins will embark on a post election tour, “The Long March.”

Click here to find out how to purchase tickets to the show at the Manship Theatre.

 

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