Rollins can't feel bad for Robin Williams

Henry Rollins has spoken out on comedian Robin Williams' suicide, saying he finds it "impossible" to feel bad for people who take their own lives.

The former Black Flag and Rollins Band frontman – who now makes a living as a public speaker – says he looks on those who kill themselves with “disdain” and questions how any father could put their offspring through the trauma of losing a parent.

Actor Williams took his own life at his California home earlier this month after a long battle with depression. It was later revealed he had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Rollins says in his LA Weekly column: “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 traumatise your kids. So, you don’t kill yourself.

“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 disdain.

He continues: “I no longer take this person seriously. I may be able to appreciate what he or she did artistically but it’s impossible to feel bad for them. Their life wasn’t cut short; it was purposely abandoned.”

But Rollins accepts depression is difficult to live with and deal with – and argues it may even be impossible. “Depression is so personal and so unique to each of us that when you’re in its teeth, you think you invented it,” he says.

“You can understand your own, but that’s it. When you are severely depressed, it can be more isolating than anything else you have ever experienced. In trying to make someone understand, you can only speak in approximation. You are truly on your own.”

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.