Henry Rollins reads and deconstructs the children's book "Oh, the Places You'll... more »

Transcript

Henry Rollins: Hello. My name is Henry Rollins,
and today I will be reading
Henry Rollins: and deconstructing,
"Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss.
Henry Rollins: Congratulations!
Henry Rollins: Today is your day.
Henry Rollins: You're off to Great Places!
Henry Rollins: You're off and away--
Henry Rollins: Now, the thing that bugs me...
Henry Rollins: Am I a pain in the ass?
I'm complaining by the first page.
Henry Rollins: It's a guy, so what, women
don't get to go anywhere, or is
Henry Rollins: travel just designated for
smirking, self satisfied Caucasian males.
Henry Rollins: I'm mad already.
Let's go on, shall we?
Henry Rollins: You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
Henry Rollins: You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
Henry Rollins: You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
Henry Rollins: And you are the guy
who'll decide where to go.
Henry Rollins: Again, this is, to
me, male overreach.
Henry Rollins: This is basically shutting women
down for their reproductive health rights.
Henry Rollins: This is men telling women what
to do in the entertainment industry.
Henry Rollins: This is why there's so many
angry women in the world,
Henry Rollins: 'cause they pick up a child's
book that's supposed to be for
Henry Rollins: all children, and they see some frickin' white
guy walking through some gated community.
Henry Rollins: I'm getting madder and madder.
Henry Rollins: You'll look up and down streets.
Henry Rollins: Look'em over with care.
About some you will say,
Henry Rollins: "I don't choose to go there."
Henry Rollins: Who talks like that?
Henry Rollins: With your head full of brains
and your shoes full of feet,
Henry Rollins: you're too smart to go down
any not-so-good street.
Henry Rollins: And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
Henry Rollins: In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.
Henry Rollins: That is of course if you
have feet to walk on, or
Henry Rollins: maybe you're in a wheelchair,
or maybe you caught a stray bullet
Henry Rollins: from America's gun laden streets,
and you are not ambulatory...
Henry Rollins: Or maybe you came back from
this awful endeavor in Iraq and Afghanistan,
Henry Rollins: and you don't have
full use of your body.
Henry Rollins: And so, if that's the case,
you might not be heading out of town.
Henry Rollins: You might be trying to
kill yourself, which happens with
Henry Rollins: Veterans far too often,
but in this kid's case, he's ambulatory,
Henry Rollins: doesn't look like he has any money,
but that doesn't matter does it?
Henry Rollins: It's opener there in
the wide open air.
Henry Rollins: The only opener I understand is
an opener, like your first line,
Henry Rollins: like, "Good evening ladies and
germs, I just got back from las wages."
[rimshot]
Henry Rollins: But as far as it's opener there,
you're getting kids at a
Henry Rollins: formative age, and you're
teaching them to speak poorly.
Henry Rollins: And that's okay if you
want to be in Congress, but--
-[rimshot]
---not working for me.
Henry Rollins: Out there things can
happen and frequently do
Henry Rollins: to people as brainy
and footsy as you.
Henry Rollins: And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Henry Rollins: Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.
Henry Rollins: And here we get... we press the
elephants into tasks. They get to work.
Henry Rollins: To keep you out of sun,
they get to carry your shade.
Henry Rollins: And look how happy they are
to be in servitude.
Henry Rollins: These gorgeous animals
wrenched from a life in the wild,
Henry Rollins: and there they are pressed
into service to transport some little
Henry Rollins: bastard from here to there.
Henry Rollins: And where did he get the elephants?
How is he paying for them?
Henry Rollins: Are they being fed?
Henry Rollins: How did he just acquire them.
Henry Rollins: Who knows? It's Dr. Seuss.
Henry Rollins: I had a rotten childhood.
Do you want me to go into that?
Henry Rollins: Probably not.
Henry Rollins: Oh!
Henry Rollins: The places you'll go!
Henry Rollins: Elephants gone. Hot air ballon.
Henry Rollins: You'll be on your way up!
Henry Rollins: You'll be seeing great sights!
Henry Rollins: You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.
Henry Rollins: So immediately all of
your friends are elitist.
Henry Rollins: They live in the rare air.
Henry Rollins: Not down with the hoi polloi.
Henry Rollins: Not admired with the rabble,
and their middle to low class concerns.
Henry Rollins: You're in first class in a netherworld
of mountains and corny castles.
Henry Rollins: Oh and there's so many
of you. You're a gang.
Henry Rollins: You're the 1%.
Henry Rollins: You won't lag behind, because
you'll have all the speed.
Henry Rollins: You'll pass the whole gang
and you'll soon take the lead.
Henry Rollins: Wherever you fly,
you'll be best of the best.
Henry Rollins: Wherever you go,
you will top all the rest.
Henry Rollins: 'Cause anything less than
being number 1,
Henry Rollins: you're a pussy, and you
need to get out of my country.
Henry Rollins: Either be number 1 or die kid.
Henry Rollins: That's what I want my child to know.
Henry Rollins: I want to threaten him with excellence.
Henry Rollins: Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.
Henry Rollins: I'm sorry to say so but, sadly, it's true,
Henry Rollins: that Bang-ups and
Hang-ups can happen to you.
Henry Rollins: You can get all hung
up in a prickle-ly perch.
Henry Rollins: And your gang will fly on.
Henry Rollins: And you'll be left in a Lurch.
Henry Rollins: If your friends were worth
their weight in salt,
Henry Rollins: they would double back
and come and get you.
Henry Rollins: These people were never your friends.
Henry Rollins: Your gang sucks!
Henry Rollins: They leave you hanging out to dry.
Henry Rollins: Now you're prey.
Henry Rollins: Homo sapiens are like
the rottenest creatures on the planet.
Henry Rollins: Your claws can't scratch anything.
You can't run away from
Henry Rollins: any predator or animal that
wants to take you down and eviscerate you.
Henry Rollins: And his gang has left
him very vulnerable.
Henry Rollins: Raptor birds could be coming
for this little bastard at any point.
Henry Rollins: Meanwhile his friends have
gone on not even looking behind them.
Henry Rollins: Sucks to be this kid now.
Henry Rollins: And so what... what are we
teaching children with this?
Henry Rollins: Loyalty? Helpfulness? No.
Henry Rollins: When one of your friends
lags behind, screw'em!
Henry Rollins: Just move on and
realize your own destiny.
Henry Rollins: But don't worry, he's a rugged
American. He's a real American.
Henry Rollins: He'll be fine.
Henry Rollins: Hopefully he's got a gun
stuffed somewhere in there.
Henry Rollins: You'll come down from the
Lurch with an unpleasant bump.
Henry Rollins: And the chances are then,
that you'll be in a Slump.
Henry Rollins: [sigh] Dr. Seuss
needs better writers.
Henry Rollins: And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Henry Rollins: Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.
Henry Rollins: Well, now you're on your own walking
through some existentialist nightmare.
Henry Rollins: You will come to a place
where the streets are not marked.
Henry Rollins: Some windows are lighted.
But mostly they're darked--
Henry Rollins: Great.
Henry Rollins: --A place you could sprain
both your elbow and chin!
Henry Rollins: Do you dare to stay out?
Do you dare to go in?
Henry Rollins: How much can you lose?
How much can you win?
Henry Rollins: I don't know how one
can sprain one's chin.
Henry Rollins: And I must say, Dr. Seuss' idea,
this thing is really falling flat.
Henry Rollins: This ends in one season.
Henry Rollins: And if you should go in,
you turn left or right...
Henry Rollins: Or right-and-three-quarters?
Or, maybe, not quite?
Henry Rollins: Or go around back and
sneak in from behind?
Henry Rollins: Simple it's not, I'm afraid
you will find,
Henry Rollins: For a mind-maker-upper
to make up his mind.
Henry Rollins: So basically it sounds like the
kid is given different choices of
Henry Rollins: what house he's going to break into.
Henry Rollins: And so now, we're teaching how
to split from your friends,
Henry Rollins: how to [scoffs] break into houses,
and get something for nothing. Red state.
Henry Rollins: Now the kids' motoring...
hopped up on something.
Henry Rollins: I guess you can reach into almost any
medicine cabinet in an American household,
Henry Rollins: and either find extra bullets,
dexedrine, vicodin, whatever,
Henry Rollins: because you're feeling no pain.
Henry Rollins: You can get so confused that
you'll start in to race...
Henry Rollins: Okay. So he got some uppers.
Henry Rollins: Down long wiggled roads at
a break-necking pace
Henry Rollins: and grind on for miles--
Henry Rollins: That's speed.
Henry Rollins: --Across weirdish wild space--
Ketamine.
Henry Rollins: --Headed, I fear, for a
most useless place.
Henry Rollins: The Waiting Place...
Henry Rollins: Ooh and now, now you find your people.
Henry Rollins: Bored people high on mediocrity.
They're waiting for nothing,
Henry Rollins: and they're happy just to
sit around, and let it all go by.
Henry Rollins: Let's read on.
Henry Rollins: For people just waiting, for a train to go,
Henry Rollins: or a bus to come, or a plane to go,
Henry Rollins: or mail to come, or the rain to go,
Henry Rollins: or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow,
Henry Rollins: or waiting around for a yes or no,
Henry Rollins: or waiting for their hair to grow.
Henry Rollins: Everyone is just waiting.
Henry Rollins: Fuck you! I'm not waiting.
Henry Rollins: Waiting for the fish to bite,
or waiting for wind to fly a kite,
Henry Rollins: or waiting around for Friday night,
Henry Rollins: or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake,
Henry Rollins: or a pot to boil, or a better break,
Henry Rollins: or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants,
Henry Rollins: or a wig with curls, or Another Chance--
Which is capitalized.
Henry Rollins: --Everyone is just waiting.
Henry Rollins: Jeez. They're waiting to use an outhouse?
Henry Rollins: Look how far the line goes
back to use the restroom.
Henry Rollins: You know what that is?
That's poor planning.
Henry Rollins: And that's why a lot of
people wait in a lot of places.
Henry Rollins: You know what they could be waiting to do?
Henry Rollins: They could be waiting to vote.
Henry Rollins: They could be in a district
that's been gerrymandered,
Henry Rollins: and they might be waiting
hours, 8 hours in the hot Florida sun,
Henry Rollins: so they can vote, and that's
how there country's treating them.
Henry Rollins: That's how this country is treating democracy.
Henry Rollins: It's something you wait
in a long line for. [whistles]
Henry Rollins: This is depressing.
This is a stone cold bummer.
Henry Rollins: You like waiting for anything?
I don't have time to wait.
Henry Rollins: I'm one of the most
impatient people I've ever met.
Henry Rollins: Oh good. [whistles]
Henry Rollins: No!
That's not for you!
Henry Rollins: Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
Henry Rollins: You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
Henry Rollins: Now, this book is showing
some promise. We have a band,
Henry Rollins: and we're starting to show some ethnicity.
Henry Rollins: So are these people from...
are they Muslims?
Henry Rollins: In a Donald Trump America,
they're not in my country.
Henry Rollins: Let's see. So the Boom Band is playing.
Henry Rollins: Ooh no. We're back to the elephants
who willfully perform for the kid.
Henry Rollins: With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Henry Rollins: Ready for anything under the sky.
Henry Rollins: Ready because you're that kind of a guy!
Henry Rollins: If I was a little girl, I would feel
really left out of this book.
Henry Rollins: This would basically say to me,
"You're not really in the mix."
Henry Rollins: And the only women, I've seen
in this book... let's rewind. Analog.
[pages flipping]
Henry Rollins: The only time women are
introduced so far in all the
Henry Rollins: places you will go, are seen
as sedentary types who are
Henry Rollins: satisfied with just waiting around.
Henry Rollins: They wait in line to use
the restroom it seems,
Henry Rollins: they sit on the couch,
Henry Rollins: they're waiting for ski season,
like they've got nothing else to do,
Henry Rollins: and they're hanging around
a bunch of dipshit men who are
Henry Rollins: stupid enough to wait around to.
Henry Rollins: The mean version of me is oh so cynical.
Henry Rollins: The mean version of me is oh so clinical,
but I hate misogyny, and I find it everywhere.
Henry Rollins: So let's keep going, shall we?
Because we are that kind of guy.
Henry Rollins: Oh, the places you'll go!
The fun to be done!
Henry Rollins: There are points to be scored.
There are games to be won.
Henry Rollins: And magical things you
can do with that ball--
Henry Rollins: Oh, I see. There's the ball.
Henry Rollins: And there's magical things you
can do with that ball will make
Henry Rollins: the winning-est winner of all.
Henry Rollins: Fame! You'll be as famous
as famous can be,
Henry Rollins: with the whole wide
world watching you win on TV.
Henry Rollins: This is really offensive.
Henry Rollins: We're basically saying what's
the thing we value...
Henry Rollins: Oil spotting your friends.
When your friend isn't in a lurch you split.
Henry Rollins: You bypass mediocre people,
because you want to be famous.
Henry Rollins: You want to be on TV.
You want to win.
Henry Rollins: Basically, this is promoting
reality television.
Henry Rollins: This is basically saying, "Go ahead.
Son, you want to be Duck Dynasty too?"
Henry Rollins: Aspire. This is what you aspire to.
Henry Rollins: To win, to be famous, and to
be viewed on TV, but let's move on.
Henry Rollins: I'm really raining on Mister...
Dr. Seuss' parade.
Henry Rollins: Is he really a doctor?
Henry Rollins: Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.
Henry Rollins: I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Henry Rollins: Games you can't win 'cause
you'll play against you.
Henry Rollins: I think I played that game last
night at around 19:45 hours.
Henry Rollins: I've been playing that game
since I was about 14. Hello!
Henry Rollins: All Alone--
Henry Rollins: Biting into Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner:
Henry Rollins: Alone, alone. All alone.
Alone on a wide, wide sea.
Henry Rollins: We learned that in 9th grade
so we could understand the
Henry Rollins: definition of alliteration.
That was the only teacher I really
Henry Rollins: bonded with in high school.
His name was Mr. Clinger, and he liked me,
Henry Rollins: and sometimes he would call
me at night at my mom's apartment drunk.
Henry Rollins: He'd go like, "Oh Henry, you
worry me so much."
Henry Rollins: All alone, whether
you like it or not,
Henry Rollins: Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.
Henry Rollins: And when you're alone,
there's a very good chance
Henry Rollins: you'll meet things that scare
you right out of your pants--
Henry Rollins: But we don't get to see that.
Henry Rollins: There are some, down the
road between hither and yon,
Henry Rollins: that can scare you so much
you won't want to go on.
Henry Rollins: God, this book is really
taking me through a lot...
Henry Rollins: Whoa! Whoa!
Phallic symbol or what?
Henry Rollins: Am I reading too much into
that, or is that an erection?
Henry Rollins: But on you will go though
the weather be foul.
Henry Rollins: On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
Henry Rollins: On you will go through
Hakken-Kraks howl.
Henry Rollins: Onward up many a
frightening creek,
Henry Rollins: though your arms may get
sore and your sneakers may leak.
Henry Rollins: I'm speechless. It's almost over.
Henry Rollins: On and on you will hike,
Henry Rollins: And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
Henry Rollins: whatever they are.
Henry Rollins: Your problems so far is
that you're a self interested,
Henry Rollins: awful friend, who's concerned
with fame and winning.
Henry Rollins: And you're a guy.
Henry Rollins: You'll get mixed up,
of course, as you already know.
Henry Rollins: You'll get mixed up with
many strange birds as you go.
Henry Rollins: Be sure when you step,
Henry Rollins: step with care and great tact
Henry Rollins: and remember that
Life's a Great Balancing Act.
Henry Rollins: Just never forget to
be dexterous and deft.
Henry Rollins: And never mix up your
right foot with your left.
Henry Rollins: You know, I'd like to hang
out with the strange birds.
Henry Rollins: The strange birds have
always been my people.
Henry Rollins: And will you succeed?
Henry Rollins: Yes! You will, indeed!
Henry Rollins: Oh, this is great.
Henry Rollins: 99 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.
Henry Rollins: Kid, you'll move mountains!
Henry Rollins: 98 and 3/4 percent of Americans
in this century will experience
Henry Rollins: water and food insecurity,
and the other percent living on the
Henry Rollins: top of the mountain, the
heads of all the super PACs,
Henry Rollins: they will determine your future,
unless you get on it now.
Henry Rollins: So...
Henry Rollins: be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
Henry Rollins: or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
Henry Rollins: You're off to Great Places!
Henry Rollins: Today is your day!
Henry Rollins: Your mountain is waiting.
Henry Rollins: So... get on your way!
[sigh]
Henry Rollins: I'm sure I've made many enemies.
I hated this.
Henry Rollins: I detested this book. [laughing]
Henry Rollins: And I'm not trying to
rain on the parade of...
Henry Rollins: I just think we need to be
far more charitable to those around us,
Henry Rollins: and remember that we share
the world with lots of other people
Henry Rollins: coming in through
a whole lot of doors,
Henry Rollins: and it's not always about winning.
Henry Rollins: I've learned far more lessons from
losing than I ever have from winning.
Henry Rollins: Far more. It's made me really,
really funny, good looking,
Henry Rollins: witty, and mostly humble.
Henry Rollins: I thank you.

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