Henry Rollins delivered blue “Shock and Awe” Wednesday night to a crowd packed in the kind-of clinical setting that is the polished Bell Memorial Union Auditorium.
The 44-year-old lead singer of Rollins Band doubles as a spoken word artist commenting on what he sees in the world, especially what he saw during his trips with the United Service Organizations. His spoken-word is called “Shock and Awe My Ass.”
Rollins is anti-Bush yet pro-troops, a combination most people can’t wrap their minds around. He recounted a conversation with a woman who was recruiting him for the USO.
“I went, ‘Ma am, do you have any idea who you are talking to? I am a Bush hater with great discipline and a sense of exactitude. I can tangle with him on issues foreign and domestic. He is fucking my country up.'”
“She said, ‘Well we saw some of your DVDs. My God you have a mouth on you.'”
” I said, ‘Yeah, I learned it all from my mom.'”
The woman asked why Rollins supported the troops and not Bush, he went on to say.
” I said, ‘They’re good men and women, they go where they are told and they’re well-trained. I am sure they’d rather be at war in south Florida with a surfboard, a joint and a hot chick.'”
Rollins recently went to medical hospitals in Washington D.C. where the most neglected soldiers have someone patch the wounds that can never heal.
One soldier was hit by a mortar in the war and lost his arm. He ended up carrying it in his other hand back to the base where surgeons reconnected the arm from nerve fibers hacked out of his legs, Rollins said.
“I go into a room and there’s this big guy and his right arm is in this massive cast. It’s leaking fluid and his legs are shaved and there’s massive sutures all over his legs and he says, ‘Whoa, I’m glad to meet you, sir.'”
Another soldier Rollins met lost both of his legs and had his eye mutilated to the point he could only see light and dark.
“His mother shows me this three-ring notebook of photos of this young, handsome, tall guy with his girlfriend,” Rollins said. “(The girlfriend) was one of the hottest, slamminest women. They looked like they were a great couple.
“And you have to think there is no way she can handle this relationship anymore. They had just started their lives. If she left him tomorrow, can you really blame her?