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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  September 28, 2017 4:30am-5:01am BST

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myanmar‘s rakhine state for the first time since the mass exodus of rohingya muslims began. the un has been demanding access since august, when myanmar‘s military launched operations against rohingya rebels, sending half a million people fleeing into neighbouring bangladesh. help is on its way to the millions of people affected by two hurricanes in puerto rico. a week after hurricane maria made landfall, almost half the island's population — almost 2 million people — are still without clean drinking water. fuel and medicine are also in short supply. nearly a hundred thousand people on the indonesian island of bali have now left their homes near mount agung because the volcano is expected to erupt, for the first time in 50 years. an exclusion zone of seven miles has been set up. vulcanologists have been recording hundreds of tremors each day. it's just got liz30am. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk.
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i am stephen sackur. we tend to pigeonhole creative types: writer, musician, actor — they get a label. i talk to a guest who defies simple description — punk is perhaps the only word that captures the spirit of henry rollins. he first found success in the punk band black flag back in the early eighties. since then he's variously made a name as a non—conforming writer, broadcaster, actor and intrepid traveller. how hard is it to swim against the cultural tide in the united states? henry rollins, welcome to hardtalk. thank you sir. i want to talk about punk. can you still have a punk sensibility in your 50s? i think so. for me punk rock is different for everyone you asked to define it. it was always the idea of questioning authority and cutting through it getting to the what is it of the things. the older i get, the more important it becomes. the early days of punk rock i think of the sex pistols, and i think
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of anger and rebellion against what was and the status quo. were you full of anger as a kid? full of anger then and full of anger now. angry about what? i live in america because a lot of people get angry if bill and todd get married. do you mean the gay marriage issue and the way they have responded to it? if we have to get all the way to the supreme court to argue about this. it's fine, shut up, move on. the fact that we argue about these things and the fact that we have so much racism, homophobia and misogyny. this is four—year—old kids in the sandbox stuff. why can we not lose the gills? what made you angry as a teenager?
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you were raised in washington, what was burning you up then? i come from a completely comfortable and middle—class lifestyle. i never missed a meal in my life. i was a horrible student. life was frustrating. i could not talk to girls and could not throw the ball straight. i kept not being able to figure things out. by the time i was 17 i was a ball of anger and then punk rock happened. and one of the extraordinary things about you was that you were floating around and it was the beginnings of a real scene in new york, particularly, and one day you went to see a band that you liked. yeah.
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black flag and something changed your life in that crowd. i sort of knew, and i looked at my watch and i had to drive five hours from new york to myjob, throw on a fresh t—shirt and start scooping ice creams. you know that song that you have about going to work, well play it. and they asked me to sing it. i hopped onstage and i kind of knew the song. and the singer asked me to jump on stage. i sang it and i will never forget that i looked around like a quarterback for the snap and the band was like, "that was cool". and the audience thought i was cool. and i gave the microphone back after 90 seconds. and a day later they called me and asked because they were looking for a singer and he wanted to be the rhythm guitar player. i was looking at my apron
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and ice cream scoop and said i have nothing to lose. i went back up there on the train and i auditioned and i got it. a week later i am in the van with them with my duffle bag and everything has been downhill ever since. one of the classic album titles, of course you were in black flag for quite a while, and one of the albums you released was called hard volume. there is something about your music, and you call it intense, it is beyond intense. it is earth—shatteringly loud. that is what i've gone for because i'm not the brightest bulb. hard to be max volume, we were in belgium, and someone
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showed me a sheet that we were getting airplay and we were in the category of high—volume music. and i said that was an album title. let us give people a sense of the musical style that you are inhabiting. this was from 20 years ago. # on my way to the cage. # the fear is in their eyes. # i am all blood. # no regrets here no last words. "on my way to the cage" is the lyric. just tell me, it is you as a young man. when you look at that version of yourself, do you still feel he is inside you? absolutely.
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except if i did that song now i would be on the floor trying to give out. that is a tame version of what you used to do because you used to be stripped off from the torso. and your body is a display cabinet of tattoos. the reason i only used to wear a pair of shorts was function because i'm going to sweat half a litre on the stage. usually i would go back to a van and do the washing up in a restaurant. it did not play in jeans because they were the only pants that i had. no shoes because they would get sweated out. i would get gym shorts and on that day i was very lavished. i wonder when you think about your music, would it have made a big difference if you had become something more than an alternative cult band, because you did get a top
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a0 hit with the henry rollins band. at one point you were actually voted desired on details magazine as man of the year. you were on the cusp of becoming more than an alternative guy and almost going mainstream. i wonder if you were ever disappointed that you did not fulfil your journey into mainstream? no. because you have to do your own thing. we wrote the songs that we wrote and freakishly, the one that we were even going to put on a record, became the single. the record company called and said that was a single. we said that was a joke. we don't even have a chord structure for it. it is this thing that we do at concerts. all of a sudden i'm on the cover of some interesting magazine. i know that all of a sudden
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in six weeks it might be over. and that is all i ever thought about it. did you want to be famous? no i did not want it. believe it or not. any notoriety that i have it is only a hindrance. in that i am walking and talking to this guy, or i am standing in the middle of an aeroplane doing a photo with a guy who has been waiting for me outside with his phone. "can we do a photo?" "yes." "it is not too weird. let us do that." otherwise ijust do my work. i've always been very utilitarian in all of this stuff. and that is what coming from punk rock gave to me. i don't feel like i am anybody. if i won't be the something i will say sure. i don't think i am anything. maybe because you were scooping ice cream not too long ago and maybe there is an element
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of insecurity in you that unless you keep working and keep striving you could end up back there. i figure that that is eventual. i move forward because i've nothing to lose. i am nobody from nowhere. i'm from the minimum wage working world a hundred years ago. i don't ever have in my head that that is any more than one tour away from coming back. and so i like to work. it is not a money or fame thing. it is about activity and challenge. the other thing that is in my head now and maybe that has something to do with the death of david bowie and all of the response that has come with that and what an extraordinary artist he was. as i was saying, there are a lot
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of artists in contemporary culture that are very hard to pigeonhole. david bowie was one that was like that. and you are another. but sadly, as a performer, you are preaching, as i call it, to the perverted. and he was very big in the 70s and 80s when you were making your way. was he an inspiration to you with his multiple identities, his determination to forge his own path and ability to break conventional wisdoms? he inspired me from hearing his single. as stupidly as a teenager i never bought the record. 20 songs would come on a radio and one lyric grabs you and you think that someone gets you. that song gets it. it is an anthem for that. and i don't know why i didn't go right to the record store for $4.99 and buy that record.
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frankly i got into his records in my early 20s. someone gave me ziggy stardust. as far as inspiration goes, i am in awe of him. and now that he has departed, he leaves his music but he takes with him a universe in that he is not genre specific. he is a sovereign nation. and that is why everyone is so affected because you lose part of yourself when he goes. he was into design, into clothing, into the look and of course he was into his music, but he did acting too. he did film and art. i met him once. he walked by me at a festival and i was like, "wow"! he asked me if i wanted to have lunch. he started quoting me from interviews. "and last year you said this", and he is quoting me again. "so when is your next book out?" "i've read a few of them, not all of them", and i was thinking i was going numb. and i had this amazing conversation with him at lunch. it was one of the biggest moments of my life.
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he took his art in different directions but he was never hugely political. you chose to be very political. as you branched out from the music you did your speaking tours, your spoken word records and clearly, when we talk about burning with anger earlier, were a lot of things on your mind, political things that you are determined to say. but that, in america, has been tough for you because you are saying many things that americans regard as toxic. in my opinion, just my opinion, i've never said anything controversial in my life. i don't advocate murder or destruction. i advocate literacy, empty battlefields, empty prisons and
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bathrooms swelling with potential. and i will take it. some of the feedback of what your work has produced, some feel that you despise your own country. i love it so much i feel the need to critique it in order to make it better. how can say you are an exceptional country when you go online and see all these people say michelle obama is an ape and her children look like the stand ins for the planet of the apes and her husband is a socialist kenyan, insert very horrible words? that is regressive. and i'm not going to point that out? i come from a country that starts fake wars. one that has gone out of their way to keep people from better education and when you finally have
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equality in america, which will never happen, everything changes. wall street changes, neighbourhoods change. and to say that and if someone gets mad at me for that, so what? did you feel you are warrior in america's culture wars? not necessarily. the united states of america today is a deeply polarised place. you sit there, a metropolitan american, a coastal american... yes. i wonder when you talk in the way you just have to me how that goes down in what they call flyover america, middle america? those communities where frankly you sound like an alien. some people say there is a bullet waiting for you next time you come to st louis. i have got that e—mail, yes.
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i don't think i'm advocating anything except what the constitution is... but what i'm getting at is whether when you go on tour, do you feel it is important to reach out to those americans who come from a very different sort of intellectual and cultural tradition? do you want to build bridges or burn bridges? no, build, build, build. you do all you can. sadly, as a performer, i call it preaching to the perverted. people who don't like you aren't paying $30 to end you're you. you get people who say, you're a! you get people talking to you who are on yourteam a! you get people talking to you who are on your team anyway. i realise with adults. you can't convince me of things... if you say there is no such thing as global climate change. i don't care what you bring with you. i still on the side of all the scientists. if somebody thinks they need 80 guns in their bedroom
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because here comes obama, i can't divorce someone that notion. i don't wa nt to divorce someone that notion. i don't want to get a broken nose trying to do it. we cannot be changed. ijust let it go. you travel extensively. you go to north korea, iran, afghanistan, syria, all of these places. you do it on your own. you don't go with a film crew or any companions, you go on your own. with a backpack and a camera and a lot of protein bars. what is the point of these visits? you fall in love with humanity over and over again. they are so humanity over and over again. they are so gentle and generous and they live their entire lives with food
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and water and security. all they wa nt and water and security. all they want is a day without a war and a minefield and some clean water. they wa nt minefield and some clean water. they want for very little. just a moment. we enjoy and we count on it. i was in northern uganda on my way to south sudan. people say, your kids ta ke south sudan. people say, your kids take care of you, your wives and your husbands. you go places and you sit on the shore and you don't know it. life insurance. every day is an immediate. there is no 20 miles up the road. if you have the dust of the road. if you have the dust of
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the country still in your boots. it isa the country still in your boots. it is a lot to walk around with. the way they perceive america today. i don't know if there are people trying to make nice as me that when i say trying to make nice as me that when isayiam trying to make nice as me that when i say i am from america, it is this bowe, america! they go kooky. or they go, "obama! " right now, we are in the political season in the us. that is the one candidate who has sucked up publicity, you know who i am going to say, donald trump. a guy like you on the progressive liberal left of american politics, when you look at the traction donald trump is getting the views which to many outside americans say it see as ego driven and bizarre, what does that make you feel? people they want
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their information on bumper sticker information bits. i'm not putting these people down. why do they really —— need to little bits of news? they are in a car that they hope doesn't break down. no more of those dam muslims, someone goes, yeah! easy way to move someone to your side when economic times are bad. historically, that's how you can convince people to do some unspeakable things. if you look at the last 150 years of world history. you feel you can be an agent of
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change? is my personal opinion, if america really wanted to, if you put the money you really put into defence and put into education, in 100 years you may have less crime, more middle—class mobility, more people would have an option. maybe there would be some options. i am a white male. in america, sadly, it opens doors for me. it should be judged on what i do, it's not too much to ask. you are pretty extraordinary because from the punk rock to the 1—man shows to the travelling the world, you are co nsta ntly travelling the world, you are constantly mixing with the public, you are putting yourself on show to a certain extent. you have described
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yourself as a deeply solitary person. you said you'd be happy touring all the time because he wouldn't be beholden to anyone except yourself, you don't want the kids, the partner back home to be thinking of tie you down. are you truly that lonely? i'm not lonely. i'm solitary. it is a lonely mindset. i'm not lonely. i don't miss anybody. i miss the audience. but that is not a true intimate relationship. not at all. do you not want intimate relationships? i tried. i'm just not wired for it. i have been into gals and i've been into them and they've been momentarily into me but not so much because i'm always looking at my schedule and then it is like, i can hang out with you for a day or so and then i'm leaving. everybody sees my priorities. i was lonely in my 20s. but i was way more analogue. when you had a girlfriend, you would write her a letter. i'm 55 and i nowjust want to go and do stuff. i want to work vigorously, travel hard and have a crazy itinerary that demands that i get up
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at 8:00am in the morning and do this and don't be late and prepare for this thing that i'm really not that good at doing but i signed up for anyway. it keeps the blood thin. it's essential but there are things i go without. i don't go home to anybody. most of the relationships i have i either pay a commission or salary to these people. i like them and respect them and i hope they respect me but we don't hang out on the weekends. i see them monday to friday. unless it's the road manager. then we'll be good together for the next year. you are probably the most self—contained guest i have had on the show. i don't know what else to do. this is how i am. you're not 22 anymore. when you're an adult, you find out who you are and i guess
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that's who i am. henry rollins, it has been a pleasure. thank you. hi there. it's been over a week now since hurricane maria devastated the island of dominica and puerto rico, in the caribbean, leaving more than a0 people dead. many still remain missing. since then, the hurricane has been working just past the east coast of the united states. it is a weak hurricane now, a category! storm now, but over the next few days it could come closer to home. it is going to work northwards, getting tangled up with low pressure.
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not a hurricane, but the remains of maria could be heading our way through sunday night and into the early hours of monday, potentially bringing wet and maybe windy weather to the north—west of the uk. that's a way off. before we get there, this is how we start the day on thursday. a lot of cloud, outbreaks of rain left over from the night—time system. but it will be a mild start to the day, as well. that rain band still with us, then, across north—eastern scotland, with a fairly brisk wind. a lot of low cloud and misty conditions, too, around some of the hills. northern ireland starting today on a rather cloudy node, but some sunny spells for wales early on in the morning. whereas further east, across central and eastern england, there'll be a hang—back of cloud. through the day, outbreaks of drizzle which could be extensive. may be misty over the hills, as well. in fact, that cloud will be slow to break across east england, eastern areas of scotland, probably only breaking up as we head in the afternoon. but it is then that most of us should see some sunshine coming through. but the rain set in, really, through the northern isles, picking up.
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quite a cool day here, but otherwise some decent temperatures. 20 degrees in london. we're still on the warm side of average. through thursday night, though, the next atlantic system making its presence felt, working into northern ireland before spreading to scotland, western parts of england, and wales, too. tied in with this area of low pressure spinning in of the atlantic, bringing some fairly strong winds into the far north—western coast. so, for friday, a band of rain to start the day, pushing east across scotland, england and wales, heavy at times. behind that, yes, we'll see some sunshine, but also some blustery showers in northern ireland. with the showers, looking at temperatures coming down. feeling a bit cooler, but still relatively mild across eastern counties of england, that rain reluctant to clear away. saturday, though, a decent start to the weekend in many respects. many dry areas with some sunny spells. some showers around, maybe some lengthy showers around wales. but it is during sunday night and into the early hours of monday that the remains of maria
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could be coming our way, to bring some pretty heavy rain to the northern parts of the uk. that's your weather. hello. you're watching bbc news. i am david eades. ourtop hello. you're watching bbc news. i am david eades. our top stories: the un gets the go ahead to enter myanmar‘s troubled rakhine state, but only after a month of violence and the exodus of half a million rohingya muslims. hugh hefner, founder of the international adult magazine, playboy, dies, aged 91. ryanair could face legal action — and big fines — over its latest round of flight cancellations. 400,000 passengers are affected, as another 18,000 flights are scrapped. hello. i am sally bundock would be business stories. a taxing issue for donald trump. the president says cuts will bring jobs back to the us. critics say they'll fuel inequality and drive america deeper into debt.
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