10 thoughts on “Henry Rollins Tells Kids To Work Hard

  1. Don’t let the rich kid next store stop you from pursuing your dreams. Daddy’s paying for him, and you’ve got to take out loans, but it’s okay. You’ve just got to work harder. And take out as many student loans to pursue your dream of music or ballet.
    Henry Rollins wants you be a ballerina with six figure debt.

  2. I’m more upset by the class warfare implications. Not everyone whose parents can afford to pay for college is a dolf or a pampered idiot who didn’t work hard and was somehow handed a “golden ticket.” That’s just a stupid way of looking at the world. Not everyone who is middle class is also lazy and pampered. Maybe the other guy (or woman) got the award or the grad school admission because they had some advantages AND they worked extremely hard. Even his example about Barack Obama is flawed — Yes, we’ve heard the stories about his mother waking him up at 4 AM and making him do math, but his mother also had both a BA and an MA and had the ability to help him with his math. It’s not actually so completely black and white — some people have all the advantages while others have nothing. It’s stupid to look at it that way. And I agree, if you truly have nothing (first generation college attender, no money for college, broken home, bad public schools) then majoring in creative writing or the like would probably be a bad idea.

  3. Well, punk rock was never known for its subtlety. Black Flag was about as far from policy wonks as you can get. But I think Hank spends most of his time here making a point about character, and not material or professional success. Interesting to see Hank preaching Straight Edge version 2.0, but I do wonder if he will find a receptive audience among teens.

  4. “Not everyone whose parents can afford to pay for college is a dolf or a pampered idiot who didn’t work hard and was somehow handed a “golden ticket.” That’s just a stupid way of looking at the world.”
    Agreed. We’re doing a pretty good job of building up the kids’ college accounts (plus we’ll have some help from work-related benefits), but we live a pretty frugal life otherwise (not the way we used to live, which was on way less money, just with less stress about something going wrong and draining the bank account).
    That said, my husband, who was a first-generation college student who had student loans*, majored in theater and film at Cornell (that’s a waste of money, huh) but is doing ok. He is a visual kind of person, and whether or not you think theater/film is important, it did give him a strong background in visual arts, which he parlayed into photography and graphic design and now web management.
    *3 years of student loans were turned into grants courtesy of the Cornell Tradition program, which rewarded students who worked part-time jobs during college. “The Cornell Tradition supports lifestyles that integrate a strong work ethic, public service, and academic achievement by rewarding students who exemplify these characteristics with recognition and financial assistance for their education.”
    Sorry–I’m a big fan of the Cornell Tradition.

  5. I’m more upset by the class warfare implications. Not everyone whose parents can afford to pay for college is a dolf or a pampered idiot who didn’t work hard and was somehow handed a “golden ticket.”
    This is a frustratingly common attitude, because it is just barely true, but not true enough.
    The fact is, rich kids often work damn hard. Harvard and Princeton are not full of the lazy rich kids. They are full of rich kids who worked their butts off and out-performed the other rich kids who didn’t put in the effort.
    Medium Raggirl loves Robots. When there was no robot program in town this summer that worked with our schedule, we drove to a different town, and gladly paid the fee (regular cost, plus the $50 out-of-towner fee) so that she could send Lego Robots to Mars. And she made some amazing projects and learned lots about robotics and computer programming and Mars, and then came home and asked us to buy her a kit, which we did. And now she’s taking the cheaper in town robotics course.
    Medium Raggirl is a non-lazy, hard worker who wants to work on robots when other girls are watching TV or playing video games. She’ll probably go to a better college than those lazy, non-nerdy girls in her class.
    But no one is pretending that she is not a lot more “pampered” than other girls who love robots who don’t have parents who can arrange schedules to drive them to another town for robot classes, and pay for them, and then pay for the kit afterwards. And she will probably go to a better college than an equally (or more) driven student who does not have those advantages.
    When I think about my kids, I don’t care about “fair.” I am going to do what is best for them. When I think about public policy, though, I know that the advantages we have are letting my daughters compete at a high level, in ways that other girls just do not have the opportunity to do.

  6. Sorry–I’m a big fan of the Cornell Tradition.
    Does Cornell have a tradition other than that where the alumni have bumper stickers reading “Ithaca is Gorges”?

  7. “Does Cornell have a tradition other than that where the alumni have bumper stickers reading “Ithaca is Gorges”?”
    High suicide rates?

  8. “And she will probably go to a better college than an equally (or more) driven student who does not have those advantages.”
    Only maybe, though, if her aim is the super-elite colleges, depending on what you mean by “equally driven.”
    Those colleges (Harvard and Princeton and the rest with differences based on the specific school) are trying to judge a child based on opportunity + talent + drive, and not purely on outcome. So our children, with lots of opportunity, are going to have to have accomplished something pretty significant by adding their talent and drive. Lots of other outcomes won’t depend on the normalization for opportunity (including the 2nd & 3rd tier schools who offer merit scholarships).

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