Henry Rollins: (Teeing off I can still remember my mother coming back to our apartment after one of her marathon Erhard Seminar Training otherwise known as EST, weekends and exclaiming such cultish bullsh!t as, "Be here now!" "You're an a$$hole!" Well, she got it half right but I remember wondering what grave misfortune befell adults to send them running herd-like into hotel ballrooms, pay outrageous sums of money to sit in folding chairs and to be told for hours, by someone they had never met, how badly they were f#*king up their lives. This group cry was classified as self-help. Why you had to do it together with hundreds of other people was beyond me but it made my mother happy in a slightly disturbing waiting-to-be-beamed up kind of way but what the hell? Self-help books, CDs, shows, seminars and retreats are everywhere. Your neurosis are big business. The only downside is perhaps someday you'll get strong enough to leave the temple with your wallet, so self-helpers are always quick to remind you that you are not quite cured and they should know-they were once like you. Tony Robbins was once like me? Is it self-help or is it someone in a book or on television informing you as to your f#*ked-up-ness by reminding you of all your mortal and practical concerns that are an inherent part of adulthood in a broke ass country wallowing in credit debt? Is Dr. Phil going to pay your bills? Can you get an Oprah credit card where you can pay off your debt in hugs?! I think they take the facts of life and make them into abnormalities to make sure you always tune in. America seems to need a lot of help.
Guys, you don't suffer from erectile dysfunction, the evidence is splattered all over your keyboard, you're just no longer turned on by your aging wife's naked body and now need drugs to perform. Is that the self-help they're seeking? Dr. Phil! Help! Give me some of the corn pone home spun bullsh!t to get me through!
Henry cites this film starring Al Pacino, about a playwright's personal and professional struggles, in his 'letter' to F. Scott Fitzgerald.