Monday, August 10, 2009

Thanks, Henry

Everyone loves Susie Horgan’s photograph of Ian MacKaye’s brother. He’s slumped on some stairs, exhausted, shaved head resting on arms folded over bended knees, wearing a jacket and jeans and boots, bottles and party detritus at his feet. It’s a great shot. Minor Threat used it as their album cover. Nike liked it enough to copy it exactly, apart from the footwear.

My favorite picture Susie took of her future famous co-workers is the shot of Henry Rollins standing there wearing a Haagen Dazs t-shit, hat in hands, withering look on his face.
Henry Rollins is not wearing the t-shirt ironically, or because the Salvation Army was selling it on the cheap. He’s wearing it because his boss told him to. He’s wearing it because it’s the uniform. He’s wearing it because he has to, because he’s at work and it’s part of his stupid job to wear a Haagen Dazs t-shirt.  Beyond the composition, I love this picture for the message it sends to me and to all creative types toiling in service jobs – you can make it. You can do your art for a living. It gives me hope.

It’s my desktop background at work. His expression goads me to leave every time I see it. “Really, Aaron, you’re still here?” Henry sighs. “Is this is how you want to spend your time, Aaron? Seriously?”

No, Henry, it’s not.

You’re right, Henry, it’s time to leave for the day. There’s dinner to make, books to read, movies to watch. Life to live.

(thanks, Susie, for letting me use the picture)

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