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We Sat Down With Henry Rollins Because This Was His Third and Final Warning Not To Read in the Squat Rack

Mr. Rollins, we’ve been over this. Twice. For the last time, it is against gym policy to do anything but lift in the squat rack.

That policy, which applies to you as it does all members here, includes reading fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, novellas, journals, or even (importantly, in your case) your own work.

I understand that you feel this is “severely limiting” and that “reading is lifting for the mind”, which may be true, but if so you would do well to re-read our policy handbook a few times after stretching.

The squat rack is for squatting only. We do not want to kick you out, Mr. Rollins, so please stop finishing your sets, reaching into your shorts, and pulling out Geo Pierce’s 1846 translation of The “Count of Monte Cristo.” Yes, we got your letters. We agree that Count is a “thrilling adventure of revenge and one man’s dedication to it”, but we would humbly request that you partake of said adventure in your own time, in your own space.

Other members should not have to watch you pause, lick your finger, and turn a page for upwards of an hour while they are waiting to finish their workouts.

Yes, your commitment to human rights on the international stage is admirable. We played the spoken word piece over the gym speaker system last Earth Day, as requested, out of respect for you as a valued member of our weightlifting community. We were all very moved by the piece, though I think perhaps the success of that endeavor led you to believe we would not enforce our policies after your first and second warning for this behavior. We will.

If you’ll read the file in front of you, you’ll see that the first warning was sent to you via email roughly six months ago. It lays out the infraction, namely that you were journaling in front of the water fountain and due to your admirable bulk no one could access water. That is a health issue. Warning two was the first instance of lingering at the squat rack, though in that case, you appeared to be recording a three-hour-long podcast about a recent journey to the front lines of the Ukraine/Russia conflict. That warning was given in person, and while we appreciate your kindness (and the gift of your entire collected writings) to the staff member who spoke to you, please be aware that this is your third and final warning.

And the typewriter in the locker room will have to go as well.