“Rage against the Machine — What is This?”

Ah, it’s time to cuddle up for a cup of tea with our friends Rage against the Machine. Whoo, nothing freaky about that! Gee, I wonder if they’ll be angry! Hey guys, how are you feelin’? Good. You’re usually so chipper, what with your relentless and hamhanded professing of anger as not only an excusable emotional ornament but a potential point of pride or cultural token.
Ok, let me backtrack a tad here — because I don’t find RATM to be a band entirely, holistically without value. Readily will I admit to having rocked out to “Without a Face” before every track race in high school, or at least, every one for which I registered a personal best time. Also, I still remember seeing the Evil Empire CD next to my friend’s 311 self-titled CD in his booklet… this was in marching band where we’d always drink and sing vulgar songs… and somehow those CD’s represented the ultimate statement of attractive heterosexual males who still nonetheless saw the perils of everyday life — saw the system before them, maybe having smoked pot like Bob Marley said — the need for one school of noise to quell another school of noise. Life was a never-ending climb up a mountain, with bleeding fists.
Well, Rage against the Machine, I didn’t mean to silence you COMPLETELY! Ah, who am I kidding. Yes I did. In 2015 when Hillary Clinton was making a run toward the presidency, de la Rocha and his boisterous bunch stole back onto the scene with the promise to I guess “take down the American powers that be” or whatever — having been, mind you, silent, during the entire George W. Bush Iraqi genocide, an event corresponding with his V.P.’s oil hoggling in greater Arabia. I went on facebook and called them out, and now they haven’t done nothin’ ever since.
Also, I did really like the move Manic, in which two of the main characters form a discourse over an RATM concert they’ve seen, reminiscing on the mosh pit and exclaiming that “That was like, pure LA man.” Manic takes place in a teen psych ward, but really, these young men aren’t portrayed, necessarily, as intrinsically psychopathic or even malevolent. Indeed, the film does a good job of portraying the overall American system, or “machine,” as the thing that drives people to insanity, although while honoring this to an extent I’d like to furnish the RADICAL notion that life on a planet of 5,999,999,999 other beings just like you is, must needs and should always be an overwhelming experience in which truth is powerful, elusive, polymorphous, scant, and even absent.
And… this is why I write about music so much. And sometimes it seems like all I get in life is surprises — nothing else. It’s a pretty small continental breakfast these days, apart from my big surprise bran muffin and the watery coffee. The new Green Day: good. People in 2012 over “Oh, Love”: still not loving (or either loving or hating, to put it more closely). The Offspring: sucking. Weezer: still putting out albums, for some odd reason.
Anyway, upon an undeniably flooded market of Caucasian or Caucasian-catering quartets brandishing solely guitars, drums and yappers, there’s no chance whatsoever that Rage against the Machine was the worst of the bunch: but to me they did most unscupulously espouse anger as a virtue and not a hazard (see the “Your anger is a gift” exclamation in the live version of “Freedom”)… and what this amounts to, in a sense, in a “shtick,” a concept discussed not without lucidity by the great Jack Endino in Hype! as the dichotomous opposite to actual musical skill. He**, for all we know Rage might have had more talent than we, or they, even knew, but an inferiority complex took over by way of their negligence on the part of the government. Maybe someone should have lent them a hand somewhere along the way, or at least said good job. CLINTONS! But it is very bizarre to me, to make an understatement, that they do not come out and speak up against Trump, who both implicitly and explicitly persecutes Hispanics, or Bernie Sanders, who wants to hike the minimum wage and thereby widen the cultural and socioeconomic gap between America and Mexico. It is, as they say, veddy intedesting.

One thought on ““Rage against the Machine — What is This?”

  1. showing up "old flash plqy&reauot; all the time (debian x64). I have to manually allow each time, if want to watch a video etc. whats wrong there? or is it a new feature?!

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