"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, August 17, 2012

Raging Rage Against the Machine

A well-known nice guy, Paul Ryan, mentions in passing that he enjoys the music of a band called Rage Against the Machine.   So one of the band members, Tom Morello, thinks that it's only the decent thing to publish a diatribe against Ryan in Rolling Stone (which in turn thinks publishing this kind of thing is good for business).   I'll intersperse my comments:

Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.  What exactly does he mean here?   Ryan is a duly elected Congressman from a relativley working-class district.   Is the "machine" Morello rages against democracy itself?   Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn't understand them.  Nice.  Let's equate people we disagree with politically with mass murderers.   Cute.  

...Ryan claims that he likes Rage's sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don't care for Paul Ryan's sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage.   What is this "revenue" of which you speak?   It's earned income.   The fact that some people earn more than others -- like, for instance, rock stars -- is just a function of freedom and free markets.  Besides, only the most cliched leftist could say that Ryan's "guiding vision" is enriching the 1%.   His guiding vision has been trying to get our federal budget under control.  

I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? Ryan as pro-genocide?   Come on!   The one lambasting American imperialism? Ryan as pro-imperialism?   Really?   Our cover of "Fuck the Police"?  Is there a Democrat who would stand up and say "Fuck the Police" is a good philosophy for political action?   Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production?  OK, I'll grant you that Paul Ryan probably doesn't think communism is a great thing.   Does Rolling Stone magazine support communism?   Does the Democratic Party?   Does Barack Obama?   (Well, maybe.)   So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!

Don't mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions.   This is what psychiatrists call "projection."   Not very many people who have ever heard Ryan speak would say he's motivated by "rage."   Sounds like Morello is the angry one.  

You see, the super rich must rationalize having more than they could ever spend while millions of children in the U.S. go to bed hungry every night.  Look, you can have your own opinion, but you can't have your own facts.   Either we have a childhood obesity epidemic (Michelle Obama), or we have millions of kids going to bed hungry.   You can't have both.   So, when they look themselves in the mirror, they convince themselves that "Those people are undeserving. They're . . . lesser."  Yeah, that's why Mitt Romney gives $3 million dollars a year to charity... because he hates the poor.   Some of these guys on the extreme right are more cynical than Paul Ryan, but he seems to really believe in this stuff. This unbridled rage against those who have the least is a cornerstone of the Romney-Ryan ticket.  More rage... you'd think that's his favorite word or something.

... My hope is that maybe Paul Ryan is a mole. Maybe Rage did plant some sensible ideas in this extreme fringe right wing nut job.  Maybe if elected, he'll pardon Leonard Peltier.  Convicted of murdering two FBI agents.    Maybe he'll throw U.S. military support behind the Zapatistas.  A Marxist-anarchist revolutionary group in Mexico... yeah, that's the ticket, just what Central America needs is more communists!   Maybe he'll fill Guantanamo Bay with the corporate criminals that are funding his campaign – and then torture them with Rage music 24/7.  Apparently torture is OK if you're a leftist torturing "corporate criminals."   Average donation to Romney campaign since Ryan's selection is $81.   Clearly corporate fat-cats.   That's one possibility. But I'm not betting on it.

Didn't anybody at Rolling Stone have the editorial judgment that maybe, just maybe, publishing a hateful screed that equates political opposition in a democracy with mass murderers, genocide, and criminals, and demonizing them as people motivated by hatred, greed, rage, and a desire for more hungry children.... maybe that's not good for business?    After all, conservatives buy records too.

Ah, well.   Morello will probably give all the money he makes from people who buy his records because Paul Ryan mentioned them away to charity.

But I'm not betting on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment