Members of the “Rage Against the Machine” rock group recently gathered easy press accolades by bashing one of their fans.
When Paul Ryan’s appreciation for their music was made public, a member of the group said Ryan is “the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.”
It always strikes me as odd when wealthy, older artists like Rage Against the Machine actually believe the corporate marketing package their record companies have created for them and enriched them with for decades.
To review: Rage Against the Machine’s albums were released by Sony Music Entertainment’s “Epic” Label. Sony Music is the second-largest recorded music company in the world. The controlling Sony corporation is a multinational corporation bigger than Procter & Gamble — bigger than Microsoft.
The group also supports another big corporate interest: abortion. They are all for it. Women who feel pressured to abort their children often feel rage against the machine that makes their situation feel hopeless. The band is fine with the abortion machine, though.
The group also dislikes Republicans. They headlined a show that coincided with the 2008 Republican National Convention, for which they dressed like Guantanamo prisoners. In fact, they are so against the situation in Guantanamo they are going to repeat the stunt in opposition to Obama’s policies at the Democratic convention… oh, wait, no they’re not. Theirs was a partisan rage, not really a rage against the machine.
The band’s guitarist, Tom Morello, wrote this for Rolling Stone:
“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 a very revealing statement. First, it shows that “rage” doesn’t really mean “rage” to these guys. After all, Ryan is not really “enraged” by any of those things. He just has a different opinion about how to serve them.
Second, it reveals Rage Against the Machine’s politics to be … well, the machine’s politics. They must have listened well in public school and they must nod a lot when they listen to NPR, because they have imbibed the dominant political positions that have held sway in most American institutions during their lifetimes.
They don’t Rage Against the Machine. They are Raging for the Machine. And the machine has made them the privileged elite. But the amoral, market-driven Machine that pays them to shout obscenities is one that Catholics should very much be against.