I read yesterday that you are not such a fan of the fact that VP candidate Paul Ryan is a fan of your band Rage Against the Machine. I believe the words you used were that Ryan is the "machine you raged against". A clever turn of phrase there, buddy.
Anyway, as you may have learned throughout your career with first Rage and further on with Audioslave, your fans base is made up of a great many people with differing views, some of which would be considered conservative--but listening to you over the years I'm convinced that anyone with a viewpoint to the right of Hillary Clinton is a conservative in your eyes.
You see Tom, us with a conservative world view listen to music and some of what we listen to is harder rocking than gospel. You have to understand that our selections are kind of limited because in the entertainment industry as a whole and the music business in particular, there aren't all that many bands with a similar set of values and principles for us to listen to. I guess the only one that comes to mind quickly would be POD, the rap-rock hybrid band from South San Diego that sings of God and redemption, but I digress.
As much as it may unnerve you, us on the right enjoyed your music but as Paul Ryan noted, we didn't necessarily agree with your lyrics. Your band wrote songs about hard-left issues and thought you were (and I'm using the past tense because the band now is a caricature of what it was) some kind of secular messianic leaders. Newsflash Tom, you weren't. You were a flavor of the month band that gave testosterone-filled teenage boys a chance to feel bigger than they were. You sang of things that an seventeen year old from the suburbs thought were cool and made him seem rebellious.
But overall the lyrics were mundane and pretty basic from an intellectual standpoint. You sang of liberal concepts but just didn't have the intellectual capacity to make a difference and string together phrases and choruses that would equal your heroes such as Springsteen. Saying the same words over and over about how cops are white and mean grows tiresome after the first paragraph.
It seems to bother you as a person that your songs didn't motivate people to take down the "man" and fundamentally change the country. Case in point: you played a benefit concert for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal and you personally have spoken up for him. Even though every shred of evidence and numerous court appearances have confirmed that the former Black Panther shot Officer Danny Faulkner in cold blood on a Center City Philly street. Jamal should be six-feet under by now but instead is considered an icon in the left-liberal community thanks in no small part to you.
Getting back into it, your music was okay. You are an immensely talented guitar player who thought could change the world. Instead, you played behind lyrics that were shallow and infantile. Zack de la Rocha screaming "fuck you I won't do what you tell me!" repeatedly is not going to change anything except maybe the chances that the idiot teenager screaming them along with you has of getting laid that night. Believe me, that idiot teenager is going to calm down, come down and go back to the suburbs to his comfy basement with X-Box and cable TV. His mind wasn't changed--at least until he gets out of college with his degree in Native-American studies and no chance of a job in Obamanation.
Now granted, you have come out in support of the Occupy movement because they are what you've always hoped for; an angry mob of liberals that have been contaminated with the lefty gene. Years of elementary school, the entertainment industry, marxist college professors--and perhaps small bit of RATM music--have made them what they are today and that is a bunch of unproductive losers whom feel they are entitled to things from the government. This is your dream and it's populated by a group that once melded together raped, murdered and generally made pests out of themselves in the eyes of hard-working Americans. It took about a month after OWS started before people said enough. It's got to make you feel bitter that 20-years of pumping out lefty anthems was destroyed by six months of watching your disciples give the finger to what America stands for while taking a shit in the street. The enemy, the Tea Party lives on while every sensible politician--even those inclined to your world view-- has run away as fast as they can.
So in conclusion, yes, some of us on the right listen to your music or did back when you were somewhat relevant in the mid-nineties. And yes, we admit it and have you in our I-Pods. But don't believe yourself to be any bigger than you are or were. It's got to be balling that your band never had the lyrical talent of your contemporaries such as Tool, Alice in Chains or even Metallica. RATM threw together hard-left phrases but never in such a coherent fashion that it made any difference. Although you did out the fans and the alleged movement by going corporate with Audioslave, made your money, then went back to playing the lefty anarchist again. A typical elitist liberal move but we won't hold it against you.
Thanks for your time Tom and keep on raging against the machine.
Saturday, August 18, 2012