Soundtrack of My Life: Rage Against the Machine

From Nick Pell at Red Star TimesRage Against The Machine Evil Empire

When I was about 15 or 16 years old, few things were more difficult than getting me to listen to, never mind enjoy, a mainstream alternative rock radio single. Having said that, you should get some impression of just how special “Bulls on Parade” is. Not only did I enjoy the song, but I went out and bought a (*gasp*) major label record.

Over the years, RATM have never been one of my favorite bands. I’ve never owned a shirt and I go very long periods of time without ever listening to them. Still, as I grow older I have more respect for them as a band both musically and politically.

In a world of milquetoast pop punk bands shilling for the Democratic Party or irritating aging punks giving “left” counsel to President Obama on how to be a better imperialist, RATM have intelligence, principles and balls.

Full Article at Red Star Times


Editor of Black Sun Gazette. Founder of Esozone and Key 64. Freelance writer and editor. General malcontent.

Latest posts by ulysseslazarus (see all)

  • Cerebralcaustic

    Bless me father, for I have sinned: I once took Rage Against the Machine seriously.

    But I saw cracks in their facade: why would an anti-establishment group sign to Epic (a branch of capitalist giant Sony)?

    Zach de la Rocha's crypto-racism led him to abandon hardcore punk (a white, middle-class, suburban phenomenon) in favor of rap; though Chicano his appearance betrayed an unease with his true heritage — he wore dreadlocks in a typically pathetic attempt to appropriate the hipness of blacks. His lyrics championed murderers like Mumia Abu-Jamal and dictators like Cuauhtémoc who slaughtered their own people in the name of the gods.

    Bassist Tim Commerford's self-loathing was obvious: born Caucasian, he gradually tried to conceal his whiteness with black tattoos that covered most of his body.

    Guitarist Tom Morello — who proudly wore the socialist Red Star on his clothing while taking money from one of the largest companies on Earth — now writes music for Iron Man 2, a motion picture that glorifies capitalism and the defense industry.

    How many Hail Marys and Our Fathers shall I say to

    • RedStarTimes

      Engels owned factories. I'm glad he did. It kept Marx in stuff like food and shelter.

      Lots of people moved from hardcore to hip-hop. Zack seems to just be another part of this phenomenon. I will say that saying that hardcore is a “white, middle-class, suburban phenomenon” is little more than an oversimplified cliche… which I suspect you probably already know.

      The Iron Man thing is admittedly gross.

      • hypnos

        moral relativity for rage against the machine, but jello is an imperialist. oooooookaaaaay….

        • Dirtyspeed

          That threw me for a loop too.

    • Fabian_Ramos

      money talks, dont it.

      hardcore movement being white? fuck no. Bad Brains ring a bell (1978)? Suicidal Tendencies? Madball? Merauder? You were probably one of those nu metal kids huh? Its alright. I forgive you

  • Guest

    They are bunch of hypocrites. Pretending to be anti-establishment but charging $2m per gig.

    • tonyviner

      Everyone's gotta eat!

  • E.B. Wolf

    RATM (and a Tool mention), good call Nick Pell!
    Bonus: they're also the two of the most intense live bands you'll ever see where the mosh pit doesn't quickly turn into a sausage festival.
    They both deserve some sort of medal for that.

    • RedStarTimes

      I saw RATM with Wu-Tang back in the day. The show literally turned into a riot at the end… which is at least kind of awesome.

      • E.B. Wolf

        Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuttin' to fuck with.

  • DeepCough

    Hey, at least Evil Empire was a good album. And with capitalism, we're all whores.

  • Hadrian999

    rage is a genius move by the system.
    what hope do revolutionaries have when they buy their revolution from the system

    • tonyviner

      I am sure I will get at least a little flak for quoting this man, but here goes:

      “You know, I've often thought it's very ironic that I'm able to do all this and yet what am I on? I'm on networks. I'm distributed by studios that are owned by large corporate entities. Now, why would they put me out there when I am opposed to everything that they stand for? And I spend my time on their dime opposing what they believe in. Well, it's because they don't believe in anything. They put me on there because they know that there's millions of people that want to see my film or watch the TV show, and so they're gonna make money. And I've been able to get my stuff out there because I'm driving my truck through this incredible flaw in capitalism, the greed flaw. The thing that says that the rich man will sell you the rope to hang himself with if he thinks he make a buck off it. Well, I'm the rope. I hope. I'm part of the rope. And they also believe that when people watch my stuff, or maybe watch this film, or whatever, they think that, you know, they'll watch this and they won't do anything because we've done such a good job of numbing their minds and dumbing them down, you know. People aren't gonna leave the couch and go an do something political. They're convinced of that. I'm convinced of the opposite. I'm convinced that a few people are gonna leave this movie theatre or get up off the couch and go and do something, anything, to get this world back in our hands. ” – Michael Moore

      • Hadrian999

        it's an outlet, instead of doing something people buy their che t shirts from the man
        and feel oh soo revolutionary while sipping overpriced coffee at Starbucks. it serves the same purpose
        as our fake democracy, it's an impotent outlet for people's need to feel like they are doing something, a pressure release valve to keep people from actually doing anything

        • tonyviner

          Could be you're right. Let us just hope and pray (if that is the sort of thing you are in to) that said valve malfunctions soon.

  • tonyviner

    I don't share the same hatred for record companies, provided what they are putting out is good. Turns out that that is not usually very often. I have given up on radio altogether over the past few years. I will listen to news or classical on the radio, but have millions of CDs full of music that I actually like, from death metal to rap to whatever you call The Cardigans (it is very weird that on my iPod they sit right between Cannibal Corpse and Carpathian Forest). Before you laugh at me for that one, check out their a cappela version of Ozzy's Mr. Crowley. Also, never once have I intentionally listened to Lovefool. Enough about that, I am getting off point, I am not even sure I have one. I just started getting tired of listening to the radio hoping that something good would come on, same with TV. Thankfully I have given up on both of those things and I couldn't be happier with myself.

    I recently started to get into rap, after being a major detractor for years, we could go into why, but it isn't necessary. Immortal Technique is one that I have been listening to quite a bit lately.

    Also, anyone waiting for the new Nevermore, I heard it today. Don't waste your time or sully your memories of their past greatness. Hopefully they will try harder on the next one.

    • E.B. Wolf

      The new Burzum is epic.

      • tonyviner

        The only Burzum that I have heard is a song called 'War', which got to be a little tedious after a few minutes. Sure to check them out though. I have been hearing great things about the new Exodus, btw.

    • emperorreagan

      Immortal Technique is fantastic.

      I'm also partial to Dead Prez.

  • Uujjjjkdfgi939

    What the fuck is up with all the “Red Star Times” stories? I go to disinfo to read news, not Nick Pell's blog entries.

    • Disinformation

      If you have a blog or want to suggest one for us to review, please do. We try to mix up our selection of “news” stories with submissions from bloggers … this site is a balance of voices from many sources. To participate go to:

  • Tuna Ghost

    “Yakkity Sax” is the soundtrack of my life

  • KLS-yesca

    rage speaks the truth take it or leave it wish they were still together….miss that sound…

  • KLS-yesca

    rage speaks the truth take it or leave it wish they were still together….miss that sound…

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  • Fabian_Ramos

    money talks, dont it.

    hardcore movement being white? fuck no. Bad Brains ring a bell (1978)? Suicidal Tendencies? Madball? Merauder? You were probably one of those nu metal kids huh? Its alright. I forgive you

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you “RATM have intelligence, principles and balls.” nice post!!

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