Tom Morello's Epic Retort to Paul Ryan, Apparent "Rage" Fan
When the New York Times profiled brand-new Veep pick Paul Ryan, this interesting tidbit was tucked snugly into the story:
The nation’s first Generation X vice-presidential candidate, he is an avowed proponent of free markets whose family has interests in oil leases. But he counts Rage Against the Machine, which sings about the greed of oil companies and whose Web site praises the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street movement, among his favorite bands.
He does? Much head-scratching ensued, not the least of which arose directly from the band's guitarist and notable lefty activist Tom Morello,who had this to offer at Rollingstone.com:
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.
In fact, Morello said, Ryan is "the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades." Amd the zingers kept coming:
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.
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. So, when they look themselves in the mirror, they convince themselves that "Those people are undeserving. They're . . . lesser." 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.
Morello chalked it up to another incidence of fans totally tuning out the message of the music groups they claim to adore--just like union-busting Jersey Governor Chris Christies' deeply discomfiting man-crush on Bruce Springsteen. Give us a break, right-wing politicos. You don't understand what real Rock 'n' Roll is about.
(Full disclosure from your HNV blogger: my life-partner is an editor at Rolling Stone.)