Friday, July 29, 2011

Know Your Enemy

Yes, I know my enemies.
They're the teachers who taught me to fight me

All of which are American Dreams...

Back in the heyday of the early 90's, at a dorm party at the University of Hawaii, a friend of mine walked over to the boom box blasting my copy of the latest Alice In Chains album "Dirt" and put in a different tape.

He said "Hey dudes....check this band out!"

It was the self-titled debut of Rage Against the Machine.

The blend of hip hop metal and rap immediately caught our attention.

I went and bought my own copy the next day.

Back in those days, buying an album was an event unto itself. My friends and I would breathlessly tear the wrapper off of the tape (this was right before I began collecting CD's instead) pop it into the stereo and read the lyrics as on the inside of the cover while the songs played.

This was back in my "Dittohead" CONservative kool-aid guzzling days.

Needless to say, Rage Against the Machine's lyrics were ripped straight out of Marx and Chomsky left-wing, anti-Capitalist manifestos. From that day forward, I had a special category for a band like Rage - "great music, idiotic commie liberal lyrics." I filed them away in by brain in the same place I put Pearl Jam.

Almost 20 years later, I cued up that first album again on my iPod while I was driving and gave it another's been close to 10 years since I've listened to that album.

My how my attitudes and beliefs have changed.

The song, "Know Your Enemy" is probably my favorite track on the album, but the ending of it always annoyed my right-wing/neo-con influenced attitude. I thought I knew what the American Dream was, and that Rage Against the Machine was just a bunch of useful idiots agitating to institute a communist revolution in the West.

Hearing that ending once again had me laughing at myself.

Within the last decade, I've now come to essentially the same conclusions that the singer, Zak Dela Rocha, is shouting about at the conclusion of the song.

While Rage has always been tools of the liberal/Democrat partisan political machine, and I've read interviews in which they basically aim all of their anger and protests at the "Right" and Republicans, their protestation of the status quo of America as it really is in today's Brave New World Order, still rings true.

I used to laugh at this band, because they used to always speak out about corporations and their influence on the government and the media...yet they were signed to a major corporation who produced, distributed and sold their albums and sponsored their tours.

Whether they were corporate hypocrites or not, they still spoke a lot of truth to power, and their lyrics are more relevant today than they were back in the early 90's, before we entered into the age of the USA Inc. Police State and our never ending War on Freedom, and Liberty in the name of Terror.

"What, the land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy!"

All of which are American Dreams? All of which are American Dreams!

As I think it was George Carlin who once said: "They call it the American dream, because you have to be asleep to fucking believe it."


eumaios said...

I recently rediscovered Ministry's Psalm 69 album, to much the same effect.

Anonymous said...

It makes me LMAO to hear any Leftist "raging against the machine" like they're on the outside and the Fascist Boot is stomping on them. These days, the Left IS the Machine, and all the things Zack rages against are inflicted on us by the Left, so Zack can fuck off.

johnnyshornofplenty said...

Solid post Keoni.

The false left-right paradigm is probably the best weapon the elite has against us.

Half of the truth + some bullshit = The Left

Other half of the truth + different bullshit = The Right

Divide and conquer.

Meanwhile, the elite have all the positions of power and influence sewn up in both the government and corporations.

Keoni Galt said...

Eumaios - Oh yeah, that's another good one...I gotta go dig that CD out of storage and burn it to my iPod.

Johnny - absolutely. When I used to buy into the 2 party dialect, I thought RATM's anti-corporatist lyrics were ALL bullshit.

No, some of the things they were writing about in their music certainly has some serious validity.

Take another song from that album: Bullet In Your Head:

No escape from the mass mind rape
Play it again jack and then rewind the tape
Play it again and again and again
Until ya mind is locked in
Believin' all the lies that they are tellin' ya
Buying all the products that they are selling ya
They say jump
Ya say how high

Just because they were anti-capitalist commies doesn't mean such lyrics does in fact reflect the truth of our commercialized, materilist, consumerist, corporatist culture.

Jennifer said...

Wow Keoni, POWERFUL damn stuff. Way to go.

LadyLydia said...

I have not read your past posts, so this may be redundant...but would you consider writing a post about the customs of Hawaiian men and women, in regard to their differences and also customs in marriage? I have heard of some, but do not know of their accuracy.

Keoni Galt said...

Sure Lady...I'll get to it when I can.

Hermit said...

I dug this album out of the garage a few months back, and came to pretty much the exact same conclusion. The commies might have legitimate concerns about the corporate oligarchy, but it doesn't make their philosophy correct.

Yes I know my enemies, and they are legion.

CtZ said...

I'll echo Keoni and Hermit. I had the same revelation fairly recently myself. I had been aggressively dismissive of a lot of music that I had enjoyed when much younger and then stopped listening to once I read the lyrics.

Then, I came back and saw what I had been overlooking.

Many influential groups are aware of the symptoms of the problems that are coming, but disagree greatly on the original cause of the problem. Even if I think that they are wrong, if they want to have their own voluntary socialist utopia, they should go for it. The rest of us could observe and take note of their mistakes.

Anonymous said...

if they want to have their own voluntary socialist utopia, they should go for it. The rest of us could observe and take note of their mistakes.

Ha. If only it were that simple. The Left, and especially assholes like RATM, want an IN voluntary socialist dicatorship. We will not be allowed to "observe" this; we will be forced to participate in, and pay for, their mistakes.

CtZ said...

You are correct, it is not that simple. Only if the U.S. was balkanized and refused to participate in an entity like the EU would it be possible to have anything like separate regions with different philosophies. Closer to the article of confederation than the federal system.

But then again, if such a thing would happen, there would probably be a turmoil that would keep everyone pre-occupied with territory for a while, perhaps longer than my lifetime, and I am relatively young still.

WISPR said...

Really awesome post... After reading here I fount that smoking is my enemy...just I quit it..

Anonymous said...

That Carlin quote is a classic.

Michael said...

Great post. As usual George Carlin nails it.

OnlineCasinoSuite said...

The song, "Know Your Enemy" is probably my favorite track on the album.

Anonymous said...

If you folks listen to music through the lens of politics you miss the energy of it ... Rage isn't left wing - they are anti-establishment ... They probably all drive Escalades anyways ... Ha ...

Fatal Jay said...

Truth be told George Carlin was dropping so much heat, I believe he was taken out by the big dogs