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 listen...it'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."