Saturday, August 18, 2012

Welcome to the Machine

I lke to think of myself as fairly well educated but when I was informed by someone at work that Paul Ryan likes the musical group "Rage Against the Machine," I admit I had no idea about the group but looked it up in Wikipedia. I was dumbfounded:
Critics have noted Rage Against the Machine for its "fiercely polemical music, which brewed sloganeering leftist rants against corporate America, cultural imperialism, and government oppression into a Molotov cocktail of punk, hip-hop, and thrash."[1]
Integral to their identity as a band, Rage Against the Machine voice viewpoints highly critical of the domestic and foreign policies of current and previous US governments. Throughout its existence, RATM and its individual members participated in political protests and other activism to advocate these beliefs. The band primarily saw its music as a vehicle for social activism; De la Rocha explained that "I'm interested in spreading those ideas through art, because music has the power to cross borders, to break military sieges and to establish real dialogue."
Further: Morello spoke of wage slavery in America:
America touts itself as the land of the free, but the number one freedom that you and I have is the freedom to enter into a subservient role in the workplace. Once you exercise this freedom you've lost all control over what you do, what is produced, and how it is produced. And in the end, the product doesn't belong to you. The only way you can avoid bosses and jobs is if you don't care about making a living. Which leads to the second freedom: the freedom to starve.

I have gotten used to stunningly idiotic events as I get older. It seems they multiply as one gets older. I often muse about the way I must have looked to my father who had a rather wide breadth of political knowledge on a local level. I always hated local politics but Dad read the Montgomery Advertiser every day cover to cover, I believe. I must have looked so idiotic to my father with all his experience in the world. Sure I was being taught things in school that he did not understand, but I had no wisdom or practical knowledge to go along with the education.

I first heard about Ayn Rand from someone, when I was in my early teens, and formed an opinion, without reading her books, that she must be cool. She was described as anti-society and that was enough for me. Look at how thick those books are. I did not want to read them.

With the "Rage Against the Machine" debacle....and, oh it got worse than just his fandom being picked apart by a few other fans or so...I sort of got a glimpse of myself as a younger man. Had someone mentioned Ayn Rand in a conversation back then, I would have pretty much acted pompous and lied, "Oh,  I know all about her. She's the coolest," without ever truly reading a word. But I wasn't running for public office at the age of 14.

Paul Ryan was inspired to go into public service by Ayn Rand who did not believe in public service, or God, or any other moral values. It would seem to be an author one might want to stay away from with a ten-foot pole regardless of which party one was in. But even more certainly it was an anathema to someone running for office in the GOP. While the voters may not understand the term "obectivism" I'm sure they have a handle on "atheist."

And then the followup to this in revealing more of his taste in art, was "Rage against the Machine." I'll let Frank Morello one of the band members whome I quoted earlier describe this:

“Paul Ryan’s love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.”

The group actually burned an American flag at the Woodstock '99 concert.

Ryan falls back on the fact that he liked the music rather than the lyrics. It's not really his fault. I mean how was he to know Ayn Rand was an atheist? The answer is in the wisdom factor. If you can't understand the themes your favorite author is writing about, don't bother to research a person that inspires you to go into public service. and don't bother to consider the lyrics or even titles of the songs you are listening to (or even ponder what the name of the group means) then I would say you are a bit shallow. I take that back, you are idiotically shallow.

Or a pretender: "Yeah, Ayn Rand, she's the coolest."  :) 

More on "Rage Against the Machine":

More on Ayn Rand:

More on which side is winning in defining Paul Ryan:

Do Republicans really read anything other than Glen Beck, or a host of other right wing stuff they can use as argumentative material?  Is Moby Dick on their reading list?