virus: Re: Rage Against "Rage Against the Machine"

Kevin M O'Connor (
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 04:03:51 EST


No apologies necessary, although you assume that the author of the song
advocates a number of beliefs that he gives no indication that he holds.

I take the message of the song to be that if you get all of your
information from television that you allow someone else to dictate your
opinions, and because those who control the media and shape the views
presented therein are in the business of selling products, they will
present their audience with a world view that facilitates that goal at
the expense human lives. I saw nothing in the song, or anywhere on the
rest of the album that indicated that the lyricist was opposed to using

The aspects of "the system" which the lyricist repeatedly attacks are
eurocentricsm, jingoism, and police brutality. Given that message, I see
nothing hypocritcal or ironic in recording the CD that carries that
message in a studio. That's where you record music. I didn't see any
indication that the artist is opposed to the use of wood or the felling
of trees.

Hakeeb, your verse is clever but it ridicules a straw man.

The verse that I found most relevent to memetic issues was this:

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're
tellin' ya
Buyin' all the products that they're
sellin' ya

Repetition is the one of the simplest and most effective means of
inculcating belief. If we hear something over and over again from the
authority figures created by the media; especially if they have images to
go with their claims, after a few dozen exposures to the same message it
becomes hard to doubt. I posted the lyrics because they indicate that
someone who appearently has no knowledge of memetics seems to have, none
the less, a fairly sophisticated understanding of what Noam Chomsky calls
"manufacturing consent."

Hakeeb, I'm telling you that I see something of value here. You seem to
be saying that there is nothing of value here. Am I injecting the above
message or extracting it? Is it more likely that I'm seeing value where
none exists or that you are failing to see value due to some
misconceptions you entertain regarding the lyricist's political

Take care. -KMO

p.s. I quite like SOME of Roger Waters lyrics. The whole of The Final
Cut is brilliant, but he also churned out some real stinkers in his time.

We don't need no education
We don't need no thoughts controlled
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers, leave them kids alone.

Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone.

Granted those lyrics are subtle compared to the imagery that accompanies
them on both the album and the movie, but they're not exactly what I'd
call "deep."