Monday, November 29, 2004

Sleep Now in the Fire

So where does Rage Against the Machine fit into the Matrix?

I started wondering today at the gym. I was struck by the immense irony of listening to their thunderous call to revolutionary action (The Battle of Los Angeles) while running in place on an elliptical trainer. Somehow I doubt keeping my heart rate in the high end of my target zone (and exceeding it quite often...this is Rage, after all) for a half hour was really what they had in mind when they created that music and those words.

I'm listening to the same music that was played over the sound system at the Counter-Inaugural I marched in four years ago. I'm feeling so lefty and great but I am running in place on a damned piece of gym equipment. This has got to be exactly what the right is counting on. It has also got to be what Sony, the major label Rage was on, counted on when they released their music -- that it would sell, and make them lots of money, but that nothing would happen, and the corporate/governmental fifth estate would be completely unscathed by it because Rage's listeners won't Do Anything as a result of their message.

They've done their research and they've gotta know that I (a representative of my Gen X demographic) put in massive hours every day trying to get the bills paid, create my art, and maintain my sanity. I work from the moment I get up to the moment I go to sleep and there's no time left over to Do Anything -- and I don't even have kids!

And even if I contribute whatever I can to an org whose mission is to Do Something -- the last election proved that money and mobilization isn't necessarily going to win the day. Donations poured into the Dean campaign, and later the Kerry campaign, from people who realized how high the stakes were and who had never given to a political party before in their lives. And the bad guys still won.

What threat could Rage Against the Machine possibly pose if their millions of records were bought by people like me?

The Matrix has me.

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