Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wake Up! Wachet Auf! Rage Against hits the concert trail with lyrics by Noam Chomsky, and the Faux Noise fascists go ballistic

Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against The Machine
Oddly enough when I mentioned Rage Against The Machine, I compared their impact on American antiwar politics with the linguist and antiwar academic Noam Chomsky, who has pretty much bored and underwhelmed me with his hypereducated elitist antiwar blather since the Vietnam War. To me, Chomsky is the epitome of political protest heard by just an elite and passionless handful, his thoughts and ideas cared about by fewer. Rage Against The Machine, it turns out, has been singing some Noam Chomsky lyrics since they re-united, and Noam got Rage into their latest national media controversy. So hoorah for Rage and hoorah even for the boring old fuddy-duddy academic Professor Noam Chomsky. Maybe he's not such a stiff after all. And maybe a few members of Rage actually know how to read. They sure pissed off Faux Noise ("Scare and Unbalanced") and the deranged homophobe and psychopath Ann Coulter and Hannity & Colmes. =============== from Wikipedia: =============== Rage Against The Machine Reunion (2007) [image] Zack de la Rocha performing with Rage Against the Machine at Coachella 2007. Members of the band had been offered large sums of money to reunite for concerts and tours, and had turned the offers down.[25] Rumors of bad blood between de la Rocha and the other former band members subsequently circulated, but Commerford said that he and de la Rocha see each other often and go surfing together, while Morello said he and de la Rocha communicate by phone, and had met up at a September 15, 2005 protest in support of the South Central Farm.[26] Morello and de la Rocha were photographed together at the protest, the first photograph of the two since the band's breakup. [27] Rumors that Rage Against the Machine could reunite at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival were circulating in mid-January,[28] and were confirmed on January 22.[29] The band was confirmed to be headlining the final day of Coachella 2007.[30] The reunion was described by Morello as primarily being a vehicle to voice the band's opposition to the "right-wing purgatory" the United States has "slid into" under the George W. Bush administration since RATM's dissolution.[31] Though the performance was initially thought to be a one-off,[32] this turned out not to be the case. [This reunion concert at Coachella was when I first blogged about Rage Against.] On April 14, 2007, Morello and de la Rocha reunited onstage early to perform a brief acoustic set in downtown Chicago at a Coalition of Immokalee Workers rally in support of fairness in the fast food industry. Morello described the event as "very exciting for everybody in the room, myself included."[33] This was followed by the scheduled Coachella performance on Sunday, April 29. The band played in front of an EZLN backdrop [EZLN: The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) is an armed revolutionary group based in Chiapas, one of the poorest states of Mexico.] to the largest crowds of the festival;[34] their performance was widely considered the festival's most anticipated.[34][35][36] De la Rocha made a speech during "Wake Up", citing a statement by Noam Chomsky regarding the Nuremburg trials,[37] as follows: ...if the same laws were applied to U.S. presidents as were applied to the Nazis after World War II […] every single one of them, every last rich white one of them from Truman on, would have been hung to death and shot — and this current administration is no exception. They should be hung, and tried, and shot. As any war criminal should be. But the challenges that we face, they go way beyond administrations, way beyond elections, way beyond every four years of pulling levers, way beyond that. Because this whole rotten system has become so vicious and cruel that in order to sustain itself, it needs to destroy entire countries and profit from their reconstruction in order to survive—and that's not a system that changes every four years, it's a system that we have to break down, generation after generation after generation after generation after generation…Wake up.[36] The event led to a media furor.[38] A clip of Zack's speech found its way to the Fox News program “Hannity & Colmes.” An on-screen headline read,
Ann Coulter (a guest on the show) quipped, “They’re losers, their fans are losers, and there’s a lot of violence coming from the left wing.” On July 28th and 29th, Rage headlined the Hip Hop festival Rock the Bells with the Wu Tang Clan and Cypress Hill. On July 28, they closed their set with Wake Up just as they had done at Coachella. During this, De La Rocha made another statement, defending the band from Fox News, who he alleged misquoted his speech at Coachella: A couple of months ago, those fascist motherfuckers at the Fox News Network attempted to pin this band into a corner by suggesting that we said that the president should be assassinated. Nah, what we said was that he should be brought to trial as war criminal and hung and shot. THAT'S what we said. And we don't back away from the position because the real assassinator is Bush and Cheney and the whole administration for the lives they have destroyed here and in Iraq. They're the ones. And what they refused to air which was far more provocative in my mind and in the minds of my bandmates is this: this system has become so brutal and vicious and cruel that it needs to start wars and profit from the destruction around the world in order to survive as a world power. THAT's what we said. And we refuse not to stand up, we refuse to back down from that position not only for the poor kids who are being left out in the desert to die, but for the Iraqi youth, the Iraqi people, their families and their friends, and their youth who are standing up and resisting the U.S. occupation every day. And if we truly want to end this fucking miserable war, we have to stand up with the same force that the Iraqi youth are standing up with every day, and bring these motherfuckers to their knees. Wake up…[39]

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