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Musical Messages

November 28, 2015

 

History has a tendency of repeating itself, especially within the political realm. Rage Against the Machine is a metal rock band, formed in 1991 whose songs mainly focus on political activism and revolution against the government. Almost sixteen years ago, they released the song, “Sleep Now in the Fire” off of the album “The Battle of Los Angeles” which almost won them an award at the 2000 MTV music awards for best video. In this instance the video makes the song because of the powerful images and messages that are portrayed in the video. The song strives to point out the flaws in American’s political system and how it is now dominated by greed and finance. The people no longer have power or a say in their government because money and the powerful elite control it all. The music video directed by, Michael Moore, symbolizes this perfectly because it opens with Rage Against the Machine playing on Wall Street in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Which interestingly enough, actually happened. The band was threatened with arrest during their performance because of the large crowd that accumulated, their lack of proper permits to perform and the fear they caused. As well as authoritative involvement, the Stock Exchanged closed its doors in fear of the crowd and the band members entering the building. The band had enough power to close the doors, but not enough power to close down trading. Moore rationalizes his choice to film in front of the Exchange by stating, “We decided to shoot this video in the belly of the beast.” Rage Against the Machine has a problem with the power and authority in money and in order to counteract that they performed a song that was basically a huge fuck you right in front of the doors of money and greed. Their goal was to spread fear and chaos in order to get their message across.

 

The most interesting aspect of this music video is not the location or even the meaning of the lyrics but the screenshot taken at the minute and four second mark: a protestor holding a sign that states, "Donald Trump For President.” The freaky aspect is that this video is nearly sixteen years old and holds hints for the future. How in the world did Rage Against the Machine predict the Donald Trump would launch a presidential campaign in 2015 (no matter how large of a joke his campaign is)? My theory is that Rage knows that money can buy anything. Power, followers, a wife, a presidential campaign and Although Trump is an idiot he is gaining power and followers because he has money that allows him to do so. The blind sheep like followers of America are willing to support him no matter what the social cost is.

 

Donald Trump is still the same man as he was sixteen years ago and by placing that one second clip they are creating a parallel between Trump’s greed for power and America’s greed for power that has destroyed countless lives. Rage lists off many examples from American history that exploit the little man to give the big man power: conquest of Native Americans, U.S. slavery in the 19th century, the bombing of Hiroshima, and use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. As demonstrated by Trump’s countless, tactless comments amount minority groups in America is it clear that he as well, has no problem stomping out the little man to boost up the big man. The article asks how long it will take for Trump to start utilizing the song, “Sleep Now in the Fire” to support his political campaign but I know he never will because Rage stands for everything Trump goes against. The band stands for freedom, anarchy, a powerful minority, anger, and hatred of the American government. The predication in their video just goes to show that the only reason why Trump is able to gain the following that he has is because of his money and has nothing to do with his political intelligence or ability to have cohesive, intellectual thought processes. Only blind followers would support someone like Trump. People always say that American’s won’t let history repeat itself because we are too intelligent but some people are willing to put an egotistical, power hungry leader in place when countless nations have crumbled from that before. What we need is for the genre of angry, government hating rock bands of the 90’s to come back again that way they can open the eyes of today’s youth to the reality of what is happening and teach us that we need to stand up and Rage Against the Machine that is trying to hold us down. All throughout the generations musics has been used as a political tool to state opinions, until ours. We seem to have given up on politics and using art and music as an outlet to stand up for what we believe in and in order for the large majority of society to take control back we must get involved and get angry.

 

The following article goes more in depth on the music video: http://www.brobible.com/entertainment/music/article/rage-against-the-machine-predicted-donald-trump/`

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