Future or History of Violence

7 05 2007


By Jill Ettinger

The ridiculous media accusations that Rage Against the Machine’s opinion constitutes a threat to our national security offended me. There is a difference between saying “our administration deserves to be shot” and “I am going to shoot George Bush.” (Did I just threaten the president?) If we, as citizens of this country, dwellers of this planet, procreating members of this species, cannot freely express ourselves, then what exactly is the point to this existence? There’s a line to one of Rage’s songs, “Testify,” that comes to mind: “Who controls the past now controls the future/Who controls the present now controls the past.” We have as much freedom as we allow ourselves. This administration, this corrupted media machine, has power over us because we’ve let them. We’ve subdued ourselves, numbed ourselves and dumbed ourselves into a fearful state of compliance. That allows the media to pontificate on in the manner they do, intent on making us feel stupid or heaven forbid unpatriotic if we stand up for ourselves, our families or our freedom.

Watching the clip Derek posted Friday was one of the most puzzling experiences I’ve witnessed in a while. The innocent-because-we’re-journalists deer-in-headlights look from the condescending media puppets is so transparent that its scary. Why don’t we just fit everyone with a device that tracks whether we’re having happy thoughts or not? Those of us in a bad mood will get a slow drip of lexapro, and those of us down right aggressive, thorazine. After all, our national security is at risk. And heaven forbid any artist use a platform like Coachella to say out loud what countless minds are already thinking. Our government is a sham, a hoax, a big fat american lie with extra mayonnaise. Really, the thought of Zack de la Rocha tiptoeing across the white house lawn with an AK is not only absurd, it seems a quite a bit beneath him. He’s an artist, an activist, and let’s be real folks, those of us opposed to the arrogance of this “war on terror” are using our time wisely, unlike the powers that be.

Some good friends of mine – who just spent a week down in the Havasupai Native American Reservation planting trees, as in food and shelter where there was little to none – also just finished this incredibly powerful video for hip-hop artist “Belly” Rebellyus, who says clearly and powerfully what so many of us are thinking about this war. (It’s OK, he’s Canadian.) Please watch all the way through and pass along. It’s our continued dialogue with each other about the future we want that will make it happen. PEACE




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