Rage Against the Machine and Von Mises

Michael Pugliese debsian at SPAMpacbell.net
Fri Dec 24 14:14:43 MST 1999

   I'm almost exactly twice your age, and could regale you with stories of
my punk rock days, circa late 70's, early 80's. Here is one on the
retrograde politics of some of the fans of the Clash of the skinhead species
who (in this instance, bouncers helped! we we're out#ed and not exactly
muscle studs) tried to beat up some friends and I during the Clash'es
"Combat Rock" tour. My fav quote from one of the skins was as he punched me
in the stomach was, "They should have killed you instead of John
Lennon!"(Huh, wonder how he connected me with the lefty Beatle who according
to a recent piece by Yippie, Paul Krassner, in In These Times, gave many
dollars to his Realist satire/countercultural rag so they could publish Mae
Brussel's conspiracy theory piece on the
Watergate burglers and "the Bay of Pigs thing" as Nixon said in one of the
Watergate tapes a few days after the break-in at the DNC in June '72. BTW,
anybody have the issue of Ramparts with the Tariq Ali interview with Lennon
circa early 70's?)
   Anyway, keep on strugglin' and hope that "Society of the Spectacle"
division called Rock and Roll, can still mean more than just a noisy way to
make and spend money for our "leisure"
                      Michael Pugliese
P.S. Von Mises, ew and ick!!! Favored reading matter of the folks at
antiwar.com, who oppose
imperialism and militarism by supporting that miasma called the "free
market" Down with all
varieties of capitalism, really "real" and imaginary "Imaginary"( feeble dig
at any Lacanians or Castoriadis fans on the list, have more use for the
latter than the former, but why do French
intellectuals have to be so obscure and fond of inventing new words for old
----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Frase <pefrase at midway.uchicago.edu>
To: <debsian at pacbell.net>
Sent: Friday, December 24, 1999 12:38 PM
Subject: Rage Against the Machine

> You wrote:
> >(BTW, are there any Rage Against The Machine fans on Marxism list, or are
> >we all 30, 40, 50,60+ somethings(ageist! hehe!) not willing and/or able
> >to keep up with current rock? RATM helps to politicize the kids, glance
> >at
> >their website and you'll find lotsa radleft stuff on imperialism,
> >prisons, the whole laundry list magilla.
> Well, I'm not really a Rage fan, but I'm a 19-year-old punk rock kid and I
> always keep up with "current rock."  But I staffed an information table at
> a RATM show last month, and I felt about as out-of-place as any
> fifty-something.  I guess since I didn't grow up in the suburbs, I'm not
> used to seeing--much less interacting with--the kind of kids that listen
> to RATM.  And I don't go to big arena concerts.  But at least I got to see
> Gang Starr for free.
> I agree that RATM is a positive political force, even if they do only
> reach about 1% of the people who buy their records and come to their
> shows.  It was worth it to me just to see the kids who would come to the
> table and demand every piece of lit we had--you could just see that they
> were starved for political education, and hadn't had any way to follow
> through on their good political instincts.  But when Rage took the stage,
> the testosterone was hanging in the air, and the football game/frat party
> atmosphere was pretty disturbing.  Zack de la Rocha got the crowd worked
> up into a frenzy while he chanted political slogans--but there was no real
> content, he could have been shouting "heil hitler" and most of those kids
> would have reacted the same way.  When I met Tom Morello backstage
> afterwards, I couldn't think of a single intelligent thing to say.
> Outside at the table, I got into an argument with this right-wing guy who
> was telling me it was a contradiction to be a socialist and oppose the
> WTO, since they were both just "big government."  He told me that Pat
> Buchanan was the only politician who was really pro-worker, and then told
> me to read Ludwig von Mises.  Weird.
> Solidarity,
> Peter Frase

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