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Tom Morello rips Rage Against the Machine fan Paul Ryan

August 17, 2012|By August Brown
  • Tom Morello of the Nightwatchman performs at the Sutro Stage during Day 3 of the 2012 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on Aug. 12, 2012, in San Francisco.
Tom Morello of the Nightwatchman performs at the Sutro Stage during Day… (Photo by Trixie Textor/Getty…)

First New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was rebuffed by The Boss. Now another well-know liberal musician has spurned the advances of a right-wing politician-fan.

In a brutal Rolling Stone editorial, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello calls Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's recent vice presidential pick, the "embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades."

The 42-year-old Ryan has touted his Rage fandom in the past, a curious choice given the band's ferocious advocacy for unions, immigrants and social justice. 

Morello is clearly amused and perplexed at how deeply, in his opinion, Ryan has missed the point of his band. "He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage," Morello wrote.

"I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of "F- the Police"? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!"

Ryan's Gen-X demographic could have allowed for some teenage dalliances with Rage's music at the same time he was getting into Ayn Rand, and Ryan has claimed to like band's sound but purposefully tunes out their lyrics. Morello agrees that Ryan was probably "moshing when he should have been listening."

Morello was most recently seen supporting Occupy L.A. last year and protesting the opening of a Chinatown Wal-Mart, but this editorial should up the stakes in a musically contentious election season. "I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta 'rage' in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment," he wrote. "Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions."

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