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Paul Ryan, You Might Wanna Relisten to These Rage Against the Machine Songs

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Dear Paul Ryan,

Congrats on getting the nod for Romney's VP. Must be a big month for you. While you and I probably won't ever agree politically, I realize we have a few things in common. You and I are both male carbon-based lifeforms that breath oxygen and the melanin in our epidermis means we don't get profiled by the police. Oh, and we also like some of the same music, Led Zeppelin and Rage Against the Machine. I think the similarities end there.

I know you're already getting slammed for liking Rage, even by guitarist Tom Morello himself, but there's no reason why Rage can't be liked by everyone, even extremist neo-conservatives with poor math skills and no concept of female anatomy. But I have to ask -- did you fire your publicist or stab ice picks into your ears? It would appear so, if you haven't listened a little closer to Rage Against The Machine's lyrics. Let's revisit some of the songs and see what you've missed.

Now to be fair, I would critique hypocritical Democrats that listen to Rage, too, because party lines are a joke to me. Every four years, I vote for Donald Duck. But actually, Obama's Spotify playlist is pretty good, even though I'm 99% percent certain someone else chose the songs for him. Joe Biden's iPod? Clearly he doesn't listen to music because Joe Biden is an android. Anyway, let's get down to this, shall we?

Maggie's Farm

I get why you were confused about this one, Paul. At first listen, you might think this ditty is just about some guy quitting his job on a plantation. Wrong-O! It's a metaphor, kind of like how the book Animal Farm was a metaphor. Did you read that one? ...No?

Well, depending on how you interpret this Bob Dylan cover, it could be about capitalist exploitation or the military industrial complex. But Mr. Ryan, didn't you just vote to increase defense spending by another $8 billion dollars, bringing the current level to $642 billion? Yeah... I don't think this song belongs on your iPod shuffle when you are Maggie's brother, Maggie's Pa, Maggie's Ma, and practically Maggie's whole farm.

Guerilla Radio

This one might confuse you too, Paul, 'cuz when I was a teen playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, I thought this song was about South American radio shows. Maybe you even thought this song was about big mountain apes.

Um, it's not. It's actually about the 2000 presidential election and how worthless American elections are when we had to choose between "Gore or the son of a drug lord." In case you don't remember, it was discovered that while George H. W. Bush was prez, the CIA was handing out drugs to kids in the inner city, making Dubyah's dad as bad as Pablo Escobar.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem?" Well, Mr. Ryan, I'd do some soul searching, because once again, we aren't given much choice this election. I'm looking at you. Sleep Now In The Fire

Before Occupy Wall Street, Rage Against The Machine literally occupied Wall Street to play "Sleep Now In The Fire," getting the whole place shut down and Michael Moore almost arrested. Too bad.

If you had a very sheltered, public school version of history, you might not understand this song, Paul. I don't know what they taught you in those Wisconsin schools, so I'll spell this one out for you: "Sleep Now In The Fire" is about American imperialism, starting with Columbus, then slavery, then bombing Japan, then using Agent Orange, and finally ending with today. If Rage were to rewrite this song tomorrow, they might include highlights from the War on Terror, which you have supported since the beginning and continue to support. You know, things like Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib or "The Iraqi Hiroshima." (Warning: That last link is pretty horrifying.)

Now do you get it? This song is about folks like you, Mr. Ryan, that are "deep inside [our] children" and force them to "sleep now in the fire."

People of the Sun

I'll admit, Zach de la Rocha sorta mumbles on this one, but his message is still pretty clear: America's mistreatment of Mexican folks (the People of the Sun) is nothing new. It's been going on since Mexico was invented. But Paul, voting for the Secure Fence Act of 2006 and voting against the DREAM Act is making you look outdated or incompetent. Maybe a tinge racist. Certainly not on their side.

Open up the borders, Mr. Ryan. Let anyone who wants to live under our sun, occupy our foreclosed homes in Surprise and Anthem and work clipping Scottsdale landscapes. Just document these folks and treat them like human beings, giving them less reason to fear for their lives and less incentive to turn to criminal activity.

If you're not interested in a peaceful situation, rather than criminalizing refugees and turning our border into a gigantic open air prison, maybe you shouldn't play this tune when you hit the gym.

Killing In The Name

This is mostly about cops, like those dicks in Anaheim recently, but also about murder in the name of pretty much anything. Sound familiar, Paul? You can claim all you want that your Roman Catholic faith and Thomas Aquinas have had more influence on your philosophy than Ayn Rand, but you sure ain't listening to Jesus.

How many people did Christ murder? Didn't he advocate turning the other cheek and nonresistance? I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure the Son of God wouldn't vote for 20,000 more troops to invade a country in order to murder and rape civilians and destroy their homes, like you voted on the Iraq War troop surge of 2007.

So, Mr. Ryan, here's one last question for you: if you're not listening to the lyrics of the music you claim to like and you're not listening to the God you claim to believe in, then what are you listening to?

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