“I need you my witness, to dress this up so bloodless”: The Battle of Los Angeles (Rage Against the Machine)

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Year: 1999

Genre: Rap Metal

Preceded by: Evil Empire (1996)

Followed by: Renegades (2000)

Related to: not available yet



“Sir, I finished your inaugural speech for the Changing of the Guard. I restlessly worked on it all night and I’m curious after your opinion.”

“That’s great news, boy. Can you read it aloud for me please?”

“Beloved people of the free world, it is a huge honor for me to address you here today as the new Appointed One on the occasion of this Changing. A Changing that, for me personally, is a Changing that asks for remembrance and commemoration. Remembrance, so we won’t forget what we overcame in the past. Commemoration, so we won’t lose sight of the challenges we are still facing today and in the future.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, first of all are you witnessing the tenth Changing on this special day, meaning that we are celebrating the 50th birthday of your courageous revolt, a revolt of the people of the free world standing here on this sacred ground, as well as their brave forefathers who are sadly no longer among us. A revolt against the repulsive and repelling system of elections. The elderly among you, and I’m addressing these advocates of freedom with the greatest respect, will surely remember the disgusting and shameless scenes that this moldy concept bore at the end of its existence. Two street fighting parties, slandering each other with irrelevant details from their private lives during vulgar charades; we are praising ourselves never ever having to face that again. A revolt in which the free people, with the keyboard as the new megaphone, took their responsibility for dispersing nothing less than the truth. Down with political colors, as our interests were always the same, as they still are today: freedom. Freedom to trade and freedom to defend oneself against unfree ideas and visions.

Beloved people, let us also remember that the striving after freedom has always been a common theme running through our rich history, in which many unfree people were redeemed from their chains. We might go a long way back, and remember the brave immigrant Columbus, who freed the black people from the Indian indigenous tradition of slavery. But think also of our Asian friends, who were freed from imperial aggression in Vietnam and with whom we completely rebuilt, shoulder to shoulder, the wonderful cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, after they were completely destroyed by the horrific nuclear attacks of the evil empire.

Think also of our Eastern European friends, who suffered for many years from the unfree idea of solidarity, an idea that preached the end of history and deceived its believers by stating that there was no alternative to neosolidarism. What started as ‘there is no alternative’ ultimately ended as ‘there is no other pill to take, so swallow the one that made you ill’, using every systemic crisis to further exploit the unfree, and spreading lies with completely monopolized mass media to preserve the rotten system. Always different names, always the same hungry bodies, let us not forget them. Let us also not forget that they were able to overthrew their walls and seize the palaces of their corrupt leaders once we came to their rescue.

And people, think also of our friends from the south. Who doesn’t remember the revolt of the brave Mexican people against its own unfree government? A government that desperately tried to keep our ideal of freedom outside its borders, culminating in the absurd idea of building a wall along the entire border, a wall wé were supposed to pay for, we, people of the free world! However, as you know, this ridiculous idea and its government was toppled by the Mexican people, who since that moment are able to enjoy the delights of the free world, for example the thousands of zealous guest workers who are enriching our fashion industry every day. Always different names, always the same cheap manpower.

Ladies and gentlemen of the free world, let us at last also seize the opportunity to commemorate our own fallen heroes, who defended our freedom throughout the years. On this matter, I particularly want to honor the numerous victims of the attack on LA on February 25th 1942, as well as those who suffered from the complete destruction of the same city by the endless Iraqi air strikes sixty years later.

Dear friends, free people of the free world, the idea of freedom is embedded in the DNA  of this wide nation, and I want to conclude with a little personal anecdote to illustrate this. When I arrived in this wonderful town this morning, I met a wonderful young guy called Jim. I asked him why his clothes were so dirty and he told me that he was repairing his car. “Do you love your car, Jim?”, I asked him, and he said: ”That car is my life, Sir. It brings me wherever I want to go; for me, freedom grows out of the tailpipe of my car.”. My friends, people like Jim remind me of the fact that freedom has different meanings for all of us, from trade to driving a car, and I will dedicate the next five years of my life to ensuring that freedom for every single one of you, as it may glimmer on the New Northern Horizon forever!”

“Very well done, Winston, very well done. Can I ask you something, son?”

“Of course, Sir.”

“Are you greedy?”

“No Sir, I’m free.”