Republican Fanboys and the Bands that Hate Them

So, a few weeks ago there was an article, I think in the NYTimes Weekly Magazine about how NJ Governor **Chris Christie **is a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE **Bruce Springsteen **fan. Turns out Bruce will not acknowledge his presence at concerts, even if Christie is in a close seat or backstage or anything.

Now, it turns out **Paul Ryan **has stated that one of his favorite bands is Rage Against the Machine. HuffPo Link, and link to Rolling Stone websiteeditorial.

It must suck to be a Republican rock fanboy. Well, unless you are going to hold up Cat Scratch Fever or Born Free as your favorite song ;). And this is different that Reagan or other Republicans being told to stop using songs at rallies - Reagan didn’t flippin’ know Bruce Springsteen. In this case, folks like Christie and Ryan are diehard fans…

And given the obvious news-cycle fodder that this would become - like Rage Against the Machine members like Tom Morello wouldn’t milk this for all it is worth and slam Ryan - why would Ryan explicitly state this? He could just say - “yeah, I like metal” and leave it at that…

… to which Ryan replied, “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.”

Seriously - I’m no big fan of Christie or Ryan, but performers don’t get to choose their fans, and they certainly don’t get to give them orders.

You have to wonder if Mr. Ryan really is a fan of Rage Against the Machine, or whether that is a ploy to attract a younger demographic.

Yes, I am jaded.

I’m actually surprised that the entertainers would speak publicly about their own political views. For every George Clooney, Jane Fonda and Barbara Streisand out there, you have a Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan who clam up whenever the topic gets too controversial to avoid alienating any fans.

No orders were given. It’s a harsh statement of the obvious: Rage is a very political band with a very leftist bent, and it wouldn’t be news to Ryan that they hate his politics. He says he doesn’t like their lyrics, so the feeling is obviously mutual.

What did Tom Morello tell Ryan to do? I read the op-ed, and all it is is one big fuck you to Ryan.

Morello’s not saying Ryan is not allowed to like Rage. Here’s a quote from the article:

A lot of artists can get frustrated when their message isn’t getting through to viewer or listener. With how political Rage Against the Machine is, it’s understandable Morello would be annoyed and mystified that Ryan claims to be a fan.

I’m not familiar with a lot of RATM music, but they are a very political band, both in their music and in what causes they supported while together, and while as separate people now that the band is broken up. Morello isn’t going to alienate any fans, because anyone who is familiar with him would know his views.

Actors and athletes maybe. But how many rock musicians have to worry about pissing off their conservative fanbase?

I’d say that plenty of rock musicians have a conservative fanbase, if not all of them. Whether or not you like rock depends on your age and cultural background, and not your politics. I’ve known lots of righties who love rock and roll - they just accept the fact that most rockers are lefties, and ignore it.

I just don’t thing performers should be rude to their fans. Can’t they just accept the compliment, and admit that politics aren’t everything?

…Which was kind of weird, since no one told Ryan to do anything.

I imagine liking (or pretending to like) Springsteen is sort of required for anyone in the higher reaches of NJ politics, so Christie doesn’t really surprise me.

But RATM lyrics are pretty consistantly left-wing. Its not that the band-members are left-wing, the actual act is explicitly about lefty themes. And there’s no real political reason for Ryan to pretend to like them. Even from the “appealing to young people angle”, RATM heyday is a decade past.

I wonder if Micheal Moore is his favourite film-maker?


Performers in general, maybe, but for RATM, politics are pretty much their entire schtick. The Political views wiki page for RATM is longer then the page about the band itself.

No, the members of this particular band prolly cannot do that; if you don’t understand why, you don’t understand the band.

I have to wonder if Christie has ever listened to a lyric more serious that “Rosalita”.

Probably not. I like their music, though. I hope I don’t offend them by listening to it.

(Personally, I happen to believe that art should transcend politics; that politics is ephemeral, but art is eternal. I also believe that Tom Morello has turned into a bit of a grumpy old man. But again, Rage Against the Machine rock, no matter what they happen to believe in).

Probably a big fan of 'Hungry Heart", not to mention “Streets Of Philadelphia Cheesesteak”…

I know plenty of right wingers who love Barbara Streissand, Jews who love Wagner, Atheists who listen to Bach on continuous loops. Music is as politicized as any other text but I think it’s possible to divorce the aesthetics from the politics, at least to a certain extent.

If you’re a republican listening to Rage Against the Machine, it seems to me the fair (but not the LEGAL) response is to just pirate their music; remind them who’s running the show. Of course, that undermines years of careful planning with SOPA, but there you have it. :wink:

I accept the fact that there are countless gifted artists whose work I enjoy who disagree with my politics. Big deal. The more smug, entitled types can be annoying, but not too much. I really don’t care, and I can enjoy art for its own merits.

I am a huge, hero-worshipping Beatles fan. I fully accept the fact that John and I would probably agree on NOTHING politically, were he still alive. The OP’s premise, “It must suck to be a Republican rock fanboy” is a fail, for most of the people I know at least. Nobody cares.

Yea, but the case with Ryan and RATM isn’t that their politics differ. Its that RATM’s act is explicitly about those politics. Its the difference between saying “Hunt for the Red October” is your favourite movie even though Alec Baldwin is a vocal liberal, and saying “Roger and Me” is your favourite movie even though Michael Moore is a vocal liberal.

The former is easy to understand, its kind of hard to understand why a conservative would be a huge fan of “Roger and Me” though.

Maybe for RATM their music is about their politics. For me, it’s about this club I would go to 20 years ago, that would play their music every night at around 3AM; or about the time my friends and I went down to Lake Tiberius and partied until the sun came up. I didn’t care about their politics then, and I don’t care about them now.

Paul Ryan is just four years older than me. Maybe he feels the same way.

Aye, it’s like Nancy Reagan announcing that her favorite band was the Grateful Dead. Or like Ayn Rand saying that the person she most admired was Mother Theresa. Or like PETA announcing their love of the entertainment and fine cuisine available at the Billy Bob’s Bullfight ‘N’ BBQ Dinner Theatre Restaurant chain.

I agree, but I was reacting to the OP’s notion that seemed to be that Republican fans are lamenting the fact that many artists are liberal and hate said fans’ politics. Said fans don’t give a shit.