Saturday, January 17, 2009

Killing in the Name

Tonight on the ride back from San Francisco I heard Rage Against the Machine's* Killing in the Name. The song always reminds me of an incident that happened while I was living in Tokyo in the mid-nineties. I'd gone out with my housemate, Miwa, and beau, Evil Dave, and we'd ended up at the notorious Gas Panic. Located in Roppongi district, it was a particular sort of meat market. This was my first and only visit, and looking around, I felt oddly out of place. The crowd was composed entirely of white men (by the look of them, mostly American military) and Japanese women. While my companions broadly fit into these catagories, I did not.

The place was already pretty lively, but when Killing in the Name came on, the guys went wild, fist pumping, waving their drinks, and singing along. Watching a bunch of military guys shouting lyrics like:

Killing in the name of!

And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya!

Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! (15x?)

well, it was precious. The irony of this seems to have been lost on all but me and my friends. (Full lyrics here. Or better still, watch this video.)

*While not a big fan of the music, I've had a certain fondness for RATM since I heard the band interview Noam Chomsky on the radio years ago.


Blogger evr said...

I personally can't stand the band's music (that song was huge in Buffalo bars when that record came out) and I always found it funny that while the band is taking a stance against "the man" they were signed to one of the biggest corporate record labels going (that would be Sony). My buddy Dave from the Gigolo Aunts has been friends with Tom Morello (the guitarist) for over 10 years and he plays in Tom's band The Nightwatchman. Dave says he's a great guy and that's good enough for me!

10:46 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home