Rage against the Machine (2022)

By Sarah Kavanagh

December 15, 2008 12:00 am

(Video) Rage Against The Machine - Killing In the Name (Official HD Video)

Note: This lesson was originally published on an older version of The Learning Network; the link to the related Times article will take you to a page on the old site.


Teaching ideas based on New York Times content.

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Overview of Lesson Plan: In this lesson, students will explore the concept of “machine politics” by pairing a contemporary article about the Blagojevich scandal with a Times article about machine politics from 1876.

Author(s):
Sarah Kavanagh, The New York Times Learning Network

Suggested Time Allowance: 1-2 classes

(Video) Rage Against The Machine - Sleep Now in the Fire (Official HD Video)

Activities / Procedures:
DAY ONE
1. WARM-UP/DO-NOW:
Provide students with the “Cog in the Machine” handout, found online at //www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/studentactivity/20081215.pdf, which provides them with quotes from recent Times articles about “machine politics” and “pay-to-play politics” in Illinois and asks them to work in pairs to define each term. Once work is completed have the class share their definitions. You can provide students with additional information about machine politics by consulting the following Web sites: //www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/774.html and //www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/987.html. Once you have given them an overview of these concepts and students have discussed their own definitions, decide upon a single class definition for each term and write those on the board.
Ask students:
-What might be the benefits and drawbacks of having a political machine?
-Who do these types of systems hurt? Who do they help?
-Do you think a political machine and/or “pay-to-play” system necessarily leads to corruption? Why or why not?
2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS:
As a class, read and discuss the article “In Illinois, a Virtual Expectation of Corruption ,” ( //www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/featured_articles/20081215monday.html). Have students underline words or phrases they find powerful, memorable, or insightful as they read and focus on the following:
a. What did Governor Rod Blagojevich do that led to his arrest?
b. How was corruption in Illinois politics “established by the immigrants who settled the state in the 19th century and nurtured by a stubborn system of machine politics”? How did the state’s “unusually lax” laws contribute to it?
c. How was Governor Blagojevich’s style of corruption (pay-to-play) different from traditional Chicago machine politics? In what ways are these styles similar?
d. How does “the culture of his adopted home state threaten to dog President-elect Barack Obama”?
d. In general, how widespread do you think political corruption is? Why?
e. What personality traits do you think a politician might have if he or she is capable of engaging in corrupt activities?
3. ACTIVITY:
Once the class has finished discussing the article, pass out copies of the 1876 Times article about the Tammany Hall political machine, found online at The Machine in Politics. Introduce your students to the Tammany Hall political machine briefly before having them read the article (information can be found online at //pbskids.org/bigapplehistory/business/topic10.html and //www.nps.gov/archive/elro/glossary/tammany-hall.htm).
Inform students that this article is challenging and they will be working in small groups to decipher its meaning. Next, instruct students to trade-off reading paragraphs aloud within their groups. As each member reads a paragraph, other group members follow along. Students should underline any words or phrases they do not understand in one color and words or phrases they think are particularly powerful, memorable, or insightful in another. At the end of each paragraph, have groups discuss the words or phrases they could not understand and, as a group, decide upon a two sentence summary defining content. You may wish to model this technique using the first paragraph before students begin. Once this activity is completed, have groups come together to share their summaries. During this discussion, students can make changes for cohesiveness and accuracy.
4. WRAP-UP/HOMEWORK:
Have students complete a Venn Diagram (found online at https://static01.nyt.com/learning/teachers/studentactivity/Venn_Diagram.pdf) that lists the similarities and differences between the two articles they read in class.
DAY TWO
1. WARM-UP/DO-NOW:
Inform students that the class will participate in an activity that will put the contemporary and historical articles they read the previous day into conversation with each other. Tell the right side of the room to take out the contemporary article and the left side of the room to take out the historical article. This activity begins when a volunteer (from either side of the room) reads aloud one of the words or phrases that he or she underlined because it was powerful, memorable, or insightful. Instruct students to read their selections without any comments or explanations. After the first volunteer has read, a student from the other side of the room volunteers (without being called on) to read a word or phrase he or she has underlined that in some way relates to the word or phrase that was just read. This will continue until everyone on both sides of the room has read at least once. There may be moments of silence during this activity while students are looking for the next word or phrase they would like to read. Inform them that these breaks are to be expected and to use this time to reflect on the power of the texts and the historical moments they are speaking of. Make sure students understand that words or phrases can be repeated and that repetition is sometimes the best way to understand and appreciate the importance or power of a certain idea or phrase.
After each student has had a chance to read, have all students write for three to five minutes about the exercise just completed. What did they notice during the activity? Did it make them think about the issues they just read about in a different way? What has changed since 1876? What has stayed the same?
Once students have finished writing, have them share their ideas with the rest of the class. What connections were they able to make between the two articles? What do these two articles make them feel about American politics? What changes do they feel need to be made?
2. ACTIVITY:
Have students read the “Politics” section of the online Encyclopedia of Chicago, found at //www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/989.html. After a brief discussion, tell students they are going to use what they learned from this reading to expand on a timeline created by The New York Times that focuses on corruption in Illinois. Show students the Times’ interactive at //www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/12/09/us/20081209_ILLINOIS_CORRUPTION.html. Have students discuss their perceptions about political corruption in Illinois and how things have or haven’t changed over time. Then have students work in pairs to extend the timeline farther into the past by selecting events from the reading and creating explanatory captions for each. If Internet access is available, students can also search on the Internet for photographs to accompany these captions. The extended timelines can either be made on paper or by using Microsoft Word (instructions can be found at the Microsoft Web site at //www.microsoft.com/education/timelinesword.mspx).
3. FOR HOMEWORK OR IN FUTURE CLASSES:
Have students complete their timelines. You may also ask them to follow the Blagojevich scandal over the next few weeks and add events to their timeline as the situation evolves.
Related Times Resources:

  • ADDITIONAL TIMES ARTICLES AND MULTIMEDIA:
    Interactive Timeline: Political Corruption in Illinois
    Interactive Graphic: Web of Influence
    Video: Impact of Blagojevich Arrest on Obama
  • LEARNING NETWORK RESOURCES:
    Lesson Plan: Let’s Be Honest
    Reflecting on the Ethics and Repercussions of Cheating
    Lesson Plan: High Crimes and Misdemeanors
    Discussing Impeachable Offenses in the Social Studies Classroom
    Lesson Plan: The Buckshot Stops Here
    Examining American Political Scandals
  • ARCHIVAL TIMES MATERIALS:
    The Machine in Politics
    Article from April 12, 1890
    The Chicago Machine
    Op-Ed from October 23, 1975
  • TIMES TOPICS:
    Rod R. Blagojevich
    Patrick Fitzgerald
    Antonin Rezko
  • OTHER RESOURCES:
    //www.rodforillinois.com/
    Rod for Illinois
    Rod Blagojevich’s official campaign Web site
    //www.illinois.gov/GOV/
    State of Illinois – Rod Blavojevich
    The state of Illinois official Web page for governor Blagojevich

    Interdisciplinary Connections:
    Global History – Using the 2008 Global Corruption Report, research countries where corruption has tainted the political process. Compare how different nations have dealt with or are dealing with this problem. Make recommendations for how to avoid political corruption in the future.
    Media Studies – Watch the 1972 film “The Candidate” and discuss the relationship between politics and corruption. Why is corruption often an issue in politics and how can it be guarded against? Is corruption always a bad thing? If not, when is it acceptable? Are we all susceptible to becoming corrupt? How can we guard against it in our own lives?

    Academic Content Standards:
    Grades 6-8, 9-12
    Civics Standard 15- Understands how the United States Constitution grants and distributes power and responsibilities to national and state government and how it seeks to prevent the abuse of power
    Behavioral Studies Standard 1- Understands that group and cultural influences contribute to human development, identity, and behavior
    Behavioral Studies Standard 4- Understands conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions
    Language Arts Standard 1- Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process
    Language Arts Standard 6- Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies for reading a variety of literary texts
    Language Arts Standard 8- Demonstrates competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning

    (Video) Rage Against The Machine - Bombtrack (Official Video)

    This lesson plan may be used to address the academic standards listed above. These standards are drawn from Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education; 3rd and 4th Editions and have been provided courtesy of the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning in Aurora, Colorado.

  • FAQs

    Why did Zack de la Rocha quit rage? ›

    He left Rage Against the Machine in October 2000, citing "creative differences," at which time he issued a statement saying: "it was necessary to leave Rage because our decision-making process has completely failed", in reference to the disagreement over the release of Renegades.

    What does RATM stand for? ›

    Even the name Rage Against the Machine evokes the band's political stance, a pushback against socio-political injustices, and inequalities. The band's 1992 self-titled album was a doctrine of the struggles against the establishment, which was predominantly captured in RATM hit “Killing in the Name.”

    Why is Rage Against the Machine controversial? ›

    Critics have noted Rage Against the Machine for its "fiercely polemical music, which brewed sloganeering left wing rants against corporate America, cultural imperialism, and government oppression into a Molotov cocktail of punk, hip-hop, and thrash."

    Where did RATM get their name? ›

    This lineup named themselves Rage Against the Machine, after a song de la Rocha had written for his former underground hardcore punk band Inside Out (also to be the title of the unrecorded Inside Out full-length album).

    Does Tom Morello have a PHD? ›

    Tom Morello graduated from Harvard Universitywith a bachelor's degree in political science. That should come with no surprise, since he was the lead guitarist of one of the most politically vocal and active bands of all time, Rage Against the Machine. For Morello, music and activism have always been intertwined.

    How old is Zack de la Rocha? ›

    What is the most political song ever? ›

    Best protest songs
    1. “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday. ...
    2. “We Shall Overcome” ...
    3. “War” by Edwin Starr. ...
    4. “Mississippi Goddam” by Nina Simone. ...
    5. “The Times They Are a-Changin” by Bob Dylan. ...
    6. “Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley. ...
    7. “Give Peace a Chance” by Plastic Ono Band. ...
    8. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2.
    8 Dec 2021

    Did Ratm play Woodstock 99? ›

    The flag went up quickly and incited an already riotous crowd into a near-frenzy of rock and roll liberation. Watch below as Rage Against The Machine burns an American flag during their Woodstock '99 performance.

    Why did Ratm write Killing in the Name? ›

    The lyrics were inspired by the police brutality suffered by Rodney King and the subsequent 1992 Los Angeles riots. The refrain "some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses" draws a link between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Ku Klux Klan.

    What is Rage Against the Machine's message? ›

    Forced birth in a country that is the only wealthy country in the world without any guaranteed paid parental leave at the national level,” the message began. “Forced birth in a country where Black birth-givers experience maternal mortality two to three times higher than that of white birth-givers.

    Did the government shut down Rage Against the Machine? ›

    Remembering The Time The CIA Shut Down Rage Against The Machine's Message Board. In the wake of 9/11, Rage Against The Machine's online forum was shut down by the CIA.

    Where is Rage Against the Machine banned from? ›

    From day one, there was no getting in the way of Rage Against the Machine letting out their anger in as visceral a way as possible.

    What ethnicity is Rage Against the Machine? ›

    Zack (parentage: a German-Irish American anthropologist and a Mexican American visual artist), met Tom (parentage: an Irish-Italian American schoolteacher and the former Kenyan ambassador to the United Nations) when the latter had split his metal band Lock Up and spotted the former member of hardcore punk band Inside ...

    Is RATM a metal? ›

    Rage Against the Machine, American alternative rock band known for incendiary political lyrics, social activism, and a hard-driving sound that incorporated elements of hip-hop and heavy metal.

    What nationality is Zack de la Roca? ›

    What band went to Harvard? ›

    Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo both graduated from Harvard University.

    Who is the smartest rock star? ›

    1. Brian May. Brian May, a talented guitarist affiliated to the rock band Queen, wears many hats. He is a distinguished astrophysicist, rock musician, and songwriter.

    Why doesnt Tom Morello cut his strings? ›

    I feel like it's an accident.” Morello was quick to clarify that the look is “no accident” and that he “didn't cut the strings because I thought it looked cool.” Early on in his guitar-playing career, however, other musicians didn't quite agree: “I was shamed by a musician friend. He said, 'Who do you think you are?

    How tall is Zack de la Rocha? ›

    How old is Killer Mike? ›

    Why did Rage Against the Machine end? ›

    Rage Against the Machine cancelled their planned 2023 North American tour on Tuesday (Oct. 4) due to singer Zack de la Rocha's ongoing convalescence from a serious foot injury. “It's been almost three months since Chicago, and I still look down at my leg in disbelief,” read a statement from de la Rocha.

    What is the catchiest song ever? ›

    When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats. The catchiest song of all time has been revealed, and it ought to surprise absolutely no one. When it comes to recognisability, Spice Girls' "Wannabe" is number one, with users taking, on average, just 2.29 seconds to pick the song.

    What is the #1 song of all time? ›

    Blinding Lights

    Who turned down Woodstock 99? ›

    John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Bonham 0f Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin was asked to play Woodstock, but the band's manager, Peter Grant, turned it down.

    How much was a ticket for Woodstock 99? ›

    How much were tickets worth? Tickets were sold for about $150 plus service charges, per The Washington Post. With more than 400,000 attendees, that is well over $60 million that the festival raked in with ticket sales alone.

    How hot was Woodstock 99? ›

    With an estimated 400,000 people on site, temperatures reaching nearly 40 degrees, a lack of available water and a feisty lineup (think Rage Against The Machine, Limp Bizkit, Red Hot Chilli Peppers), things started to get awfully heated.

    Did members of Rage Against the Machine go to Harvard? ›

    He attended Harvard University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies. After his previous band Lock Up disbanded, Morello met Zack de la Rocha.
    ...
    Tom Morello
    BornMay 30, 1964 New York City, U.S.
    OriginLibertyville, Illinois, U.S.
    11 more rows

    What was Rage Against the Machine biggest hit? ›

    Guerrilla Radio” – 'The Battle of Los Angeles' (1999) “Guerrilla Radio,” ironically, is Rage's most commercially successful song and is the only Rage song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 topping out at #69.

    How many guitarists are members of Radiohead? ›

    The band has five members, and three of them play guitar. In their early years, Radiohead was known for their layered and heavy guitar sound. In later years, the band began using other instruments too, and creating more electronic sounds.

    What is left wing and right wing? ›

    Ideological groupings. Generally, the left wing is characterized by an emphasis on "ideas such as freedom, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform and internationalism" while the right wing is characterized by an emphasis on "notions such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reaction and nationalism" ...

    How old is Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine? ›

    Is Ratm good live? ›

    They're not only one of the most thrilling live acts in rock history, mashing together rap and rock into a completely unique fusion, their politically-charged music was decades ahead of its time and feels almost custom-made for this exact moment. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device.

    Why do people love Rage Against the Machine? ›

    That's simple: Rage was a lot better than those other bands. They wrote better songs, and they were more innovative, musically. Tom Morello brought something new to guitar playing that those other bands didn't. Rage also had a really consistent lyrical point-of-view that helped all their tracks hang together.

    Who replaced Rage Against the Machine? ›

    Best known for the 1993 anti-authority anthem Killing in the Name, Rage Against The Machine will be replaced in the main slot by the English pop rock band The 1975.

    Why were all Rage Against the Machine songs banned? ›

    The reasons for Clear Channel putting some of these songs on their memorandum are pretty obvious — the entire Rage Against The Machine catalog, for example, was most likely banned because their music was overly critical of America.

    Is Rage Against the Machine in the rock Hall of Fame? ›

    Rage Against The Machine, New York Dolls and MC5 will not be entering the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2022. Dolly Parton has also U-turned her declination of the induction, and will enter the Hall.

    How many guitarists are in Rage Against the Machine? ›

    Formed in 1991, the group consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocalist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello, and drummer Brad Wilk. Their songs express revolutionary political views. As of 2010, they had sold over 16 million records worldwide.

    Who is Morello's mother? ›

    Tom Morello on Instagram: “Happy 97th birthday to my mom, Mary Morello! The fearless social justice advocate, doting grandma, and popular radio personality asked…” Happy 97th birthday to my mom, Mary Morello! The fearless social justice advocate, doting grandma, and popular radio...

    What type of metal is Vader? ›

    Vader is a Polish death metal band from Olsztyn. Formed in 1983, the group was founded by then-bassist Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek and guitarist Zbigniew "Vika" Wróblewski.

    Is Imagine Dragons a metal? ›

    Imagine Dragons' musical style has mainly been described as pop rock, electropop, pop, indie pop, indie rock, arena rock, and alternative rock.

    What kind of metal is mayhem? ›

    Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in Langhus in 1984. They were one of the founders of the Norwegian black metal scene and their music has strongly influenced the black metal genre.

    Is Zack de la Rocha vegan? ›

    Tim Commerford, Rage's bassist, is vegan while lead singer Zack de la Rocha and legendary guitarist Tom Morello are both vegetarian.

    Is Zack de la Roca black? ›

    Zacarías Manuel de la Rocha (born January 12, 1970, in Long Beach, California) is an American rapper, musician, poet, and activist of African and Mexican descent.

    What happened to Zack from Rage Against the Machine? ›

    In a statement, De la Rocha confirmed Tuesday that he sustained a “severe tear” in his left Achilles' tendon. Though 8% of his tendon is still intact, “Even that portion was severely compromised,” the vocalist explained.

    Why did Rage Against the Machine stop making albums? ›

    “It was a lack of emotional maturity in being able to deal with each other as people. We had political vision and the shows never suffered, but we just couldn't agree on stuff and that sort of unearthed feelings that made it hard to make records.”

    What did Rage Against the Machine do? ›

    Rage Against the Machine, American alternative rock band known for incendiary political lyrics, social activism, and a hard-driving sound that incorporated elements of hip-hop and heavy metal.

    How did Zach hurt his leg? ›

    Rage Against The Machine were playing at the United Center on the second night of their reunion tour. During the fourth song, “Bullet In Your Head,” De La Rocha was moving wildly on stage and then suddenly suffered a leg injury to his left leg.

    Who will replace Rage Against the Machine? ›

    "It is with great disappointment that we announce this cancellation." Best known for the 1993 anti-authority anthem Killing in the Name, Rage Against The Machine will be replaced in the main slot by the English pop rock band The 1975.

    What is Rage Against the Machine biggest hit? ›

    Guerrilla Radio” – 'The Battle of Los Angeles' (1999) “Guerrilla Radio,” ironically, is Rage's most commercially successful song and is the only Rage song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 topping out at #69.

    Did RATM play Woodstock 99? ›

    The flag went up quickly and incited an already riotous crowd into a near-frenzy of rock and roll liberation. Watch below as Rage Against The Machine burns an American flag during their Woodstock '99 performance.

    Is Rage Against the Machine liberal? ›

    Breaking: Some Folks Are Just Now Realizing That RATM Is A Leftist Political Band. Roughly three decades ago, the American rock band Rage Against the Machine (RATM) was formed.

    Videos

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    3. Rage Against the Machine - Full Concert - 07/24/99 - Woodstock 99 East Stage (OFFICIAL)
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    4. Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name - 1993
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    5. RATM (1992) Rage against the machine — Rage Against the Machine [Full Album]
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