Old Favourites: Rage Against the Machine – “Sleep Now in the Fire”

“Jesus blessed me with its future, and I protect it with fire…”

To be completely honest with you, dear reader, I’m not nearly as politically engaged as a person now than I was around the age of fourteen and fifteen. Back in the mid-2000s, at the height of Bush, Howard and Blair, I was exposed to music and documentary makers that wanted their voice heard and the system fought against. Amongst them were NOFX, Anti-Flag and Cog, but none of them would have even crossed my mindset were it not for Rage Against the Machine – and, in particular, this video, which came at a very interesting time in my life.

I was aware of Killing in the Name Of and Guerilla Radio and the like, but Sleep Now in the Fire was my game changer. It turned me into a massive RATM fan, and got me engaged in what they stood for and what they believed in. It’s this video that did it. Directed by a little-known film-maker at the time, Michael Moore, this video cuts between RATM performing in front of the Wall Street Stock Exchange and a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?-esque game show, where the questions are simple a) and b) multiple choice with some incredibly harsh statistics – some of which still manage to ring true to this day.

It’s one thing to think you care. Sleep Now in the Fire made me want to burn everything and change the world. I didn’t and I haven’t, but I can’t think of many other bands that have ignited that very feeling inside of me. I got cold sweats when I watched this video for the blog, and part of me will always remember that pissed-off teenager. No doubt I was one of the many.

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