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Bullet In The Head

by

Rage Against the Machine



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This is about how TV brainwashes people. (thanks, Louis - London, England)
The band recorded this before ever playing it live. (thanks, Nick - Paramus, NJ)
The message of this song: Don't blindly accept your gang, your religion, or even your nation. The people who walk complacently through life accepting all that is put in front of them, might as well have bullets in their heads. Television is a weapon used to pacify those who watch it into the living dead. Until people take control of their lives, they are mindless components of the entire machine. (thanks, Tim - Pittsburgh, PA)
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Comments (18):

To Lily in los angeles...the tshirt doesnt say fuel if you look closely it says fuct...dont know what thats connected with but im just saying its not fuel
- Diarmuid, Westport, Ireland
In the music video Zack is wearing a Ford spoof shirt, instead of Ford in the logo, it says Fuel, which I am sure has something to do with the fact that Ford sponsored Hitler during WWII. This could relate to the "yellow ribbon instead of a swastika" line in the song
- Lily, los angeles, CA
the meaning about it TV brainwashing people is wrong; Tim's comment is halfway there with nation, religion and TV. The band is a political band, most of their songs refers to the hatred of the government's manipulation to the world in their minds, which is why in UK their songs were censored several yrs ago. This song is refering to how the government can manipulate the media to give false information to the people and the people suck it up and believe it to be true. In the lyrics, they mention alcatraz - and compare the brainwashed being same as the people jailed in alcatraz back in those days of prisonment.
- Jay, London, United Kingdom
This song is so true. Just accepting anything will destroy you. Kinda like how you accept free crap on the internet and get slammed with viruses and spyware.
- david, odenton, MD
This song rules, its even better than bulls on parade. the part I really like about it is at the end when it has a lot of cursing
- Kyle, george, Cayman Islands
Drop the Nazi comments. As far as Republicans, Rage believes that participating in the American political system is pointless. "The structure is set ya neva change it with a ballot pull" -Down Rodeo. They express the opinion that if people want change, they must go out and do it, as people did in the fight for civil rights. So Republicans and Democrats are pretty much the same, and they believe that both parties need to be done away with because the entire system is horrible.
- Benjamin Starosta, Madison, WI
This is actually how you shouldnt always believe the NEWS in particullaraly
- Brandon, Denver, CO
I also think that the war is the dumbest thing anyone could get us into, and to stereotype republicans as Nazis would be almost the same as calling all blacks thieves and gangbangers.
- Roonie, Huntington, WV
Sam are you saying all republicans are Nazis? Jay your right the swastika is from a Hindu symbol. It looks exactly the same but with dots in between the "arms."
- Michael, Morris County, NJ
A Yellow Ribbon Instead of a Swastika:

The Ironic T-Shirt Corporation created the Anti-Ribbon to express our opinion that the yellow ribbon and "Support Our Troops" slogan is a form of propaganda, and pro-war propaganda at that. We believe that whether they know it or not, people who put yellow ribbons on their car are telling the rest of the world that war in Iraq is okay, and that war, in general, is an acceptable, viable solution to our problems.

We read a Noam Chomsky quote dealing with yellow ribbons as propaganda a long time ago that became one of the inspirations for the Anti-Ribbon:

"Americanism. Who can be against that? Or harmony. Who can be against that? Or, as in the Persian Gulf War, "Support our troops." Who can be against that? Or yellow ribbons. Who can be against that? Anything that's totally vacuous. In fact, what does it mean if someone asks you, Do you support the people in Iowa? Can you say, Yes, I support them, or No, I don't support them? It doesn't mean anything. That's the point. The point of public relations slogans like 'Support our troops' is that they don't mean anything. They mean as much as whether you support the people in Iowa. Of course, there was an issue. The issue was, Do you support our policy? But you don't want people to think about the issue. That's the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody's going to be against, and everybody's going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn't mean anything. It's crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you support our policy? That's the one you're not allowed to talk about."

Noam Chomsky

From "Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media", edited by Mark Achbar, p. 79
- Benjamin, Boulder, CO
If I may point out, the swastika was not taken from the Jewish faith (that would have been even more absurd) but from either Hindu or Buddhist faiths.
- Jay, Geneva, Cheezland
My favourite line is "A yellow ribbon instead of a swastika" because it still rings very true today. As soon as anybody opposes the war in Iraq, Republican-Nazis will condemn you for not supporting the troops, which in most cases is untrue. The yellow ribbon has been perverted in a similar way that the swastika symbol was taken from the Jewish faith and made into something sick and twisted. The yellow ribbon has become this generation's fascist icon.
- Sam, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Back then when they wrote the song TV was your (general Audience) biggest weakness. Now with all the documenterys of global warming, non organic food, and my most hated corporation Wal mart TV can be a strnegth point unless the Gov. manages to fully control it. Just don't watch the news ESCPECIALY Fox news. And I agree with Josh.
- Spog Zallagi, Blue Hill, ME
The band is right, don't mindlessly accept everything that's thrown in your lap -- but you also shouldn't mindlessly accept whatever Rage Against the Machine tells you.
Think for yourself, letting a band think for you is just as bad as letting the government or media think for you.
- Josh, New London, MN
i do believe that we are a nation controlled by global corporations or corperations in general. Buying the products that they want you to buy, live the "AMERICAN" dream, and most of all DON'T ever be against america. Rage against the machine is telling us to be against the "machine" if we feel it is corrupt, immoral, or wrong. Americans need to know that. Although i am thankfull to live in a country where our leaders aren't killing us, but or government is still messed up. George W. Bush needs to focus more on poverty and government opression than Iraq. We have enough problems here as it is. My mom graduated from Cal Poly with a political science degree and i am constantly reading her old college books on politics. I am 14 years old, that's all i have to say.
- Sean Hardesty, Arroyo Grande, CA
read George Orwell's 1984 and you'll see where Zack and alot of others get their ideas from
- Scott, Pittsburgh, PA
"The tradition -- the unspoken tradition: somehow you knew it, though you never heard it said -- was that they shot you from behind; always in the back of the head, without warning, as you walked down a corridor from cell to cell...

'...Then the time has come for you to take the last step. You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him.'

He released Winston with a little push towards the guards.

'Room 101,' he said. "
- Brad, Yuma, AZ
this isnt really related to the song, but they do a song called freedom which is about leonard peltier, the native american political prisoner who was a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the 1970s. during his "trial" for allegedly murdering two federal aggents, the judge was quoted saying "to stop the AIM we need to put a bullet in their head"
http://www.freeleonardpeltier.org
- Simon, Anchorage, AK
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