In 1988, Axl Rose took the time to write a 6-minute-long song called "One in a Million" where he declared, using the most heinous slurs imaginable, that gay men, African-Americans, and immigrants were a personal nuisance to him. It's an appallingly ugly song, and if you were judging his politics on that alone, you might guess that his views dovetail with those of Donald Trump. He's apparently come a long way since, though. Unlike fellow white rock dude Kid Rock, Rose is surprisingly not here for the US President or his politics, consistently relaying anti-government criticism through his Twitter. ("The WH is the current US gold standard of what can be considered disgraceful" "What’s inappropriate is Ivanka Trump being part of the White House Administration" being a few choice barbs) His re-awokening, as it were, has found another target: the tech world.
Yesterday, Rose tweeted this flaming hot take about Apple COO Tim Cook:
It's unclear what the shot is responding to, but here's a guess. News broke this week that Apple would be discontinuing their iTunes LP format, a cool but minor feature of the service introduced in 2009 where some digital albums were packaged with art and liner notes as additional downloads and interactive features. The news was initially and mistakenly identified as everything from iTunes ending digital album downloads overall to a complete shutdown of the service. Whether Rose fell for the fake news or did some digging, it's likely that this is what made him pissed enough to resort to the 2010s version of Godwin's law. That or maybe he just shattered his phone screen after dropping a stack of unsold copies of Chinese Democracy on it. Now, Tim Cook is probably not the Donald Trump of the music industry, but Rose has started along the path of identifying who the real bad guys are here.
The evils facing our society are fascists, white supremacists (the former two overlap, obviously), and MRA types who comment "DOUBLE STANDARDS" on every news story covering sexual misconduct. All of these groups find ways to identify with Trump's ideologies, which is a big part of why he sucks shit. There's also the issue of tech-billionaires who wield absurd power but either have no fucking clue what do with it or decide to be raging assholes. Elon Musk managed to get a rocket off the ground but used it to send a luxury car to Mars. Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey have stood by as the oppressed are banned from their platforms rather than their oppressors. And Peter Thiel is so proudly a real-life villain that he named his company after the crystal balls used by literal dark wizards in Lord of the Rings.
If Rose has started to figure out that these dudes (again, not necessarily including Tim Cook) are just as bad as Trump, then perhaps we have a shot. Even "One in a Million," for all its putridity, is somehow a #conscious statement, as Rose said to Rolling Stone in 1992 that "it got people talking about racism." Truly, he is starting the real conversations here. He's not the hero we asked for, and he's probably not the hero we deserve, but he's all we have right now. Axl Rose, you're our only hope. To slightly alter one of your most famous lines: welcome to the Resistance, we've got fun and games.
Phil is on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Noisey CA.