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In the hellscape that is Twitter, where the worst ideas routinely rise to the top, you can tell if a tweet is truly awful thanks to a phenomenon known (to people like us who spend way too much on that site) as "The Ratio." Esquire
's Luke O'Neil defines The Ratio
thusly: "If the number of replies to a tweet vastly outpaces its engagement in terms of likes and retweets, then something has gone horribly wrong."
A Twitter user named Scott Castaneda of Rochester Hills achieved an impressive Ratio on Tuesday when he tweeted at Tom Morello, guitarist of political rap-rock band Rage Against the Machine, telling him to stay out of politics.
"I use to be a fan until your political opinions come out," Castaneda tweeted. "Music is my sanctuary and the last thing I want to hear is political bs when i’m listening to music. As far as i’m concerned you and Pink are completely done. Keep running your mouth and ruining your fan base."
Look at this beaut. Ten thousand-and-a-half replies to 1,300 likes. Textbook Ratio.
Aside from demonstrating... eclectic musical tastes (Rage and
Pink? In this economy?!), Castaneda's tweet is remarkable because, well, what machine did he think Rage Against the Machine were raging against exactly? The tweet was so uncanny that it led some to speculate that Castaneda could not possibly be real, and maybe was even a bot. Indeed, Castaneda tweeted rarely, mostly to post pro-Trump tweets, and had few followers.
So we put on our detective hat and did some sleuthing (aka we kept scrolling down his twitter feed). His very first post, from 2015, linked to a Facebook business page that had a 586 area code. We called it.
Incredibly, Castaneda picked up.
When told his tweet went viral, Castaneda says he was unaware.
"I'm just tired of hearing political stuff from these bands, even Pink, everybody else," he says. "It's one of those things where, can we just listen to music and just enjoy life? EDM, techno, rock, I get all kinds of different stuff, and that's my safe haven. I don't want to listen to political stuff. And once someone taints that for me, it just kills the mood."
We asked when exactly he was a fan of Rage Against the Machine — whose searing 1992 debut single "Killing in the Name" takes on police brutality, and whose debut album famously features a photo of a Buddhist monk lighting himself on fire as an act of political protest.
"I understand they've always been political, but it's getting worse and worse and worse," says Castaneda. "That's where I'm trying to get at. The whole thing is to the point where I'm ready to cancel out Facebook, Twitter, everything else. I don't even want to listen to this stuff anymore. So, no, I haven't checked my Twitter account. I rarely go on Twitter."
We advised he check his Twitter. By the time we finished this blog post, Castaneda had made his account private.
Morello had the last word, confirming that his music is, in fact, political, and always has been.
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