Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Age Against the Machine

Difficulty: 0

Dre: When you take the big view of our country's history,

America has gotten certain things right.

How can it be?

And one of the things we got the most right

is the First Amendment.

It's got freedom of religion, freedom of speech,

the right to assemble.

It's America's greatest hits written on cool paper.

It's these freedoms that ensure our voices are heard.

From the women's suffrage movement

that won women the right to vote in elections

to fighting Jim Crow laws

during the Civil Rights movement

to the anti-war demonstrations of the '70s,

Americans have a rich history of speaking truth to power.

And we all know real activism when we see it.

Dre, look. Junior thinks he's a modern-day Malcolm X.

If you're paying attention,

then you probably feel the same way I do.

It was true in the '80s, and it's still true now.

[Bleep] the police.

Dre: And this ain't it.

-- Captions by VITAC --

Brought to you by: Ford, Built Ford Proud

You know, Pops is gonna be pissed

that Junior's wearing his T-shirt.

He's allergic to baby powder.

I-I'm sorry,

but that's the only problem you have with that, Dre?

Look, Junior is a promising executive in the making

at a prestigious firm.

He can't go promoting messages like that

without considering the effect

that it's gonna have on the workplace.

[ Scoffs ] This workplace?


Okay. The place where women aren't allowed to say "cramps"?

[ Groans ]

[ Groans ]

It is icky.

Okay, look, I don't care

about what Junior has to say on the Internet.

Nobody does.

Over more than half his followers

are sitting in this room right now.

He is no Huey P. Newton.

Wait, but you're not proud of his activism?

So all anybody has to do is go on an IG rant

wearing a T-shirt they can't wear in front of their mother

and they're considered an activist?

That's a good point.

When I was Junior's age,

activism was taken seriously, alright.

We couldn't phone in our beef with the establishment.

Right. You probably had to fax in your beefs, right?

No. We had to be calculated and intentional.

You know, that's one of the reasons

I went to a Black college.

Because I wanted to be around like-minded people

who were down to do whatever it took to make change.

My college was the opposite.

It was full of like-minded people

who wanted nothing to change.

See, that's what I'm up against.

Whenever I made a statement, I didn't get likes,

I got smacked upside the head.

My ass was on the line.

Call me crazy, but it seems to me

like Junior is doing exactly what I imagine

you and your friends did at Black college.

Junior is just stunting for the 'gram.

Nothing more, nothing less.

And it's a Black college. Not Black college, okay.

I've told you that a million times.

If that's the case, Dre, why don't they play in bowl games?

Ohhhh, burn.

I know the difference between activism and in-activism,

and I knew which one I was gonna find when I got home.

We have to defund the police.

Then you can release the pressure from my neck

and put some respect on my name.

Give us, us free, justice and liberty.

[ Cellphone beeps ]

Junior, that was amazing.

Thanks, babe.

What the hell was that?

Oh, hey, Dad, you want to check out the video

that we made about defunding the police?

Okay, listen, Junior Van Peebles, alright.

Do you know how dumb you sound saying "defund the police"

in your mom's beret?

Okay, there is nothing stupid about getting the word out.

I'm doing the same thing as a lot of other activists.

Mr. Johnson, this is what getting involved looks like.

It is not just African medallions

and high top fades anymore.

And what are your goals?

And how much can you really trust social media?

Instagram is for White women posting their booty gains,

not for starting a revolution.

The revolution has to start somewhere.

A revolution can't start unless you have people on your side.

"Fight the power" was a clear message.

"Defund the police," what does that even mean?

It means redirecting the huge police budget

to fund school lunches, affordable housing,

unemployment assistance.

Okay, okay.

I'll ride with all of that,

but you have to sell it to the people

in a way that doesn't scare them.

Like when fast-food restaurants introduces salads,

they don't say they're "defunding the hamburger."

Okay, did you just compare police violence to hamburgers?

They both kill Black people!

Dad, you are getting too hung up on the words.

We are trying to change things

so that people don't get shot for running stop signs.


And freeing up some of the police budget

would mean that some of the potholes

you always complain about would get filled.

So you think your silly little rhymes

are gonna fix the streets?


What are you gonna fill those potholes with?


[ Scoffs ]

Son, if you want to fight the power,

you gotta get your hands dirty.

Look, Dad, we get it.

Back in your day, you watched a lot of Spike Lee movies

and everybody was sweaty.

You had your ways, and we have ours.


C'mon, Liv. Let's go re-do it.

My face looked a little weird in that last one.

[ Gasps ] Let's do it in front of that bush

that looks like the background of the Obama portrait.



Just as Junior and his beret

threatened the very sanctity of activism,

others in the Johnson gang seemed to have the right idea.

Alright, I think this gets my point across.

Yours looks way better than mine.

Um...almost all the words are spelled right.

Thanks. I really tried.


Hey, a bunch of us are about to go up by the school

and post some flyers about the upcoming march.

Wanna roll with us?


Or...yeah, I think I could swing it.

Alright, let's roll.

I only have four spots in my car.

Oh, cool. I mean, one, two, three, four, so...

Actually, one, two, three, four.

Oh. Uh...

Well, we were just gonna put up signs in the neighborhood,

so, uh, maybe you guys can do that.


Next protest, we're going to need

to make having a third row of seating mandatory.

Ruby: Hmph.

Listen to me.

That boy could be driving a motorhome,

there still wouldn't be enough room for two 15-year-old boys.

But we're small.

I'm fine sitting on a lap.


Freshmen girls are playing a different game than boys.

See, Diane's a flower, m'kay,

and right now she's in season, she's blossoming.

You're just a sapling

that hopefully one day becomes a tree.

But no one wants to hang around with freshman boys.

But Diane and I are twins.

You are.

But Diane's on a different path now, baby.

Okay, Grandma.

But so you know, we were triplets,

and she chose to absorb the other one.

So, I think we're good.

Yeah. A'ight.


Hi, babe.

Hey, baby. Now, look.

Can you believe your son?


Alright, he's trying to change the police and Medicare

and potholes with social media posts.

Of course he is, Dre.

Online activism works.

It has brought attention to police brutality

in a way that we've never seen before.

It's toppled dictators.

Ended Roseanne's career.

You should be proud of your son.

He's getting in "good trouble."

"Good trouble"?




I occupied the A building at Howard.

Junior is occupying my couch.

Dre, you sound so old right now, and you rarely sound young.

This makes your "Drake sings too much to be a rapper" take

look cutting-edge.

Dre, Junior has as much fire as you had at his age.

He's just using his voice differently.

Bow, protest without some sort of sacrifice is just words.

Ali, he lost the prime of his career.

King lost his life.

A-And what did the black squares that everyone was posting do?

Nothing. Huh? Nothing.

You want to know why, Bow?

Because it was just a gesture.

And that's exactly what our son is -- a black square.

You're proud of that, aren't you?

Eh, a little bit.


Yeah, just wish he was here for it.

Mm-hmm, of course.

I realized that Junior wasn't going to learn

how to really make a difference scrolling through his phone.

He needed me to set the example.

Hey, son, I want you to look at something.


What you're about to see is what happens

when you actually get your hands dirty.

This is clear, concise, and effective.

[ Upbeat music plays ]

Announcer: We at Stevens & Lido support Black business

and economic empowerment for the Black community at large.

Together, we can be the change we want to see in the world.

I've got Stevens & Lido to announce a plan

to provide pro bono ad services for Black-owned businesses.


That's it?

What do you mean, "That's it?"

Alright, we're -- we're gonna teach them to create websites,

organize media buys, build e-commerce capabilities.

Do you know how much that's gonna help us

keep Black dollars in Black pockets?

I think you're confusing Black capitalism with Black activism.


I get why you can't understand what I'm saying.

It's because I didn't say it in 150 characters or less, huh?

No, I get what you're doing.

I just feel like a lot of other companies

have made statements or donations.

It's not about what other companies did.

It's about me using my capital

to accomplish something concrete.

Son, I put my ass on the line at work.

This is how it gets done.

Or it's how you preserve the status quo.

Me, personally, I am more into burning it all down

and starting all over,

but, hey, you know, I get why you are not interested

in changing things that much.

What do you mean?

Come on, face it, Dad.

You've become "The Man."


Nice try, though.

I am not "The Man."

I am not "The Man"!


You are a Black Square!

Damn it, that did not have the sting I thought it would.

Okay. Alright, I think I got it.

Hey, babe.




You missed a place setting.

No, I didn't.

Yeah, you did.


Revolutionaries, they sit at the counter.


Alright, can you believe Junior called me "The Man"?

I registered voters in Compton,

I protested the LAPD after Rodney King,

and I went to the Million Man March.

You didn't go to the Million Man March.

I-I would've went had I not sprained my ankle.


Alright, but I watched every minute of it on C-SPAN.

And this one thinks I'm not radical enough.

[ Laughing ]

I distinctly remember having a similar conversation

with a certain young man who,

upon his return from his freshman year at Howard,

thought that he knew every damn thing.

And still do.

You and your radical friends

thought you knew just how to fix this country

and that people like me, who went to the March on Washington,

weren't being progressive enough.

You didn't go to the March on Washington!

I had a bus ticket but caught a cold.

Face it, Junior's generation has taken the baton.

It's their time to be on the front lines, Dre.

Okay, well, I'm not a back-of-the-line guy, alright,

and these aren't back-of-the-line times.

Well, then, you know what, Dre?

You need to get out there and do something.

Yeah, you got a point.


I need to find a way to get on the front lines, too.

Yes. And whatever you do,

you just make sure that you wrap up that bad ankle.

W-- [ Stammering ]

You know what, young lady?!

You've just earned yourself a spot

next to Junior Luther King Jr.

I can't believe so many people support Black Lives Matter now.

Yeah. It's like I can feel this country getting less racist.

I mean, there was the one guy who called us "Rush Hour Jr.,"

but I'd take that any day over a fire hose.

How did we beat Diane back?

They were in a car.

She stopped for food. It's on her IG.

What? I gotta give her a call.

[ Ringing ]

Diane: This is Diane. You know what to do.

She's ignoring you.

Oh, that's okay. She does that.

That's why we have the double call.

If I call her two times in a row, she knows to pick up

just in case I've locked myself in the trunk or something.


[ Ringing ]

This is Diane. You know what to do.

Yeah, she's not ignoring you.

She's ignoring you hard.

Olivia: Look, Junior, your tweet

about indigenous victims of police brutality

has been retweeted thousands of times.

People are engaged.

We're engaging people.

That's because you're just so charismatic.

You are.

[ Sensual music plays ]

[ Screeches ]

Put your hashtags up and listen up.

Alright, there is a protest downtown, and we're going.

You can't just post on social media

or expect companies to be responsible.

We got to show up.


Let's go, "Black Lives Matter."

C'mon, "Say her name."

We are taking this back to 1993.

Let's do this like Brutus 'cause we ain't new to this.

Come on! Let's go! Fight the power, boy!

Dre: Would "The Man" take time from work

and head downtown to march for the rights of others?

I don't think so.

Dre Johnson has always been down for the cause.

Oh, hey, Pops. Whoo!

Bow, babe, I can't begin to tell you

how great it felt to be out there today.

[ Chuckling ]

Look, it was like the old days.

You know, I think I might perm my hair

so I can be the next Al Sharpton.

No, or do you think I should get a press and curl like DJ Quik?

Ah, mm, mm, mm, don't worry about it.

I'll figure it out on the day.

Well, I'm really glad that you found your passion, Dre.

Obviously your place is in the streets.

Maybe, but hey.


I got to tell you something.

The streets done changed. You know what?

Everything was going fine

until these barista-looking White dudes showed up.

And that's when the police in riot gear

stepped to the front...


...while the cops with guns surrounded us.


A-And then this cold-brew, oat-milk-ass-looking White dude

threw his mountain bike through the window!

Oh, my God.

Yes, babe!

It was like the last scenes of the "Joker," alright.

And I saw this -- this dude approaching a cop car

with a lit newspaper.

That's when I got the hell up out of there.

That sounds crazy.

Yes, it was, babe.

And that's when I realized I'm a daytime protestor.

[ Chuckles ]

Oh, my God.

Well, I'm glad you got home safely, Dre.


W-Where are Junior and Olivia?


Where's our son?


Okay, wait a minute. Hold on, gimme a second.

He was standing to my left

when the bike went through the window.

Oh, my God.

Did you -- Dre!

Did you leave our son out there in a riot?!

Oh, yeah, um, I-I-I believe, uh,

the preferred term is "uprising."

You left our baby out there?

I'm your baby, too, Bow, and I have diabetes!

Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

Do you know how much blood sugar it takes

to say "No justice, no peace" for two hours?!

Bow, look at it this way.

He gets to get into that "good trouble"

that you kept going on about.

"Good trouble" can eat it, Dre.


He's my favorite.

Yeah, yeah. We know.

Dre, look, the cops don't see that as a group of people

that are fighting for change and justice.

They see them as a threat!

[ Cellphone ringing ]

Oh, my God, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Hey, hey, hi, Junior!

Are you okay?

Oh, God, thank God.

Okay, I-I didn't abandon you, son!

Okay, just hurry home, okay?

I'll see you when you get home.

Okay, bye.

You are not off the hook just because they're okay.

Don't be too hard on him, Rainbow.

Dre's been through something. It's very difficult.

Thank you.

And it has shown us who he truly is.

Yes, thank you.

A coward.

[ Sighs ]

You know what the weirdest part of it is?

Being out there with those kids today made me realize

that I don't have that fire in me that I once had.

And -- And marching with them, it didn't feel the same.

Wearing a $5,000 sweater to the protest

probably didn't help, either.

Okay, I'm being serious, Pops.


Alright, when I was younger, I wanted to take down the system.

But look at this, Pops. Look what we have, huh?

I have so much more to lose.

Damn it.

Maybe I am "The Man."

Oh, please!

A White man still signs your paycheck.

You are not "The Man."

Look, y'all. We all know change comes slowly.

And when you've been disappointed

over and over again,

it's hard to have faith to keep fighting.



Maybe you're right.

Junior's generation just hasn't had the football

yanked out from under them yet.

Maybe it'll be different for them.

Who knows?

But you? [ Chuckles ]

You thought you were "The Man"? [ Laughs ]


You're not even "The Man" in this house.

Hey, do you have a charger? I'm running out of juice.

[ TV turns off ]

Did you run your battery down

ignoring my phone calls and texts

while you were hanging out with Jeremy?

Man, Jeremy ended up being so lame.

I eventually had to bully him into buying me stuff.

Oh, thank God!

I can't believe Jeremy could be so corny.

What a waste of such good eyebrows.

I mean, he let his friend drive

so he can play "Where Is the Love" by the B.E.P.s

on his guitar while it was already playing on the radio.

No way.

Yes way.

What's worse is the only reason there wasn't room in the car

is because he puts a seat belt on his guitar

in the middle seat.

That guy is not a tree yet.

[ Sighs ] He's just a twig with a driver's license.



Oh, nothing, nothing.

Hey, do you want to hang out and watch "sMothered"?

It's like Mom and Junior have their own TV show.

Let's do it. Alright.

[ Cellphone chimes ]

Oh, it's Jason,

one of the guys that rode with us in Jeremy's car.


Oh, I can't believe he added me to the group chat!

Oh, no. What do I say?

I cannot play myself. I have to get this right.

The wrong string of emojis could be death by firing squad.

[ Breathing deeply ] Ooh, okay, um...

I have to focus. Uh, rain check?

[ Sighs ]

Oh, don't worry.

Your time will come, little one.

Once you're a senior and grow into those feet,

the world will be your oyster.

Come here.

[ Chuckles ]


Okay, uh...

You'll get there faster if you shower more.


[ Sniffs ]


Dad, you left way too soon!

No, son, I left right on time.

Tonight was something else.

Oh, I know.

Being in a crowd of thousands of all ages,

of all races with different backgrounds

with one common goal, it was so powerful.

Okay, son. You -- You do know I felt that way before, too.

You know, the -- the truth is,

you guys are moving a little fast for me.

But just know the work I've done

is just as important as the work you'll do.

You know, we'll never make real progress

unless we work together.

You're right.

You know, Dad, I've been thinking

about what you want to do with Black-owned businesses,

and I think it's a great idea.

Thank you, son.

You know, I can't take all the credit for it.

You know, as much as I was trying to make a difference,

I was also trying to make it easier

to get that good barbecue.

You know, Dad, not only

did you miss the real turn-up by leaving,

you also missed some pretty unbelievable moments.


Wow, what you got there?


I just wanna live

God protect me

I'm a young Black man

Doing all that I can

I just wanna live

God protect me

Just stay right by my side

I just wanna live

Come on, Dad, your voice could have a real impact.

Dre: I don't -- I don't know if you guys

want to hear from an old man like me.

Please, Mr. Johnson, you're our griot.

Share your knowledge.

I don't know about this.

Uh, just try it once and see how it feels.

[ Cellphone beeps ]


Howard is in D.C.

That helped me see the government can't see me.

Now I scream about cars and bars and wars,

standing in my drawers.

Oh, Lord, You delivered us from the back of the bus --

Sushi's here.

Whoo! Did you get the ponzu sauce?

I think you got it.

[ Snapping fingers ]

[ Cellphone beeps ]

I know you're probably not gonna agree with me,

but that was fire.

[ Chuckles ]

[ Groans ]

Post. Dang.

The Description of Age Against the Machine