I’ve been trying to figure out just what the hell Green Day is singing about in the song “American Idiot”, so I googled and found the lyrics here.
I figured it was some kind of Lefty, Moore-ish rant. Truth be told, I can’t make heads or tails of it.
Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Everything isn’t meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.
Convincing them to walk you.
Who’s the idiot: Americans who support Bush and the War on Terror, the kids who buy their CDs or the songwriter who can’t get his message across? Convincing them to walk you? What, is that supposed to mean that I’m a poodle? Can I be a Rottweiler? But you said “we’re not the ones who’re meant to follow”. So… WTF?
Punk is about being direct. I thrashed at an Exploited show where the British hardcore band sang “F*** the USA”. You can’t get more direct than that. The lead singer got hit in the head with a beer bottle during that show too. One has to love Freedom of Expression.
I still listen to the Dead Kennedy’s and Minor Threat. I’ve pared back on the Goth because honestly, I’ve got plenty of drama in my life without needing to make more up. And I love my trance techno – even if it is the musical equivalent of a jackhammer. And there’s still the odd moment when I crank Ozzy Osbourne or Ted Nugent. Yes, an idiot I know once said something wise once: “The music you listen to at 16 will be the music you’ll listen to for the rest of your life”. Smart man, that idiot.
Every time I hear about how Left American university campuses are, I think of this lyric from the Dead Kennedy’s Holiday Classic, “Holiday in Cambodia”:
Play ethnicky jazz
To parade your snazz
On your five grand stereo
Braggin’ that you know
How the niggers feel cold
And the slums got so much soul
Yep, Jello Biafra used plain speech to get his point across. So what is with Green Day’s artsy crap?
Punk is sure dead if Green Day claims the mantle of “Punk Band”.
It just dawned on me this morning who the true American idiot is: The kid who listens to Green Day, whines about Bush – then doesn’t vote.
If you want change, you have to do more than listen to a song about it. You have to do more than slap an anti-Bush bumpersticker on your car or post at SmirkingChimp.
Why didn’t these kids vote? I think it’s because their parents couldn’t do it for them.
Go ahead. Listen to Green Day. Whine about your world. Then do absolutely nothing about it.