/This post has been commandeered by guest blogger Don Bito/
I’d like to make Green Day the winners of my first ever Most Depreciated Band award (unless someone can come up with a better name for the inverse of a “Most Improved” award, b/c I cannot). As Exhibit A, I present their most recent smudge of psuedo-revolutionary dreck, Know Your Enemy.
I don’t know about Green Day, but MY enemy is 3 lines of melody masquerading as a song. Have you seen that anywhere? Sneaky bastard. Definitely gives me violent urges.
But the thing about this song that really pushes it into the category of “unforgivable travesty” is its message. You would think that after 3 full minutes of Billie Joe Armstrong screaming directives at you, you would at least know what that message is. Why don’t you? If you haven’t figured it out already, give the lyrics a read (it won’t take long) and see if you can’t pin down where exactly Know Your Enemy goes horribly wrong.
Yes readers, it’s true. While the boys of Green Day obviously think it imperative that you “know your enemy” – because, as they eloquently put it, you “gotta know the enemy” – they fail to give us even the tiniest inkling of who, exactly, “the enemy” is. Maybe they don’t know. More importantly, they couldn’t care less.
Green Day has successfully co-opted the directionless, adolescent anger of their punk roots and turned it into vacuous psuedo-revolutionary rhetoric to be hawked for profit. (This worked out pretty well for them during the Bush administration, when it was indeed difficult to pick only one focus for political ire.) Know Your Enemy is the ultimate hypocrisy, even more so coming from the mouth of a man who has long railed against hypocrisy and who used to encourage fans to think twice before doing something simply because someone else says you should.
It’s f*cking insulting. And I’m not even a huge Green Day fan. But I’ve heard your music, Billie Joe. You can’t tell us for years and years that we need to be discriminating about which social influences we choose to obey, and then try to incite us to violence by hollering a few boring lines at us about an amorphous enemy. The really sad part is that after years of making a name for yourself as a semi-respectable non-conformist, now you want to play at being a counter-culture prophet by exploiting those who are still willing to listen to you spew badly-written bullsh*t.
Attention Green Day fans: The band is using fear (of conformity, of authority, of “the enemy”) to try and get you to break sh*t while they sit pretty on the millions you’ve given them. Does that sound familiar to anyone?
Billie Joe, your faux-corporate-stooge shirt-and-tie look is no longer ironic. It’s time to give it a rest.
/Don’t forget to email the best of your pop dos and don’ts to firstname.lastname@example.org//