Monday, May 23, 2005

Musical Stupidity

Jiggidy was just generally having issues so I posted this for him:

BYOB – Bring Your Own Brains

“The representative from California will now have the floor.”
‘Sieg heil to the president gas man. Bombs away is your punishment.’”

Why do bands ruin perfectly good songs (and even more often, horrible songs) with back-assward, incoherent political statements?

The first song we’ll look at is the “punk rock” band Green Day’s song entitled “Holiday.” First off, let’s get one thing straight; Green Day is as punk rock as Michael Jackson is a good father. I’m sure Johnny Rotten is rolling over in his grave hearing that the title of punk rock band is being bestowed upon “heroin-sheik-makeup-wearing,” MTV-appearing, $45 minimum ticket-charging posers. (For those of you who don’t know how the music industry works, the majority of money a band keeps comes from concerts, with only nominal income coming from record sales.) Now don’t get me wrong, back when they released “Dookie,” they might have been able to claim punk, but when their “Time of your Life” ditty is heard at graduation and prom…? C’mon, I’ve never heard of anyone receiving their diploma to the Pistol’s “God Save the Queen.”

During the usual ramblings of “war for oil,” “people dying needlessly,” etc., etc., Green Day’s lead singer, Billy Joe Armstrong, has decided to put an interlude into the song. During this time, the following words are spoken:

"The representative from California has the floor"

Sieg Heil to the president gasman
Bombs away is your punishment
Pulverize the Eiffel towers
Who criticize your government
Bang bang goes the broken glass and
Kill all the fags that don't agree
Trials by fire, setting fire
Is not a way that's meant for me
Just cause, just cause, because we're outlaws yeah!

Now obviously, this is a very clever stab at the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Let’s break this down a little bit and look at what Green Day is implying.

First, Arnold is not a representative. He is the “chief executive of the state.” Second, and here is where things start to get real ignorant and border-line prejudicial, the first two lines that Arnold speaks are definitely implying a Nazi-like view of Arnold. Looking at Arnold’s background, we find that he was born in Thal, Austria; a country which just happens to be Germany’s first country that they invaded and occupied during World War II. I’m sure that the Governator appreciates those Nazi implications after his home was terrorized by them. In addition, it is obvious that Green Day fails to watch any present-day news (even CNN reports it), and thus, would fail to notice that it was in fact Saddam Hussein who has used gas and chemical weapons, and not W. or Arnold. Of course, a song that deals with the “Anfal” (spoils) operations that Saddam perpetrated wouldn’t be as catchy to an MTV audience. If by “gasman” they are referring to “oil and gas,” obviously they’ve not heard about (or selectively forget about) the Chirac-led improprieties and scandals involving Saddam and “Oil for Food.”

Second, we have never “pulverized the Eiffel towers,” let alone a single tower of Eiffel. In fact, if I remember correctly, we kind of saved their toad-sucking arses during a small conflict called World War II. Just as they have the right to criticize our government and overlook their own involvement in the “Oil for Food” scandal, we should be allotted the same ability to rename our fries to “Freedom Fries.”

Green Day continues to move on and discuss national politics by talking about “killing fags who don’t agree.” I’m sure that they are just using “fag” for shock value, but why would they then perpetuate the very prejudices that they are obviously thinking they’re eradicating? While gay marriage is currently being debated, besides Germany’s inclusion of homosexuals during the “Final Solution,” I’ve never heard of Arnold or W. killing anybody based upon their sexual preference. Denying a marriage license is a little less severe than murder.

Finally, the greatest line “…because we’re outlaws. Yeah!” Wow, that’s some hard-hitting crap right there. Unless you count pot-smoking or excessive talk about masturbation in song lyrics, I doubt you can count Green Day as outlaws.

Maybe Green Day should just hold a meeting with Carson Dailey and begin to embrace their pop status and MTV audience. Maybe then we won’t have to deal with them trying to hold on to their punk ethos by writing crap songs.

The second group that just sucks the life out of any decent music appreciation is System of a Down. Don’t get me wrong, when I head to the gym and want to hear some fast, hard music, one or two of their songs might make the mp3 player, but it’s only ‘cause I don’t have to listen to their lyrics.

System of a Down has recently released a new album with a song called “B.Y.O.B.” I’m not sure if this stands for anything really clever, but I’m doubting it and didn’t want to waste minutes of my life looking it up. BYOB is full of imagery about “blowing up the sunshine,” “hypocritic and hypnotic computers,” and “dancing in the dessert,” but they have several lines that are particularly idiotic and just plain wrong.

Blast off, it’s party time
And we all live in a fascist nation
Blast off, it’s party time
And where the f### are you, where the f### are you, where the f### are you?
Why don’t the presidents fight the war?
Why do they always send the poor? [repeated about 6 times]

The definition of fascism is: “a totalitarian political system led by a single dictator who allows no opposition, promoting an aggressive nationalism and often racism.” The last I checked, we still have are three-pronged government system of checks and balances and while yes, national pride has increased since 9/11, I don’t see how flying an American flag or eating “Freedom Fries” could be construed as racist. I have the full right to hate Muslim extremists who wish us harm just as I do to hate pedophile Catholic priests or Christian extremists who blow up abortion clinics. That doesn’t mean that I’m racist or hate all Muslims, Catholic priests, and Christians or even that I have any preconceived notions about any of those groups.

As someone who grew up in a military family, the last two lines are absolutely insane and ludicrous. I’m sure that W. would rather get a pair of boxing gloves and head over to Iraq, have “The Rumble in Babble,” and lay a Texas-sized whooping on Saddam than send our brave troops over there and take care of it. One question though: Do you think though that after W. settled the score that that crazy-f who was Saddam’s Information Officer would’ve given up and gone home? What about his crazy, murderous sons? Doubt it.

“Why do we always send the poor?” I was wondering that myself. Then I did a little research into our military recruiting and found that we don’t. In fact, we don’t even force people to go into the military and in an even bigger conspiracy, we PAY our soldiers. Now granted, I know that military pay is not on par with that of a C-level employee at BankOne, but I also know that we’re not just rounding up everyone who makes less than $40,000 a year, giving them rifles, a pat on the butt, and telling them “Shoot that way.”

Amazingly, people even volunteer for military service. Look at the late Pat Tillman. That man, the truest hero of our day, was a millionaire and selflessly gave up a multi-million dollar contract because of his love for this country. According to System of a Down, before being shipped off, Rumsfeld would’ve gone to Pat and said, “Listen Pat, unfortunately, you have a lucrative pro football contract and are a millionaire. At this time, though, we’re only sending poor people.” Yeah, right.

As a side note, the United States has a volunteer military. That means that whether you’re rich, poor, white, black, whatever, you can volunteer for military service and if you don’t volunteer, you won’t have to worry about getting drafted in the foreseeable future. In fact, the draft ended in 1973 and the selective service was placed in “deep standby” for a number of years until reactivated by President Carter in 1980. http://www.sss.gov/wmbkgr.htm gives a pretty full explanation on its history.

I have a great love for music and a great respect for those that can do it well, but loose accusations based on ignorance or rhyme schemes is appearing to get out of hand. Obviously, with these bands making millions of dollars on record sales and concerts, they don’t have that much to rebel against. Creating false accusations such as Nazi-governors and fascist agendas obviously helps their creative process.

Why are these idiots the only ones who get to sling mud and spew forth arguments based in crap? Why can’t decent Americans call these bands and actors racist, prejudiced, and slanderous idiots? Since when has been being “PC” given you the right to create false accusations? These idiots need to stick to what they’re good at until they can start speaking and singing intelligently.

5 comments:

kdc said...

Nice post. Green Day are a bunch of friggin commie pricks.

Webproze said...

Just one note...I think you meant to say Sid Vicious when you said "I bet Johnny Rotten is rolling in his grave...". Johnny isn't dead. Check out his site at http://www.johnlydon.com/jlhome.html

Derek W. said...

Great post! I really enjoyed reading it, and for the most part I agree.

Jason said...

For what its worth, you misquoted the BYOB line about this being a fascist nation.. from the liner notes and the official site, the verse reads:

"Blast off
It's party time
And we don't live in a fascist nation"

Not that it will change your opinion in the least, but I thought I'd set the record straight.

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