Monday, March 02, 2009

Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown

The poetry is fully American. This could have been from the pen (blog?) of Walt Whitman were he alive today: “I am a nation, a worker, a pawn - my debt to the status quo. The scars on my hands are a means to an end, it's all that I have to show.” The musical composition starts with an acoustic piano soon joined by a drummer, until a wall of guitars blasts me out of bed and say shout wake up! It’s a new week! The promise of a new world is still reverberating in the air, though quickly diminishing. “My generation is zero. I never made it as a working class hero.” It’s hard to even think back a few generations ago when people could actually work at a job long enough to retire and be working class. That position in society is no longer there, it’s difficult to find a business that’s been around 30 years, much less a job position that will be around that long. And to be honest, I’m glad I don’t have to live long enough to deal with the bills and horrible pain that today’s deficit spending will create. I feel really bad for my children and grandchildren – and hate the fact that my fellow boomers, who used to be peace loving hippies, want everything NOW – bail out the rich and give them future taxes NOW so they can keep their bonuses at $500,000 a year and dribble pennies ($65 a month according to Obama) to keep the poor ‘pleased’ with the fact that we’re robbing the future to enjoy ourselves today. “I once was lost but never was found.” Optimistic pessimism reigns. “From Mexico to the Berlin wall – homeland security can kill us all.” Symbols, yes; but relevant ones. The military industrial complex uses crisis and threats of crisis to keep the wars moving on. I’ve been alive 54 years, and realized when Obama announced he’s changed his mind about bringing the troops home (well, to be honest, he’s saying that he never really said that), that there has never been one day since I’ve been alive that my country has not been at war somewhere in the world, declared or not. In truth, since I’ve been alive Congress has never declared war. It’s always the “commander in chief” who does it Clearly against our constitution, which means it’s clearly illegal. And all the artists can do is declare their angst loudly. Keep at it Green Day. Maybe we can’t change the path the military has chosen for us. But we can keep on rocking and rolling and shouting along with you. “I think I'm losing what's left of my mind” Thanks! PS I love the break. Bring on the revolution of being able to think critically, even if you must express it ironically! “Oh dream, American dream, I can't even see the rainstorms 'til dawn. Oh bleed, America bleed, believe what you read from heroes and cons.” Green Day