In light of recent events, I feel that it is time to delve deeper into a certain song. Now, I know its a common fact, I love Green Day, I love BJA.. But, you can’t deny that their ability to question political correctness is something mentioning especially in times of such sheer fear and uncertainty.
Back in the USA, released on Green Day’s second Greatest Hits album, God’s Favourite Band (PREACH!!) is a binary outlook of stereotypical American culture. After all the controversy and outrage that was linked with Donald Trump’s presidency, amongst the ashes came this song, which clearly mocks the ideology of the ‘American Dream’.
The American Dream ideology seemed to spark Trump’s success in America, and Armstrong and Co rinse this and display, in the most leftist way, that this lifestyle is impossible and is a myth distributed by capitalists. I feel that this is an attempt to allow people to understand the chaos, and to encourage people to question beyond what we see in the news, what we are told by the governments and what we are encouraged to believe in retrospect of current affairs.
The music video starts as a very stereotypical 1950’s ad campaign, for the American Dream, then closely followed by an up-tempo drum and guitar instrumental which symbolises disarray to the lackadaisical lifestyle they seem to be leading.
Green Day are not new to the punk-political lifestyle, and have commonly used current affairs in previous song successes, (ie. American Idiot – George W Bush’s and his use of the media). The song claims that the government are responsible for creating a life where we feel ‘safe’, when really we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, especially those closed doors of the Oval Office.
The music video and song suggests that once we stop looking at life through rose-tinted glasses, we will be able to see more clearly, make our own judgements and not conform to societal norms purely because we are told to. It suggests to start speaking out, stand up for what you believe, and that conformity isn’t always the way forward.
I personally think Green Day have a very interesting influence on this world, they take Political Correctness and blow it apart, they aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe and they encourage difference against norms. It is an oppositional view to what we see in Western Media distributions and is an interesting take on politics in entertainment, potentially encouraging discussion and political debate.
Listen to Back in the USA here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9GSF3ROa58
Green Day’s Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqC_GY2ZiENFz2pwL0cSfAw
Green Day’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenday