Green Day: Bullet in a Bible DVD

In Visual Rhetoric we watched some excerpts from the Bullet in a Bible DVD (youTube it). My reaction is this:

It’s great that Green Day and other politically conscience icons are summoning youth to think about politics and “challenge authority,” but there are other dynamics that deserve consideration.

For instance, what are they really telling our youth? I asked a sixteen year old friend of mine what he thought Green Day was trying to convey in their song American Idiot. He said “that the president sucks.” “And voting?” I asked. His response was, “yeah, maybe. I won’t vote for a republican.”

What is the result of an increased number of voters listening only to the green media? Are they being persuaded? When younger generations do vote, my only hope is that the idea Billie Joe is guiding people towards will spur them to think for themselves; not just vote for the other guy, or girl, because this one doesn’t meet their approval.

Dr. Ruszkiewicz pointed out similarities to Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, a propaganda film of the 1934 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg, Germany. Same theatrics, different message: instead of influencing citizens to follow their führer to death, American Idiot is telling our nation’s youth to hate their president and rebel. Yes, in the seventy years since Hitler our world has changed considerably. What hasn’t changed is society’s desire to be united; and the use of media and ethos to facilitate that.

We are “controlled by the media,” right? That’s what Green Day says, but aren’t they a part of the media? Recently, Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of the The Killers, critiqued Green Day saying their new political message is nothing more than a stunt and “displays ‘calculated Anti-Americanism,'” according to Rolling Stone.

I admit it was a bit sad seeing all those UK fans cheering and going on about how America sucks. If it was a business strategy, appealing to their fan bases in other countries by speaking out against America, it worked. As shown by these Chart positions for American Idiot: #61 (U.S.), #3 (UK), #1 (CAN), #7 (AUS), #28 (GER).

4 thoughts on “Green Day: Bullet in a Bible DVD”

  1. whatever, more people trying to censor art. Ridiculous. There should be more songs about how america sux and how it is run by corporations. Unfortunately the corporate run radio would never let that happen. Thank heaven for the Internet. The last free speech left..for now.

    BTW:
    Dr. Ruszkiewicz actually compared green day with nazi propaganda?
    WOW. Dont speak out against your govt. nooooooo that would be bad. remeber the dixie chicks? and they didnt even do anything and yet all the conservative freaks still burnt their records.

    wow

    People don’t give us enough credit, we are way smarter than you ever were in high school. There’s far more to know.

  2. whatever, more people trying to censor art. Ridiculous. There should be more songs about how america sux and how it is run by corporations. Unfortunately the corporate run radio would never let that happen. Thank heaven for the Internet. The last free speech left..for now.

    BTW:
    Dr. Ruszkiewicz actually compared green day with nazi propaganda?
    WOW. Dont speak out against your govt. nooooooo that would be bad. remeber the dixie chicks? and they didnt even do anything and yet all the conservative freaks still burnt their records.

    wow

    People don't give us enough credit, we are way smarter than you ever were in high school. There's far more to know.

  3. It seems that making noise for the sake of getting heard even at the expense of the government is a bad way to become well-known. Wouldn't it be better to provide something more positive even if it is positive criticism. Hating your president is a message that has no purpose other than to make one'self angry at the world.

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