Reasons why Green Day makes me happy:
- Nostalgia. I remember being sixteen and listening to Dookie (on Thrash magazine’s recommendation) with my best friend at 2 a.m. in the alley behind his house, being cautiously impressed, taking notes, and deciding in our extra-serious way that overall we could call it good solid skater-punk with a sense of humor. And we were sure that they’d been to Detroit, after hearing “Welcome to Paradise”.
- Hope. Now it’s 15 years later and they’re even better. Better lyrics, cleaner and tighter music, and they haven’t lost a shred of their punkness or humor. They’ve even gotten cuter, if you ask me. Maybe I’m improving with age too, eh?
- Energy. Jobs and kids and money and too much food and stability suck the energy right out of most grownups. Music like this puts it back, without needing the illusion of youth — like early Rage Against the Machine songs, smart people can get behind this, and get energetic about it, without feeling like they’re going backwards or forgetting what they’ve learned.
- Message. It’s not easy for loud fun rock to carry a message without losing either the message or the rock, but damn, these guys are handling it beautifully. I find myself wanting to wear their t-shirts specifically for other adults to see. I’m memorizing the lyrics, not in the this-is-fun-to-sing way I usually do (I’m an obsessive lyrics-memorizer, heh), but in the this-is-important-I-might-need-this way I reserve for things I might, you never know, one day have to scream at a crowd or a politician. ;)
- Synchronicity. “Silence is the enemy” is both a central line in the catchy new single, and the title of a very important movement that I’m going to be working to help out. Silence has allowed the systemic mass rape of young women to persist unchallenged in many parts of our world, and with the exception of Doctors Without Borders and the Silence Is The Enemy movement, almost nothing is being done to either protect or treat the victims. Work on that, in your mind: Thousands and thousands of rape victims, often victimized multiple times, often waaaay underage, and not a shred of help or hope or medical services available to any of them. Entire cultures so influenced by war and little else that men grow up with no information to contradict the idea that grabbing the nearest likely-looking girl or woman and forcing her isn’t a perfectly reasonable way to handle an annoying hard-on. Silence allows that. Our silence, the silence of people who know better. Government silence. Business silence. Media silence. Monetary silence. Women’s silence, and men’s.
Silence IS the enemy — and loud music, one of my favorite things in this world, can be part of the cure!
…Also, an update on something unrelated (except to Energy I guess) — I seem to be losing some weight! Not sure if it’s the Shaolin Workout specifically, or just the few changes I’ve managed to make stick from the Losing Weight While Being Fine post, or simply the Lots of Extra Exercise In General I’m getting. But I feel great, and I’m getting stretchier by the day, and now I’m losing a little love-handle and seeing some stomach-muscle definition. Woot!