Despite the fact that Green Day is one of the bands that I detest the most, I was hoping that there was no way Green Day could possibly annoy me much further, but a recent article from NME has shown otherwise. Apparently the members of the band, and this is especially true of frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, are worried about video games becoming increasingly violent (and for some reason they’re worried about mixed martial arts being shown on TV), and they’re concerned that violent video games might take a mental toll on their children.
Ladies and gentlemen, Green Day have officially drunk the Kool-Aid and have become the kind of moral guardians that their target audience has always hated. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard the whole “violent video games will corrupt our children’s minds” malarkey, and at this point they sound like Wayne LaPierre, the former head of the NRA who likened violent video games with “the sickest form of pornography”.
They claim that video games are becoming so violent that they will scar children, which was the standard authoritarian conservative line just a decade ago. Of course, they’re ignoring the statistics that would tell them that video crime has actually decreased as the sale of violent video games have gone up. There is also no evidence to suggest that video games cause psychological harm to children, so how Green Day can come to the conclusion that violent video games are bad for children, with no proof at all by the way, is just baffling.
At this point, it’s fair to assume that Green Day can no longer be considered the edgy anti-establishment “punk” band that they profess themselves to be. Then again, I never considered them to be cool at all, not even when I was a kid. In fact, I would argue that they were never as edgy or anti-establishment as people might they were, being that they’re a pop-punk band. I’ve written about my opinion of the band before, and how they’re basically a “corporate punk” band (think corporate rock bands with a punk image and you should get the picture), but I didn’t think they would start becoming old men yelling at clouds, as bassist Mike Dirnt seems to be indicating.
Known for their political posturing, Green Day are about as left-wing as it gets (their album American Idiot reads like typical whining, leftist America-bashing nonsense), but their kind of politics isn’t exactly edgy. Even when George W. Bush was president the media and pop culture have always had a left-wing bias, and in that climate, Green Day became media darlings for telling their audience exactly what they want to hear. The problem, however, is that they’re morphing into moral guardians and SJW’s in order to appeal to the next generation, but instead they sound like the boring progressive establishment. You have their frontman Billie Joe Armstrong yelling on about how Donald Trump is “worse than Hitler” just because he doesn’t like him (which is what everyone else in the media wants you to believe), and now he comes across as a progressive preacher whose politics may as well have come straight from Buzzfeed.
Sadly, Green Day are a good example of a band that had long past the point where they were relevant, and are now hopelessly trying to stay relevant, even if that meaning appealing to the social justice crowd. The problem is that most young people like video games, and I’m willing to bet that a big chunk of Green Day’s fans are also gamers, and you won’t exactly win over young people by acting like Jack Thompson. Also, I’m sure most people are tired of hearing leftists like Billie Joe Armstrong jabber on about how America is awful, and I’m sure its even more insulting to hear it coming from a manchild who pretends to be a punk just to appeal to young people. That’s all I really have to say on this. Then again, they didn’t exactly say much, but it speaks volumes about the band’s attitude (or lack thereof), and of how desperate they are for attention. At this point, they’re basically just shouting into the air, as I might as well be trying to read into this.