This boils my blood.
They were bored and stoned; they reacted to the world around them with a shrug of the shoulders, a smirk and a series of one-fingered salutes. Green Day harnessed that disenchantment on the 1994 landmark “Dookie,” a 15-million-selling juggernaut of bratty black humor.
No. They absolutely did not react with “a shrug of the shoulders.” Take a look at the lyrics from one of my favorite Green Day songs, She:
She’s figured out
All her doubts were someone else’s point of view
Waking up this time
To smash the silence with the brick of self-control
Are you locked up in a world
Thats been planned out for you
Are you feeling like a social tool without a use
Scream at me until my ears bleed, I’m taking heed just for you.
These are not the words of someone who doesn’t care goddamn it. These are the words of someone who is acutely fucking aware of another’s pain and is ready to share in the burden at their own expense.
Music journalists are so full of shit sometimes. Forcing music they cover into convenient boxes that fit their clever agenda. Yes, Green Day rose to prominence on the cheekiness and “bratty black humor” of songs like Longview, but Dookie wasn’t about turning your back on the decay. It’s sharp observations were intended to lampoon the suburban ennui, the absentee parents, and the moral erosion that caused the hurt. I was never surprised when the band, no longer teenagers, began assuming that same responsibility and calling the world to action. If they had the power when they were 16 I have no doubt they would have. It was just a matter of putting the reins in their capable hands.