Who’s the American idiot being referred to? Well, as that curtain slowly rose, we heard the familiar voice of George W. Bush break through a haze of television chatter: “Either you are with us, or with the terrorists.” That kind of talk could bring out the heedless rebel in any kid, particularly one who is already feeling itchy at the lack of prospects in his dreary suburban burg.Malaise... <giggle>... see previous post.
But while “American Idiot” is nominally a portrait of youthful malaise of a particular era — the album dates from 2004, the midpoint of the Bush years, and the show is set in “the recent past” — its depiction of the crisis of post-adolescence is essentially timeless.
It's an odd business to be obsessing about George Bush when he's keeping such a low profile these days. He's hoping to fade into history, perhaps, but some people really miss him — miss him in the sense that they want him there in center stage to hate on, like back in the good bad old days. And now here he is, center stage, on Broadway, where they do punk rock. If there is a "malaise of [each] particular era," then I guess that says something about the one we're in.
ADDED: Sonicfrog blogs:
Ah, yes. The ggod ol’ days. Back when it was OK to hate the President. Of course, bashing Bush was not exactly edgy or breaking new ground by the time “American Idiot” came out – Dixie Chicks, Keith Olberman, and Rosie “fire has never melted steel” O’Donnell had already blazed that trail. What make the Green Day album notable was not the music – I doubt many could name a single song from the album, or hum one of the tunes – but the fact that the anti-Bush sentiment was marketed so prominently as a feature of the album.