Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer and guitar player for the band Green Day, expresses how influential the media is in Green Day's hit single American Idiot. Don't want to be an American idiot. One nation controlled by the media (Armstrong). Political and social activisms are two aspects of Americans' lives that define our country. The American people derive many of their political and social views from sources of mass media, media is an important source of information for introducing and replicating a society's dominant ideologies (Holtzman 34). In the most recent presidential election, a significant amount of press time was spent focusing on the younger voting population, people aged 18-24. This age group is heavily influenced by the music they listen to everyday. One popular genre of music associated with this age group is pop-punk. Pop-punk music is a growing phenomenon springing out of the mid to late 1970's punk generation.
[...] The 1970's provided a base for socially and politically active musicians which has grown and evolved into the pop-punk genre. The exact origin of the pop-punk genre is still being pieced together. Bands such as The Descendants, The Class, and The Ramones, sprung up from the late 1970s into the 1980s. In the middle of the 1990s bands such as Green Day and Rancid popped out of Southern California along with Blink 182 and The Offspring and pop-punk went under major construction. [...]
[...] In several of Fall Out Boy's songs they reference depression and suicide: “sometimes we take chances, sometimes we take pills” (Hum Hallelujah), ribbon on my wrist says not open before Christmas'” (Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued). These lyrics relate directly back Wentz's personal struggle with depression. He references to taking pills in order to feel “normal”. The ribbon lyric corresponds with cutting wrists or a possible attempt at suicide. Green Day joins in with the references to depression in their songs, walk this empty street on the boulevard of broken dreams” (Boulevard of Broken Dreams). [...]
[...] In addition, a mini series shown on MTV in between shows featured Wentz and the three other members of Fall Out Boy in groups of young adults asking questions about the election, what they look for in a president, and ways in which young adults can get involved. Another political issue that has encumbered America is the war in the Middle East. This war affected Americans all over the country, including Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer and guitarist of Green Day, another pop- punk band who expressed their view of America's involvement in the war in their most recent album American Idiot. [...]
[...] Bands such as Fall Out Boy and Green Day use their power as public musical figures to influence young adults to get involved. Websites such as Invisible Children and TWLOHA raise awareness to teens of the ongoing injustices in our country and world and provide ample ways to get involved and help solve these issues. Without the strong notions of pop punk artists and its listeners, issues of war, teen depression, suicide, and global hunger may go unnoticed. It is up to the people with power, like Pete Wentz, to show today's young Americans what they can do to get involved. [...]
[...] time to influence young adults, and the cultural affects of this music scene. Punk music has changed tremendously over the past 30 years in regards to style of the music and artist, performance, and the audience in which they target. The punk scene began in England in the late 1970's. The main followers of the genre were those who had been struck down by Britain's falling economic status. The people felt they had future” (Henry 1). Having no future later became one of the universal slogans of the punk genre. [...]
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