Green Day, What The Hell Are You Doing?
When you think of Green Day, maybe you think of their ’90s heyday, where “Longview”, “Basket Case,” and “When I Come Around” ruled the radio. Maybe you think of “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” as it became the graduation song for the youngest of Generation X. Maybe you think of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool’s resilience or how they turned took punk-rock to Broadway with the Tony-Award winning musical American Idiot. But you probably don’t think of them as the perfect dudes to give advice on how to be a woman, right?
Green Day is rolling out “an inspiring homage and handbook for the rebellious everywoman who refuses to capitulate.” It’s called Last of the American Girls, named for a track of their 2009 album, 21st Century Breakdown. And here’s the cover art by cartoonist Frank Caruso.
First off, an American flag painted in an ‘X’ has distinctive Confederate vibes. Combine this with the Harper Collins description that declares the book, “a rallying cry for all rebel girls,” and it seems like Green Day is pandering to right-wing audiences. However, I suspect this is just a clueless miscalculation from the Trump-trashing trio. Well, the second. The first is assuming that punk-appreciating women want a handbook on how to be a lady rebel from a band of dudes.
The response on Twitter hasn’t been great for Green Day.
boys i love u with all of my heart and would happily take SEVERAL bullets for you but dont you think the main ''rule'' to being an independent woman in punk should be to, well, not be told how to live their lives by men who have no experience in what its like to live as a woman??— lina (@wedrovenorth) April 2, 2019
Lol no women/girls worked on this— rhea butcher (@RheaButcher) April 3, 2019
“Rebel girls unite”. Please, just stop. You are not Bikini Kill, nor do you have the right to capitalize off the creativity and work of women. Really disappointed in this.— Vickie (@V1i2c3k4i5e) April 3, 2019
Beyond the buzzwords, Last of the American Girls is less a handbook than an illustrated version of the song’s lyrics. It’s a 48-page graphic novel that’s seemingly meant to capitalize on female empowerment to earn the punk-rock band more green from the capitalist machine. Which, look how subversive can any American punk band with a long list of hits truly be?
I won’t begrudge Green Day from attempting to capitalize on their past hits by courting the nostalgia of fans who are now parents, raising little punks of their own. Still, Green Day could have—at the very least—hired a female artist so their supposed message of female empowerment rang less hollow.
Source: Rolling Stone
Header Image Source: Getty
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