Times Have Changed

August, 2004.

That’s the month Green Day released the first single off it’s iconic pile of crap known as American Idiot. The catchy little tune about how evil and stupid Republicans are became a quick hit. Sitting right there in the middle of our pop culture and, therefore, in the middle of our minds just before the election was the line “don’t wanna be an American idiot”.

August, 2012.

That’s the month that Passion Pit’s Take A Walk is┬áreceiving┬ámajor play on rock stations across the country (I’ve personally heard it on Philly’s Radio 1045 & DC101) and is even featured in a Taco Bell commercial. Take A Walk is, basically, the story of a man trying to make in the county he loves dearly while he struggles to provide a better life for his kids than he had. The only animosity in the song is directed at all the taxes he has to pay. And so this time around what we may have sitting in the middle of our minds just before the election is the line “we can rip apart those socialists and all their damn taxes”.

Yea. Times have changed.

Certainly there have always been bands on both side of the isle that are all politics all the time. And, obviously, most of the entertainment industry leans liberal. However, in 2004 you had a band in Green Day that wasn’t blatantly political produce a hit song that most certainly was. This time around you have a band in Passion Pit that isn’t blatantly political produce a hit song that most certainly is.

The difference between 2004 and now is the message of those blatantly political songs. Green Day’s message was one that decried America as an awful place filled with idiots who are blindly following a red neck agenda. Passion Pit’s message is one that decries our the overbearing taxes that prolong our economic suffering. Obviously, something is different. Perhaps our country has turned conservative and so has some of our culture?

And, to drive the point home, it should be noted that Green Day has a new single out too. It’s called Oh Love. And, guess what? It’s utterly devoid of any political message whatsoever.

Times have changed. It’s safe to turn on your radio again.

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Stephen Gutowski

Stephen Gutowski is an award-winning political reporter who got his start in 2009 when he founded this blog.

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