and there's nothing wrong with me
this is how i'm supposed to be
in a land of make believe
that don't believe in me
What is it about rock operas? Think of Tommy. A vaguely Christ-like figure who struggles through tribulations and eventually inspires the adoring throngs. Think of Jesus Christ Superstar. A vaguely Christ-like figure who struggles through tribulations and eventually inspires the adoring throngs. Think of Quadrophenia. A vaguely . . . Christ, I'll bet even Pete Townshend himself couldn't tell you what that was all about. Think of Kilroy Was Here, by Styx.
Check that. We won't think of Kilroy Was Here, by Styx. Thank you. Domo arigato. (Nooooooooooooooooo!)
Which brings us to Green Day's American Idiot. A vaguely Christ-like (albeit with more drugs and swearing) figure who struggles against anything you got. He doesn't like war, or Dubya, or consumerism, or the media, or time-share condo deals. (OK, I made that last one up, but he'd probably be against 'em, too.) For those interested in more description than I'm willing to come up with, Wikipedia fleshes it out somewhat. Here's my favorite part: (Emphasis mine.)
Homecoming: Eventually Jesus decides to abandon his St. Jimmy identity, which he had been using as a crutch. In order to abandon his title, Jesus symbolically "kills" St. Jimmy in a personal kind of suicide. (I)
Following St. Jimmy's death, Jesus gets arrested on East 12th St. (II) (East 12th Street is a real location of a police station in Oakland, California, where Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong had to fill out paperwork for his DUI in 2002) . . .
All grist for the mill, eh, Billie?
And musically speaking, Green Day's at the top of its game here, writing tuneful, punchy anthems with more hooks than a fisherman's tackle box.
Warning: Cigarette smoking! By young people! Also: partial nudity in the service of meaningless, joyless sex; alcohol and drug-related references; violence. But priorities, people, priorities -- cigarettes!