I was never as big of a fan of Green Day as many people my age. Most friends I know claim their first CD purchase as Dookie. Mine was Weezer’s blue album (I will also admit under duress that I received Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” as a GIFT. But I digress). There is also the chance that I wasn’t allowed to buy Dookie when it came out because it had a parental warning sticker on it. And my mom was really into Tipper Gore. Well, until her husband ran for president.
I was always sort of ambivalent toward Green Day, even though my brother’s heart was set alight by the mere thought of them. I saw them once or twice in college and was happy I got to before they died or broke up or I don’t know, sold their souls to make you, the American Idiot musical.
Journalist I ain’t, but when I saw a medley of this travesty on America’s Got Talent (I don’t want to talk about why I was watching this show, I just want to know how two British people and the guy that made up “Bobby’s World” can tell America who’s talented), I had to research into exactly why I was assaulted so.
I assumed that Green Day must have signed some unfortuate contract many, many years ago when the rent was hard to come by and their tour van had broken down. I had to believe that. There must be a major-label contract out there that said, Oh yeah, in about 15 years or so, we’re going to pervert some of your material into a mess of dance numbers and prolonged solos and then show it on America’s Got Talent, well, because by then there will only about 15 people who don’t believe you sold out and that will take care of them.
That’s when I discovered you were actually their idea. You were their idea. You were their idea. No, really, you were their idea.
I was aghast. And not because I held Green Day in some regard as a cultural touch point. But because you were so, wrong. I could fathom that there has ever been a person in the history of history, musical theater enthusiast or not, who would have believed this was a great idea. I have made poops better than the shit I heard coming out of the television set.
I could just end this letter by saying, “Who is the real American Idiot? Us or you?” Bu you know what, I don’t care to know the answer.