I listened to Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT and 21ST CENTURY BREAKDOWN albums over the past few mornings during some driving to work.. This is a traditional time for me to break out the old 2004 song WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS, and with the more recent inclusion of other tunes from the 21st CENTURY album, the commute ends up being quite short and loud.. While I did not generate a raucous singing career in my life yet, I certainly can pretend I am in a concert setting belting out the lyrics of the songs in my car…
At the time we listened to Billy Joe sing us a song of a century in 2004, we were in the midst of a daily fight about war and terrorism. In 2015, so many years on, it really has not changed. The villain of the century was killed, we’re told, by Navy Seals. Though Osama Bin Laden lost the ability to scare us, part 2 of the horror movie was made: ISIS is very real. And their atrocities earn nightly newscasts an NC-17 rating..
Music is vital in my life. I desire songs that mean something. Increasingly, I don’t think they do.
As a matter of fact, in my opinion, AMERICAN IDIOT was the last album that carried with it a big picture message that went beyond the typical tunes of love and carnal desires. The songs, each one, carried a spirit and lively message about death and destruction, terrorism and what it means for the future of American freedom. Or the lack thereof.. It was the protest songs of the century.
The album also meant a lot to me. I was listening to it when I got into a car wreck. I was listening to it when I drove my wife to the hospital when she was in labor with our son. I was listening to it afterwards.. I was listening to it during election days.. and I listen to it every year, as August ends and September begins..
September and October are my favorite months of the year. I love the weather and the seasonal changes that come as summer fades and the smells of autumn begin to fill the atmosphere on top of earth’s crust. School buses are back in season…for better or worse, another class of 15 is getting ready to fill the earth and populate it with employment—they hope.. and the class of ’18 is also beginning today too.. They are getting prepped to join a brave new world of technology and potentially life saving changes. Or employment ending robotics that will ensure a lifetime of dependency and thoughtless virtual reality.
The future is beginning now. It is now.
As September begins.
This September is going to be fascinating. There are conspiracy theories over blood moons, the Pope will make an historic visit to the United States, and dire warnings are sounding across the Internet about asteroids striking Puerto Rico and beginning the phases of destruction of the planet. Pretty weighty stuff. NASA has addressed the asteroid rumors twice now on record, stating unequivocally that there is no danger or disaster looming. Each time they say this, conspiracy sites link and post their words in verbatim not as proof the asteroid won’t strike, but as evidence that NASA is continuing to lie.
We will not know until September ends.. By the time October begins, the Pope will be in the Vatican and the moon will not be bloody. Or all the dire words of prophets and internet bloggers will be true.
In that case, I’ll be blasting my favorite songs and melodies that have meant something in my life.. like Billy Joel, Green Day, and ABBA.
A super trooper.. American idiot..piano man. All the songs of my century.
Wake me up when September ends.