346: Green Day

This comic is totally absurd.  No one reads newspapers anymore.  Oh, and because that incident with the record store happened back in 1997, but you know...  Yesterday's sketch reminded me how much fun drawing in black and white was, so I wanted to do it again these next few days.  We'll be having a couple more comic about Green Day coming up, too.

Green Day's punkness has always been one of the most confusing things ever, because it's fucking impossible to tell just how punk they really are.  I was originally going to do a whole Full Page Rant about whether or not Green Day was really punk, but I wasn't able to do it, because in the end I couldn't even answer that question for myself.  Literally half the stuff they do seems super punk, while the other half makes them look like total sellouts.  And then sometimes they'll do non-punk things for totally punk reasons, and then they'll do punk things for the totally WRONG reasons.  They are simultaneously the most punk band ever and the biggest sellouts in the world.  Two people could be arguing, one saying that Green Day is punk and one saying that they aren't, and literally BOTH OF THEM would be right.  For instance, one of the things that people like to criticize the most is their shift in musical style that began with American Idiot.  Green Day traded their original pop punk style for a more contemporary style and production, creating a rock opera that was inspired by classic bands like The Who, complete with ballads and harmonies and pianos.  And this change in style was both punk and anti-punk at the same time.  Whether or not Green Day intended it, this brought their music closer to mainstream styles, and punk at its very core is meant to be anti-mainstream.  It's supposed to be a counter-culture, a stance against the status quo, based on a belief that the status quo is unfair, unlikable, or oppressive.  The industry and the powers at be are what you're fighting against.  Moving towards the mainstream is like taking the industry's side, like joining the enemy.  But Green Day's music is still filled with punk messages and themes, despite the different style.  They could now deliver messages of protest to people they were never able to reach before, practically becoming recruiters for the punk mentality.  And I know for a fact that their musical evolution occurred for personal artistic reasons, for self-expression, rather than as an attempt to start appealling to mainstream audiences.  If that's true, then it doesn't seem like they sold out, does it.  Do you see where I'm going with this?  Green Day can be called the biggest sellouts or a true punk band at the exact same time, and there are reasons to back up both.  It seems impossible for me to classify them as only one.  That being said, I still fucking love their music, and their live shows are wild, crazy, and fun as hell.

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