American Idiot is a song written by the band Green Day criticising America’s response to the September 11 attacks. They attack the government & the media even going as far as to call the government rednecks. I chose this song because it offers up several controversial topics such as September 11 and the media subliminally controlling the American public through television and newspapers. Through-out the song Green Day use thought provoking language that really gets you thinking.
Green Day start the song with a variation of the chorus which attacks the media for trying to control the public using various means.
The line ‘subliminal mind f*** America’ draws attention to the fact that the media are using television and newspapers to send a constant message which is starting to cause paranoia. It then becomes obvious why the say ‘Don’t want to be an American Idiot’ for a large amount of people believe what they hear and they are the reason the media has so much control.
The next paragraph starts off almost where the chorus left off.
It is still questioning why we allow the media to dictate our dreams and our every day life. The line ‘Television dreams of tomorrow’ point out that many young people just want to be like the “celebrities” they see on TV. It’s ruining the ambitions of many people just so they can make a few extra $$. Political issues such as the war on terrorism are evoked as an issue throughout the song.
American was divided “All across the alien nation” when troops were sent to Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction. Metaphorical language was used to explore the issue.
Audience positioning from techniques indorse concerns with a country divided and positions them to feel the need to cooperate and sort things out other than civil unrest and debate. The next stanza starts off addressing the fact that American’s believe that they are the best country in the world with all the best qualities. Green Day use the word red-neck because it represents the way many Americans live. To them America is the best country in the world and home to the free and the brave. The language in this stanza is the language of violence which reinforces the redneck way of life.
Because of this “Cockiness” America has come to the attention of many terrorist organisations which has caused an ‘Age of Paranoia’. Paranoia is another issue, which grasps the audience’s attention because it connects with several tragic events. Green Day tries to link the fear of living in American after the terrorist attacks of 2001. Techniques used to help the audience interoperate the message convey was descriptive language while using a mocking tone. The audience is positioned from these techniques to understand that people should access the risk of terrorism because of decisions made from the American parliament.