Los Angeles, 1980 — The air is so polluted that you can see it, smell it, and taste it. People are getting tired of the shallow, vapid Hollywood Dream. The 70’s counterculture punk rock scene is setting the table for a new wave of angry poets, who ride skateboards, hammer guitars and scribble in their notepads, capturing what they are seeing all around them.
Influenced by the likes of the Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, the Ramones, and the Clash, a new band was being formed in a local High School — Bad Religion.
Smash all of it: organized religion, politics, and society in general. They would export their views on anti-racism, freedom, death, personification and equal rights using dark humor and their unique sound over the years as the band morphed. They would also become one of the best selling punk rock acts of all time, selling over 5 million albums worldwide.
If music is the lens of our time, Bad Religion was the telescope.
Twenty years later, I dare you to read the lyrics to their 1998 song and tell me this one doesn’t capture 2018.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you
The State Of the End Of the Millenium Address…
Neighbors: Nobody loves you like we do
Neighbors, your government has triumphed in finally making you a public fit for the 21st Century
Never before has a governing body shown so much concern for the economic well-being of its subjects!
Today we have insulated you from countless factions who threaten your financial viability;
Such as the poor
The idealistic foreigners still clinging to their childish notions of social welfare
Why, you’re even kept uninformed of useless propagandist journalism that reports alleged violations of human rights
(We all know they wouldn’t have been punished if they hadn’t been doing something wrong!)
And who better to dispense such blatantly evident factoids but a self-appointed authority like myself?
Acid rain is a thing of the past
Too many possible causes, too little significance for our modern thinking public!
Besides, industrial manufacturing is at an all-time low anyway
Who needs those narrow-minded laborers?
Too many mouths to feed, haha
And too much burden on the payroll!
Who needs them here in the land of the free time?!
Some other ass-backward country will give us what we need by exploiting it’s uneducated children anyway!
The Internet has expanded our ability to pacify average Americans better than ever;
By offering fantastical adventures to every corner of the imagination
Your home office is the window to your world and the heart of your social life!
Such reclusive behavior helps clear the roads & public works from overburden
…like the lower middle class and others who depend shamelessly on their government
Today you are freer than ever to do what you want, provided you can pay for it!
Remember, the first word in U.S.A is “us”!
We have arrived, neighbors; We are the privileged elite!