Idiot, Revisited


by Jeffrey Webb, edited by Erik van Rheenen

The thing about the Jesus of Suburbia is that he doesn’t start out as a nihilist— he starts out bored. Victimized by his broken home and his own peculiar slice of suburban hellscape, sedated and titillated by the alternating lows and highs of television and Ritalin, the “son of Rage and Love” flees the “land of make believe [that] don’t believe” to the Big City in a Sartrean search for meaning. All set to alternating windmilled guitars and soft-keyed interludes, multi-layered harmonies and fury-fueled shrieks. By the end of the nine-minute, Pete-Townshend-on-speed anthem that is the opera’s introduction, Billie Joe Armstrong has shown that anarchy begins at home, and apathy is its gateway drug.

The story that follows—the story of Green Day’s 2004 magnumopus, American Idiot—is a bildungsroman that’s equal parts Joseph Campbell and J.D. Salinger, and all the tension that pairing entails: hero (whiny jerk?) leaves home, faces adversity (but not real adversity?), and returns home redeemed (a total failure?). Any attempt to appraise its merits thus acts as a Rorschach test of one’s aesthetic gestalt. The JoS’s quest is either inspiring or entitled, epic or annoying. Given the ubiquity of the maturation theme, and the delusions of grandeur that usually accompany so-called rock operas, it’s a story that should be overly affected, passé.  Instead, ten years later, somehow, miraculously, it still pulses, snarls, demands attention. Why?

The reason is not because the album is one of the great protest rock records of all time, though it certainly is that. It’s difficult for teenagers now to imagine the swelling of indignant rage Americans felt after September 11th, rage that metastasized into a kind of dyspeptic autoimmune disorder that we voted upon ourselves: the Patriot Act, whack-a-mole adventures in the Middle East, surrealist color-coded threat levels that shifted like a terrorism mood ring. So it’s difficult for those teenagers —hell, it’s difficult for the rest of us — to remember how subversive it was in 2004 for a band to sneer at our self-righteousness, to stand athwart the military-media complex, yelling, “stop.”

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I had to. They’re such children lol.

Both voices are me, as always… Sorry if it sounds a bit off, I’m sick lol.

Enjoy c:

Photo credit @inksandcoffee

We can keep on chasing the worldly things and find that none of those can satisfy us. Contentment is not found by having more of what the world can offer. Contentment is when our heart is filled with the joy of meeting Jesus.

#littlethingsaboutgod #jesus #christ #god #lord #savior #devotion #proverbs #bible #verse #content #joy #qotd #lettering #world #life #faith

POZ Playlist: Wanderlust


PropertyOfZack is continuing a new string of Playlist features from individual team members to highlight specific feelings or desires. Next up is titled Wanderlust by Ali Killian. 

Check out our Playlist, let us know what your favorite songs on it are, and listen to these songs on Spotify while reading along below!


Traveling is a thing that a lot of people like to do. I am included in that group. I don’t get to travel as much as I would like — I’ve never even been out of the United States — but one day, hopefully, I’ll have enough money and time to see the world, meet lots of people and broaden my perspective. But for now, I must settle for what the American media and my fortunate friends tell me about foreign places.

Traveling and touring are the aspects of being a professional musician that fascinate me the most. It would be awesome to get paid to drive around the country or fly around the world to play songs because people enjoy hearing them. And then to get to meet those people would be even better. I think a lot of musicians would agree.

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Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.
—   Isabelle Eberhardt, The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt
Watch on

I’m such a loser, please forgive me.  [Slightly NSFW]

Thanks to madelezabeth for giving me permission to dub this.

Go check out her stuff, she does a ton of DMMD things.

To Die On Stage By Your Side


by Adrienne Fisher, edited by Erik van Rheenen

The night before Hostage Calm announced the release of their new record, they cryptically took to the Internet to tease the big news, tweeting/Instagramming out “One last time. Die on stage.” No context offered, no explanation provided – just the indication that something climatic was nigh. And the Internet, hungry as ever for drama, took this futile message to heart and began to speculate; this surely couldn’t mean the looming dissolution of the charming five-piece band from Connecticut, could it? Considering that Hostage hadn’t toured or even surfaced their heads in almost a full year, it was all too easy to jump to the conclusion that a lack of activity, combined with the “one last time” declaration, was a sign of the band’s demise. But as it turns out, the mantra behind Die on Stage isn’t as much a death rattle as it is the core of their artistic expression, the centerpiece of the Hostage Calm spirit, and moreover, the complete opposite of an imminent breakup.
“The ethic behind Die On Stage is one of giving yourself to the art,” vocalist/songwriter Chris Martin explained in a recent phone interview. “The concept of that first word, ‘die,’ is that death is the finale of effort. It’s the last time, the last of your material existence, the last of your life’s big push. And then after you’re done, whether it’s a band or a human or a relationship, all that survives of it is the memory. And that legacy is what we are constantly chasing, the concept that we would go and make art so bold, so powerful, and so singular that it could live on long after we do.”
Die On Stage is Hostage Calm’s fourth studio LP and the follow-up to 2012’s acclaimed Please Remain Calm, a record that was pointedly focused on bringing forward the unspoken disillusionment and heartbreak of American youth amidst the economic downturn. An enduring portrait of the times told through thoughtful, contemplative metaphors and propped up by a lively kaleidoscope of vintage rock n’ roll influences, PRC pulled the curtain back to reveal the widespread societal unrest of an entire generation. But if PRC strived to converse about the embittered attitudes of American youth at large, the stories told on Die On Stage zoom in on a much smaller microcosm of that unrest by depicting the daily manifestations of it. “On a lot of the songs, there’s this sense of carpe diem, of shedding the chains of subdued social life and not being afraid to do what you want,” Martin pointed out. “But other parts of the record are terrified, and they feel guilt, and there’s this sense of disillusionment. Both are very much at work. And that’s something that I think connects with as many people, if not more, than the nuanced political speak that flows more heavily across some of our prior records.”

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POZ Decade: Green Day - American Idiot


Green Day’s American Idiot was released ten years ago next week, and PropertyOfZack is launching our next Decade feature in honor of the album today! We have commentary on the album from POZ team members Deanna Chapman, Erik van Rheenen, Ashley Aron, and Connor Sheehan, so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on American Idiot ten years later!

How American Idiot holds up in 2014
It’s hard to believe American Idiot came out ten years ago. The lyrical content of the album has easily stood the test of time. Many of the songs, notably “American Idiot,” still seem relevant today, especially with recent political issues that have occurred. For me, this album is still enjoyable to listen to and it continues to bring the same energy as it did when it first came out. It’s also the last great album to come from Green Day — the albums released after were mediocre at best, and this is coming from someone who is a huge fan of the band.
The album was revived with its Broadway rendition, and I believe that has also had a huge impact in keeping the album alive and relevant. I went and saw the musical (not on Broadway, unfortunately) and it reminded me why I love the album so much. It tells one hell of a story. The story made for a great album and a great musical. How many albums can you say have done that? Hands down, this album continues to be great in 2014.
– Deanna Chapman

Most important song on American Idiot
Amidst skipping recess to learn how to apply eyeliner with my fellow sixth grade girlfriends, a burned copy of American Idiot came into my possession. It was one of my first tastes of an album that completely satiated my musical desire from start to finish. The 17 songs on my iPod Nano included “Hollaback Girl,” “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies,” and “Welcome to the Jungle,” but the 12 tracks of American Idiot were something else. The draw for my young brain was seeing Billie Joe Armstrong all over Fuse and MTV plugging the album as a “rock opera,” a foreign concept to me at the time. However, the fact that the record’s dramatic nature was still something that pissed off my parents kept it on heavy rotation. Each track told a story in itself, but the album’s piece de resistance has to be “Homecoming.”

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