Friday Spotlight On Pop Culture: The Offspring

(These are usually going to be posted on Damn Straight Politics and will be from next week forward, follow that blog for updates. The website is having technical difficulties today.)

offspringSo the thing is, conservatives sometimes get a bad rap about pop culture. Like my generation thinks that Republicans are all a bunch of ancient, boring, geriatrics who only listen to classical music and hobble out onto the lawn to shake our canes at teenagers about being on our lawn and telling them their music sucks.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Now my taste in music and tv is usually called “eccentric” by my friends (which is probably their nice way of telling me I’m lame) but I’m going to ignore that and introduce you my version of awesome music and TV and fandoms each and every week (barring illness or flaking out, which happens on occasion).

This week we’re doing music and my band of choice, Offspring

One of my favorite concerts of all time was the Offspring “Sh*t is F*ck*d up” tour in 2009. I nearly got pulled in a mosh pit, got stepped on multiple times by some moron in front of me who couldn’t stand still, and I could barely hear anything by the end of the concert, but it rocked.*

I liked The Offspring’s sound and their consistent message so much that I used their music in a paper I wrote Sophomore year of college, titled “Sex, Drugs, Rock’no’Roll, and Buddhism”, which discussed the “Straight Edge” elements of their music and how it related to the popularity of Buddhism and other Eastern religions in the world of punk rock. I’m the biggest nerd alive, I know, no need to point that out.**

Their songs definitely aren’t kid friendly, but for teenagers and adults many of them carry a very strong message that is anti-drug, anti-promiscuous, pro-personal responsibility, and anti-gang. We could do a lot worse when it comes to cool music with a good message.

Here’s a few of my favorite songs. (Some do have language and sexual references…PG-16 we’ll say?)

Come Out And Play – Very pointed look at gang violence and the senselessness of the gang culture and what it does to our youth.

The Kids Aren’t Alright –

Jamie had a chance, well she really did
Instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids
Mark still lives at home cause he’s got no job He just plays guitar and smokes a lot of pot

Pretty Fly for a White Guy – Not for any serious reason, it’s just hilarious.

Walla Walla

That car looked so tempting, so easy to drive
Just like that apartment that you burglarized
You started to run, but didn’t get far
Cause under your arm was a VCR

Hey, in Walla
I’ll see you in Walla Walla
Slap on the wrist? Well, not this time
Hey, in Walla
I’ll see you in Walla Walla
Folsom prison is the destination

Why Don’t You Get a Job –

Hit That – Promiscuous sex leads to nothing good.

What was a family
Is now a shell
We’re raising kids now
Who raise themselves
Sex is a weapon
It’s like a drug
It gets him right into that grave that he just dug

Stuff is Messed Up – A bit vulgar, but probably in my top 5 favorites.

Now I don’t know, and it’s hard to explain
But it seems like things are just kind of insane
Because the world is crying
But nobody’s listening
So please leave a message on my cell phone

I see bullets getting better
Biblical weather
And that guy on TV is like a total asshole

Who are you wearing tonight?
Celebrity fundraiser, tight!
Black ties making wrongs right
How’s your social Band-Aid?

Now thank god for the media, for saving the day
Putting it all into perspective in a responsible way
With more celebrity news
Typical bullshit views
I think we’re losing this fight
Sponsored by Bud Light

And now we’re rockin’ the casbah
And taking the flak
The genie’s out of the bottle, and we can’t put it back

Takes Me Nowhere – Pretty obvious discussion of the destruction of drug use.

When the day begins
All the guilt sinks in
And I look on the wreckage of the night
Though I try to break free
The cycle breaks me
Am I ever gonna see the light?

All the friends I’ve lost
And the pain I’ve caused
Have never been enough just to make me stop
The lines I draw to look at myself
Are turning into somebody else

I know how this will end
But I’m starting up again
Turned around, inside out
Cause this way

Takes me nowhere I can’t can’t see a way out

Let’s Hear It For Rock Bottom – Another song about drug use.

In my perfect isolation
I can stay here for awhile
Antidotes and revelations
Just extend my own exile

Wasting away
The world’s right in front of me
Funny you should say
That it’s all in my head
Wasting away
We’re hitting rock bottom

What Happened To You – One of my other top 5 songs by this band.

Before you started tokin’ you used to have a brain
But now you don’t get even the simplest of things
I can draw a little picture
Or even use my hands
I try to explain but you just don’t understand
Man you’re really losin’ it
And you’ve really done a lot of junk now
But you keep on abusin’ it
What in the world happened to you

Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? – I literally cried when they played this live. It’s such a sad song.

*Nothing will ever be more ironic than smelling someone lighting up a joint during “What Happened To You”.

**But now I bet you want to read that paper.