Saturday, September 10, 2011

Question Authority

I'm a big fan of Green Day. I have a lot of respect for the way that they have risen from the streets of Oakland and hit the big time. They paid their dues, and they are now reaping the benefits of a career that now spans three decades. Who would have guessed that these grungy twits would have found themselves on the Great White Way, auteurs of a rock opera and rubbing shoulders with rock and roll's elite? I suspect it's pretty tough to stay a punk.
These were the thoughts I had when I read the article about Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong being kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for wearing his pants too low. To be more precise, he was escorted off the plane for not complying with flight attendants' request to pull said pants up. "Don't you have something better to do?" Was his response. This sounds pretty punk, but since I fly Southwest on a somewhat frequent basis, I wonder why a millionaire several times over is flying commercial on the short hop from Oakland to Burbank. Perhaps because Virgin Atlantic has yet to add the Oakland/Burbank flight to its schedule. I've heard that Richard Branson is totally down with wearing your pants any way you'd like. Or not wearing pants at all.
It reminds me of the dust-up Kevin Smith had with this same airline. He kept his pants on, but was asked to buy an extra seat because he was too big to fit in one. He claimed to be embarrassed by the incident, but took to Twitter and anywhere else that would listen to his story to share it. Now, more than a year later, he suggests that he has Southwest to thank for his idea of spreading word of his new film, "Red State" via cross-country bus tour. It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that no major studio wanted to distribute his religious horror film, would it? A major studio that would fly him on a chartered jet with ample room to settle in and relax from a hard day's press junket?
Kevin Smith, director of "Clerks" = punk. Kevin Smith, director of "Cop Out" = sell out.
Billie Joe Armstrong, composer of "American Idiot" = punk librettist. Billie Joe Armstrong, disgruntled airline passenger = needs a belt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I suspect it's pretty tough to stay [strikethrough]a punk[/strikethrough] in the public eye.