Disambiguate Before September Ends

It’s certainly gratifying to see an article in the New York Times by Sarah Boxer reviewing an appropriation and political intervention by independent vlogger Zadi at Karmagrrrl. Zadi’s Quicktime video reframes Green Day’s tune (Wake Me Up When September Ends) as a comment on the devastation resulting from hurricane Katrina and the inability of the U.S. government to protect and care for its own citizens.

While Green Day may have intended their song as a comment on the war in Iraq, the inherent ambiguity of the lyrics leaves it open to a wide range of interpretations. The Katrina disaster, as Boxer points out, seems a more comfortable and compelling fit than Sam Bayer’s emotionally predictable video [or here] showing two young lovers separated by the war.  The subtle editing of video and audio footage gathered by Zadi is both moving and suggestive. It sends a clear message without being in any way heavy-handed or preachy. The final (unattributed line) from the President’s mother, Barbara Bush, is chilling.

3 thoughts on “Disambiguate Before September Ends

  1. Too Bad the Song Still Blows

    I missed NYT piece about vlogger Zadi’s video for Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” (reconceptualized as a commentary on Hurricane Katrina and subsequent governmentwide disaster), discovering it instead courtesy of Timothy Quigley. Because t…

  2. You are seriously an idiot…Wake Me Up When September Ends is not about the war in Iraq. It’s what the video was about, big whoop, it’s a video. The video was about the war in Iraq because it’s what’s going on in today’s society. The song itself is about Billie Joe’s father dying, the leader singer and guitarist for Green Day. Now, my advice to you, research before you go out and write stuff like this.


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