Not all jokes are funny. I’d wager that most jokes aren’t funny, but Green Day doesn’t deserve this. The notoriously political pop-punk band became the butt of a very unfunny joke Thursday, delivered by National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. It’s...certainly something.
According to Daily Beast writer Max Tani, reporting live from CPAC, Loesch made a clunky, woefully dated joke about Green Day. The spokesperson stated, “I’m allergic to universal statements just like I’m allergic to people who say Green Day is punk,” in a discussion about mass shootings, an undeniably critical topic following the Florida high school shooting last week that left 17 students dead.
In the ‘90s, when Green Day were just getting their start, the band was critiqued for not being “punk enough,” because, I don’t know, they were too catchy, had too many hooks, and used too many power chords. That’s almost beside the point—that Green Day, a group who released the 2004 album American Idiot in response to the American war in Iraqi, a group that has dedicated much of their work to political progression since, would be named dropped by the NRA, is insane. (In 2016, Green Day released “Bang Bang,” a song written from the perspective of a mass shooter that aimed to draw attention to gun violence. The irony is not lost here.)
When you get down to it, it’s just a bad joke. So, uh, if you’re going to shade a group that rallies against you, at least be funny about it?