Against Me!’s New Video Confuses Us

We are conflicted.  Against Me!‘s newest video seems to almost be an apology for the song it’s a video for.  The song “I Was a Teenage Anarchist” is a declaration of growth and reflection, a realization that the simplistic politics of the anarcho-punk scene are unsustainable.  It continues to uphold one of the things we like best about the band, Tom Gabel’s honest lyrics about how his world and world view are changing as the band becomes more successful and as he becomes older.  Whereas so many punk lyricists pander to this idea of what “punk” is from a 15 year old’s viewpoint, even after they themselves are 40 year olds with kids of their own,  Gabel never did that.

The video “I Was a Teenage Anarchist” however seems to back up the anarcho-punk viewpoint that every cop is a nightstick happy masochist who will beat you unmercifully and that all authority is corrupt and to be not trusted.  There is also an undeniable “violence as voyeuristic joy” element to the video.  The slow motion beating combined with what appears to be a smile on Gabel’s face at the end of the video.   This also concerns/confounds us.

We don’t know how to feel about it all.  Watch the video below and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Against Me! are currently on a world tour.  Check their dates here.

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2 Comments to “Against Me!’s New Video Confuses Us”

  1. although I had the exact same confusion the first time I saw this video, I also couldn’t help thinking about the music video for Wax’s 1995 pseudo-hit “California”…directed by Spike Jonze before he started making mediocre feature films based on books with only 10 sentences. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPT7q825gwI

    There’s an “alternative video” for the Against Me song on youtube that I almost find more appropriate, slow motion shots of kids going ape-shit for the band, and in my mind kind of captured the feeling I used to get when I was 16 and going out of my mind for a band that meant the world to me. here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZprVPg06-YM

  2. I had the same thought about the Wax video, which was fantastic. As was the video for the follow up single “Who Is Next” which starts immediately following the “California” video in a neat trick of continuity. Check it:

    And heck, while we’re at it – how great was the video for “Hush” off of Wax’s first album? Also directed by Spike Jonze.

    Ok, I think we’ve WAXed nostalgic far to much in this thread….nyuk nyuk nyuk.

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