How Green Day's American Idiot represented the disconcerting, frightening, and fractured spirit of 2004

We Were American Idiots

September 20, 2014 / by / 17 Comments

Happy Green Day! Our National Ave writers celebrate the 10th anniversary of Green Day’s American Idiot by looking back on what the album meant in 2004. In 8th grade, a group of friends and I made a home video called “PAAA: The People Against America Association.” It was a sarcastic tale of a terrorist organization, headed by Osama Bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, and Legolas (because of course), virulently expressing their hatred for the United States.

Trying to determine if Green Day's American Idiot is a good album or not. The answer? Yes. And no.

How are we supposed to treat American Idiot ten years later?

September 20, 2014 / by / 11 Comments

Happy Green Day! Our National Ave writers celebrate the 10th anniversary of Green Day’s American Idiot by looking back on what the album meant in 2004. Ten years has gone so fast. And it’s still unclear: Is American Idiot a good album? 


Need to Know: How Invading Celebrities’ Privacy Impacts Our Perspectives about Them

September 02, 2014 / by / 17 Comments

Our culture’s fascination with celebrities is as divisive and mind-boggling as the images at the center of this current celebrity hacking scandal.


There Is No “U” in Privacy – But There Is an “I”

September 02, 2014 / by / 14 Comments

All people have a right to privacy, unless you’re a famous, attractive woman.


Wake Me Up When September Ends: An Open Letter from Billie Joe Armstrong

September 01, 2014 / by / 34 Comments

Hey Everyone, With Labor Day signifying that summer has come and passed, and that the beginning of the Autumnal month known as September has arrived, I’m here to ask you: Don’t wake me up until the end of the month.


On Becoming a Race Car

August 24, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

As a child, I grew up in a confusingly supportive household.

A blow-by-blow recap of the ironies and oxymorons of Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza 2014: A Recap; or, What Made Me Wear a Tank Top in Public

August 06, 2014 / by / 23 Comments

PR attended all three days of this year’s Lollapalooza, held in Grant Park in Chicago from Friday, August 1st to Sunday, August 3rd.  Here are his observations and thoughts, organized in a reader-friendly timeline format.

DC's Batman movies need to stop taking their cues from Frank Miller's "Dark Knight" series.

DC Doesn’t Understand Batman

August 04, 2014 / by / 12 Comments

Happy belated Batman Day! That’s right, among the many idiosyncratic, uncelebrated semi-real holidays that dot America’s hidden calendar, somewhere between Rat-catchers Day and National Tequila Day, there is apparently a day dedicated solely to celebrating the Dark Knight of Gotham City.

Looking into the disconcerting aspects of the mobile phone app YO

YO, what the f*ck is going on here?

July 19, 2014 / by / 71 Comments

Yo is a beautiful word. Yo is an interjection, a Vulcan grip on your attention that closes a sentence as strongly as it can end one. Yo’s gritty staccato reverberates off the tongue with vitality and force and instant-friendliness. Yo is a word made famous by a fictional boxer who couldn’t comprehensibly say much else, a fundamental aspect of two zeitgeist–defining MTV shows, and a goddamn fantastic word to say. 

Returning to Guided By Voices' album "Bee Thousand" on its 20th Anniversary

How Robert Pollard Changed My Life

June 20, 2014 / by / 134 Comments

There have been numerous times in my life where I have been told that “this band will change your life.” Usually, the life changing band in question would be the requisite four guys in hipster clothing that make up the latest indie band of the moment. Sometimes, the band would fail to really gel with me.