Green Day frontman and vocalist Billie Joel Armstrong is living out the American dream – such as it is – in the band’s new music video for Back in the USA. Set in the black-and-white 1950s, the video has Armstrong appearing on screen in vintage clothing, and with a Pleasantville-like idyllic suburban family life.
Everything changes, however, once Armstrong purchases an intriguing new pair of sunglasses, inspired by John Carpenter’s classic 1988 film They Live, that allow him to see in colour, and some more. Armstrong sings in the background, “The saddest story ever told is feeling safe in our suburban homes.”
In reality, the sunglasses exposes the wearer to the truth, the grim reality, enabling them to see through the advertisements and TV spots to perceive the subliminal messages, like “consume”, “conform”, and “President to lie to the nation tomorrow”. Subversive events eventually lead to the appearance of a zombie-alien-like horrifying creature, who is supposedly the President of the United States, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Donald Trump.
The punk-rock band cleverly subverts the great American Dream in the video and slays Trump, all the while paying tribute to Carpenter and Pleasantville.
Armstrong and the rest of the band have been open in their criticism of the POTUS since he announced his candidacy, and had even made a music video (below) earlier, targeting him.