Music Video Monday: Bad Religion

by robinhardwick

Bad Religion, “21st Century Digital Boy”

Bad Religion is a band I should have listened to more in the 90s. They have a large catalog of the exact kind of pop/punk sound that I used to love (and still do, I guess). Calm down, I’m not saying they ARE pop/punk, but they are the type of punk-influenced rock that is accessible, i.e., write great songs with a great hook.

This song sort of tells the future, it talks about what we would later name “millenials”:

I can’t believe it, the way you look sometimes
Like a trampled flag on a city street, oh yeah
And I don’t want it, the things you’re offering me
Symbolized bar code, quick ID, oh yeah

See I’m a 21st century digital boy
I don’t know how to read but I’ve got a lot of toys
My daddy’s a lazy middle class intellectual
My mommy’s on Valium, so ineffectual
Ain’t life a mystery?

To go with the theme, the video for the song is pretty high-tech for the time. The static as water is pretty mesmerizing, and the symbolism is obvious but great: in the twentieth century we’ll be drowning in our own technology. And this was years before social media.