An American Idiot Renounces His Citizenship

On June 24, 2022, Green Day’s lead singer and guitarist Billy Joe Armstrong, shouted out an expletive laden proclamation to a fawning crowd at the group’s concert at London Stadium. The bombast was meant to protest the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Billy yowled and blubbered:

“F*ck America. I’m f*cking renouncing my citizenship. I’m f*cking coming here. There’s just too much f*cking stupid in the world to go back to that miserable f*cking excuse for a country. Oh, I’m not kidding… you’re going to get a lot of me in the coming days.”

I hadn’t realized that Green Day’s song American Idiot was an autobiographical confession from Billy, that is… until he squalled out his anti-Americanism to a cheering crowd in the United Kingdom. So long Billy, I won’t miss ya, but since you’ve forsaken America over the Supreme Court ruling—you might want to know a few things about abortion law in Merry ‘Ol England.

"The Old Continentals." Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth. Oil on canvas, 1922. Sorry, no "American Idiots" here.

"The Old Continentals." Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth. Oil on canvas, 1922. Sorry, no "American Idiots" here.

To have an abortion in the UK a woman’s pregnancy must be under 24 weeks. The abortion must be approved by the signatures of two doctors who agree the woman’s mental or physical health would be endangered without the abortion.

Doctors can refuse to conduct abortions based on moral objections, which means searching for more doctors in order to get the required 2 signatures. After 24 weeks abortions are only allowed if the woman’s life is in danger; the child would suffer mental or physical abnormalities if born; or the woman is at risk of grave mental or physical injury. Billy might think it’s worth renouncing US citizenship in favor of UK abortion law, but he’ll find it a costly process.

Renouncing citizenship will require a personal appearance from Billy at a US embassy or consular office to declare his renunciation. There are forms to fill out and a $2,350 fee to pay. That fee is a piffle to a “punk rocker” like Billy, whose net worth is $75 million smackeroos—money plucked from the fingers of “f*cking stupid” mugs in “that miserable f*cking excuse for a country” I call home… also known as the good ol’ US of A. But I digress. Billy’s army of lawyers will give him some bad news, renouncing citizenship also comes with an “Exit tax.” Yup, Billy will have to pay at least 20% on all of his properties.

Billy will also have to read and sign a document showing he understands renouncing US citizenship forfeits all rights and privileges of a US citizen. Another form will advise him of the full legal and practical ramifications of losing his citizenship. The US government will consider his request, and hopefully, God willing, Uncle Sam will give his stamp of approval and strip Billy of his citizenship.

It’s funny that John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols and Public Image fame, became a citizen of the US in 2013, saying: “I became an American because this is a really new country; you have every opportunity not to make the mistakes of all those other old ones I come from.” Lydon went on to say, “I’m now an American, and I’m proud to be an American.” Hey Billy, sod off you bloody wanker. God Save The Queen! Say hello to BoJo the clown for me.

Since Billy very publicly renounced his citizenship in the UK—and he’s not a citizen of that or any other country, he’s in danger of being “stateless.” That may sound fine to a fake anarchist like Billy “F*ck America” Armstrong, but it also means he could have no passport and hence, no ability to enter any country, let alone the US. That might be a problem for fat-cat Billy when he tries to reenter the US in July 2022, that’s when Green Day plays Loser-Palooza in Chicago. But then, Billy might just get a medal from *President Biden. Hurrah, Hurrah.

The Ramones. Washington Square, 1976. Photographer unknown. "Don't talk to commies, eat kosher salamis."

The Ramones. Washington Square, 1976. "Don't talk to commies, eat kosher salamis."

When I say I always hated Green Day, you should listen. I was one of the first Los Angeles punk rockers of 1977. When I saw the Ramones play The Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in ’77, I was reborn. I dove headlong into punk and started hanging out at LA’s first punk club, the Masque—there wasn’t an early LA punk band I didn’t see; Screamers, Black Randy & the MetroSquad, all of ‘em. I was raised on The Germs, don’t give me that Green Day pablum! I saw all the San Francisco bands; Dead Kennedys, Mutants, Avengers, etc. In 1979 I saw The Clash play the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium with Bo Diddley and the Dils; that same year I worked at Slash Magazine, the first punk rock publication in California. I eventually created two cover illustrations for Slash. I played a small role in producing The Decline of Western Civilization, the 1980 documentary film on LA’s early punk scene directed by Penelope Spheeris.

Writing about Green Day and Billy helps to define what punk is or isn’t. Seeing the band at the 2016 American Music Awards being idolized and fussed over by Hollywood elites made me nauseous. Punk is supposed to upset established norms, but Green Day supports ‘em. Besides, they’re just a conventional if somewhat “edgy” Pop band.

Battered and bruised but all the wiser, I withdrew from the punk front lines in 1987, the year Green Day was formed. Eyeing Green Day from the shadows, I viewed them as poseurs, pin-up boy retreads that were cashing in on “rebellion.” Nothing has changed, except the levels of falseness.

Green Day took their name from Soylent Green, a brilliant 1973 dystopian science fiction film starring Charlton Heston. In the film, Soylent Red, Yellow, or Green were the synth foods supplied to the hungry masses by a totalitarian state. The popular but little supplied Soylent Green supplement was offered only on Green Day.

Whatever Billy Joe Armstrong offers you… don’t consume it.

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