The Collegian
Thursday, August 06, 2020

Global economic policy and Blink 182

For those of you hoping to start your weekend out on the right foot, here's some good news to get you going: After four long years of silence, Blink 182 has decided to reunite and record a new album.

At this point you've probably thrown this paper up in the air in celebration or your tears of joy have stained the pages, so I'll pause for a second to let you find a new copy.

Got it? Good. Now, as you all know Blink 182 was the seminal pop-punk band of the 1990s. As children of that decade, we all grew up listening to their crunching chords and catchy riffs, the beauty of each album eclipsing all other musical contenders, soaring melodies over the heads of their competitors in a chorus of electric-guitar mastery.

And now, officially, they're back. Which finally means we can fix this damn economic crisis everyone's so worked up about.

What's that, Michael? You're saying Blink 182 will fix the credit meltdown? You think a three-piece pop group will reverse the plummeting Dow, solve the liquidity shortage and alleviate the financial collapse currently devastating the global theater? Well, avid reader, I don't just think so.

I know so.

Let's track some trends. In 1997, after several months of similarly stagnant growth in the economic sector, Blink 182 burst onto the scene with its first mainstream album, "Dude Ranch." That year the United States' gross national product rose a staggering 7 percent to $8,110.90 billion. Coincidence? Allow me to continue.

Blink's breakthrough record, "Enema of the State," was released June 1, 1999. That same day, the S&P stock index closed at 1,294.26. Compare that with last week's closing numbers. On Feb. 12, it was only at 835.19. Get the picture now?

Conclusion: Blink 182 equals good economy. No Blink 182 equals bad economy. For those econ majors out there looking for a senior thesis: You're welcome.

But now comes the difficult part: Hypothesizing just why this correlation exists. What was so different a decade ago that made the rise of Blink so monumentally beneficial to the nation's markets?

To answer this, fellow students, let's recall where we all were just ten years ago. A simpler time, to be certain. Most of us were in middle school, eating bag lunches and telling fart jokes when the teacher turned her back.

As kids, we were content with not taking ourselves too seriously. Everything was lighter, easier. The perfect environment for a band like Blink 182, masters of the melodious fart joke, to take the world by storm.

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Now we're in college, and it seems as if everything's changing. No longer can we be a gang of middle-school hooligans re-enacting "Star Wars" by the jungle gym. We are forced to take ourselves seriously now, abandon the fart jokes in favor of resume-padding and vente lattes.

And it's making us anxious. Especially us seniors, about to enter the worst job market in years, fretting about the future so intently that we can barely even have a little fun in the present.

It seems as though society as a whole is caught up in the proverbial rat race, completely forgetting a youth spent listening to a nonchalant band such as Blink.

Is my theory starting to make sense now? Maybe this economy is the way it is because we've all deserted the challenge to lead fun, creative lives in favor of getting all worked up worrying about becoming rich. You think those Wall Street bankers everyone's so mad at ever listen to Blink 182 anymore?

I'm not one who likes to drop life lessons all the time, but I suppose there's one for you right there. If you like it, great; if not, feel free to throw it right back. And kids, as you start your weekend, remember the immortal words of those amazing pop-punkers: "Well I guess this is growing up."

If you've made it all the way to the end of this column, congratulations. Next week's wildly incoherent assertion: Correlating anthropological standards of regression analysis with the latest Sonic the Hedgehog video game.

Contact assistant opinion editor Michael Gaynor at michael.gaynor@richmond.edu

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