US-Music-Green-Day-490c76d5-8501-43de-87af-f4b48bb5b0bcGreen Day has the most popular CD in the country, but you won’t be able to find it at your local Wal-Mart.

The band says the giant superstore chain refused to stock its latest CD, “21st Century Breakdown,” because Wal-Mart wanted the album edited for language and content, and they refused.

“Wal-Mart’s become the biggest retail outlet in the country, but they won’t carry our record because they wanted us to censor it,” front man Billie Joe Armstrong said in a recent interview.

Since their inception, I have been a fan of Green Day. They brought back punk in the early 90’s and I was forever hooked. Or so I thought. Listening to their older stuff now I realize it was a faze that I was going through. Don’t get me wrong.  They did have some good tunes and I still enjoy listening in my reminiscent moments, but like many other bands, Green Day has chosen to express themselves with the right of free speech and content.

Should we censor people? Well if your name starts with a “W” and ends in “al-Mart” you can. I think that it’s a noble choice for them to edit music that gets put on their shelves. However we could discuss the problem with Cd’s you have edited and how making them available to kids is not so wise.

Just as Green Day has the freedom to say anything and everything they want in an album, Wal-Mart has the freedom to sell what they want in their stores. Wal-Mart clearly leaves it up to the artist about the editing of the content of the music to the artist. It doesn’t have to be sold in their stores, but if you do want it sold in their stores, you’ll have to play by the rules.

“As with all music, it is up to the artist or label to decide if they want to market different variations of an album to sell, including a version that would remove a PA rating,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Melissa O’Brien said. “The label and artist in this case have decided not to do so, so we unfortunately can not offer the CD.”

Thank You Wal-Mart for having a spine! So many people cave under pressure or when challenged. Wal-Mart can do this because of who they are and because of the influence they have on American families. Let’s face it, if Wal-Mart were to close its doors tomorrow, most smaller towns across America, like mine, would disappear with them.

While Armstrong, Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool are still top-sellers without Wal-Mart, Armstrong said the store’s policy is disappointing, considering it has become the dominant seller of CDs with the decline of traditional music stores.

“If you think about bands that are struggling or smaller than Green Day … to think that to get your record out in places like that, but they won’t carry it because of the content and you have to censor yourself,” he said. “I mean, what does that say to a young kid who’s trying to speak his mind making a record for the first time? It’s like a game that you have to play. You have to refuse to play it.”

Oh boo hoo Billie Joe. That’s how everything works. You must play by the rules. I get so tired of rhetoric such as this. Bottom line is that we all have to play by the rules, or else there would be chaos and there has to be some sort of standard on which to base everything. Kudos to Wal-Mart for having a standard for their music choices.

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About Chuck Mullis

I am the husband of Valerie and the father of Russell & Hannah. I am a self-employed contractor living in rural North Carolina as well as an ordained Southern Baptist Minister serving Living Water Baptist Church.

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