this song is one of my earliest regina loves, such a soft spot i've got for it!
I always took this portion of the song to be about the mania that exists in our culture, how upsetting and stiffling it can be for us as individuals who want to live free from worry and other toxic emotions. The mania takes many different forms: on TV it's on the news, it's on the weather channel, it's on Nat Geo: all about being afraid, about how the human race is doomed and hopeless. It's all our own fault: we've caused global warming, and we're going to go extinct, and so on. Always warning, predicting the inevitability of some doomsday.
The part about "she noticed some bleeding and heard hollow coughing," I go back and forth about whether she's the one coughing and is having an out-of-body experience, if she's coughing and not having an out of body experience, or if the cough is from another person. I don't think it matters, though. In her real life, as she's just starting her day and trying to get oriented, she's made aware of suffering and dischord not on TV, but in real life, whether she's coughing or someone else is. It's a real person, who's really hurting. I think from the wording, the bleeding is definitely hers, though that's probably debatable.
Still, the words "some bleeding" after the "possible leakage" imply, for me, a link between the mania encouraged by the media and the actual bleeding, as though the "possible leakage" were the leakage of blood. This has many implications: the actual suffering due to the responses to the mania, the blood as people being injured due to the things that are being reported by the news, like soldiers being shot, or survivors of natural disasters being injured. I don't know, that is ripe with possibility, and i'm sure it'd be a waste of space for me to point out all the examples i can think of! There are more than i could imagine, and probably it's a more abstract connection, not to be tied down to a specific concrete application.
I think those themes sum up this entire portion of the verse. The last part, though changes gears a bit:
"we keep on paying those freaks on the tv
who claim they will save us
but want to enslave us"
This refers to the newscasters and everyone else contributing to the manic state of panic and fear: they perpetuate these emotions under the guise of being helpful and informative in order to empower the viewers. But the actual result is enslavement, because the people who respond to their mania can't help but be stiffled, fearful, and thus unable to live freely.
"and sweating like demons
they scream through our speakers
but we leave the sound on cause silence is harder."
Again, they are maniacs. This time it's pointed out to highlight the fact that we allow them to be maniacs at us, rather than tuning them out. I take "silence is harder" to mean that people need to be informed about the world around them, and even though the TV is "screaming" at us, it's offering the delusion of information. Really, it's not informing, but inciting fear, etc. (according to my take on the narrator's opinion in the song, i'm not stating my personal opinion on the matter of news media!) The alternative is "silence" in the sense of feeling disconnected from the world, or a fear that we're missing out on information without exposing ourselves to the "screaming."
"No one's the killer and no one's the martyr"
this gives a sense of helplessness when facing the question, "so what do you think we should do? Just not report the news?" and how the state of the media is no one person's fault.
"the world that has made us
can no longer contain us"
I flip-flop back and forth on this one. Sometimes i think the "us" is anyone who resists the "sounds," the "screaming," the mania. Other times i think it's the maniacs speaking. In the end, though, i don't think that this part is changing narrative voice at all, and instead the "us" is humanity. However the humans have come to live here on planet earth, we've outgrown it, in a sense: reeling up against that initial state of growing and health/harmony. We're facing problems that seem too big for our own existence.
"and prophets are silent and rotting away"
This means that no one is speaking out against this new, widespread mania. Those who do are rotting as though they are outdated, maybe dead. Certainly this line points out their lack of influence on popular thought.
That's just my two cents!
The reason i wanted to bring up Just Like the Movies is because the last part, that the world is round so they might meet again, reminds me of How: "I guess you/I know by now that we will meet again somehow"
I'm so curious about how people interpret this song! It was one of the first Regina songs i got into, personally.
I don't have a concrete idea of what this song is about, more just mental images and an appreciation for the title haha But i always found it interesting, especially the parts "you are mistaken 'cause i do not bite, over the williamsburg bridge on a bike" and "don't say goodbye like you're burying him cause the world is round and he might return"
I like the bite/bike part because of the wordplay, but also because the "bike" part could be taken as a qualifier for the biting part lol! Maybe she does bite, just not in this case lol
But the ending gets me. There seem to be 2 narrators: the person who was left by "him" and the one who is saying "don't say goodbye.." I had always assumed she (?) was talking to herself, but then the way these lines switch back and forth, and kind of tumble over each other, i wonder if the "don't say goodbye" isn't advice she's remembering, and she's now agonizing over it. How can she hope to see him again when she can't understand losing him in the first place?
So i don't know. It just occurred to me that How sounds like the ending. Dunno if that's significant at all..
I love what people have written so far about this song! I agree, it's full of stream-of-consciousness, and is not really about the plot.
However, I have to disagree that Daniel dies in the end(?!?!) I read heroin boy as being different from Daniel, and even the narrator. I think they're supposed to be (at least to the narrator) three separate people. It's heroin boy who "goes swimming..." which, by the way, is not his term, but the narrator's, and possibly Daniel's. Heroin Boy simply wants to take a bath.
Heroin Boy makes an important logical falacy: he says that, because a person has sentenced him to hang, it becomes physically impossible to drown. I don't think he does drown in the end, and that's the point. Everyone else is concerned with how he will die, but he just wants to enjoy the time he has left.
I'd say heroin boy and Daniel Cowman are distinct, despite the fact that both apparently faced death sentences, because all of the bathtub drama is taking place in Daniel's memory. He's thinking back to experiences he had with someone the narrator calls "(the) heroin boy," so he is not the one who bathed, and certainly hasn't drowned, at least in my opinion!
Either way, I think this song is just too awesome: the narrator constantly blurs past and present, self and other, and alternates between self-awareness and getting lost in reverie. The coolest thing about it is, it causes me to do the same thing as I listen. Another masterfully written song by Regi! One of my earliest loves from her catalogue, like many others here.
kaoir, solipsism hits the nail on the head! Absolutely, that would explain the poor distinction between charater and narrator: they're all figments of his imagination, as far as he's concerned. Then he experiences reverse-solipsism when Daniel dies... now the narrator himself doesn't exist, becauase he is a figment of Daniel's imagination, since there is no actual "self" in solipsism, as it's been explained to me, at least xD I don't know, just a thought. I won't ramble any more!