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Passive - A Perfect Circle (interpretation)


Crovax
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Hey fellas,

My favourite song by A Perfect Circle (and one of my favourite songs ever) is Passive from their album eMOTIVe and I was just curious as to what YOUR interpretation of the lyrics for it are?

Here they are:

Dead as dead can be, my doctor tells me

But I just can?t believe him, never the optimistic one

I?m sure of your ability to become my perfect enemy

Wake up and face me, don?t play dead cause maybe

Someday I will walk away and say, You disappoint me,

Maybe you?re better off this way

Leaning over you here, cold and catatonic

I catch a brief reflection of what you could and might have been

It's your right and your ability

To become?my perfect enemy?

Wake up and face me, don?t play dead cause maybe

Someday I?ll walk away and say, You disappoint me,

Maybe you?re better off this way

Maybe you?re better off this way

Maybe you?re better off this way

Maybe you?re better off this way

You?re better of this?you?re better off this?

Maybe you?re better off!

Wake up and face me, don?t play dead cause maybe

Someday I?ll walk away and say, You [bleep] disappoint me!

Maybe you?re better off this way

Go ahead and play dead

I know that you can hear this

Go ahead and play dead

Why can't you turn and face me?

Why can't you turn and face me?

Why can't you turn and face me?

Why can't you turn and face me?

You [bleep] disappoint me!

Passive Aggressive Bulls**t

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Perhaps it is about someone who was his enemy who is in a coma and will be 'there' in body, but not in spirit. Perhaps the writer (Maynard) still has things he needed to say to this person, but they will never hear his words. Maybe it is someone like a parent who he has been left to care for. Perhaps an abusive parent who is now an invalid?

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I found this comment on another site, if it helps to hear another view.

Taken in the context of the album, the song is APC addressing America, in particular the "passive-aggressive" anti-Government types.

Given what Maynard said about every vote counting and those who don't vote are giving up control, I think this is about people who don't vote but dislike Bush, or those who didn't vote Bush, but don't actively protest against what they see as a horrible government. Indeed, it can be applied to anyone in general who sits at home grumbling about the Government but doesn't actively go out and change things, instead displaying passive-aggressive traits like stubbornness and deliberate inefficiency at work.

Lines like "Wake up" are encouraging the public to go out and do something to stop tyranny and the stripping of civil liberties that has occured in the past few years.

"Playing dead" and "cold and catatonic" describe the state of the people who are happy to trade in their freedoms for stricter controls every day, numbed by an a culture discouraging certain lines of thought.

The protagonist is saying that even though "the doctor" diagnoses the people as "dead as dead can be" (they will never choose to stand up for their rights, just act passive-aggressively), he will not give up hope - "ever the optimistic one".

His final thoughts though, are that perhaps he should walk away, perhaps those people who aren't willing to stand up for their own rights and the rights of others which the government are patently and flagrantly abusing, perhaps they don't deserve this.

Maybe the pressure groups and the protestors who moderate governments, stop them from doing too much to restrict liberty, stop them from being too destructive to the core fabric of society, should just "walk away", disappointed with society.

A Perfect Circle are saying that if people are apathetic toward the onset of tryranny, if they don't do enough to stop the control systems of Orwell, Bradbury and Huxley's nightmares from arising, them "maybe they're better off this way" - without freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom from random arrest and freedom from torture.

To me, this song is a development of the Benjamin Franklin quote

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

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