View Full Version : ichoate assimilation

doug galecawitz
01-05-2004, 04:17 AM
As I have done before with my song interpretations I will once again plead ignorance as to a definate understanding of what the song is about. I will like it noted that if this or any TOOL song has a definitive meaning it can be only be known to the writer(s). As somewhat of a skeptic however it should be duly noted that the lyrics harbor many ambiguities which allows for an infinite number of interpretations and therefore a wide fan base of people believing anything they are willing to shovel. So I shall let my long-winded shoveling begin.

When trying to understand this song in particular something has struck me as two types of interpretation. The word "part" appears in the song and in the title. When trying to interpret one can go about trying to interpret the parts to have a greater understanding of the whole, or one might be inclined towards understanding the whole and letting the meanings of the parts fall into their respective places. Since I don't first hand know what the whole is about because I did not write it, nor do I know that the song is the whole itself (it is after all PART of an album)

One of the main views promoted by TOOL fans about this song is idea that this song is about masterbation and the part in question would quite obviously be Maynard's member. While given that TOOL does have this kind of biting sarcastic sense of humor the theory seems a little too brick to the head obvious. It would not be too hard to imagine the satisfaction inherit in getting gullible people to believe that something about masterbation has deep signifigance and meaning. To go any further I'll now have to plead gullibility.

So is it possible that the song may be about a literal part of the singer's body while not being about his "special purpose"? Some likely culprits might be the brain/mind or possibly the pitutary gland. In the case of the brain the sacrifice might be the baser emotive functions of human life, ie the "heart". In the case of the later the sacrifice might be those soothing endorphines that are the chemical cause of all physical and mental pleasure.

By thinking about the song in terms of the part being the brain/mind we start moving away from literal parts and into more ambiguous terms. While the brain is definately a PART of the body in the physical sense, the mind is no such thing. One can say to an extent that another person is mindless but to say brainless is more than a little facetious. If the brain and mind however are a one-in-the-same it would not take to much to interpret how the writer would know it better than anyone else. To say later on in the song that he knows it better than he knows himself would possibly suggest that the mind is not all there is to the person. Or possibly it could signal schizophrenia. This raises a good number of questions, namely if the mind is just there for him to use what is he using it for? What motivations?

There are other mental entites that are a part of a person in some way that I would like to suggest here could fill in for the mind as the part spoken of. The first I would like brought up is the subconsious. If a person becomes aware of their own subconscious motivations they may use that to their advantage in going about manipulating things as to get right to what they want. The self-sacrifice being that there is to some extent a loss of naivity about the world in that through pure motivation and manipulation you can get your way. Everything has the character of cruelty and pre-meditatedness. The subconscious can then become the guiding force of one's own mental life and a strong behavioral force in others.

Another possible "part" might be a persons past. The past most obviously can not speak or judge and the amount of hurt it can level at the person is strictly at the level of mental anguish and not physical. That is to say physically the past can't hurt you since you have already survived it intact. But a stronger point this being a major factor in the song is that we do use our own past as a part of us that dictates alot of our behavior. And who could possibly know our past better than ourselves? (Don't know if I stated that quite right) So what is the sacrifice? The sacrifice is that the we can never reclaim the past no matter how much we might have enjoyed or learn from it.

A third possible "part" of the singer that it could hypotheticaly be are the various aspects of personality. It would not be two hard to find a person who has ambivalent feelings about a great many experiences and ideas in their lives. The end result of these ambivalent feelings would be the divison of personality. Many TOOL fans like to go around the feminine/masculine divison of personaity. Suffice it to say this is not the only division that can be made. Simply pick your Freudian or Jungian personality types, divide, and begin to fill in the blanks.

To move away from the internal and the parts as a literal type thinking I would like to start with relationships. Before I begine I would like it noted that by relationships it need not mean two people. It could mean a person and a thing or a person and an entity such as an idea. Like before you could have a "relationship" with your past.

For now I'll start with the hard meaning of relationships in that sense of two people engaging in an intercourse of mental and sometimes physical nature. This is to say friends, enemies, or sexual partners. In the former type of relationship the song could reasonably assumed to mean the connection between friends or enemies. With friends the song takes on a dark manipulative tone when the line "you're just here for me to use" is uttered. Although it need not be using in the bad way we think about "using someone" You could say that you are using a friend for their companionship. You could be using someone for the satisfaction you gain from simply having someone to converse with. The sacrifice in this case may be that during the long course of any positive relationship the two involved do tend to become increasingly similar. You trade off some level of individuality to adhere to each others personality, schedule, tastes, etc, etc. In the case of a negative relationship (the enemy) the somewhat manipulative theme of the song takes shape quite literally.

As for the relationships between sexual partners this song can be either romantic or manipulative once again. The part of me being the way the a union of romance is pulls two people together and the sacrifice being the self. In this case the sacrifice is rarely considered a bad thing because it is to the supposed noblest of reasons. Where this theory falls short is in the line "you can't hurt me". When two people are "in love" they tend usually only to notice the things about the other that they want to see, ie they remain unjudgemental, sometimes sadly to the detrement of one or the other. But with the line you can't hurt me strikes me as being out of place here because as far as mental anguish is considered you'd be hard pressed to find someone that could hurt you less than the one you love. Furthermore when the one you love hurts you it often turns out ironically that they are the only one who can ease that hurt. Your lover becomes simealtaneously the source of and healer of all woe. The only explanation I have to refit this line back in is to assume it is a denial. Either the denial is leveled at the self about another persons ability to hurt them. Or possibly the denial is leveled at a former lover, which would tie in with my earlier idea of the "part" being the persons own past.

This brings me to my last couple of thoughts. One of which is that the song could be another anger filled tirade aimed at fans or believers in TOOL, religon or whatever. AS far as the fan thing is concerned the questions obviously raised are who's jerking who off? And is jerking off a good thing. By being fans of the band and paying money, and studying their lyrics and every move we as fans are responsible for a lot of ego stroking behavior aimed at TOOL. It is one of those base desires to have lots of people adore and be intrigued by you. The recently published Cobain journals are an exercise in self gratification through the admiration of others.

Or could the jerking off be the band quite possibly messing with the audience they target by "giving them what they want" or more to the point manipulating in the audience such fervent worship as to result in a long winded essay such as this. I will say that whenever a band does an encore it seems characteristic of jerking off the fans. The fans know the shows not over, the band knows, and yet still the charade goes on.

This same type of worshipper/worshipped relationship can be applied easily to religon and church as I'm sure many TOOL fans do. Is it an exercise in exploiting the gullibility of the masses? The questions can go on ceaselessly here based on the varied perspectives of religon. Since this view has been discussed at length I'll simply leave it at a recognition that the possibilty of truth in this interpretation is there given early TOOL's apparent problems with religon.

Of my fianl points I'd like to consider something more in keeping with TOOL's more recent material which has a very holistic frame of mind to it. Here is where buddhist thought might be the order of the day. The idea that we are all part of one consciousnes. That sacrifice is sacrifice of trying to know and simply to be. To let go of want and desire and embrace the moments of beauty that make up the microseconds of daily existence in order to attain the high consciouss nature of nirvana. This is to truly know the world around you and thus know thyself as a result. We do not move around as individuals in the world for we are the world in and of itself.

Well I hope this essay (if you've endured this psuedo intellectual horse manure for this long) has been enlightening.

01-23-2004, 05:49 PM
*violent applause* That, this, is awesome. Just magnificent. I can't imagine why I'm the only person to comment on it, but this is just spectacular. I'm at a loss for words.

These things of which you speak, I often think them in parts, sometimes in whole, but usually in a passing thought. That you could identify so clearly what this song COULD mean, and also tell what it couldn't mean is great.

Part of Me seems like a song that is so much more than one thing. Although it is very base in words, it makes you think really hard. Similar to Bottom. I know from personal experience that this song - when I hear it, that is - helps me imbody a hate or a love or a way of pushing away a hurt. It makes you realise that this thing that you have, whether your mind, your sould, your body, or your lover, is really a part of you, that you know it so well, and that you know you are using it. That you are clinging to it for something, whether it's good or bad doesn't matter, just that you have it to use, to hold on to like a safety blanket.

Very good. I appreciate the lenghiness that you applied to this subject.

02-06-2004, 12:34 PM
Doug...are you Maynard in disguise?

02-23-2004, 04:42 AM
Words, Words, Words. Why do some members of the human species feel that more words makes for better communication? Besides, who wants to read all of that shit anyway. Also, why must some people pick things apart so as to destroy the unknowable meaning, the 'TOOL' if you will, of the song? We dig at, disassemble and deface the thing we love to find its meaning. In the end losing it, only to find that its presence IS its meaning. The Lyrics of the song may be about something, whether it be about the bond between mother/father and child, a vague refference to the interaction between the concieous and suconcieous mind or the expression of the relationship between an owner and their pet. Any number of things is possible. However, the TRUE meaning behind the Song, as with any song, is the Primal Feeling one attains when listening to it.

03-02-2004, 12:35 PM
We're not defacing, or distroying the meanings of the songs...everyone has their own opinion on what they thing TOOL's meanings are for their songs...and this is a site where we express that opinion...that's why it's called the opinion part of the site. lf you don't like other people "defacing and distroying" the, so-called, meanings of the song, then just keep your own to yourself, and don't read ours.

Luna Galapogos
03-03-2004, 10:13 AM
It always seemed to me that it would be someone that you know and hate. A person that symbolizes everything you don't like in a personality. I say this because that person represents the parts of your ego you refuse. It is those refused parts of the ego that you see in this person. You don't know that you have these things, and the fact that this person knows it shows that they know you more than you know yourself.

Or perhaps it is a good friend or someone you know intimately. They are able to see you objectively and judge you based on that perspective of you. They know you better than you know yourself because they are "far enough from the project" to see the whole thing. You only see what you want to see about yourself.

That is what I have thought every time I have hear this song. The first post was enlightening though as well. I still like my interpretation though.

03-04-2004, 07:36 AM
l think it could be about yourself. Your ego is part of you...something that can't really hurt you, because it gives you confidence. l'm not exactly sure about that, though, because it could very well be apart someone. Maybe not someone specific, but just to get the message across about ANYONE you could feel this way about.

03-08-2004, 11:08 AM
you know, i used to post here a lot until i realized that every song has thousands of meanings for a reason. their written i n a way ao that anyone who caress can find a meaning that speaks to them.
to me this site is a place to go for ideas, a starting place, it's not somewhere to post the right or wrong meaning to a song, then, if anyone is so inspired to expand upon that idea they may. but to sit here and say "i applaud you", or "you're too wordy" is pointless. if you don't want to read someones thoughts for 15 minutes you don't have to, and if you want to congradulate someone on a good thought, go ahead.
i just think there are too many people here who just post in hopes that another might like it and they can feel good about themselves.
the end

03-08-2004, 12:11 PM
l don't know about that. l think there could be some different MESSAGES in one song...but l think one song has one meaning to Maynard all the same. l think Maynard wrote the songs for the reasons he felt like writing them.

Luna Galapogos
03-10-2004, 10:03 AM
you know, i used to post here a lot until i realized that every song has thousands of meanings for a reason. their written i n a way ao that anyone who caress can find a meaning that speaks to them.
to me this site is a place to go for ideas, a starting place, it's not somewhere to post the right or wrong meaning to a song, then, if anyone is so inspired to expand upon that idea they may. but to sit here and say "i applaud you", or "you're too wordy" is pointless. if you don't want to read someones thoughts for 15 minutes you don't have to, and if you want to congradulate someone on a good thought, go ahead.
i just think there are too many people here who just post in hopes that another might like it and they can feel good about themselves.
the end

I must agree with the fact that it is pointless to say "you're too wordy," all that proves is that you weren't willing to read it all or became dissinterested in the post. If that's the case, stop reading it and move to something else. You don't have to post about what everybody says.
I think that a lot of people post in the hopes that they can have someone agree with them, and in turn that would make them feel better, but I also think that a lot of people post with the hope that the people here will help them develop their thoughts.

03-10-2004, 12:17 PM
Yeah...the whole point of this site is to see what other people think about your opinion on things. lf you didn't want other people to know and comment on it, you would just keep it to yourself.

Luna Galapogos
03-10-2004, 08:42 PM
In fact, if that is the way you feel about it, you shouldn't probably come here, I'm sure that it is just a sea of people needing to be cheered up in your mind, so you should just avoid what you can't or won't swim in.

03-11-2004, 07:41 AM
Yeah...agreed by Luna. lf you don't want to share your opinion with people, or you don't want to hear other peoples opinion about what you have to say...then you should probably just never come back to this site, considering the title of the section we're in.

03-11-2004, 08:38 AM
what i was trying to say is that it pisses me off when people make posts just to say "hey, i thik you're a jerk and your wrong" that's not what the site is ment for. and it's great to agree and express it to a point, but not to worship the idea.
secondly, if the songs were written with one meaning they wouldn't be so hard to decipher. they would just come out and state, don't hold grudges, think for yourself, be your self, and so on.
i love this site and i do come here for ideas and if i think i have a decent opinion i'll post it if i get the chance to get online, but i'm not so full of my self that i have to let everyone know that my opinion is just that. nor do i claim to have all the answers. their just ideas and we all need to remember that.

03-11-2004, 08:41 AM
it's the people who bash other's opinions who make them not want to share because it makes them think their ideas are worthless. that's not what the site is supposed to promote either. their is no such thing as a worthless opinion as far as i'm concerned.

Luna Galapogos
03-11-2004, 11:23 AM
I think that I must concur, it is like getting marked down on an assignment for putting your opinion down on a question that asks for your opinion. Interesting that some teachers do that. Anywho, I agree with your interpretation of what this site represents.

03-11-2004, 11:48 AM
thank you

03-12-2004, 07:37 AM
Well...l think it's ok to tell people "Hey, you're a jerk, and l think you're wrong." As long as you put the "l think" in there, and as long as you give a reason why you think that, instead of just saying it for fun.

Luna Galapogos
03-16-2004, 03:54 PM
Well...l think it's ok to tell people "Hey, you're a jerk, and l think you're wrong." As long as you put the "l think" in there, and as long as you give a reason why you think that, instead of just saying it for fun.

What is the purpose of that though, it acomplishes nothing.

03-18-2004, 04:24 PM
lt doesn't really matter what it accomplishes...what's the point of this site, do you think it's accomplishing anything besides having the members of TOOL sit down and read our pathetic excuses for theories on their songs?