View Full Version : an opinion i wrote about 5 years ago

11-19-2002, 01:16 AM
but it's something to start us all off, maybe?

cold & ugly is simple...

not a woman who is evil on the inside. someone who is really unhappy with
their inside person (even if they are a worthwhile lady, she's still
unhappy with it).

keeping distance. wide awake. frightened. nothing penetrates (shell of)
skin and jewelry.

she's completely aware of what she's doing. does it on purpose. buries
who she is, and puts on a fake persona. but hoboy, just let you get under
her skin, let her tell you about herself, and there's stuff in there which
will scare off the average person. it's 'cold + ugly' as in 'not warm and
fuzzy'. it's not "everything perfect." it's past trauma, something you
don't want everyone to know. and you're worried that they'd all find out.
"scared as hell."

probably stuff about her she'd best keep hidden. "scared like you /
frightened too" -- the singer is the same way. we mock those who build up
fake exteriors, the pretty girls, the molly-ringwald-breakfast-club gals.
and yet a lot of us do it.

we have our exterior, our interface to society, the person we are when
interacting casually. and there's the person we KNOW we are, and sometimes
have to cast off for the purposes of the situation. if you're suicidal
(for example), you'll often not tell everyone when you first meet them.

"hidden in your words and eyes" ...think about it. some people are better
judges of character. they can see right through you. they can tell who
you really are by how you act / talk.

and the singer knows it, he's admitting that he's the same way.

"scared like you." almost all of us are.

11-19-2002, 03:13 AM
So, Maynard wears a mask. I bet no one would have ever figured it out if they hadn't heard this song.

Something you said made me think of the Alex Gray painting, "Collective Vision" that tool uses as a backdrop for their apocolyptic live shows. It brings to my mind the idea that there are eyes all around us, watching our every move, seeing straight through our shells. The witnesses of the one mind know all of our fears, know how to use all of our weapons, and also know where the most delicate tissue to strike is. They could cripple you at a whim, without regret, in service to their God, who's unfathomable will can never be bent or reflected, let alone understood.

That may be way off topic, but that's what I think the song is really about; how we're all the same, divine. Some people have something really ugly inside of them, that they cover up with something they think is beautiful. Others have a sparkling jewel, but can't show anyone for fear of loosing it or having it damaged. A few people have learned that there is a middle path, and know that ugly and beautiful are the same thing. I don't reckon I know any of em, but I heard they gots incredible powers on tha TV. Invisibility. Who knows? That's just what I heard. But could you even see them? Oh God...

I did want to post a question, for someone so inclined to answer. What if you threw away your mask, and left that glimmering abomination out for all of the world to see? Would you die? Could it be worse?

11-19-2002, 12:29 PM
just wanted to reply to the last question about shedding your "mask." i honestly DONT have an answer. when thinking about it, it would be almost impossible to be "real" to ALL people. personally, i talk or act different around alot of people. i DO however, feel the most "honest" and "real" when im around my friends and family.....people that i love. when im around these individuals i feel like theyve seen the "naked" side of me. there is no boundary or clothing upon my body and soul. they have seen me without my "mask."

alex greys artwork is probably the closest thing there is to losing ones "mask." when dealing with our personalities.....it has a LOT to do with physical appearances and awkwardnesses. i personally have suffered much depression from struggle to be comfortable with my "self." his artwork conveys a message of unity and can relate to us ALL. there is no black man, white man, in his depictions of life and love. only when he depicts the "sacred mirrors" does he REFLECT an image with flesh and skin tones. all of his other masterpieces represent humans on a "spiritual" level. a pint in which one can be almost transparent and see through.

i know its off the subject of the "mask," but when refering to "cold and ugly" i was so happy and comforted to hear maynard sing those lyrics: "i am, scared like you." to me, he is basically saying his on equal ground. he is no better than "us." that he too is scared and searches to see the light that would blend the cold and ugly together.

ill get off my soap-box now......

-s p i r a l - o u t - k e e p - g o i n g-

Burning Eden
11-20-2002, 04:51 PM
I think I agree with Kabir. It's about being affraid of who you are on the inside..."Beneathe the skin and jewelry" seems to suggest something like that. "She's scared as hell" might mean that she is affraid of who she is on the inside or affraid to let people know the real her. "Keeping distance"... She doesn't like to feel vulnerable so she doesn't let herself get to close to anyone. Maybe it is about a person who lacks confidence in herself...

About the mask thing... I believe in a way we all wear masks... it's hard to operate in society without one. We have to wear masks at our jobs, at school, just about everywhere. People who don't sympathize and conform to the environment they are in sometimes have a difficult time forming relationships. I find that my masks are merely an extension of myself.

11-23-2002, 09:01 PM
Christ, Kabir.

Now that you say that, Cold and Ugly perfectly describes a girl I know. I haven't thought of it that way before.

11-23-2002, 09:21 PM
I think the lyric "Wide awake and keeping distance from my soul" sums up this song quite nicely. The person he is speaking of is conciously (wide awake) keeping themselves from themselves. They are resisting the urge to let what they've buried deep shine through.

"Nothing seems to penetrate her cuz she's scared as hell." This person is so frightened of who they really are (and more importantly, what others would THINK of what they truly are) that all attemps to dig a little deepr from an outside source are quickly brushed aside.

This song is an excellent descripion of the human instinct created by society to put on a mask we believe everyone will like, regardless of what it does to our true selves.

12-05-2002, 04:51 AM
I heard this song and I thought of it like Prison Sex. First, I think the woman is like a hooker, but can not escape being one. Maynard was abused, and you get the feeling like you are dirty. So its like you stay up at night keeping distance from your own, your soul, trying to avoid eye contact.
Also, 'I am frightened too' like in the Prison Sex video, and the leather dude keeps coming back, and the ceramic dude just faints in disgusted hopelessness.
Although to me its a very morbid and creepy topic, I think the song rocks hard. When he says frightened, it sounds like his vocal chords are blistering

12-05-2002, 08:54 AM
Perhaps this is referring to a phenomenon on psychology called Projection. Its when a person has repressed ideas, taken parts of themselves that are not 'appropriate' for use in the real world and hidden them from view and from themselves. Denying that they exist and burying them beneath some kind of mask as we have been discussing. Now where projection comes in is when we run into someone else and see those repressed qualities in them. The strange thing about this is that when we see these qualities in others they may not actually be there (no one else will notice the anger that you see in a group) because it is the only way that we can see our own repressed traits. It provides a distance for us to see it. In the example above we would see the crowd as being angry and unbending rather then realizing that this is in fact what we are doing ourselves.

Wide awake and keeping distance...you are consciously aware of the anger but you have made it distant by taking it outside of yourself. Made it safe to deal with because it isnt "YOUR" anger.

So maybe what is really happening is that the narrator (or Maynard if you prefer to think of it that way) is looking at someone else this woman buried in jewlry and is seeing this coldness and resitance to allowing others to SEE them without the materialistic shield. He sees it in this other person and notices the fear this woman has of FEELING and allowing herself to be vulnerable...but then it becomes apparent that these are indeed truley his own feelings manifesting in the other. (of course I could be completely wrong and this could in fact be a couple attempting to know each other) This realization is where he sees that he is indeed afraid and that he must overcome these flaws to grow. He can't be afraid anymore and he must not run from his essense.

Again this is just A way of thinking about it...there are of course otherways to see it.

12-11-2002, 06:25 AM
I can hardly believe that no one has really made a point of the blatent sexual refenences. I think the song really speaks on two levels, the physical and the spitiual, both very tied to the sexual nature of the relationship between the speaker and his lover.

First of all, he seems to be talking her vagina, "a wall that thats cold and ugly" "underneath her skin and jewelry." She "trembles at the thought of feeling," clearly showing some fear, aprehensiveness of having sex. "Nothing seems to penetrate her." It is a fear they both have, this nervousness of sex, this fear of taking that step into the dangerous, unknown, VULNERABLE experience. But the song is not only about the physical part of sex; the physical part parallels the emotional part. This fear she feels manifests itself in "her words and eyes," but not conciously. She is very protective of what lies inside, in both senses, and can't make herself vulnerable to such a powerful experience. As a result she pushes herself away from any potential threat. The speaker wants to bring her into this world, but she is still too protective. He wants to expose himself to her, completely, at his most basic level, his very soul (which is why he is scared - a terrifying commitment to anyone). But he's still willing to do it, and she's not.

I don't think that this song is really like "Prison Sex" because this one deals with a "real love," a desire to reach someone in a deep compasionate way. "Prison Sex" deals with rape, ruthlessly exploiting a child for his own sake. The vulnerability is the same, but one sex makes you whole, and the other perverts and/or kills you inside. The intimacy in "Cold & Ugly" is much closer to "Stinkfist" or "PuShit."

Also, regarding projection, projection is a Freudian defense mechanism used unconciously to defend the ego. I think the woman is really the one trying to protect herself, and the man is willing to go ahead despite his fear. He seems to be sympathetic to her fear. Besides, projection is unconcious, and she is "wide awake and keeping distance from my soul," deliberately trying to protect herself, even if she tries to hide why. I think Sundryan hit the nail on the head here.

11-19-2006, 03:45 PM