"My personal interpretation, done line-by-line. >Stranded, in a life in which your struggle for acceptance is a never-ending >chore I'm still in High school, and can definitely relate to this line. Whether it be what I wear, what I listen to, what I put on my backpack or hoodie, or anything else, I definitely can't escape the scrutiny of everybody, including myself. How much of their ideology do I buy into? How much of myself, and the truths I hold so dear, do I keep? To quote Anti-Flag, "Who do we fear, who do we trust, how do we know?" >Upbraided, for your actions past and present, and rewarded for ideas >of the future's bright open door This follows up one of the ideas in the previous line; your everyday actions are scrutinized, meticulously recorded, and used against you. Also, you never really become acknowledged/given importance and a say/rewarded until you espouse the nauseatingly happy brainwashed propaganda given to you by your school, government, religion etc. >The henchman, is the human analogue, of the suffering multitudes >who like good dogs sit and lick for their reward The henchman, AKA the crony, lackey, etc. epitomizes all those endlessly hoping wage-slave coffee-achievers who wait 'til the end of their lives for some sort of recognition or ultimate pearl of wisdom. >So what good advice have I got to give, to insure against your likely >metamorphosis into this reprobate? >Don't be a henchman! >Stand on your laurels, >Do what no one else does, and >Praise the good of other men for good man's sake. >And when everyone else in the world follows your lead, >(Although a cold day in hell it will surely be,) >That's when the entire world shall live in harmony! "What? You're asking ME what I think you should do to make sure you never lose your soul in such a void and uncaring, conformist environment? Well, here's what I think; never give in! Never surrender! Don't let the crushing weight of the world sink you from the heavens! If you pull off some random act of kindness, then people might follow your example, (even though it's not bloody likely for anybody to do some good in this world), and the whole world will be a finer place!" Ok, so this part is strangely out-of-tone with the rest of the song when put as above. Still, it's always what I've believed, more or less, and tried to live my life by. Don't be a henchman, stand on your laurels, no matter what the dire consequences may be; do what no one else does, and think for once! Praise the good of other men, since we're all in this together, and if you help others, others are more likely to help you, for good man's sake. And when everyone follows your lead, maybe off in the far future, though it looks pretty damn unlikely with the current bleak outlook, it'll be peace on Earth and the whole of our species will live in harmony! Or something like that. Anyways, that's some of the reasons why I've always loved this song."
-Shingo Sabin Beyeler