"Alright, when Stranger Than Fiction came out people were saying that BR were sell outs. That's beside the point, but for the record, I don't think they sold out. In the first verse (it's the 2nd verse in the lyrics sheet) Brett says 'If I'm a monster, I'm a willing'. To me this means he's willing to LOOK like a sell out, or whatever he has to do to get what he wants, as long as it means doing things for himself and making himself happy. 'This roller coaster ride is an enticing one, on the tip of a continuum flowing wave like through disorder, carry me like a vessel through water': I interpret the roller coaster ride as being that of the beginning of the commercial stardom that they were finally getting around this time and the 'enticing' part being all the financial opportunities. 'On the tip of continuum...' though, I have no clue, so if someone would tell me how they interpret that part then I'd love to hear it. In the 2nd verse (the 1st verse in the lyrics! sheet), 'If I can touch it I can destroy it. If it's imaginable to some degree I can become it.' This sounds like he's just saying that he, or anyone else for that matter, can make something and destroy it just as easily, whether they mean to or not. 'Like a hungry turning vortex that just flickers to existence, consuming bits and pieces till I'm finally extinguished': no fucking clue, I'd love someone else's input on this line. In the choruses (which are brilliant) it seems to deal w/ a range of things. 'Everything you SEE, FEEL, TOUCH, MAKE leaves a mark on your soul.' Everything you DO affects you in one way or another. 'Everyone you SEE, BARE, TOUCH, LOVE leaves a mark on your soul.' Everyone you see is significant in the way that it's a new face that you've never seen before and that face is stored in your brain, somewhere, forever. Which I think is remarkable. Everyone you touch; well the way I look at, when you accidentally bump into someone in a crowd then you've bumped into a shit load of other people, because then that person tends to bump into someone else and so on. Like a domino effect. Or if you touch a person you know, then you tend to never forget it. Everyone you love: has anyone ever forgotten someone they love, be it a family member or spouse or girlfriend? If if the person is no longer among you, you never forget them. And that goes for even the people you ONCE loved and NO LONGER love: you never forget them because they've left their mark on your soul. 'Everything you TAKE, GIVE...': You remember when you take something from someone else, be it in right or wrong way, and you remember when you give, be it a gift or even letting go of something/someone. 'All the FEAR and LONELINESS that's impossible to control': I think that Brett could be hinting at his past drug addictions, as he so often does, because most addicts are afraid and/or lonely (I know). Either that or he could just be saying that fear and loneliness never completely leave are memory and is therefore imprinted on us somewhere ! in our minds. 'Every TEAR we cry...': Another thing imprinted on our souls: sadness. If anyone else has their own opinions on this song's meaning then I'd like to hear them, because I'd like to understand this song even better since it's one of my favs by BR."
"I agree with a lot of Old School's ideas about the song, however I feel that the first two verses are not about their profession or about other people's opinions of them. In fact, I don't believe that any of their songs except 'No Direction' deal with what the general populace thinks about the band. I think the first verses are just about life itself. 'If I'm a monster, I'm a willing one, this roller coaster ride is an enticing one'--this says to me that the journey of life is so enjoyable even if you're not doing the things deemed acceptable by society. Punk rock, for instance. And that's my take on that. I don't think it's so literal as to they feel that they should have to defend their position. I mean who would really want to waste a whole song on that? And certainly Bad Religion are smart enough to not waste precious words on such an unimportant and miniscule detail as that. Who gives a crap what anybody thinks? And that's my take."
"I remember reading Mr. Brett once saying: 'I used to challenge God, in ways of daring him to manifest himself to me. Like daring him to move the pencil in front of me'. This song says this to me. Brett says; [If I'm a monster, I am a willing one]... As in; Hey, I'll take the risk of being Wrong in daring God to reveal himself to me, so what...[this roller coaster ride is an enticing one]. Life is way too interesting not to question it's how and why. [On the tip of a continuum flowing wavelike through disorder]. I interpret this as: 'On a trip into oblivion flying wavelike through disorder' ... Ever been high on anything else than weed? No!?? I haven't either, but my guess is this is pretty much what it'd be like.... [Carry me like a vessel to water], to me this somehow reminds me of baptism; cleaning/purifying the soul... Something like that... This line also reminds me of Noah's story, as in cleaning the world of sin. (for all you atheists... just try getting some of the main bible stories, alright... ;) So the question now is, why should the soul be cleaned or purified? Well...because: [everything you see leaves a mark on your soul, everything you feel leaves a mark on your soul, everything you touch leaves a mark on your soul, everything you make leaves a mark on your soul] Okay, second verse. I think we'll continue in the thoughts set up in the first verse. Challenging and questioning God. Taking this concept one step farther; I am my own God. [if I can touch it, I can destroy it. If it's imaginable to some degree, I can become it. like a hungry turning vortex that just flickers to existence. Consuming bits and pieces until I'm finally extinguished] The last two lines are the conclusion of the first two, to me they say: I consume knowledge all my life [consuming bits and pieces], regardless [a hungry destroying vortex] of what anyone around me might think about me and my thoughts [flickering to existence] until my hunger for knowledge is satisfied [the vortex is extinguished]. Kinda deep huh.... Continuing into the second refrain, where the things have turned into persones: [everyone you see leaves a mark on your soul, everyone you bare leaves a mark on your soul, everyone you touch leaves a mark on your soul, everyone you love leaves a mark on your soul] After that the last refrain, working through the first two lines [everything you take leaves a mark on your soul. everything you give leaves a mark on your soul] towards the conclusion of the song. Whether you're your own God or not, it doesn't matter; No matter how well you think you're able to grasp life, you'll never be able to control it [fear and loneliness are impossible to control]. So finally the biggest grief of all, [every tear you cry leaves a mark on your soul] A pretty pessimistic song telling life scares us. As we grow older we go through life with our souls Marked by everything we see, feel, touch, make, bare, love, give and by every tear we cry. But this is exactly what punk is about, not being scared to question life and live it to it's fullest, even though it might mark you. And what the hell: 'If it makes you scared and bitter, at least it's not for very long' (Slumber). No wonder these songs are next to each other on the album."