"This song is about how the media affects the minds of individuals or even masses of people at a time. People turn to TV and other entertainment 'figures' for a way to live their lives rather than living it the way they would like. This usually occurs because the popular 'style' in entertainment is seen as 'cool' and therefore people follow this style in
fear that they will not fit in of they don't. This song mostly seems to focus on younger individuals being affected by the media."
"The present interpretation of this song only addresses the second verse (about the teenage girl who 'gets ideas from Madonna's nasty clothes'). While she is definitely influenced by popular culture/media this song also describes a man who looks to god/religion for direction and guidance ('... and looked into the sky/ shouting his questions, looking for directions') The middle part of the song describes how this behaviour leads to conformity and the loss of uniqueness ('...until the world is all like them') The last part of the song gives Greg's opinion ('I don't believe in self-important folks who preach/ no Bad Religion song can make your life complete') and suggests you should think for yourself instead of following others."
"This song is brilliant in so many ways: The superlative message it delivers; the way Greg sings it with so much meaning; the brooding music (especially the omnipresent the main riff); and the amazingly emotive solo. Every verse in this song deals with a different scenario, so I'll go through them one at a time: I'm not going to print the lyrics (except for some examples), cos i guess you wont read this if you don't know the song.
To me, this verse relates to a disenfranchised holy-man (like a priest or something) who is questioning his position in life. He embarks on a journey from his village in search of an answer for which he will never find. He has lost his direction in life, and he feels his life is worthless. On this journey, he will ask God to indicate what his purpose in life is.
This verse deals with a girl in early puberty, (13-14 yrs old, at a guess) who is searching for an identity. She sees images of the slutty women (Madonna or Courtney love, depending on the version) that the media portrays as role models and feels she has to dress accordingly or become an adolescents' worst nightmare, a non-conformist Outsider.
This 'bit' deals with people's unwillingness (or fear) to think for themselves and question what they are told ('no-one can live with the decisions of their own'). Greg is saying that all people do these days is regurgitate the opinions and follow the actions of others, be it the media, teachers/lectures, family or friends... and will do so until we all become the same. He is basically suggesting that people think for themselves and have more control over their life.
This verse deals with a self-righteous 'student' (a metaphor for anyone who perceives that they are better than their peers) who pushes their beliefs on others and puts down those who don't agree with them. I think Greg is basically saying that these people are arrogant fools who should be ignored (i agree!). He then backs it up with the greatest line in history 'No Bad Religion song can make your life complete,' which is basically saying that you cannot live your life by the direction of any one person (including himself). He then repeats 'You'll get no direction from me' which is basically another way of saying that no one can tell you how to live your life, you have to think for yourself and make your own decisions, the central core of most of BR's lyrics. This is what this song means to me; and even though I'm not supposed to, I'll say that this is my favorite song of all time, because of the powerful message it delivers."
"My short explanation of No Direction would probably be that Greg is saying that no one can pick a direction for you, not your parents, or God ,or Bad Religion, only you may pick the right direction ,it might not be the right way, there may not be a right direction but you must choose it and no one else. Criticism is welcomed. I am only a sophomore so my mind still requires much maturation. firstname.lastname@example.org"
"This song should be easy to understand, but I don't agree with it. They sing No BR song can influence you and you think it's true/false . The reality is different everything what you do, everything what you've got, everyone (and everything) that you meet (or it meets you) 'leave a mark on your soul', if you think that the advertisement in TV has got no influence to you you're' false, it's psychological stress. Everyone is under pressure - someone is weak, other strong. No one can be hidden, no one can be saved ...."
"Well, i think this song is about the influence that the society has over people....how society changes you mind and forces you to be someone that you really don't want to be...think about it????... not even all punkers are themselves, I think only 1% of the population is not influenced by society in that matter....no one does what they want...they always imitate people just trying to be 'cool' or trying to fit in a group ( I'm not talking only about teenagers, adults too ). almost nobody makes their own decisions, and that's societies fault, the effect that the media, the capitalism and society has on your mind and it's so hard not to be affected by it!!!!!!!! and, everybody says that the sullen figure that walks on a dusty road in the first verse is a priest or a man but i think it's Jesus, I mean, ' his life was wholly and he couldn't bear the load ', that's Jesus when he was bearing the cross and when he says ' he raised his torso and he looked into the sky......what do i do now' that Jesus in the cross asking god what he was supposed to do next."