The Streets Of America
"This is the ultimate song of contradictions. Each adjective contradicts the next. Greg's best work with words. Lots of metaphors and oxymorons--just great. This song is pretty much about how our dark fate is looking as we destroy the environment and ourselves. He pretty much compares the US goal as coming from a decaying corpse or the sewers (in the line 'radiating from so many septic sources'). It's all unfulfilled dreams and promises of progress, prosperity, and peace. This goals we follow by 'meandering,' basically meaning that we wander around instead of going for it at once, to the horizon, our finish line. We've damaged Earth and even our own citizens, Greg calling them 'natives' (probably referring to native Americans--and by the way, the US is not America, it's just part of America. It's a common misconception that lead to many unwanted things, such as a feeling of superiority, racism, discrimination, and hate. I don't really like it when people call the US America). Then, Greg goes on to say that our children are doomed as we are a bunch of inepts, who will never reach climax. All that's left is blind hope that what our ancestors hoped for will come true."
"I agree w/ Bad Aeronuts in that this is poetry well done, but it is very complex, so I'll try my best here. Graffin may have written the song to be translated both ways, but I would think that he is probably referring to what many African Americans are going through, as a result of America's policy of using and then socially discarding slaves and so many of their descendants, by not providing them with compensation and education. Why i think this: The streets of America are not typically filled with native Americans, but they are with African Americans (as well as other minorities). The phrase 'Native sons' may come from the title of the novel by Richard Wright (which i recommend). The line 'catch the sweat from off of the chin" seems to indicate those who have labored for the first European immigrants. Now they may be looking for what was promised 'when you led them astray (40 acres and a mule was only the beginning).' Native Americans have been led a! stray, which is why i wonder about a dichotomy in meaning, but so African Americans, and many are still being led astray. Every election year African American communities seem to helplessly look to politicians in hope of as much recompense as possible. Also, one can almost literally step back, and take a look in their community and see the damage done, where one would have to visit an Indian reservation to see the damage done there. Or maybe the line 'step back and see the damage done' is more vague, indicating that the first European immigrants first made social (and geographical) displacement a practice with native Americans and continued the practice with the next wave of people they deemed to be useless. Finally, i know that it mentions 'greener pastures', and so we think 'Native Americans' but that may be a metaphor for the campaign promises every year. Someone else help me out."