Them And Us

"This song seems to be about how there isn't a clear difference between enemies in human existence. It takes a stance on how one person knows there is really no difference between him and his enemy and how he tries to explain this to the others. Greg further states that this may frustrate ignorant people thus forcing violent behavior towards the 'enemy.' This is shown in the line 'tumult for the ignorant and purpose for the violence.' Another important point made in this song is that the two sides will bend the truth about each other in order to justify that they are different thus allowing the fighting to continue. This point is seen in this line: 'bending the significance to match a whimsied fable.'"



"When I hear this song, I can't help but think of nationalism, and all of it's terrible consequences throughout the 20th century.  There has been France, their hatred of Germans, Hitler and his hatred of Jews and Eastern Peoples, and the hatred continues to this day in conflicts of Eastern Europe. It is often the case, that when one group uses force of Power on a more vulnerable group, that forceful group is only acting out their perception of what has already been done to them.  At some point we as people have to say, "Enough already!" Graffin is good at pointing out sociological problems and consequences.  I think this is one his most powerful songs, lyrically."



"I think this song can be interpreted in many different ways.  My view of this song was that Greg was referring to Jesus forming the religion of Christianity.  'despite he say blatant similarity, he struggled to find distinctive moiety.' basically, he just changed a couple of points from the old religions and called it his.  I'm not too sure what them and us means, but maybe simply, believers and non believers.  The song goes on to talk about how the religion can justify death by saying we are the good guys they are the bad ones. There's a lot more to it, but I'm lazy..."



"I'm simply not convinced by the third interpretation.  Where to begin...Ok, first and foremost, Graffin is describing the personality of someone like Hitler, not Jesus of Nazareth.  Jesus may be guilty of having a 'son of God' complex and incapability to perceive that into which his religion (in practice) would evolve; however, when one studies the Gospel one usually finds that virulence, violence and personal insecurities are not components of Jesus' personality.  Rarely (once, I believe) did he mention turning people against each other.  He was trying to fix what he perceived to be problems with the old code.  Even though his followers might have wanted it, Jesus NEVER advocated violence toward the enforcers of the old code, although eventually he endured plenty done unto him.  Also, he didn't just 'change a couple of points' of the old law, as has been argued (above).  Although the idea of everlasting life as granted by Yahweh may have resulted in disastrous consequences eventually, one usually admits that Jesus revolutionized religion.  One more thing:  where in the song does it go on to talk about 'how the religion can justify the death by saying we are the good guys and they are the bad ones'?  I'd welcome any comments."



"First of all, I just want to say that to truly be open-minded, you have to be willing to look at both sides of an issue. Similarly with interpretations. Everyone has a different interpretation. Anyone who would take the time to post a criticism against another interpretation obviously misses the point, Nichsnutz. To me, this song is about creating an enemy to justify ones own actions and beliefs. Islamic fundamentalists hate Americans because they feel we are 'corrupting' the world, going against every teaching in their religious texts. So they target us for their terror attacks. Millions of African Americans were captured and forced into slavery because a handful of Europeans deemed them less than human, far inferior to themselves. Homosexuals are constantly discriminated against by the religious conservatives. In order to limit their rights, the conservatives try to show homosexuals as AIDS-infested child molesters out to 'recruit' the youth of America. A varsity football player beats up a 'goth' because the kid is 'different.' A 'punk' kid decides to break a storefront window at a rally because the window happens to be part of a Starbucks, and Starbucks is a corporation and corporations are enemies to punks. Simply to justify an immature impulse to be destructive. I think what Greg is trying to say is that people tend to think they can get away with anything if they can create an enemy. The 'Them and Us' mentality is dangerous. Get a group of people to believe in the same enemy and anything can happen."



"The song talks about sectarianism. Although we share 99% of genes, we (humans) have this tendency to split up in groups. There's always an excuse (religion, political position, nationality, ethic group) so we or our government can justify the crimes committed against other humans. Nazism against Jews, communists and gays; Stalinism against capitalists; all religions against each other; American imperialism against third world countries. They all assumed they knew the absolute truth (save the world from ... - fill the blank) to justify their brutal acts."