Tool: AEnima Meaning
Song Released: 1997
spacemonkey Jun 28th, 2009 6:51pm report
California is sinking due to the shifting of the tectonic plates and has been for a long time. I believe this song is simply maynard stating how after being in LA for a while and witnessing all its pomposity, arrogance and superficiality, he welcomes the armageddon the place will soon see. This is evident when he recites the list of the people inhabiting las angelas (insecure actresses, Scientologists, gangster wannabes, retro hipsters) and then immediately states they should all "learn to swim". Near the end of the song he states that "moms comin' round to put it back he way it aughta be" --- "mom" in this scenario i believe to be mother nature, giving the world a much needed enema and "flushing it all away". When maynard says he'll see us down arizona bay, it is a reference to the comedy of bill hicks who's heavily referenced on the album. Hicks' album arizona bay deals heavily with the same idea's about las angelas.
anonymous Feb 7th, 2009 2:10pm report
I think people are trying to read too much into it.
I mean, yeah, there's obviously a deeper meaning, but sometimes if you try to go that far into trying to "get" a song, you miss the story. For example; reading the lyrics, the first thing that I imagine is L.A.'s own apocalypse, where Maynard is calling LA a "fucking hole", and "the only way to fix it is to flush it all away". It's a story about LA's apocalypse. Again, I do think there's a deeper meaning, but if you try to hard, you take much of the enjoyment out of listening to it. Once in a while, you should just listen to the song, and listen to the story it's telling.
anonymous Dec 12th, 2008 12:52pm report
I'm taking a little of each side of these interpretations and suggesting maybe Maynard is saying we all need to say fuck living a fake life (like so many people in L.A. do just as an example). Hes not saying he's excited to see some earthquake or title wave hit the West coast but that if everyone were to just start thinking and doing for themselves and not for the sake of other's opinions then it'd be like losing a shit-ton of fake people in the world. A global 'enima' if you will, a cleansing. Learn to swim- learn to be yourself live your life.
anonymous Nov 28th, 2008 11:42pm report
I have an almost plainly obvious observation of this song.
I believe this song is about basically, conformity.
"Learn to swim", Think for your own, break away from the others in the school of fish instead of tagging along on their backs.
"Mom's gonna fix it all soon." Standard thought by a large majority of us that someone else is gonna step in and make everything better. Maynard's way of telling you to take a stand and step in, perhaps?
Just a little of what i think this song is... But it's whatever you want it to be.
"The American progressive rock band, Tool, used Jungian concepts in some of the work for their album, Aenima. The song 46&2 talks specifically of the archetype of the shadow, and in one boot-legged recording, of unknown date and place, the vocalist, Maynard James Keenan, introduces the song by asking the crowd if they were familiar with Jung's work, before explaining that they formed the basis for the song. Along with the reference to the anima archetype, the song's symbolism of water, which is often used to represent the unconscious, and the notion of transformation through the flushing of detritus all speak to the influence of Jungian thought."
Taken from Wikipedia.
Lets not overlook the theme of materialism in the song... "Fret for your late and fret for you lawsuit and fret for you..." and how LA is "one great big neon distraction". This song is about nature reclaiming what needs to be erased and re-evaluated. Ill see you down in Arizona bay so learn to swim. So I can imagine, at the end of the world, when LA is being swallowed by the ocean, and all the CEOs and actors and actresses frantic trying to save their possessions like saving those things are really going to matter at this point. Give up on your contracts and pilots and cars, learn to swim because its all going down and you can't float if you hold onto it all. The people that can ditch their shit and swim to AZ will make it, others would rather die if they can't swim with all their possessions, and those are the people that "mom" is taking care of. why wouldnt you welcome any change?
This song is about flushing the world of the dumb people. Learning to swim would be for the people that would have no clue how to survive without modern conveniences. If the situation of meteors or such did happen this song would be true. There would be dumbfounded dipshits everywhere asking for help. The L.A. point is because that is where the lifestyle for these people comes from. Mother nature will correct this as she always has.
anonymous Aug 8th, 2008 8:28am report
Im willing to just accept this song as it is...i think it is hysterical and right on. That's it and that's that.
anonymous Jul 15th, 2008 7:53pm report
This song is about the cleansing of the inner self, as said before. Anima meaning inner-self, enema meaning anal cleaning, put them together and what do you get?: clean out your inner-self...particularly in a rather nasty place, full of shit...L.A. Is pretty nasty. AND full of shit people. And he wants it to flush away like a big pile of shit in a toilet.
anonymous Jul 6th, 2008 7:11pm report
Of course anyone can interpret any song of Tool and of any other band as he wants,but I think this one is pretty obvious:
Maynard refers on LA only as an example.In a deeper layer,he talks about the destruction that is being done every day by the Man towards the Man and the Nature.It's not a destruction scenario,it's much more than that.We have created a paranoid world,all we do is destroy.''Fuck your short memory'' refers to that,we can not see what are we doing to the world around us,we manipulate Nature only to earn.So ''the only way to fix this is to flush it all away''.Social references are obvious,i think we should focus more on the philosophical aspect of the lyrics.
''Mom's comin' round to put it back the way it ought to be''is refering to Mother Nature I think,and I deeply agree with Maynard,this situation is sick and has to be changed.
anonymous Apr 4th, 2008 4:51pm report
For the most part most you are all close to what I think Maynard meant. If you are any bit of a true fan you would know that tool hardly, if ever, tells us what they wrote it for or about. Thats the beauty of why Tool are such great artist. They leave it up to you to think for your self.
The cd does show California sinking. Also there's a bit of the late comedian Bill Hicks "Great Times On Drugs" and a weird painting of him that says "Another dead hero". In his stand-up cds(HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)he talks about "Arizona Bay". So I think Maynard is mostly talking about that.
Again, Tool loves for us to come up with crazy outlandish ideas from the simplest meaning. Its funner that way.
p.s. Did anyone notice the number of interpretations for tool compared to the others? Got them by around 900. TOOL sure knows how to get us thinking?
anonymous Mar 26th, 2008 3:55pm report
This song is about obviously about how worthless L.A. Is and how scientists have predicted that it could eventually fall in the ocean leaving Arizona on the coast. Maynard among other people [bill hicks] would like to see this happen and it would be a start to our cleansing. This song has a lot of negative overtones followed by the grand finally of a better life either with the whole nation falling by natural disaster or just L.A. The song was written for and inspired by the comedy of bill hicks.
anonymous Feb 25th, 2008 2:33pm report
This song is about all the corruption and bullshit that Hollywood has spawned and the cleansing of it.
I'm tired of all these people thinking that Maynard sings about things that only he can understand and that its so deep. If you truly listen its not as deep or hard to understand as most people think it is, or that could just be me.
anonymous Feb 15th, 2008 2:36am report
I cannot say what exactly he means, but I have an idea. See when I went down the path of enlightenment I began to hate everything around me. I was disgusted by the hopeless fucking hole that surrounded me. I began to learn the truth (not wild conspiracy's but historical FACTS) about the government, media, and the world.
The funny thing about all this is I used to HATE Tool! On the radio I would always change it, being one of the hugely repeated songs on the radio. I accidentally downloaded this song, and heard it uncut. This was right at the time of my questioning everything around me and truthfully I was quite angry. Now That I hear this song, I totally identify with his attitude here.
Learn to swim is a vocal handshake with any with knowledge of the most likely of all human-ending events. He is probably talking about the coast (which have the highest populations and are usually the most dirty of human filth) and how they will disappear if we have a polar shift, due to any cosmic changes to our gravity (another thing we know nothing about, all theory). This is why one of the biggest pyramids were found in the seas of japan.
When you debate the future of human kind you always come to one solution, either something HUGE has to change, or we are all done. This is Maynards way of expressing how many of us feel who know, we cannot wait to see this beautiful and majestic planet suck away the filth that is humanity, and once again create balance.
NO more drug/fertility worshiping cults ( christianity )
NO more materialistic propaganda flooding our minds.
NO more political bullshit putting a face to our slavery.
NO more child rapist living next door. (in the church)
NO MORE HUMAN! we are an incredible dark being, and we are creating an imbalance. So, naturally, this planet is going to flea shampoo our dirty little asses right off her planet, and as you can see, she has done it before and has become very good at it. I cannot wait either, Maynard. It will be so beautiful I cannot even imagine or speculate! How lucky we are to be alive to see it with our organic eyes! That experience must be very rare... we all should be thankful for being given such a wonderful gift from this vastness we call eternity!
So drop the bullshit and live this thing before its over. Trust me.
anonymous Dec 19th, 2007 12:50pm report
Maynard is clearly disgusted at the hive of decadence that the modern, self-centered, media driven world (Represented by LA) has become and claims that the only way to cleanse this evil is to totally destroy it, hence the apocalyptic imagery. This is shit that has to be cleaned with biblical floods, like the way an enema cleans human bowels.
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