30 Seconds To Mars: The Fantasy Meaning
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The Fantasy Lyrics
Even with a stranger never gets painless
Don't be afraid (afraid, afraid)
Every time I think I'm gonna change it (think I'm gonna change it, think I'm gonna change it)
It's driving me (driving...
anonymous Apr 13th, 2008 4:07pm report
I think it has to deal with an addiction of any sort. It could be a sex addict or a druggie...anything.
"With the lights out it’s a little less dangerous
Even with a stranger never gets painless
Don’t be afraid (afraid, afraid)
Every time I think I’m gonna change it (think I'm gonna change it, think I'm gonna change it)
It’s driving me (driving me) insane (insane)
(Yeah, yeah, yeah)
He strives for changing his life and his being, but everyone around him sees him for what he really is. Thats why it never gets painless, and "with the lights out (not literally, just about being alone)its a little less dangerous" because people will not see what he is , and he does not want to be in that situation. Thats why he dreams of the fantasy about being himself and having people around him and not worrying about his addiction."Maybe tonight we can forget about it all
It could be just like heaven" he wants it to end now, so his life will be what he wants (fantasy)This addiction has changed himself .."I am a machine, no longer living just a shell of what I dreamed" and he cannot control it.It has drained his true self, but now it is to him, like a scar on his face which reveals his evil identity.
"Say it, say it, say that you believe
(Automatic, I imagine I believe)"
He wants people to believe in him that he can change himself, and that he believes.
anonymous Nov 12th, 2007 11:11pm report
I think the song also talks about his life. He describes the way he acts when he calls himself a "machine" and "no longer living" (meaning he lives lifelessly, just an empty shell). I also believe that when he repeats "automatic, I imagine, I believe", he explains that he doesn't give much thought to what he does; it simply happens (It is frequent for those suffering from depression to act like "zombies" or "robots". Therefore, they do not think of what to do next, they simply follow their instinct, what they know, and act "automatic"ally). In pain ("it never gets painless"), he dreams of something in particular; perhaps a place of escape. In order to accomplish that dream, or fantasy, he is willing to do whatever in order to get it.
anonymous Mar 3rd, 2008 3:37pm report
There are lots of other song references in these lyrics - maybe it's about influence?
anonymous Jun 10th, 6:38am report
I believe, after much consideration, that this song makes the most sense when heard as the voice of a prostitute.
“With the lights out it's a little less dangerous
Even with a stranger, never gets painless
Don't be afraid (afraid, afraid)”
The first “dangerous” line is one of the harder ones to figure out. It strikes me as her saying that, when the lights are out, it’s easier for the guy to believe the fantasy and get lost in the moment, rather than realize what it is they’re both doing. If that happened (which is really the crux of the song) then she is reminded of what her reality really is, a hollow medium for others’ fantasy fulfillment. Also, “it never gets painless” shows she never became desensitized to the acts she’s doing. “Don’t be afraid” is the first invitation to the man to act on and believe in the fantasy.
“Every time I think I’m gonna change it
It's driving me insane”
This is the line showing that when she allows herself to think about getting out of her situation, she goes crazy because she has to come to terms with where she is and the seemingly impossibly challenge of getting out of that world.
“Do you live, do you die, do you bleed
For the fantasy?
In your mind, through your eyes, do you see
It's the fantasy?“
This is the first chorus, and is actually only one half at this point in the song before going back to the verses. This is her asking the man if he lives for the fantasy, and if he’s thinking and actually seeing the fantasy that he wants played out. If these questions are answered affirmatively, then she is giving this man what he lives for, and therefore has a purpose for her actions and lifestyle.
“Maybe tonight we can forget about it all
It could be just like heaven
I am a machine
No longer living, just a shell of what I dreamed”
I interpret the first two lines of this verse to be what she is saying out loud to the man. She is recommending that they escape to the fantasy so they can “forget about it all” both of whom have things that they are wishing to get out of their minds, at least for a short time. The second half is what she is thinking to herself when she knows what she has to do. She is a machine whose purpose is to grant a fantasy, which of course is almost certainly not what she had formerly dreamed for her life.
Then we get the “Do you live, do you die, do you bleed for the fantasy” half of the chorus (same questioning as before) but this time followed by
“Say it, say it, say that you believe
Say it, say it, to me“
This part is screamed, and I feel that this is the internal cry of the woman begging for these actions to mean literally anything at all to anyone. By saying that they believe, they are affirming the fantasy she has created, and so she is fulfilling what she believes to be her purpose. Without the man saying they believe, even that hollow purpose that she is seeking to be affirmed is gone.
Then we get this:
“Do you live, do you die, do you bleed
For the fantasy?
Automatic, I imagine, I believe“
These are the same questions followed by the reply from the other. Automatic, I imagine, I believe, meaning that they dive into the fantasy without any hesitation, imagining and believing in it as reality. The music here as these lines are spoken is very quiet, and then hits hard and builds into screaming and loud cries. These could mean any number of things, but I feel that, and this could be a reach, that they are the woman’s deepest desires to escape the life she has crying out in sadness because her weak and hollow purpose has been fulfilled.
The last chorus is an overlapping of the lines “Say it, say it, say that you believe. Say it, say it to me.” And “Automatic, I imagine, I believe.” This is the final affirmation from both sides: That she deeply craves his desire for the fantasy she provides, and he wishes so badly to escape and forget that he imagines and believes her created fantasy automatically. Both ultimately create a downward spiral where the other is affirming a lost and broken idea in the other.
That’s my take anyway. This probably isn’t how or why it was written, but this context gives the song the most meaning for me. Pretty sad and dark, but a stark reminder that this is reality for some people. Also, it’s an interesting idea to reflect on regarding those downward spirals that we may be perpetuating within our own lives in the relationships around us.
Thanks for reading!
anonymous Aug 13th, 2012 8:15pm report
I percieve it as a man following some self-induced addiction, phisically or mentally, and at whatever cost to himself.
anonymous May 26th, 2011 5:12am report
Well all of you idiots its very easy he had a dream and to make his dream come true he joined the free masons and they probably scammed him they give you what ever you want power money fame but you have to use your power for their benefit
Example: they asked you to kill someone if you dont you will be killed
anonymous Jul 28th, 2010 7:38am report
...instaed of posting something long and complicated...i pretty much think its about you wanting what you think about something to be true rather then the actual truth...
anonymous Jun 23rd, 2010 6:53pm report
I think that this song is about an addiction. Not necessarily drugs or sex, but something that he was addicted to. Even though he doesn't want it anymore, he can't get away, so he pretends to like it while suffering on the inside. "Automatic, I imagine, I believe" is pretty straightforward in my opinion. He imagines that it's a good thing and in the end he believes it. "Automatic" might refer to the fact that the addiction has been going on for so long that it's a routine he does without really thinking, just automatically. "I am a machine
No longer living, just a shell of what I dreamed " probably once more alludes to the fact that he's done it for a long time that it's automatic, machine-like. It also means that the addiction has emptied him of everything: his friends, job, life etc.
anonymous Jun 7th, 2010 6:21pm report
It sounds to me like the singer is in a relationship with someone that wants to pretend they're someone or something else - because in the dark it's easy to imagine you're any other person, no one knows it's you or what you're doing. You're free to be what you really want to be with no consequences. Except that the singer thinks they CAN have what they want, the person he's singing to just has to face up to it, say it out loud instead of hiding in the shadows of a fantasy world. He feels like a machine, a faceless entity because the person he loves is only 'pretending'. This person he loves could be with anyone and be happy in their fantasy, whereas the singer loves this person and wants them to be together out in the open. It happened to me once so I may be a bit biased lol
anonymous Mar 16th, 2010 3:28pm report
It is about an addiction. mentally or physically inducted. Anyway, it's not about lost loves or that sort of crappy bullshit.
anonymous Oct 7th, 2009 10:18am report
I interpret this song as;
The singer ('boy') sings about a girl he has lost. The girl can't live with confronting herself with him as she isn't sure about her own. She's trying to fly away from it and seeking pleasure in new things, that's the boy saying 'even with a stranger, it never gets painless' as he doesn't believe it works that way.
The boy won't let the girl go before knowing it's fixed, as he would lose himself in some way as he swore himself he loved the girl in the past and would make her get 'the best of her life'. He's living for his dream, fantasy, but it's just an empty shell he's fighting for. He's become a machine while he's trying to persuit this dream, all he has left is this shell and for that reason, of more importance to keep standing for. He's living and bleeding for it.
It could then also be an attack to the idea of willing to have anything 'perfect', posing the question in what degree this is possible. The boy might be adressing somebody to change his perception of life and the things that happened.
At the same time, 'the fantasy' wouldn't be referring to his dream, but to close-minded thoughts from the girl, but she keeps believing in it, and is bleeding for it ... She too has become a machine as she feels she has lost herself thinking this way, holding on to the shell of wrong thoughts, to stay 'strong'.
anonymous Sep 11th, 2008 9:14pm report
Crashkato says: This song is about doing anything to be something they are not but in the end you are just an empty shell.its about not being something you are not.
M says: I think you are pretty close...every one else is orbiting around it too.
I think this song is mainly about the rage and frustration of trying but failing and..shame...
It's funny... My friends call 30stm "emo" but they are pretty angry to be emo
anonymous Dec 1st, 2007 12:54am report
To be honest, I think this song is about a pornography addiction, from the concept of "a stranger" to "leaving the lights on", it says that "every time I think I'm gonna change it its driving me insane." This "fantasy" that many people have in their minds is of what a perfect man/woman is, and in this, the speaker is combating this fantasy. In the verse were he says "maybe tonight we can forget about it all/it can be just like heaven" I think the speaker is talking to his partner, who is coping with the addiction in a different way: she is dealing with the repercussions of a partner who is separated and has a fantasy in his own mind. "I am a machine, just a shell of what I dreamed" relates to the fact that he no longer feels real emotion towards sex, it is simply an erotic act, with no love.
"do you live, do you die, do you bleed for the fantasy in your mind? Through your eyes, do you see its the fantasy?" I believe this part of the song talks about the dying of self that happens when someone is addicted to pornography. They do become machines, and all they can see is the fantasy of a perfect lover.
anonymous Apr 7th, 2007 4:37am report
.... well.... I think it's about masturbation to be frank.
he even sounds horny during the first part.
He fantasies every night and forgets about everything when he slips into his fantasy.
When he says I am a machine no longer living just a shell... It illuminates the fact that when he's fantasing he is no longer himself he is acting under his own fantasy.
and when he says Say it say it... as if he wants everyone to convince him and believe it make him believe....
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