What does 36 mean?

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System of a Down: 36 Meaning


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Television in disgrace
Life you get old, it's the race,
Can you break out,
Can you break out,
Will you live at your own pace.

Life, so, unnecessary,

Television in disgrace
Life you get old, it's the race,
Can you break out,
Can you...


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    Jan 22nd, 2007 1:12pm report

    Sorry, but you aren't quite right. Serj was 36 in 2003, the year AFTER Steal this album! was released. when the song was written, he was at most 35. However, if you add all the tracks up in order of album release (System of a down, Toxicity, Steal this album, etc.), 36 is the 36th song (13 on System, 14 on Toxicity, plus 9 to get to 36). Guess they couldn't come up with a better name. My interpretation of it:
    Television is disgrace
    TV is brainwashing people and not telling them the whole truth about important matters

    Life you get old, its the race
    People waste their lives with TV.

    Can you break out, can you break out, will you live at your own pace
    People should have the willpower to break away from TV's grasp and get out into the real world to find stuff out for themselves.

    Life so unnessecary
    Life becomes poinless if all people do is sit at home watching TV


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    Sep 10th, 2016 9:03am report

    the top rated comment on this is wrong about the name origin. system of a down played this song in 1998


    the name of this song can have multiple meanings, but i think they just cleverly put that song in that spot just so that it could also be the 36th song..


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    Dec 18th, 2015 12:20pm report

    I'm sorry but you're all wrong, it's a warning. How many times have you seen the number 36 on TV? Just randomly. It's an illuminati number, TV is brainwashing people and you have to set yourself free from it. Just look up what the number actually means.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    May 12th, 2013 5:11pm report

    The song's called 36 because it's their 36th song starting from their debut album. If you count it out you will see.


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    Sep 14th, 2012 9:32pm report

    well i think this is about how even if you try you cant stop getting older and thats why life is so unnecesary


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    Jul 24th, 2012 7:59am report

    Propaganda messages from the government brainwashing us and changing our views of the world hiding the real importance in life. Also our culture has grown so dependent on television it is easy to manipulate our minds and let us believe in what we want to believe instead of the truth.


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    Mar 19th, 2012 3:42pm report

    I'll go with the top-rated comment. It makes sense, since everybody is brain-washed by television, the image of what seems to be perfect (having a lot of money, a big house, a big nice car) and when he says ''life so unnecessary'' he means that being brain-washed is having an unnecessary life.


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    Mar 8th, 2012 3:42am report

    36, Three 6's, evil. TV=Evil.


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    Feb 2nd, 2012 2:15pm report

    The Armenian genocide occured from 1915-1921... 15+21=36... A lot of system songs have references to the Armenian genocide... But it may b coincidence


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    May 20th, 2011 5:45pm report

    not so much brainwashing as much as beliveing everything you see on tv as well as thinking for yourself and having your own thoughts and beliefs.


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    Dec 30th, 2010 12:00am report

    On system of a down's demo tape this song was called .36. I don't know if that has anything to do with it.


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    Dec 27th, 2010 12:31pm report

    the song is talking about television and how it is addicting to watch.also talking about people wasting there life on television.the life is so unnacessary part is saying what tv addicts would say


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    Aug 30th, 2010 8:15pm report

    It Means Televison Is Brainwashing Minds.


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    May 8th, 2010 5:37am report

    I don't know if any of you guys have noticed, but on the Steal this Album CD it says: CD-36


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    Dec 2nd, 2008 12:56pm report

    "television is disgrace" this refers to how tv is brainwashing, and it's disgraceful to see all the brain-washed people there are out there.
    "Life you get old, it's the race" this is about how people get old, and it's going to happen because we're the human race, and we get old. so why waste your time being brain-washed by tv?
    "can you break out, can you break out" this means, are you able to break free from all of this? are you able to live at your own pace and not the world's pace?
    "Life so unnecessary" this represents how life is truly unnecessary if you don't break away from the world and try to do things at your pace. the world and tv can't control you, you're in charge of yourself and you need to ask yourself, can i break out?


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    Jun 22nd, 2008 6:38am report

    I like the previous interpretations, but I have to add that with SOAD I think half of the meaning is held in the lyrics, and half in the music.
    The way they sing this, its like life itself is narrating it. They're portraying that often your life and society are in control of you, and a lot of people just let life carry them along as it will, until one day they look around and realize that they're not happy with how things turned out. The way they scream "WILL YOU LIVE AT YOUR OWN PACE" at the end portrays that sudden realization.

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