What does Vicarious mean?

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Tool: Vicarious Meaning

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Song Released: 2006


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Vicarious Lyrics

Eye on the t.v 'cause tragedy thrills me.
Whatever flavor it happens to be like.
Killed by the husband...
drowned by the ocean...
Shot by his own son...
she used a poison in his tea, Then she kissed him goodbye.
That's my kinda story
It's...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
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    Jan 29th 2009 report

    For the most part, Tool's lyrics have focused on introspective ideology, or the ideas we truly believe as individuals. The lyrics of Vicarious force us as humans to realize that we enjoy seeing things die. I believe it also focuses on the oxymoronic viewpiont that we when see or hear about a murder or suicide on the news, we always are like " that's so horrible' " how inhuman" etc. But we glady pay for cheap entertainment to physically watch these things in person. i.e watching Saw, other graphic movies. Are we really better than the people who do that in real life?

  2. 2TOP RATED

    #2 top rated interpretation:
    MatthewMac
    click a star to vote
    Sep 22nd 2008 report

    This song is one of Tool's easier to understand.
    It is about how although most people will never admit it, when they see death or tragedy occurring on the television they take primordial thrill from it.
    'Eye on the TV, cause tragedy thrills me'
    This line pretty much sums up the rest of the song.
    It goes on to state that we should all just admit this feeling, and that if we don't we are quite simply liars in our own right.

  3. 3TOP RATED

    #3 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
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    Oct 1st 2008 report

    In my opinion this is the most straightforward song tool has recorded. all it's about is experiencing violence through media. when you watch CSI or play Call of Duty you're experiencing murder or war vicariously through TV and xbox.

  4. anonymous
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    Mar 13th 2022 report

    Tv? The lyrics are amazing but the videos is insane he's showing you what signs to look for and what's going to happen to you once your eyes are opened and you come to an understanding of what your reality really is
    Guy looks in mirror doesn't see himself in reflection sees multiple souls that resemble him man becomes his reflection he becomes the monster he seen in the mirror it's hard for him To talk to anyone they label him crazy ... he becomes distant/ exciled from everyone he is better alone cause he is now the monster from his reflection his now reflection. and is able to see his true reality around him he's scared of everything that is happening his hand trembls as his body is changing his eyes and brain seek truth and it's revealed we have all been lied to this world is nothing what it seems and when u realize exactly what it is you will be free mimd body soul it will be the hardest part of this life
    be careful who u talk to about it or you'll be labeled the same ..read fast pay attention to everything and any thing research all of it train your mind to open to the different dimensions of our time and remember every single detail you see in this video it can help you

  5. anonymous
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    Sep 20th 2018 report

    To all you TOOL fans .. they wrote their own version of the Bible..”don’t be a hypocrite and don’t judge people until you been their shoes “shut the fuck up ! We are all so easy to judge but they speak of sin reality drug abuse and the things we think don’t insist in this word its called REALITY.. dont judge

  6. kooljohn176
    click a star to vote
    Nov 20th 2014 report

    Many good interpretations of this song by TOOL. T.V can become addictive, sometimes feel like the old human nature has not changed in many of us since the old Roman Empire days of Rome when we as spectators went to the collosium to see some gore of blood and guts of the Gladiators fighting each other to death also christians and slaves being eaten by lions for the sport of a pass time to entertaine us to watch ourselfs from our past expierience on t.v and movies to de-huminize us in today's reality.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 18th 2014 report

    I think there's a fundamental misunderstanding... The ones who think that we're all naive because we don't accept that we love death and are violent survivalists are quick to reproach and judge themselves, but even more so their race. However, those who don't accept we can get pleasure from seeing people die are perhaps also wrong.
    The fact of the matter is that the human race has a perplexing fascination with death. It is an absolution, yet we never truly experience it. We don't really know what it's like. We love to see hated characters die, but not the ones we care about, and most of the time, certainly not ourselves. It terrifies us, but we wish it one others. But don't forget... we'd also accept it on ourselves if it meant protecting the ones we love...
    So don't be so harsh. We're not all that bad, really.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 10th 2014 report

    hahhahha.....you are all idiots!!!!! It's called vicarious so guess what? that means the point of view is vicarious.....he is mocking anyone who enjoys watching others suffer.....hahahaha......and I'm mocking you as well.

  9. anonymous
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    May 15th 2012 report

    vicarious means to live thru someone elses imagination. its saying how people rely on the tv and al that to tell them what to think while it is at the same time they desensitize us to the violence.

  10. behrouzaftabi
    click a star to vote
    Apr 24th 2012 report

    i believe this song directly depicts the craving within all human beings for shocking phenomena such as death,street fights even between two cats and other vicious occurrences we rarely encounter in our life. i am doing my militery service and these days we have been assigned to scan paper documents of martyrs in iran-iraq war. in each file there is a photo of martyr's corpes which is incredibly shocking and every time we open a new file, despite the fact we know it would make us want tom puke we take a look at it. moreover overwhelming majorit of us tends to enjoy raping porno films, reading events page of papers, we'd love to gather around someone who has had an accident and while we know ther is nothing we can do in these sort of conditions we still need to do it for no reason. YES YOU ALL WANT THAT (DEATH AND BLOOD) MORE THE OTHERS!

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 4th 2011 report

    I personally doubt that this song is actually about How Maynard watches the news so he can enjoy watching tradgedy unfold. Think about the line 'stare like a junkie into the T.V. stare like a zombie'. I don't think he'd insult himself like that. I think the song is about how some people watch the news on T.V. because they live off watching other people dying. Maynard isn't straightforward with his lyrics, there's usually a hidden meaning or lots of hidden meanings woven intricately together.
    Anyway, if this song was really about what everyone says it's about then I'd have alot less respect for Tool as a bad and understand why so many people hate them. But personally like their other songs (Aenema, Parabola, Schism, The Pot, Rosetta Stoned, Sober, Prison Sex etc.)

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 18th 2011 report

    Let me just say one thing quickly before talking about the song.
    There is no New World Order. Conspiracy theorists have the qualifications in history, economics, and government of the average fry-cook. Kids, don't go read two articles online and claim to be an expert on every existent subject known to man.

    Now, that being said, this song is Maynard sending a direct message to people. He probably heard enough of people saying "this is too violent for me" and dealing with people saying TOOL is just some yelling metal band. It is about how we all point fingers at people and, using a literally stated figure of speech, says we all frown with one face while our other is watching the same thing and enjoying it. It is to help us realize we aren't better than each other. We are all violent deep down. In nature, it is just referred to as "Survival." So we all need to stop judging other people by what they enjoy because deep down, we are often the same.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 23rd 2011 report

    Enjoying every crime or catastrofy or anything that involves pain and death as long is not happening to you (or close to you)

    you enjoy by seeing it on any kind of media.

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 23rd 2011 report

    Awesome song!

    The song is essentially synonymous with the concept of schadenfreude - to take pleasurable delight in the pain and suffering of others (tragedy thrills me). it is essentially that whilst we don't want to experience it ourselves we enjoy seeing hearing etc about others experiencing it (from a good safe distance, much better you than i). hence we vicariously experience the pain and suffering through others such as in the media, movies and even day to day life.
    i would also like to point out that the concept of schadenfreude stems from freudian and jungian psychology and can easily be proven; if you have ever enjoyed action or horror you have experienced schadenfreude, as someone said earlier romance movies work the same way vicariously feeling positive feelings. however the likening of the word vicarious to empathy in feeling the feelings of others is incorrect the word rather means to experience it through another not necessarily empathetically in the same manner

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 23rd 2011 report

    Awesome song!

    The song is essentially synonymous with the concept of schadenfreude - to take pleasurable delight in the pain and suffering of others (tragedy thrills me). it is essentially that whilst we don't want to experience it ourselves we enjoy seeing hearing etc about others experiencing it (from a good safe distance, much better you than i). hence we vicariously experience the pain and suffering through others such as in the media, movies and even day to day life.
    i would also like to point out that the concept of schadenfreude stems from freudian and jungian psychology and can easily be proven; if you have ever enjoyed action or horror you have experienced schadenfreude, as someone said earlier romance movies work the same way vicariously feeling positive feelings. however the likening of the word vicarious to empathy in feeling the feelings of others is incorrect the word rather means to experience it through another not necessarily empathetically in the same manner

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 4th 2010 report

    god is watching holographic matrix, images made by him self, and him self is "i" and Desire to maintain form In fact, the tragedy of hostile evolution made by me and much better "you" than i.

  17. MyAnalysis
    click a star to vote
    Nov 15th 2010 report

    I just recently realized that the meaning of this song (quite simple to figure out yourself so I won't waste my time explaining) is not only a criticism of other human beings. It's actually an admition of the writer that he himself feels this way and enjoys experiencing tragedy vicariously. "Why can't we just admit it?" basically means that if all other human beings are like this, why can't we all just atmit to it and move on?

  18. KionaCorona
    click a star to vote
    Oct 5th 2010 report

    Is the human species consumed by a psychological need to watch death and tragedy on the television? Tragedy transfixes man and makes for better television ratings. For example take the story of a person slaughtering his or her family versus the story of a person doing a great random act of great kindness; any news station knows the story of the slaughter would receive higher ratings. Everyone finds themselves engorged in any one of the horrific stories on tv daily; kidnapping, war, floods, etc. Even though they are horrified people can’t seem to look away from the story until the end. This universal truth is addressed by Tool in their song “Vicarious” the imagery and symbolism within the video combined with the lyrical content of the song convey a powerful message that all people feed off of watching others misery from the safety of the television inside their living rooms.
    Mankind loves to watch the world fall apart around them from the safe distance of their homes. The verse “Cause I need to watch things die from a good safe distance / Vicariously I live while the world dies” (Lines 14-15) refers to the psychological need embedded within human beings that enables them to feel better about their own miserable lives by comparing them to the people they see suffering. By watching these images they realize that their life is not so horrible after all. Vicarious means to be felt or enjoyed by imagining that the person is actually experiencing what they are viewing, so by saying that he lives by watching the world die the writer is saying that in order to feel alive and be able to face his own mortality he has to watch the world’s suffering. Of course while one is watching these horrific events they want to be removed from any possibility of being harmed as well, the distance of the television allows them a sense of security. If people had to get close to the tragic events they watch than all safety would be removed from this situation.
    People’s addiction to television has become such that they feels that they cannot survive without it. The verse “We all feed on tragedy it’s like blood to a vampire” (24) further strengthens the idea that man feels that he has to view death and tragedy on television. The figurative language is implying that man is like a vampire in his need to watch these horrific images. A vampire cannot survive without the blood that they feed off of their human victims; blood is the creature’s life sustaining force, as food is to mankind. If the creature refused to feed it would perish and wither away from hunger. By saying that mankind feeds off of the horrific images on the television screen as a vampire feeds on blood, the writer conveys the message that man would die without these images because they have become as life sustaining to humans as the blood is to the vampire. This verse strengthens the central message of the song that mankind feeds off of the images displayed on the tv.
    The imagery in the video that coincides with lyrical message of the song would be the translucent flickering humanoid that is being held captive by the floating, see through, glowing tv shaped boxes. While this humanoid stands transfixed by the television two long snake like creatures slither out of his eyes and eventually transform into a huge eye monster whose tentacles are being drug through the barren land, destroying all in its path. The humanoid can do nothing, and at one point begins to shake till he reaches out to touch the television, as if getting his addiction fix and reassuring himself that the television is still there. This scene in the video is referring to mankind’s addiction to the television, and to the fact that even though they see the world being destroyed around us they can do nothing but feed their addiction. The humanoid is representing mankind; he looks just like a human only he has transparent flickering skin. The skin on the humanoid is reminiscent of the strips of an old black and white television, symbolizing that not only is he enraptured by the television, he is being transformed into the images that are being viewed. The creatures destroying the planet resemble eyes, and come out of the humanoids eyes representing that peoples’ addiction to watching the horrible events is in part what is destroying our planet. The glowing boxes clearly symbolize television, they have the same shape as a tv and the boxes are what the humanoid is focused on further strengthening the message of mans’ fixation of television.
    The symbolism and imagery within the video clearly ties in with the lyrical content of the song. They both work together to strengthen each other’s message. When the viewer pays attention to the story line of the creatures and the visual symbolism throughout the video, combined with the figurative language contained in the song, they realize how much they complement each other. All the elements of the video go hand and hand with the message contained within the lyrics of the song. Alone the video and the song both have a powerful message, however together they strengthen one another and the message is epic in the magnitude of the depth of its meaning. The writer of this song relays the horrible universal truth that mankind feeds off of watching death and tragedy on the television, human beings are addicted to this and on some point feel they would die without it.
    KMt

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