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2005.09.25

[Understanding_Teeth: Every_Day_Is_Exactly_The_Same]

Howdy, bitches. I know you're all out there, getting ready to see Michael T. ShinyPants over the next coming weeks, and you're probably pretty excited -- not only is he wearing PVC, vinyl, and eyeliner again, but he's also playing some songs we've never heard live before (unfortunately, one of the songs is "Deep", so though we may have the joy of "Only" finally, we also have to hear how Trent would rather be "someplace, lost in space", but what're you gonna do).

However, you're probably also feeling another emotion: FEAR. "Gabriel, we're going to hear these new songs for the first time live," you're probably saying. "But how can we properly experience them when we don't understand what they mean -- you never finished explaining the meaning of the rest of the songs on the record!"

Well rest easy, my sweet bitches. And witness the triumphant return of Understanding Teeth!

every day is exactly the same
J.C. Trent

In Dierdre's last Call & Response we established for sure that M.T. Reznor believes in God, and we've even talked before how "All The Love In the World" is a song written from the point of view of God. Well Trent doesn't disappoint when it comes to being a stickler for thematic consistency, when this fantastic ditty -- and rumor has it next single -- turns out to be a first person account of the crucifixion, written by Jesus Christ himself!

The song begins with a few notes from an out-of-tune piano, rather similar to the sad sounds of an angel's broken harp, I think... if an angel played a piano, rather than a harp. But a harp would have sounded dumb here, so Trent went with the piano thing. Plus I don't know if he knows how to play a harp. Though he could have just sampled one. Well, anyway, it starts off with the sounds of the broken ange-harp, and then the super-phat Roman-esque bassline kicks in: bohm-bohm-bohm-bohm-bohm, immediately calling to mind the slowly approaching inevitable doom of our Savior.

This is where we catch up with Trent/Christ, carrying his cross up the hill towards Golgotha, where he's about to get crucified. "I believe I can see the future" he says -- I mean come on; he's the son of God after all, right? -- "as I repeat the same routine." Now some people think that "the same routine" means one foot in front of the other, because TrentChrist had to carry his cross all the way through the city and all the way down to the hill where the other two thieves that were about to get 'nailed were waiting (at least that's how it looked in the Mel Gibson movie. That movie was totally bloody and badass by the way -- and Satan looked like a scary motherfucker, even though he/she/it was kinda hot).

I, however, think that "the same routine" reference is aimed more towards a polytheological view on the world, where the crucifixion of Christ is also metaphoric for all the slain heros and martyrs of all times, or even of other religions (i.e., Buhdda, the suffering of the Dalai Lama, etc.) But either way, that bohm-bohm-bohm-bohm noise sounds like it's from pretty hate machine and totally makes you want to shake your ass and get funky, so it really doesn't matter.

Then ChristTrent is put up on the boards -- and what did the nail him to the cross with? That's right: nine inch nails. And he's feeling some regret, you know? He thinks he used to have a purpose, but it was so long ago, after he's been up on the sticks for a bit, it feels like another lifetime; "it might have been a dream". Of course, I'm sure concepts like "lifetimes" and "dreams" are pretty malleable for, like, GOD and his immediate family, but still -- I know the feeling.

Also, you get thirsty up there on the cross, and we all know what happens when you get really thirsty -- it gets hard to talk. "I think I used to have a voice", ChristTrent says. "Now I never make a sound." Then one of the Roman guards tells him to Shut The Fuck Up, Bitch, You're Dead Now, Haha!, and stabs him in the side with the Spear of Destiny. This probably hurts, and TrentChrist doesn't want to get stabbed with the spear again, so he decides to "do what I've been told; I really don't want them to come around [with the big sharp spear] oh, no".

And that's how it goes... sun rises, look around; yep, still nailed to the cross. Sun sets. Sun rises the next day -- damn! Still crucified! Sun sets. And so on and so forth. It never changes, you see. In fact, as Trent tells us, "Every day is exactly the same"!!!

Now Trent is always a writer that tells stories from the unflinching personal side of life, nor does he hold back here either, tackling an unspoken element of crucifixion: bowel movements. See, even though you're nailed to a cross, you still have to go Number Two from time to time, and unfortunately, when everybody's watching you croak on a couple 2x4's, you can't really be too shy about it. "I can feel their eyes are watching", he tells us, "In case I lose myself again." I think it's pretty obviously he means lose control of his bowels, but you can't really have a song destined for radio greatness where you blatantly talk about shitting yourself, so Trent's clever metaphor disguises the meaning from the douchebag radio listener, while still making it clear to the enlightened fan.

He goes on to say some other stuff -- talking about pretending to be happy, and knowing once again how things are going to end -- but it all means the same thing: Being Crucified Is Boring. He underscores this with another chorus, and then something strange happens.

Trent sings about "writing on a little piece of paper, I'm hoping someday you might find. I'll hide it behind something they won't look behind." Now at first you might be saying to yourself, "Gabriel, Trent's gone crazy! There's no way he could be writing on paper when he's crucified! And where's this place he's supposed to be hiding it? Why did he ruin the song with such an obvious error?"

Well first of all, I think TrentChrist could write on paper if he wanted to -- remember, he's the Son of God, which means he can do magic, which is totally awesome, but I think Trent was much more clever than that.

Take a look at the picture of the crucifixion up above... go on. Okay, good. Now -- see what's right above the head of TrentChrist? Yes, that's right: IT'S A LITTLE PIECE OF PAPER THAT HE WROTE SOMETHING ON!!!!!! The very thing that Trent hid the paper behind was HIMSELF!

Now that he's written his goodbye note, TrentChrist is getting ready to die -- "I am still inside here" he says, "A little bit comes bleeding through". Probably out of the hole in his side from the spear, I bet. And as he gets ready to commit his soul to heaven, he reflects in that very human way that only Trent knows how to do: "I wish this could have been any other way, but I just don't know. Don't know what else I can do."

Man, that's intense, isn't it? Even Jesus was bummed out that he had to get the living shit beat out of him for days and hung up on some wood until his insides collapsed upon themselves to save the human race. Shit, if I were him, I'd wish it could be any other way too. But I bet God's a pretty demanding Dad sometimes; and when he says you have to get beaten and killed, sometimes you just have to get beaten and killed.

And as Trent screams out the final chorus, the last iteration of "Every day is the same!!!" is filled with a furious, anxious flight, as he is finally released. For every day will no longer be the same for him any longer, for he shall walk beside his father in the Kingdom of Heaven evermore.

Damn; it's so fucking rad that Trent's a Christian. I hope the next record has even more songs about Jesus!


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Comments

Jesus, Gabriel.

That photoshop scares me even more than the one of Trent as Hitler.

Also, you are so full of shit. You're totally starting to sound like a parody of yourself, and that is so sad. What happened to the bright, funny, interesting Gabriel I knew and loved? We used to have such awesome arguments about the intricate details of Trent's meanings! I feel like, now that I'm half a world away, your mind has totally gone to hell in a handbasket and there's nothing I can do. Alex e-mailed me yesterday, G., and he is worried about you, too. He might be angry that I'm telling you this on WTC, but since you haven't responded to my e-mails in a week, I have no choice: Alex says he can feel it in your kiss that something is wrong with you.

Is it the drugs? Are you drinking too much? Please take a hint from Trent, and QUIT! Everyone knows EDIETS is about waking up in a psych ward, and that's where you will end up if you don't get a hold of yourself.

On another note, I just want all of you WTC readers to know that I am SO NOT ABSORBING DOKKEN.

Posted by: Dierdre | Sep 26, 2005 2:15:47 AM

I saw his crappy photoshopped picture and screamed. Literally. No lie. I think I'll cry all day at school now. :( *runs away in tears*

Posted by: Kim | Sep 26, 2005 4:31:01 AM

I don't know what to say.

Posted by: bex | Sep 26, 2005 6:24:27 AM

Wow, people! I had no idea it was so easy to be Christian. Apparently, all you have to do is add Christ imagery to your lyrics, and you're done! Easy as that Shrinky Dinks nativity scene I made when I was 7.

If Trent is a Christian, I'll cancel my surgery next year and join a monastic order.

Finally, I would like to say that I still don't buy the proposition that Trent believes in God. Or rather, I don't believe that there are only two possible answers to that question.

Posted by: Baal Glyttr | Sep 26, 2005 6:53:16 AM

Oh, Baal! DO ELABORATE! We so missed ANY KIND OF DISSENT in the earlier thread!

Posted by: Dierdre | Sep 26, 2005 6:55:25 AM

Every now and then, there is a post so painful that I can only skim. And this is one of those posts. I can only read up to three words at a time because it hurts. that. much.

The picture...all the "Lord and Savior"s, it's enough to make my digestive system reverse course.

Plus, it doesn't even make sense, you crazy born-again bitch! A crucifixion is a pretty singular, short-term event. Every day certainly would not be the same if you're going to be crucified one of those days. And what one would experience on a cross would certainly not be a sense of profound ennui.

If you have to do an alternate interpretation of "Every Day Is Exactly the Same" that does not involve rehab or addiction, then clearly, this song is about the most boring office job in the world, which I happen to have.

But I'm not going to debate this madness...it's all I can do to keep my blueberry bagel down this morning.

Ugh. Worst. Post. Ever.

Deirdre, once again, I beg you post something--anything--on top of this!

And now I navigate away, looking like Traumatized Trent in the "Burn" video, which as I recall looked something like this.

"Always look on the bright side of life...[whistling]"

Posted by: maise | Sep 26, 2005 7:05:06 AM

Gabriel, it's official: you are an idiot. Also, this is SO not how I wanted to imagine Trent naked.

BARF!

Posted by: Jane | Sep 26, 2005 7:09:25 AM

On the bright side, I think you may have offended Bex. Nice work!

Posted by: Jane | Sep 26, 2005 7:13:39 AM

Maise, it seems to me that you're afraid of The Truth contained in tha latest "Understanding Teeth". If there's anything Trent had taught us, it is to look beneath the surface to understand the true meaning behind things, even if what we find there is something we never would have expected.

But perhaps dealing with the day to day drudgery of a "the most boring office job" has beat that ability out of you, leaving you to only be able to read Trent's work in the most obvious and literal fashion. Perhaps your daily conformity has finally gotten the best of you?

On the other hand, blueberries rule!

Posted by: Gabriel | Sep 26, 2005 7:55:04 AM

No, Gabriel, I'm not afraid of looking beneath the surface of "With Teeth," even if what I find there are primarily DTs and vomit and despair. I'm not afraid because I know that the pounding sounds on the album emanate mostly from Dave Grohl or Jerome Dillon and not from Trent thumping a damn Bible.

Curious choice of Photoshop pic, btw. One would think if you were going to...shudder...make Trent all Jesus-y, you would have picked one from his "long hair and beard" era.

I've said it once, and I will say it again. I like to keep my NIN and my religion in separate mental boxes. Why? Because I don't particularly have any desire to have sex with Jesus. I like Him, but I don't *like* like Him, you know?

Posted by: maise | Sep 26, 2005 8:21:25 AM

Not offended, how about speechless. There's a bit of insanity going on here today!!!

:(

Maise, I agree with you, sex with Jesus, ewwwwww.

:(

Posted by: bex | Sep 26, 2005 8:37:39 AM

Not offended? Darn. I was hoping that dramatic farewell was in the offing.

Oh well.

Posted by: Jane | Sep 26, 2005 8:51:41 AM

Oh la la...it is apparent that maise and bex are not Catholique. Recalling my schoolgirl uniform days chez Notre Dame de l'Assumption, I seem to recall that all of the girls, except the ones who were going to be come les nonnes, were amoureuses avec notre Seigneur. If there was one man who would treat you kindly and save your soul, it would have been him. And he keep saying he is coming back.

Peut-etre Gabriel has a point. Trent could be the second coming of notre Seigneur. Because I know when I see him, j'ai le desir de porter mon uniforme d'ecole. Et, comme notre Seigneur, notre amour est toujours dans nos coeurs, n'est-ce pas?

Posted by: Mimi | Sep 26, 2005 9:00:22 AM

Au contraire, Mimi! I actually grew up strict Roman Catholic. But I never had a thing for JC. As was pointed out on "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," the way in which he is usually depicted in art and popular culture makes him look like Ted Nugent (as opposed to the Middle Eastern guy He actually was).

Posted by: maise | Sep 26, 2005 9:17:08 AM

Thanks a lot, Dierdre, you nosy bitch. Now Gabriel isn't talking to me, either.

Posted by: Alex | Sep 26, 2005 9:36:11 AM

Oh, awesome! I want to get my cultural insights from "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" too!

Alex: you're going to get what you deserve (you know who you are)

Posted by: Gabriel | Sep 26, 2005 9:40:22 AM

Oh, and did I mention that I'm finally seeing my first complete NIN show of the arena tour on Saturday? FUCK YES, sweet bitches!!!!!!

I think I'm getting somewhat excited. :-D

Posted by: Gabriel | Sep 26, 2005 9:58:08 AM

Alex, I hate to say it, but I recommend giving up on Gabriel. His tryst with you while possessed by Trent's sparklepants could very well have been an episode of FUI.

Trent, especially wearing anything shiny on his nether regions, can really lower a person's inhibitions, and even in plain jeans, he can cause you to make out with random Norwegian guys after a particularly pelvic performance.

Obviously, at this point, Gabriel has combined the image of his newfound lord and savior with Trent as he appeared in San Diego - significantly not, as Maise notes, with a more Jesus-y hairstyle - producing a particularly disturbing confluence that will no doubt lead to a rationalization of his transgressions.

Dude. Gabriel is damaged goods. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Maise, I feel exactly the same way you do about Jesus. I like him, but I certainly don't want to tear his ass up like I do Trent's.

Posted by: Dierdre | Sep 26, 2005 10:03:43 AM

Whatever Dierdre, you hypocrite of hate!

I'm just glad Alex isn't coming with me to the L.A. Bowl show. Who knows what adventures the Shiny Pants of Slickery might incite while in Los Angeles!!!

Posted by: Gabriel | Sep 26, 2005 10:11:18 AM

Oh Gabriel, you humorless twat, you'll get a lot more insight out of the average episode of ATHF than out of 5,000 pages of your tortured logic as you attempt to turn Trent Reznor into Scott Stapp.

Posted by: maise | Sep 26, 2005 10:15:53 AM

"But I never had a thing for JC. As was pointed out on "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," the way in which he is usually depicted in art and popular culture makes him look like Ted Nugent (as opposed to the Middle Eastern guy He actually was)."

LOL, Maise, isn't it the truth! I doubt JC had blue eyes..and I think probably had very tight curly hair.

:)

"Trent, especially wearing anything shiny on his nether regions, can really lower a person's inhibitions, and even in plain jeans, he can cause you to make out with random Norwegian guys after a particularly pelvic performance."

D, you rock! (sitting here laughing my ass off!)

"Oh, and did I mention that I'm finally seeing my first complete NIN show of the arena tour on Saturday? FUCK YES, sweet bitches!!!!!!"

Gab., I'm so envious! Have a great time. I want a FULL REPORT of sparklepants worn, pelvises thrusted, or any other tantalizing tidbit!

:)

Posted by: bex | Sep 26, 2005 10:18:36 AM

Ok, Maise. Now you have gone TOO FAR. You did not just mention SCOTT STAPP on this website, did you?!

OMG. YOU DID.

Posted by: Dierdre | Sep 26, 2005 11:00:31 AM

Hey, Deidre, I'm not condoning the existence of Scott Stapp. I'm just pointing out what Gabriel doesn't want to say. He wants some mulleted Christian man-love. In PVC pants. With music that doesn't suck. This situation is causing him great confusion, as can be seen above.

Posted by: maise | Sep 26, 2005 11:10:38 AM

Sorry for misspelling your name there, D. Typo.

Posted by: maise | Sep 26, 2005 11:11:22 AM

Dude, I cannot BELIEVE you just said it again. Please, Maise, by ALL THAT IS HOLY, please NEVER, NEVER, NEVER say it again.

Posted by: Dierdre | Sep 26, 2005 11:14:24 AM

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