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when you open your mouth wide and try to take it all, you are…

i am collecting

the collector

Well things are certainly different than they were back in the days of The Downward Spiral. No vinyl, no rubber, no cutting-off-the-tip-of- Robin-Finck's-finger-and-acting-like-everyone's-a-dick-for-having-a- problem-with-it. And the record sounds different too; this isn't the introspective Trent Reznor talking about all of his problems that we're used to -- this is a guy writing about people in all different walks of life, people we can all relate to. Like God, or Transvestites, or fluffers with herpes.

Yes, the third track of a Nine Inch Nails record is always an ass-kicker, and "the collector" is no exception. The drums start pumping their herky-jerky rhythm and the booty-shake bass kicks in as Trent begins this tale of a sex worker's life gone awry. "I pick things up, I am a collector. And things, well things they tend to accumulate." Wow, powerful! I know my first thoughts were:

a) How does Trent know my friend Veronica?

b) How does Trent know how easy Veronica is?

c) How does Trent know about all the below-the-belt diseases Veronica's been (shall we say it?) collecting lately.

I know you might be thinking the same things -- how does Trent know my friend/girlfriend/sister/boyfriend -- but it turns out that he's singing this tune about somebody else, as we soon find out.

"I have this net, it drags behind me."

Now before you start wondering why Nine Inch Nails is writing songs about fisherman, take it from me that you can relax -- this is just Trent's use of metaphor. This literary device is used quite often by sophisticated artists like Trent Reznor all the time. For example, if I was writing a poem and wanted to describe that I was feeling all pissed off an angry, I might say that I was a "washing machine on spin of emotion". It shows the reader or audience what you mean without saying something boring like "Alex is a dick and I'm mad at him." You get the idea.

Anyway, Trent doesn't mean a real net here; he's just talking about picking up bits of baggage along the way. Baggage from what? Well it all becomes clear when he reveals that the song is about a fluffer in the porn industry with the line: "And it picks up feelings for me to feed upon." Damn. "Feeding on feelings" is such an obvious euphimism for sex, I was a little surpised at Trent, because he's usually a lot more subtle than that. Plus, I was saying I wanted to "share my feelings" with people to get them into bed back in like high school, and Trent just turned 40. He should have better pick-up lines than that.

But in good dramatic fashion, after the character is established we're plunged into the HELL of her world! "There are times, plenty of times I wish I could let it go!" I bet; no matter how good the pay, who would want to walk around performing fellatio all day long? I mean, a little bit I'm sure would be cool, but all day? No thanks. "But they make me start to think, Things I don't want to know." Yep, there's trouble in this penis paradise; it seems she may have picked up a case or two of something.

Then the chorus busts in, with the guitars buzzing and Trent belts out the feel-good oral sex sing-along of the summer: "I'm trying to fit it all inside / I'm trying to open my mouth wide / I'm trying not to choke..." And people think Trent Reznor is straight? I think we can now all agree he's totally bi-, and I think that makes his music even more powerful. Especially when he tries to "Swallow it all swallow it all swallow it all swallow it all!"

Unfortunately, though we're all excited by how good Trent was at the oral sex singing part, The Collector herself isn't doing so good: "I am the plague, I am the swarm." Yep, it's herpes all right. And not that I'd know about that or anything, but I've heard that totally sucks. Especially if you have an oral outbreak. "All your hurt sticks on me, and I keep it warm..." Now here Trent's just getting disgusting. I mean, maybe they were watching a lot of bukake videos in New Orleans when they were recording the record, or that's what being a rock star for 10 years does to you, but this was just in bad taste. Of course, now that I think about it, maybe he was just talking about how The Collector was hitting a low point or something -- kinda like in Boogie Nights, when Heather Graham gets all jacked up after they're trying to do that reality TV porno show in the limo and the guy from her high school is in there with them? Even though it's totally awesome when she beats the guy up, maybe this is sort of like that. I don't know.

So after she's been diagnosed with several STDs, the Collector decides she wants to get out of the business, because what fun is it at this point, right? But "They make me stay / They won't let me leave / There are so Goddamned many of them / It gets hard to breathe". I mean, with all those men that she has to service, I'm sure all those genitals really do make it hard to breathe. And I'm proud of Trent for shedding light on this problem.

But just like a good M. Night Shyamalan movie, Trent's got something up his sleeve this time! There's more singing about opening up wide, and trying not to choke again, but then Trent twists it around and says "I am a good boy and I will swallow it all!" Yes, that's right! Our fluffer -- The Collector herself -- is the Transvestite from "you know what you are?"!!!!!

And then the song's over -- there's a couple lines about "every last one, every last one", but this is obviously Trent just talking about performing fellatio more, so I figure there's not any reason to really go into that. And he just leaves our poor transsexual sex-industry fluffer with herpes, as he moves on to the next song. Because sometimes the world is a harsh place that leaves you on your knees with an open sore on your lip and a penis in your face.

And yes, the next song is where he talkes about biting the hand that feeds. Coincidence? Yeah, right. Trent Reznor doesn't know the meaning of the word.

Explore The_Understanding_Teeth_Collection!

Posted by Gabriel in the_understanding_teeth_collection | Permalink


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OMG, Gabriel. Do you have to tell the world about your oral herpes and penis obsession? I AM SO EMBARRASSED!

Posted by: Dierdre | May 17, 2005 10:56:58 PM

This is brilliant. Finally someone understands how LAME this record really is.

Posted by: Arniep | May 18, 2005 4:40:23 PM

While I applaud your depth and reasoning behind this one, I must inquire as to your true feelings here Gab. What exactly is the real you, the true self, saying? And I quote, "no matter how good the pay, who would want to walk around performing fellatio all day long? I mean, a little bit I'm sure would be cool, but all day? No thanks"...I think you need to come to terms with your inner being and love yourself for who you REALLY are just as Trent loves himself..or should I say, herself?
And my God Arniep, if you don't like to drink stay the fuck away from bars!!

Posted by: Tormented_Soul_3 | May 18, 2005 6:27:52 PM


Posted by: Dierdre | May 18, 2005 10:15:29 PM

This is the funniest website I have read in a long time. Thanks!

Posted by: Marilyn | May 19, 2005 2:10:20 PM

There's nothing "funny" about this website, Marilyn, you dick.

Posted by: Dierdre | May 22, 2005 8:29:29 PM

I can't believe MARILYN FUCKING MANSON posted on our blog!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Gabriel | May 22, 2005 8:34:42 PM

I can't believe you just kissed his ass, Gabriel. And to think, with habits like that, you think *I* gave you herpes?! It's a wonder you don't have RABIES.

Marilyn, Gabriel wants you to fuck him. Preferrably in your devil outfit, in the back of his car.

Posted by: Dierdre | May 22, 2005 8:52:55 PM

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