What does the song Toxicity from System of a Down convey?
"This song brings back some memories of final years in college
and I think to understand the song, you should understand
the scene at that time. (2001 - 2002)
Let us set the premise, from the visuals of the song it is based
in Los Angeles, the band members of Armenian and several lines in
the song depict Armenian way of life and also L.A being the largest Armenian
community outside of Armenia. So the song strongly talks about the
bands' Armenian roots.
Toxicity according to band member - Daron Malakian is about
attention deficit disorder. But the metaphor can be extended to
the lyrics which I think has a very deep meaning.
Now the "conversion software 7.0 version" line parodies
the forced AOL version 7.0 release in 2001 where it was essential
for everyone to upgrade. The members are trying to convey
that we are being controlled by corporations who force us to make
these changes and upgrades for the sake of their profits.
The second line which says looking at life through the eyes
of a tired hub exemplifies the narrow mindedness of
the people who don't see the big picture of the corporate greed
and still continue to do what they are doing.
Now eating seeds for Armenians is LITERALLY a pastime activity.
I've heard that in Armenia most of the men are standing around
in the streets, without jobs, passing time by eating sunflower seeds
it's all over the place. It is said that even in the U.S.
you can see the trail of sunflower seeds leading to Armenians
(specifically Armenians who came from Armenia) There were sunflower
seeds everywhere, in the auditorium, classrooms, and where ever
else a group of Armenians had hung out.
Do you own disorder - There's a lot of disorder in Armenia.
There are no jobs, the police are corrupt, the government is
connected to the mob, and protesters are brutalized. People in
Armenia are apathetic, hopeless, and have given up to some degree.
The U.S. Is like heaven compared to Armenia...
Sacred silence and sleep' - With there being no jobs and
the country going to the dogs, having something to pass the time
(Like eating sunflower seeds) is ideal. Silence occurs because
nobodys really, genuinely happy; thus silence is created.
People have nothing much better to do than eat sunflower seeds and
sleep to pass time.
Flashlight reveries caught in the headlights of a truck." He's
talking about someone falling asleep behind the wheel of a car
and turning into oncoming traffic. The driver hits a truck head on
because, in a dream, he saw the headlights of the truck as flashlights.
This could mean that technology is dulling our sense of reality
(and that we're constantly stuck in a state between silence and sleep?),
or it could be just an example of the disorder that is going on around
us. How we are stuck in technology rather than helping and aiding
the people in Armenia who have suffered from the genocide.
This talks about the rich Armenians in America doing nothing to war
In short It's about your poisonous content. Your toxicity
level. But toxicity doesn't necessarily mean the toxicity of a
person, it can be the toxicity of a city. Or the toxicity of a
nation. The toxicity of a speech. It's just toxicity in general
that is encompassing us in general."
Shankar IyerhAnswered on Quora.com Dec 10 2014