Tuesday, March 08, 2005

They Might Be Nazis

Josh writes:

Well, one good thing to come out of the Antonie Dixon affair is that They Might Be Giants' "Particle Man" now makes sense to me. The key is the third verse:

Triangle man, Triangle man
Triangle man hates Particle Man
They have a fight, Triangle wins
Triangle Man

As revealed by the prophet Ronnie, Triangle Man is none other than God, indicating a clear string of biblical allusions throughout the piece. Who, then, is this Particle Man, that God hates him so?

Particle Man, Particle Man
Doing the things a particle can
What's he like? It's not important
Particle Man

Is he a dot, or is he a speck?
When he's underwater does he get wet?
Or does the water get him instead?
Nobody knows, Particle Man

Clearly Particle Man is insignificant man, who is as a dot or speck next to God Almighty. Why, though, does God hate him so? Let's go on:

Universe Man, Universe Man
Size of the entire Universe Man

Obviously, Universe Man is God also -- who else is the size of the entire universe (read: omnipresent)? However, where Triangle Man is hateful and violent, Universe Man is "usually kind to smaller man". Clearly we have a distinction between the Old Testament God, He who tormented Job and rained fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, and the more peaceful, loving God of the New Testament. Triangle Man hates and punishes Particle Man because he is an idolatrous sinner.

At this point, however, things take a much more disturbing turn, with the introduction of Person Man. No analysis is required to discern his identity -- who else but Jesus Christ, the Son of God made mortal flesh, would find it necessary to emphasize the fact that he is a person (as opposed to divine)? The song concludes:

Person Man, Person Man
Hit on the head with a frying pan
Lives his life in a garbage can
Person Man

Is he depressed or is he a mess?
Does he feel totally worthless?
Who came up with Person Man?
Degraded man, Person Man

Triangle Man, Triangle Man
Triangle Man hates Person Man
They have a fight, Triangle wins
Triangle Man

And finally it all becomes clear: Person man is ridiculed and reviled, and Triangle Man, the God of the Old Testament (and notably also the God of the Torah) hates Person Man and beats him up, just as the Jews are claimed to have killed Jesus. "Particle Man" is revealed as no more than a filthy tract of anti-semitic hate speech, and They Might Be Giants as purveyors of the same. Frankly, I suspected all along.

1 comment:

dreamer said...



I had to read that article twice to digest it thoroughly (nothing like html roughage to encourage good health) - it has come to my attention that you are completely, irrevocably, insane.

either that, or the sanest person on this little rock we call home.

I'm not really sure which idea is scarier.