Passive-Aggresive as a metaphor? | Reviewer: Mark | 10/1/08

I totally agree with the comments regarding passive-aggressive behaviour in a relationship, but does anyone think this could be a metaphor for how America (or maybe coalition forces) conducts herself on the world stage?

Perhaps I'm reading too far into this, but looking at all the other songs on this album, and the kind of things on APC's website at the time this was released (remember those mock-up propaganda posters?) I think it would make sense that this song at least alludes to the way America (and some of her allies) bully less powerful countries in the world, while putting on a front of paternal benevolence.

These lines, more than any others, perhaps hint at this double meaning:

"I catch a brief reflection
Of what you could and might have been
It's your RIGHT and your ability
To become my perfect enemy"

I'd be interested to know if anyone else was thinking along the same lines.

meaning | Reviewer: EMiLy | 8/15/08

i don't mean to be lame or anything, but this song pretty much writes out my relationship with my mother who is a terrible alcoholic. there's no way i can stop her so i hav no choice but to be passive

The song's meaning is simple. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/1/08

People seem to try and analyze this song too much. It is simple, anyone who has been in a relationship with someone who is passive-aggressive understands this song very well, since there is not much too it as someone venting.

Your passive-aggressive partner can very easily become your perfect enemy, since they know you and they know how to hurt you the worst. And trust me, there is nothing worst than dealing with a passive-aggressive person.

To Sum up:

*Dead refers to his relationship.
*Whenever he refers to someone playing dead or not speaking is just the partner ignoring him.
*The rest is him trying to say how much this behavior hurts the relationship.

Passive-aggressive people never realize how much they hurt the relationship by acting that way.

wonderful | Reviewer: myra | 5/17/08

wonderful.... one big "dont give up" ("Im sure of your abilities") ... do whatever you want, just do something (dont be passive), hate me, if you want, just dont turn away, this song says "stay alive" physical, but maybe even more mentally. See "I know that you can hear this" "wake up". Plus, it is highly emotive and I just love it :)

Passive.... | Reviewer: Heh | 3/15/08

Think of the "Doctor" as a Phsycotherapist, and hes telling "MJK" that the relationship he has with this other person brought into the lyrics on line 4 with the word "your" is dead. when i see Maynard say, "Ever the optumistic one im SURE of, your ability to become my perfect enemy", I see him saying hes optumistic about how if the issue doenst get setteled hes sure that the other party will become his enemy.

Everything else in the song that i found is Maynard talking about how someone just closes up and or turns their back on him, him being the problem that they're having. (By the way if the issue wasn't WITH maynard, then the party wouldnt be Passive Agressive, they would just be running from a problem, there is a difference, therefore the song is indicating that maynard is talking about a relationship with someone else, not just a problem in general) I fucking hate when girls pull this shit on me, i do somthing wrong (or they inturpret it as wrong) and they just ignore me, nothing gets solved untill they give up the dumb, pride enduced act and turn against me with their anger and their raw feelings, thats when you make milestones. Through pain comes pleasure.

BTW at the end he doesnt say GO in the background for the last background shout he said "YOU", then "you fuckin dissapoint me."

Julie | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/18/08

I definately think that this is symbolism between a suicide of a close person to him, and his depression following. It seems maybe instead of feeling emotions, he's feeling nothing at all, there for symbolizing death within himself as well, that is an extreme deep state of depression...

It seems like the person who committed this suicide was quiet, shy and idealistic in his eyes... therefore something he would never expect. This would be very passive agressive and something he could resent.

He definately can't understand why this person did it, like the lines say
"I catch a brief reflection
Of what you COULD and MIGHT have been."
^^ By this, I believe that he feels that the person who was very close to him, he infact didn't know at all because of the death.

He begins fantasizing about the future as if that person would still be alive, hence they lines
"Cause maybe
I will walk away and say
You fucking disappoint me
Maybe you're better off this way!"

Amazing song by A perfect Circle... so much symbolism, and can be taken many different ways!


Straight away as the lyrics start, "as dead as dead can be" - is talking about depression rather than the literal term of actually being dead in my opinion.

One of the clues as to what this song is about is the lyrics at the end where hes saying "Passive aggressive bullshit".

"Passive aggressive" is a term used to describe someone that is unbalanced phsycologically (that sounds worse than I mean it to sound, just cant think of a better way to put it!) and I think thats why the lyric "my doctor tells me, but I cant believe him, ever the optimistic one".
"ever the optimistic one" seems to me to be sarcasm as he doesn't believe whatever his doctor is saying to him, which I expect is that he can get better.
So since the song is titled "Passive", I would say that whoever this song is about (maybe Maynard) is holding back, and he gets wound up and gets angry, thus the passive aggressive circle, going from passive holding it in, to having to let it out in some other way than he wishes he could.

"my perfect enemey" sounds also like the passive aggressive behaviour, as he has 2 sides to him conflicting.

In the chorus, he is talking to himself saying that he really does need to change but if he leaves it too late then he will dissapoint himself and he might end up staying that way.
"maybe im better off this way" - thats his negative side

"wake up" - come out of this depression "why cant you?" - asking himself why.

Two things I don't get are:

1. in the 2nd verse.
"It's your right and your ability, to become my perfect enemy"

2.and also the use of the word "catatonic" - which (from the dictionary) is a medical disease where the patient has very rigid or flexible limbs
(i'm sure this isn't meant to be taken literally but I don't understand it in the context of the song.

A lot of lyrics don't make perfect sense though and can be taken in many ways which I tend to like, as it makes you think about the different ways to interpret them.

Great Song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/29/08

Well, this is one of the few songs I listen to, and APC is definitly, over half of my Playlist. Well, its a great song, and it defintely is about ones inner self.

to person named kris | Reviewer: Shelby | 1/23/08

apc sounds NOTHING like 10 years. like at all. so yeah. apc is fuhreaking amazing. and i AM agreeing that tool is better. they have more of a twist but i still love apc.

meaning | Reviewer: jonas | 1/22/08

i think is about... a man who wants to die when he found that he was going to die for a disease or something like that... but he was so sad that he wanted to front face to face his fears and the dead and... poof! this was all what i understood

Passive= Excellent | Reviewer: Haroon | 1/20/08

I would say that this song is not different from any other MJK song in that it can percieved in several ways and forms. It is easy to see the possibility that MJK is literally speaking to a loved one who is essentially subconscious. However, when contemplating it in my mind, I have thought that this is more of an internal struggle between two conflicting psyches which hinders MJK. When looking at MJK's past work, he seems to stress more on self-reflection and social flaws within a song rather than the sole stress of something so mundane as the loss of a loved one. In this song, he depicts himself as attempting to revive or erect this dormant side of him. The song is irrefutable more complex than what it appears.

passive | Reviewer: moskotron | 12/25/07

First time i heard this song i thought it was talking about some woman or something , after i read the lyrics i think this song is about ourselves ... maynard is trying to wake himself up because the perfect enemy of someone is himself nobody knows you better than yourself so you are your perfect enemy so you have to be better than yourself so he helps us win the enemy within ,our darkest thoughts so that someday i wont abandon myself saying that "he dissappoints" me i wont live in a passive aggressive bullshit way instead i have to wake up and GO and claim anything i want and be happy i did so i ll wake up someday and be happy with my choices instead of seeing life pass by me ... makes me wanna re-live old experiences i didnt choose correctly , gives me the feeling i should live things at the extent and dispute and argue and cry and do all those things that if i dont i ll dissapoint my self.

Enfor | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/19/07

Totally agree with m. I think is about a person that instead of facing things or problems with courage chooses to be autodestructive in a passive aggressive way.

review... | Reviewer: m | 11/8/07

mmm i think this song isn't really talking literally to someone that died, but to a person that instead of facing an issue or problem, decides to "play dead" and ignore it...that's why its passive-aggressive, this person is aggressive by being passive, by avoiding a proper that's why he says "i know that you can hear this" like saying that this person knows for sure how are things and still decides to do nothing about and go on like nothing ever happened.
also the attitude of this person, maybe even a change in his personality which made him act this way, is what makes him "his perfect enemy" but well that's what i think...greatest song of apc for sure!

Meaning | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/6/07

I agree with Chatani but i also believe that he is trying to at least hate her, hence the 'enemy' thing since it would be easier for him to let go if he feels that there was no hope for them. That said it could also him challenging her to 'face' him and become his enemy and regain conscienceness inspite of him, he doesn't care what she thinks as long as he knows that shes alright. That was just a little ad on to Chatani.