What I think It means. | Reviewer: Sp0k3n | 10/24/08

Of course, I love this song by Tool the best. The song is very well done, and the lyrics state:
"'Cause I need to watch things die
From a distance.
Vicariously, I
Live while the whole world dies.
You all need it too, Don't lie."
DEFINITION OF VICARIOUS:
1. Experienced or gained by the loss or to the consequence of another, such as through watching or reading; Done on behalf of others.
2.suffered or done by one person as a substitute for another.

We all need to watch things die. DON'T LIE.

hmmm | Reviewer: tHEcollector | 10/13/08

this is a catchy little tune, but makes me think maynard is an ass. its good music, but i dont agree with the message at all. maybe i am just a hippy, but i turn the TV off, have a better hope and respect for people and things. so, sorry, but i cant admit it if i just dont feel that way. the lines "better you than i" and this is how the universe is and stuff makes me think this is the way he really feels, not just telling from another perspective. if so, he realizes hes a zombie, not actually living life, but just watching others. if this is the way he actually feels, and is not another perspective, hes a douchebag for self-questioning, arriving at the conclusion hes a degenerate and then being ok with it. if you agree, your a douchebag, and can go back to watching your idiot box.

Amazing song | Reviewer: Hadi | 10/4/08

Ok for all those who want to try and pry a meaning from a Tool song, please stop. There is never a single meaning to any of Maynard's songs. If u respond to one of his songs and gain a personal meaning out of the song, then that's its meaning... To you. But to go around self righteously and proclaim that your analysis on the meaning of the song is the right one, you obviously have no clue about Maynard or Tool. Maynard strives to give his songs a personal meaning to each listener, which he pulls off in flying colors.
Some may say that I'm saying that nobody should discuss the meaning of the song, quite the opposite actually. Discuss it as much as u will, but don't assume that because you've interpreted the song in a particular way means that its the only correct interpretation. Open your minds to the fact that no two responders will view a piece of art the same. And that is exactly how you would describe any of Tool's songs. Works of Art.

Btw I'm not singling anyone out that has placed a review on this page, Its more aimed at anyone who believes that Maynard's songs have a singular meaning.

re it's a rock band people | Reviewer: Ab_IntrA | 5/29/08

"it's a rock band people | Reviewer: marian | 1/30/2008"

if it is not a church why does the band have "The great rev. Maynard"

but hey i agree there are a band, as much as tool have some great words of wisdom in most (all) of there songs they are still human with human emotion

and on the same note anyone who watch's the news listens to a radio reads a news paper or watches any movie that has any kind of violence in it and try's to say that anyone who could relate to this song (or write it) is evil and sadistic, is nothing more then a fool, life is death death is life murder is a part of nature and at the same time nature murders so for some one to feel drawn to seeing things on the tv about this could be nothing but natural

Wow | Reviewer: tom | 4/1/08

What a great song...as a singer in a "progressive" metal band...Tool are a huge influence in my songs...and Vicarious (which we covered) is arguably their best. It's startlingly relevent no matter where you are in the world. Media corporations are obsessed with violence and as such people have become desensitised to it, and even find it enjoyable to an extent. Superb lyrics, and the whole song in general is just amazing.
I think the last line "Vicariously I live while the whole world dies, much better you than I", means that he'd rather everyone else die than himself (perhaps a little selfish?), but given the rest of the lyrics in the song, if everyone else died, then there wouldn't be any violence to thrill him on the tv, and perhaps that's for the best!

Vicariously I watch... | Reviewer: Scott | 3/14/08

I've never heard a more relevant or true song than this. I see perfect examples of this song everyday, such as today it was announced that a colleague had broken his neck and collar bone in a fall. Every person in that room visibly sat up, eager to hear what tragedies had befallen him. I looked at my friend and quoted "Frown out your one face, but with the other stare like a junkie..." Simply a brilliant song.

great song but what should we think of it | Reviewer: David | 2/11/08

its a brilliant song iv been lisinging to it all day but i think this song is about we have no emotions or fealings for deaths or anything bad on tv but in real life when it happens we all get emotional but for what reason should we be getting emotional about deaths happen all the time and people feal bad about someone dying infront of them so thats what i think this song is about

We're all sadistic hypocrits. | Reviewer: anonymous | 2/2/08

I agree with MilesOfBlame.
Only I think the song also tries to point out our hypocrisy, as well as our sadism, with the lyrics:
"Don't look at me like
I am a monster,
Frown out your one face,
But with the other,
Stare like a junkie."

it's a rock band people | Reviewer: marian | 1/30/08

IMO this song doesnt try to judge or make the listener feel guilty and ashamed of human kind that enjoys watching pain, death and misery. Maynard states very clearly "better You than I" "mother......crying why oh why?" - "cause I need to watch things die"! So it is unsensitive and mean? so what? Is tool supposed to be promoting being a good person? hell no! it's a rock band not a church damnit

Yes, it is my view. | Reviewer: MilesOfBlame | 1/22/08

Pretty much the way I see it, is describing the sad truth about us humans, we want to watch real life tragedies on TV, seeing decapitated bodies, or observe deaths because it entertains us. We're too blinded about this sense of curiosity and hunger for something that snares at our attention, instead of feeling sympathy for people who have had to suffer from the ordeal. I believe Maynard's finding this obvious flaw in our kind, and asking us to admit it, it's the most obvious thing that no one wants to admit to because that's going to make us look like desentized imbeciles. But hey, we already accomplished that.

We sit at home, in an environment that is safe and secure, and watching the Television like a bunch of trigger happy teenage boys with a bottle of lotion handy. How ever, this lack of sympathy makes us monsters, our own enemy.

Eh...I think I have made my point if I haven't already repeated myself.

WOw guys | Reviewer: matt | 1/21/08

Vicariously I live while the whole world dies
Much better you than I

This simply means he is rich. He gets to watch vicariously, meaning easily, with ease, ect., while the whole world dies, meaning poverty, overpopulation, ect. All the problems he doesnt have, other people do. And in typical maynard style he declares "better you than me" meaning he is better and they deserve the problems he doesnt

aka fuck em all im rich and ill live vicariously while i watch u all die with ym "eye on the tv"

i love this song

Real meaning | Reviewer: Saligonth | 1/21/08

The song is saying "we all need death to keep alive" meaning.. Well, the media and us enjoy death. We need to feed our canivourous minds, and the line "why cant we just admit it" means exactly that. The lies are us, we all try to feed ourselves lies, that the universe is all good, and we can live without death and plauge. But, in a realistic manner, we cant. No man can live without another to die, exactly the point. This song speaks of our enjoyment of death, and the neededness of it.

doc | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/20/08

"Over thinking, over analyzing, seperates the body from the mind",... Sound familiar? Just accept the band for what they are, Light-years ahead of their time..One of the greatest bands ever,,Reviewer "caz", is a f-----g brain-dead idiot.. Yea, you

wizzzzard | Reviewer: CAZ | 1/12/08

the only way to figure out the meening to a tool song before or after they hit the stores is to....take a nice amount of drugs lay down whak on aenima hope and hope a spirit drags your sorry arse out of your boddy , if you can't handle that why are you listen to tool?? just kidding:) peace of shit why don't you just go kill yourself

last line | Reviewer: loon | 1/1/08

"Much better you than I" ...
I'm not sure what this means; does it mean 'much better you die, rather than I', or almost the opposite, 'You're much better than I'.
To me they both make sens and still manage to go with the song. I mean Maynard pretty much describes the character in this song (whether it be himself or just a creation) to be a pretty evil being, so meaning either of the 2 quotes above would make sense. Either this character is aware of his terrible mind (one might find as being), and acknowledges that the "you" in the final sentence is indeed better in ways.
The other possibility is that the evil character is just implying that he sees whats really there and is basically more privileged to life than "you"...
Someone else's thoughts...?