Here are photos of my Darkside Roman cosplay from the two new TIKTOKs. @thatsthat24
Here are photos of my Darkside Roman cosplay from the two new TIKTOKs. @thatsthat24
i suck at light and shadows and whatever so i didn’t make an effort this time. i just wanted a smug Janus so here you go 💛
(Do not repost)
[ID: A digital drawing of Virgil. He has pale skin, green eyes, and dyed purple hair.
He is wearing a black tank top with a mesh neckline, a red plaid skirt, his patchwork hoodie that is slipping off his right shoulder, fishnet stockings, and black boots that go up to the middle of his calf. He has two helix piercings and a stud on his left ear and a red ribbon-like earring on his right along with a choker with a red teardrop-shaped gem.
He looks off to the right as he sits on the floor, one arm supporting him up as his other rests on his leg which is propped up. There is sunlight shining on him from the right.
The background looks like a purple wall and a pink floor, white bordering the entire image like a picture. /end ID. ]
I got my tablet up and running! Woo!
Honestly, I couldn't get it to work for months until a week ago haha. This is the first drawing I've made with it since then
Yes, I drew him in a skirt but that because it's easier and looks better than a bunch of ripped jeans absjsvd
(Click for better quality!)
If you like it, reblog it!
[Bonus prinxiety version under cut]
[ID: The same image as the first only that there is writing in red pen by the right side of Virgil saying;
"Look at this beauty!"
In cursive, pointing to Virgil who has hearts scribbled around his head.
There is a thumb with tan skin by the left, looking as if it were holding the image like a picture. /End ID. ]
And that's it!
My Darkside Roman cosplay TIKTOK #2
If you decide to comment on the actual TIKTOKs, don’t use all of my pronouns and names. My irls follow me on TIKTOK, and I haven’t mentioned my identity to them yet. Just call me Kate or Monkey like my @ and use she/her on TIKTOK if a name and pronouns are needed./gen /srs @thatsthat24
I made two Darkside Roman cosplay TIKTOKs, so I thought I’d share them here.
Here’s TIKTOK #1 @thatsthat24
If you decide to comment on the actual TIKTOKs, don’t use all of my pronouns and names. My irls follow me on TIKTOK, and I haven’t mentioned my identity to them yet. Just call me Kate or Monkey like my @ and use she/her on TIKTOK if a name and pronouns are needed./gen /srs
Lil art dump
Just some random stuff. A little TS art, oc's, rotg, the great pumpkin. Stuff like that
Bonus fun fact about the Sanders Sides keychains in the Thomas Sanders merch store:
Patton has paw print details on the bottom of his shoes ahhh!!! :D
Me, browsing the Thomas Sanders merch store: Man all of these keychains are so cute but I don't really use keychains and I have no money.
Me, looking at the Remus one: Wait a minute.
WAIT A FUCKING MINUTE!
Remus is shown with heterochromia like Janus!!! :D
Yea it’s one of those posts- interact with this if you’re still active in the sanders sides fandom!
Inspired by an incorrect quote by @/jayreid2001 on Twitter.
Based on N2 of a drawing meme HERE
I’M HOME ALONE AND THAT MEANS I CAN WATCH TSS ON THE TV!!! IT’S SO BIG AND BRIGHT AND HD! I’m used to watching it on my phone and this is such a difference.
omg I wonder what they were doing 😳
@crownedscribe @nesmayer @toxic-blueberry @thatsthat24 @omgsomeonesomewhereonearth @poptartsaysurloved @eliemo @plume-pigmented-pili
Here we are, back with the second part of this analysis that took me longer than any other. And it makes sense, considering this playlist includes the contributions of other six (possibly seven) Sides.
Still, this part is probably the most difficult, because here we reach the lowest point of Thomas’ reasoning. We will face the most difficult themes, along with the contributions of the two most metaphorical Sides, so brace yourself, because it’s gonna be a hard one.
As always, the same warnings from part 1 apply here.
You can find part 1 HERE
6. The Bird and the Bee - What’s In The Middle
(Same artist from Janus' playlist)
Let’s recap: Thomas is going through a lot of changes. He’s growing up, he left adolescence and he’s walking his first steps into adulthood. He’s also changing his whole life, by leaving his old job as chemical engineer, to pursue an artistic career.
However, despite wanting these changes, Thomas can’t help but be scared: he fears the unknown future, he’s afraid he made the wrong choices, he fears the changes. He tries to be optimist, but his overthinking nature (and the unwanted contribution of his Anxiety) makes him mull over and over these same thoughts.
And so, Thomas violently lashes out against his Anxiety, accuses him of being the worst and blames him for everything.
After such a frustrated outburst, Thomas is sad and tired. And that’s the perfect moment for his self-preservation to step in.
At this point in time, Thomas doesn't know about Janus yet. So it’s even more interesting that this song appears so early in the playlist: it's a subtle way to tell us that, even if Janus was still hidden, he was already working to protect Thomas and take care of him.
Where is the middle, is the middle of your mind? Is it the place where you stop, where you just stop trying? Call out the dogs and let them have a sniff They might catch a little scent before you just forget it
Of course Janus song = symbolism, hints, foreshadowing. I’m not surprised this song is so full of hints about everything - first of all, Janus' own existence.
"The middle of your mind" can be interpreted as a place/part of Thomas’ mind or even the Side of himself, with whom Thomas can relax for a while and stop pretending everything is fine.
Thomas still doesn’t know where this place (this Side) is, so Janus metaphorically suggests to him to "call out the dogs and let them have a sniff". In other words: to start questioning things. Like a curious dog searching for a path, Thomas should start asking his Core Sides more about his mind and himself. Is there something I don't know? Is there something I'm not aware of? Are there any Sides hidden from me?
And, maybe, if Thomas "sniffs around" enough, he might catch a little scent. He might notice something. A slip of the tongue, a strange behaviour, his Core Sides hiding something. And he could do it "before you just forget it".
Losing your head is such a common theme All your brains are falling out, falling out the open seams Where is the heart, is the heart of the matter? I must empty out my skull of all this useless chatter
Please remember that "falling out the open seams": we will see it again in another important song.
So, after subtly telling Thomas that hey, there might be something (or someone) he's not aware of, Janus tells him (and us) something else: that Thomas losing his head is "a common theme". And that means this is not the first time Thomas' thoughts spiral down like this. It's not the first time Thomas makes a decision and he's scared by it, feels like he did something wrong, cannot move on and, ultimately, lashes out at his Anxiety.
Thomas is used to this cycle, he's used to "falling out the open seams". And that implies the whole “Thomasphere” (intended as the result of his Sides' cooperation) isn't working as well as it should. Thomas falls apart because his Sides are falling apart, because there is no cooperation. And if his Sides don’t work together, Thomas can’t work either.
So Janus asks Thomas where "the heart of the matter" is. In other words, WHY this happens. What is the main reason? Why does Thomas fall apart every time? Why are his Sides unable to work together? What is the real, fundamental reason why this happens?
We know the answer, by now: it’s all because of the black/white mentality. And we saw how, every time Thomas made a step away from it, things got better: we saw the difference between refusing Virgil and working with him. We saw how Thomas was finally able to relax, once he acknowledged and accepted Remus' presence. And we saw how much he needed someone like Janus, to help him reach a more balanced state of mind.
That’s why Janus suggests him to ask, insist, be curious about himself, empty out his skull “of all this useless chatter". There are hints, if Thomas is smart enough to get them and ask the real questions.
I want an empty head I want to go to bed For a long, long, long time I want to fall behind And not to get in line For a long, long, long time
However, now Thomas cannot do it. He’s too tired, too afraid, too scared. And so, his self-preservation lets him rest (this reminds me so much of Janus’ warm, caring songs like Trust in Me and Come Little Children) - while still leaving suggestions, hints, food for thoughts that are like whispers in Thomas’ mind.
What's in a name if it's a name you can't remember? You thought you had it down, but then you ran back to the center What's in a word if that word has lost its meaning? If you say it all the time a dirty word will get its cleaning
The reference to names is extremely fitting, considering how important they are for the Others - and for this Side in particular. Names represent a good portion of what the Others are, of their functions and meanings.
So when Janus asks “What's in a name if it's a name you can't remember?”, he’s talking about a Side - or better, some Sides. The same Sides who have been hidden in a corner of Thomas’ mind, by Thomas himself. The Sides who have been forgotten (“a name you can’t remember”).
And the question is very specific too: how can Thomas understand “what’s in a name” i.e. what’s in a Side, if he cannot even remember them? How can Thomas understand a Side who he himself hid? If he chose to forget about them, how can he pretend to understand them on a deeper level?
He thought he “had it down”, like with Virgil. After all, Anxiety is just a bad guy and nothing more. But this was Thomas "running back to the center": he kept making the same mistake of seeing things black or white/good or bad, with no in-between.
However, Janus offers a solution: "What's in a word if that word has lost its meaning? / If you say it all the time a dirty word will get its cleaning".
Not only this is very Janus because this kind of cynicism is exactly what I expect from him, but it’s also incredibly important to understand.
When Virgil was first introduced (and for a very long time), he has always been associated with bad things. "Anxiety" was an awful word that meant frustration, troubles, fears. But the more Thomas knew this scary part of himself, the less Anxiety seemed like a bad guy. That word that has always been associated with bad things, suddenly became a word of acceptance. The bad word got its cleaning.
And yes, this connects incredibly well with Remus. Why? Because Remus uses words and images that are considered “bad” by Thomas and the others: sex, death, violence, everything that is gross and uneasy. But, as this song suggests, if a dirty word is "said all the time", i.e. is known, understood, becomes familiar, then it's not dirty anymore. What was wrong and forbidden, it won’t be anymore once Thomas understands it.
Where is the end, is the edge of understanding? I might think it's overrated or can't take the mind expanding Give me a push, little push in one direction I might need a little help with my own interconnection
Oh, I love this last part. Janus reached his goal: his words made Thomas aware of the issue, of how he keeps "falling out the open seams". This has to stop. Thomas can’t keep doing it.
And so, he finally admits he needs help with "his own interconnection". In other words: he needs help in dealing with his Sides, the ones who ARE his interconnections.
And that means getting serious with them. Talking with them about heavier themes, learning more about them. If we want, we can consider this song the starting point of the change that occurred in the series, when Thomas (and, before him, Mr. Sanders) moved from "silly, funny vlogs" to "let's know these Sides a little more".
7. Dodie - 6/10
So, after Thomas realized he has a problem and needs help in dealing with his Sides, the natural consequence should be a very determined Thomas, stronger, ready to investigate and to know more.
But this wouldn't be Thomas. Thomas is a thinker, he doesn’t jump into every decision head first. And when he reached the conclusion he needed help in dealing with his Sides... he's not exactly happy. He just realized he’s not the result of a fluid cooperation, but more like an incomplete painting with patches added here and there to cover the lingering issues. He still works as a human being, he's still able to do stuff... but he's not as good as he could be. His Creativity is not as variegated, his Morality is too selfless, his Anxiety is too strong. He can do beautiful things, but it's not enough.
And this is where this song comes in. 6/10 is about not feeling enough: being a 6 out of 10 means being average, just fine, nothing too special. It's not something to be proud of, nor a huge achievement. Just acceptable.
This is how Thomas feels. He's not the best version of himself, he’s not terrible. He’s just painfully ordinary.
What goes on behind the words? Is there pity for the plain girl?
Can you see the panic inside? I'm making you uneasy, aren't I?
These lines can be interpreted from two perspectives.
1) Thomas’ own perspective: what goes on behind his life? From the outside he looks like a famous, happy, successful guy. He’s a singer, an actor, he works on Youtube, he has fans and money. He’s living the dream. And he looks happy all the time, so there’s nothing behind, right? He’s exactly how he looks.
This hints at another big theme we will see later on in this playlist and it’s the difference between public and private life. Having an apparently perfect public persona doesn’t mean being perfect in private as well. And showing an always happy, carefree persona in public doesn’t mean being just as happy in private.
In these cases, trying to show a bit of your true self in public doesn’t always end up well. The public might reject your private persona for the public one or not even care about it. And this could have devastating consequences for your mind.
2) Other people’s perspective: when other people tell Thomas nice things, do they really mean every word? Are they truly happy to be with him or are they pitying him? Are his friends truly friends or are they secretly judging Thomas all the time?
As you can see, the theme isn’t public vs private here, but it goes into another, familiar direction: Thomas’ social anxiety, one of the bigger themes of the song.
Maybe, after realizing he needs help, Thomas tried to seek said help from his friends. But then his social anxiety kicked in. After all, he’s not as great as other people are. His private persona isn’t as lively and happy as the public one. He’s a plain, average guy. Why should people like him? Why should his friends be nice to him?
And so, when he tries to open up about his anxiety, it’s even worse, because he feels how this makes others uncomfortable.
I'll close my mouth, I won't say a word A nod of pity for the plain girl
And so, Thomas stops talking, shuts others down. Why talking, after all? He’s so plain and irrelevant his opinions are irrelevant as well. His thoughts are irrelevant. Other people won’t care.
Man, stop being such a mood.
And the second line sounds like a confirmation of his thoughts: other people around him are nodding out of pity. They are indulging him, because he’s pathetic.
Consequently, Thomas feels he’s forcing his presence on other people, expressed by the repetition of the line “I know that you don't want me here”: he started with the best intentions, he wanted to ask for help, but his thoughts went down, his social anxiety rose up and now he just wants to leave and not be a burden anymore.
Thomas’ attempt to seek help failed. He’s still unable to work well.
And this is when the most important theme of the playlist appears.
8. Jon Bellion - Human
I always fear that I'm not living right So I feel guilty when I go to church The pastor tells me I've been saved, I'm fine Then please explain to me why my chest still hurts I spent four thousand on the Mart McFlys Yet I'm still petrified of going broke There's someone gorgeous in my bed tonight Yet I'm still petrified that I'll die alone
The singer fears he’s not living right, his religious upbringing makes him feel guilty for his life choices. Despite that, when he goes to the church, the pastor tells him everything is okay. Yet, he still feels bad.
The next four lines try to explain why he feels bad: he recklessly spent lots of money for luxury goods, he had different partners but not a stable relationship.
Now, let’s move all of this on Thomas. As we saw in the previous songs, Thomas’ thoughts are going down a spiral of doubts, fears, self-deprecation, social anxiety. He doesn’t feel like he’s living right: his Sides can’t work well together, his Anxiety is very heightened and he’s just deeply scared of what the future holds.
In this moment of intense reasoning, it’s very possible Thomas’ thoughts shifted into religious territory. As we saw, religion was solace and comfort for him, after all. And it’s very possible he thought: “I don’t feel well and I don’t work well: could this be because I’m not living a righteous life as religion asks me to?”.
And, once he asked himself this question, the next one is, sadly, very predictable: “Could it be that my sexual orientation started this?” After all, religion says being gay = sin (even if it makes zero sense with Jesus’ message of love but let’s not digress), so it’s very possible that, in his darkest hour, Thomas thought his sexual orientation was the real problem behind everything.
Despite that, the pastor told him he’s fine. This isn’t the problem, him being gay has nothing to do with these issues he’s having.
And yet, Thomas still feels bad. He spent a lot of money on material goods, but he’s scared that, one day, making money won’t be as easy and he might end up losing everything. He doesn’t have a long-lasting relationship and he’s afraid to die alone.
These emotions can be easily associated with religious guilt: spending money recklessly and having affairs are not part of what religion dictates as a righteous way of living.
But do you know what these emotions can also be associated with? Growing up. And how do I know this? Because these are the exact same thoughts I started to have when I reached 30 and that I am still having.
When I was around 20, I vaguely started to think about those things, but it was still very vague. I was still at university, I still had to do my bachelor and my master’s degree. I had plenty of time to worry about my future.
Then, I became 30 and these thoughts came, just right out the bat. I stopped thinking just about the next couple of years and looked further ahead, at the rest of my life. And I am still doing it. I am okay-ish right now, but how will things change? Will I have enough money, when I retire, to live a good life? Will I be healthy enough? Will I be able to take care of myself, considering I do not want a partner? What will I do, when I will not be able to take care of myself anymore?
And the thing is: these aren’t just my thoughts. These are the thoughts of an entire generation - and, in general, of all humans when they reached a certain point in life. This point in life: when you’re not a kid anymore, nor a young adult. You’re 30, you are technically an adult, but you just put a foot over the line and looked at what adulthood is. And this fucking scares you because of course it scares you! No one is ready to become an adult!
Why does Sanders Sides have so many episodes focusing on growing up and changing? Because this is what Thomas is experiencing right now. He’s 30, he’s technically an adult, but just like everyone else, he’s afraid of this, of the future, of changing.
I'm just so sick of being human
Oh, this line. This beautiful line. Dear readers, welcome to the most difficult theme ever: the human condition.
What is the human condition? As Wikipedia says, this is "all of the characteristics and key events that compose the essentials of human existence, including birth, growth, emotion, aspiration, conflict, and mortality.". In other words: everything that is inevitably part of our nature. All the instincts we carry since our rise through the ranks of the animals. Our primordial push towards creativity. Our mixed feelings of aggression and friendship towards other people. Our curiosity and our fear of changes. The wonder and terror associated with living. The blissful innocence of children and the inherent sadness of adults.
This is all part of the human condition and this is the deepest root of all of Thomas' issues too. The root of his anxiety, his fears, his creativity, everything he's feeling and experiencing.
And if the human condition means accepting the beauty of our species, it also means acknowledging its pain and misery. We cannot stop being humans, we cannot escape our own condition. The very first song of the playlist hinted at it, with the line: "Deep down I think I know that bein' human isn't easy".
Just like every human, Thomas slowly realizes life isn’t just happiness, fun and wonder. Growing up gave him the awareness ro recognize how painful being human is, how hard and mentally exhausting it can be. He’s sick of being human, he would like to escape this mental pain. But he can’t.
You know what that reminds me of? The poem Night Song of a Wandering Shepherd in Asia, by Giacomo Leopardi (HERE a good analysis).
Yes, I studied it at school. Yes, it is beautiful and sad. Leopardi might not be the life of the party, but that’s why his works and his poetry made him one of the most beloved Italian poets to this day.
So, what is this poem about? This is a one-sided conversation between an asian shepherd and the moon. The shepherd questions the moon about his human condition, seen as a cycle of pain and suffering. He also sees a substantial difference between him and his flock: his animals live blissfully and do not know the suffering to which mankind is condemned since birth.
However the moon gives no answer to the shepherd, leaving him alone with the awareness of the tragedy of being alive.
Do you see any similarities here? Just like the shepherd, Thomas would like to escape his condition - maybe for a more blissful, unaware way of living that will give him more peace of mind. But he can’t do it. The consequences of the human condition, just like its gifts, are his to enjoy and endure.
See I got GPS on my phone And I can follow it to get home If my location's never unknown Then tell me why I still feel lost Tell me why I still feel lost
Again: just like the shepherd, Thomas feels alone. He knows where he’s headed in life, he knows what he wants to do... and yet, he feels lost. Psychologically lost.
Why? Because he’s growing up. And by growing up, Thomas is losing all the milestones he had during his childhood and adolescence: his parents won't protect him forever, his young age won't justify his mistakes anymore, he won't be as healthy and strong as before. He’s moving on with no certainty, only doubts about him and the rest of his life: what if he fails, what if things go wrong, what if there will be consequences.
And the worst thing is that he doesn’t have the answers to these questions. No one has. That’s what being human is: moving on without a clear purpose, with no answers, with no milestones, beautiful and alone in a place so much bigger than us.
9. Gorillaz ft. slowthai and Slaves - Momentary Bliss
(Same singer from Roman and Remus' playlists)
What do you do, when you reach such a state of exhaustion? Do you just lie on the ground and wait for death, or do you feel something inside that pushes you to express your feelings in some way?
If you're an artist, you already know the answer.
Once Thomas is at his lowest, someone lends him a helping hand. And this is absolutely perfect for three reasons:
Because this is exactly what happens when we feel bad. I still have to find the artist who, when sad, doesn't make something beautiful with their art
Because it shows, once again, how important Roman is and how Creativity is such a fundamental part of Thomas ("with no you at all, I'm incomplete", as Thomas said in LNTAO).
Because this song shows how Thomas needs his FULL Creativity, not just one part of it. Thomas doesn't need just Roman, but Remus too. They are BOTH needed, when Thomas faces the misery of the human condition: the part of Creativity who is more mature, dark, instinctual and the part who is more beautiful and organized.
So when both Creativities step in, they offer Thomas a "momentary bliss": a very fitting title, considering that this song is just a small moment of calm between the two heaviest songs of the playlist.
Momentary Bliss is about a lot of things. It's about society and false idols - and this is absolutely Remus' influence. But this song is also about people who are not in control of their own destiny - and this is definitely Roman's influence.
But, first of all, it’s about both Creativities pushing Thomas to do more.
We could do so much better than this Mausoleum faces and momentary bliss
"We could do so much better than this". Come on, tell me this isn't something they can both say to Thomas. They know they have a lot more to offer, they know they can "do so much better than this". And, just like everyone's Creativity, they do what creativity does: they ask for more. More freedom, more chances, more ways to express themselves. Just like they did in canon:
"Why don't you want to listen to me more?" (Roman) "Why do you want to stifle your own creativity, Thomas?" (Remus)
The second line can be considered a small critique of society (and of Thomas). The "mausoleum faces" might refer to how Thomas keeps showing the same persona (the happy, lively guy), to not let others see how miserable he feels.
And, when people give him nice words and show their support, he feels this "momentary bliss", this small warmth that disappears soon after. Because this is just a moment, not something that truly helps him move forward, away from his spiral of dark thoughts.
Your potential, you lack credentials And you are special, so fucking special (Rita) Oh, how you need it, oh, how you're needed And you keep squeezing the tube from the middle You part the seas, but your arches, they ain't golden
I love how Roman and Remus remind Thomas that he has a lot of potential because, well, they are his potential. He’s special, he can do a lot (because they know they can do a lot). But Thomas "lacks credentials": he’s too sad and tired, too miserable and anxious to showcase his talents - even though he and his Creativities need a chance to shine.
And so Thomas keeps "squeezing the tube from the middle''. In other words, he tries to use quicker, simpler ways to let his Creativities express themselves, without drawing on their full potential.
However this could be a problem in the future. "Squeezing the tube from the middle" for a long time means trapping everything at the bottom: his potential, his ideas, his own Creativities until he's not able to get them. Until they’re so stifled to not being able to express themselves anymore.
This is what they want to avoid. And, again, they remind Thomas how many incredible things he can do. He can (figuratively) part the seas, like Moses did in the Bible (hi, religious reference), “but your arches, they ain't golden": in other words, not everyone will appreciate him.
And if that seems like a critique of society it’s because it is: the golden arches are a reference to the McDonald's logo and a subtle way to tell us that society will never fully appreciate Thomas’ art, because society values materialism and profit more than a creative mind.
The snake boy taught Remus well.
See, everything in life ain't silver and gold But mining for metal gave you platinum
That’s another great metaphor, a nice play on the idiom, “all that glitters is not gold”. Mining for metal means mining for something common, nothing important. While platinum is a very rare, valuable metal - even more valuable than gold.
To put it simply, Thomas' Creativities remind him that life is not always good. Things can suck, can look bad and be bad. But if Thomas keeps working, keeps using his potential and lets his Creativities express themselves without stifling them nor expecting huge results (so just "mining for metal"), they may surprise him and give him “platinum” - i.e. something even more valuable and rarer, than what Thomas hoped for (silver and gold).
It makes me sick to think you ain't happy in your skin It's wearing thin to think light bulb don't blink It just flickers, so dim, then it pops and withers
This is a great reaction to the self-deprecating behaviour we saw in the previous songs (especially 6/10). And I love how the Creativities are angry that Thomas isn’t happy for who he is. He should love and appreciate himself, not feel plain and miserable.
But, right now, that’s how Thomas feels. He’s like a bulb that, instead of lighting up everything with its presence, flickers dim and dies away.
And this is also another great critique of society, because Thomas isn’t the only one who feels like this: many young people are like dim bulbs, unable to express their potential because they “lack credentials” and society isn’t able to accept them.
Oh, you need to change your face You're getting sold, it's such a waste Y'know, we could do so much better than this Swimming in pools of momentary bliss
And so, a lot of artists sell themselves. They “change their face”, adopt a new, more appealing persona in order to get some recognition.
Sometimes these people can find a compromise between this more “socially acceptable” persona and their own creativity. Most of the time, they can’t. And, considering the Creativitwins' reaction, this is one of those cases: they aren’t happy at all, they do not want Thomas to sell himself. They can do so much better.
And they’re not the only ones who think that.
10. Fall Out Boy - Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes
(Same artist from Virgil's playlist)
While analyzing Virgil's playlist, we already talked about how his songs are huge, multilayered poems, with several meanings well hidden or in plain sight. This song is no different. This song is literally all of Virgil's playlist in one single song, with one billion different interpretations.
I won't lie to you: this has been difficult. The lyrics aren't easy to understand per se, let alone by taking all other songs of the playlist into consideration. Some parts were easier, others were much more complicated. I had a hard time figuring this out.
And then, I got why: oh, right, it's Virgil's song. And it's the tenth song too, the one in the middle of the playlist. As we saw in all other playlists, the middle song is always a focal point of the discussion, so it makes sense this is a big deal.
So, what is this song about?
This song is a scream. This song is a "fuck you" to the society, the world, Virgil, Thomas. This song is about realizing you're bad and others are bad as well. The subject always switches from Thomas, to Virgil, to society. Now that I think about it, this is probably the first song in which there is the overlap between Thomas and Virgil. This would make Virgil the third Side who shows this overlapping between the Side and the real guy, after Logan and Janus. And, you know, it makes sense too, considering how strong Virgil’s influence is on Thomas’ life.
I'm coming apart at the seams
This is the very first line of the song and we have a perfect connection to What's in the Middle, Janus' song, and to this line I specifically asked you to remember:
All your brains are falling out, falling out the open seams
These two boys can’t literally help themselves and keep showing connections in their mentality, words and actions. Also, if we consider their position in the playlist, they represent the starting and the ending point of Thomas’ spiral of thoughts: Janus gave the push to start it, Virgil will give the push to react to it.
I got it, Mr. Sanders, they’re father and son, okay.
Pitching myself for leads in other people's dreams Now buzz, buzz, buzz Doc, there's a hole where something was Doc, there's a hole where something was
He feels empty, he dreams of being someone else. Am I talking about Thomas? Or am I talking about Virgil?
Can you see what I meant, when I talked about the overlap between the person and the Side? This part is a clear example: Thomas could be the empty one, the one who just wants to be unaware of the human condition, happier, more confident. Someone more similar to his public persona.
But Virgil could also be the empty one, the one who feels like he doesn't belong: he's not a Core Side, he's not one of the Others. He wishes to be different, to not be the bad guy all the time.
Personally, I think these lines can (and should) refer to them both. After all, Thomas is his Sides and his Sides are him: it just makes sense that every Side experiences this overlap with Thomas, at least once.
Fell out of bed, butterfly bandage, but don't worry You'll never remember, your head is far too blurry Put him in the back of a squad car, restrain that man He needs his head put through a CAT scan Hey editor, I'm undeniable Hey Doctor, I'm certifiable
A butterfly bandage is used to hold together skin around a deep cut, to help it heal. It is a more makeshift solution than stitches and generally less effective.
This is a way to show us how Thomas is falling apart. His situation is messy and painful, his dark thoughts make him feel alone and miserable. And he tries to solve it, by applying a cheap, temporary solution - i.e. by "squeezing the tube from the middle", as said in Momentary Bliss.
But using a cheap solution and hoping time will solve everything didn't work. Like Janus foreshadowed through his song and the Creativitwins warned Thomas in the previous one, he's still falling apart at the seams. He’s still haunted by his thoughts and fears. He cannot escape the consequences of his human condition.
At the same time, this reasoning can apply to Virgil: he also tried to hide his past with a temporary solution (aka saying nothing). He also keeps falling apart under the weight of his memories (his whole playlist is basically all about his past and how he can’t forget it!). And, just like Thomas cannot escape his condition, Virgil can’t escape the Sides he so desperately avoids.
It's very interesting how Virgil used Thomas' situation to subtly talk about himself - and he did it by using a poem, so he was able to reveal something, while still not saying anything.
Oh, I'm a loose bolt of a complete machine What a match, I'm half-doomed, and you're semi-sweet
He feels like a "loose bolt", an unnecessary piece of a group already complete. Again: am I talking about Thomas or about Virgil? This line can refer to both of them at the same time and I like to think this is Virgil talking to Thomas about Thomas, while perfectly knowing he's also talking about himself.
Thomas feels like a loose bolt. He's not part of the society (the perfect machine). He doesn't feel like he belongs with other, happier, more "normal" people. He might even be dangerous, considering he's a “loose” bolt and not something fixed or stable. He might prevent others from working well. He's complicated, he's full of issues, he's an overthinker. He's "half-doomed": he’s aware of the pain of the human condition and he cannot go back to a more naive, unaware way of thinking.
Virgil feels like a loose bolt. He's not part of the Core Sides (the perfect machine) and he's not one of the Others anymore. He might even be dangerous, considering he's a loose bolt. He might prevent others from working well (as it was hinted in Passing Through) and even cause the whole "Thomasphere" to fall apart if his influence becomes too strong (as we saw in the previous songs). He's complicated, he's full of issues, he's an overthinker. He's "half-doomed", because he’s mature and aware of how life is. He will never be happy 24/7, nor can he reverse to a naive, simpler way of thinking.
In addition to that, we have a correlation between the "half-doomed" and the "semi-sweet". If Thomas is the half-doomed, the semi-sweet one is the rest of the world, society, life itself. If Virgil is the half-doomed, his semi-sweet is Thomas.
So not only we have an overlap between Thomas and Virgil, but also a correlation between them. Although separate (at least in "shape", since Thomas and Virgil have different appearances), they are still two halves of a whole. Thomas won't be Thomas without Virgil. As Virgil said during the Q&A: he is Thomas' anxiety, not everyone else's.
So boycott love, detox just to retox And I'd promise you anything for another shot at life And perfect boys with their perfect lives Nobody wants to hear you sing about tragedy
We already saw in previous songs how Thomas' public persona is different from the private one. Private Thomas is an overthinker, anxious guy. Public Thomas is a lively, happy guy with no dark worries. The kind of guy Private Thomas would like to be.
And so, what does Thomas do? He hides his true self, his worries, his anxiety, in order to become his public self.
Why? The reason is always the same, from the very first song of the playlist: acceptance. Thomas wants to be accepted and recognized by society and by other people.
The lines "Perfect boys with their perfect lives / Nobody wants to hear you sing about tragedy" are exactly about that. We saw countless examples of famous people with dark, sad private lives or hidden secrets they never talked about, because they did not want to lose their public, other people's appreciation, the investors and, in some cases, their jobs. Show business gave them a sparkly aura of perfection and if something in their real life was a stain to this perfect appearance, they had to hide it and pretend to be someone they were not, in order to not lose everything.
Thomas is famous, so according to the general public he has a perfect life as well. Hey, he looks so happy in all of his social interactions! He's definitely a perfect boy, with no problems and no worries.
And when people think you are a perfect boy with a perfect life, they don't want you to talk about your problems. You are so famous and perfect, what can you possibly know about real life problems? How can you pretend your problems are important, when there are other people with more serious issues? You are famous, so everything about you is okay.
And this also imply another thing: that this song probably refers to the period before Thomas' coming out as gay. When he appeared even more like the essence of the perfect guy: white, straight, from the most civilised modern country, dashing smile, good-looking face, perfect age for any investor in search for a new testimonial. He ticked all the boxes.
This is what Thomas is boycotting: the public's love for a guy who doesn't exist, his public persona with his perfect life. And this is also what Virgil is asking him: no more pleasing people, no more pretending to be someone he's not in order to get other people's affection. They don't care about the real Thomas, they just see him as the perfect vip/testimonial.
And, when Thomas will do it, "I'd promise you anything for another shot at life": Virgil promises him a second chance. A chance to start again, by being more true to himself. Maybe he will lose his public's favour or the investors' interest, but he will be free.
And speaking of being more free, the second verse is very interesting:
Painted dolls in the highway, truck stop stalls Lot lizards scales cool my nightlife moods All the rookies, leave your badge and your gun on the desk When you leave the room
"Painted dolls" and "Lot lizards" both refer to prostitutes, represented as something new that "cools my nightlife moods". Something (or someone) that makes you feel better.
But the lizard scales are also an obvious reference to Janus and this makes these lines very interesting. Janus (and the Others in general) are hinted as someone who can help Thomas, by giving him a new approach to life. And, just like a cop in a movie, he will "leave your badge and your gun on the desk" and start anew.
Just like the canon is telling us, the Others will be what Thomas needs to change, to evolve, to see things in a more mature perspective.
And, as we will see in the second half of the playlist, they (and this song in particular) will be the starting point of a big change in Thomas’ mentality.
PART 3 WILL BE LINKED HERE
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