spirits that speak


Hate Me

This has been my favorite song lately. For those sensitive to it, I have to warn you that there is 1 curse word in this song, and I have included it in the lyrics posted here. But if anyone is gonna read this post please do me a favor and watch the video as well, the effect this song has had on me wouldn't have been as significant (if there was any effect at all) if I hadn't seen the video the first time I heard the song.

So please, read the lyrics (during or before seeing the video) and I hope my thoughts on this make sense. All lyrics are in italics and are found at www.azlyrics.com. (so if you want to scroll through the lyrics for now, go ahead and just scroll to the end of italics)

I have to block out thoughts of you so I don’t lose my head
They crawl in like a cockroach leaving babies in my bed
Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I’m alone
Playing movies in my head that make a porno feel like home
There's a burning in my pride, a nervous bleeding in my brain
An ounce of peace is all I want for you. Will you never call again?
And will you never say that you love me just to put it in my face?
And will you never try to reach me?
It is I that wanted space

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me so you can finally see what's good for you

I’m sober now for 3 whole months it’s one accomplishment that you helped me with
The one thing that always tore us apart is the one thing I won’t touch again
In a sick way I want to thank you for holding my head up late at night
While I was busy waging wars on myself, you were trying to stop the fight
You never doubted my warped opinions on things like suicidal hate
You made me compliment myself when it was way too hard to take
So I’ll drive so fucking far away that I never cross your mind
And do whatever it takes in your heart to leave me behind

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you

Hate me in ways
Yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you

And with a sad heart I say bye to you and wave
Kicking shadows on the street for every mistake that I had made
And like a baby boy I never was a man
Until I saw your blue eyes cry and I held your face in my hand
And then I fell down yelling “Make it go away!”
Just make a smile come back and shine just like it used to be
And then she whispered “How can you do this to me?”

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you

Hate me in ways
Yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you
For you
For you
For you

I have been thinking a lot about why this song means so much to me. I'm pretty sure I can't quite describe the effect it's had on me. I actually kind of cry any time I see the video. I don't know if I'm misinterpreting the song, but I think the video makes that kind of hard to do.

As far as I'm concerned, the song is about developing habits and living in such a way that it actually hurts those who love you. Watching the video, you realize at some point that the words are being written after the fact, where the "character's" mother (there's no indication that this is based on real life experience of the writer) has died and the character is reflecting on what he has put his mother through. We'll call the character Justin.

Looking back, he's realizing that he has put his mother through some of the most awful hurt. One of the greatest metaphors I've ever heard is in this song, where he talks about the memories being like "movies in my head that make a porno feel like home". I look at the metaphor this way: porno movies are uncomfortable for most people to see, but Justin's memories disturb him so much that even porn is as comfortable as "home" in comparison. That's kind of intense. But Justin wishes none of this was happening. Part of him wishes his mom didn't fight so hard to help him, simply because it caused her pain that he wished she didn't experience. He wishes she could hate him, just to have peace. It's an ironic wish and is almost sarcastic, but it's the only thing he can think of so that his mom would have had a better life, since what he put himself through was clearly a choice resulting in causing her pain again and again. She loved him that much, but he never loved himself.

And now, when it's too late, he's finally beaten his addiction. It's what his mom fought so hard for. Now, the one line in the song that really hits home for me everytime is where he says "The one thing that always tore us apart is the one thing I won't touch again." It's sad, because it's too late for that sentiment to actually make a difference for her, but the same is true of so many of us. We often don't realize what it takes to make a positive change in our lives until something as extreme as the death of a loved one shocks us into changing.

Look, I'm almost done here. If you can't even remotely relate to what this song is saying, then no amount of explanation is gonna change that. And that's ok. But this post is an expression for me and is for everyone who reads this (or not) who can relate to the concept of knowing that someone in their lives loves them enough that when they experience pain, or cause it for themselves, that loved one feels it just as much. A loved one who fights so hard to help, who holds our head up late at night, who tries to put a stop to our war against ourselves, who makes us compliment ourselves at precisely those times when compliments are the hardest things in the world to accept.

But in retrospect, we wish we knew "then" what we know "now". We wanna reverse time and the pain that we caused. We "kick shadows on the street", thinking of how our mistakes hurt people who loved us, and it's too late. And we don't really grow up until we see the pain in our loved ones for what it is.

The rest (and probably most of what I've written about) is probably pretty self explanatory. To those of you who've read this, thanks. If you watch the video or just listen to the song somewhere, thanks for that too. I've been rambling, and hopefully someday soon i'll think the better of all this and edit my thoughts here to something much more concise. I guess in a big way I write these posts cathartically, but in a small way I do it so I can share part of me with those interested.

Go, take 4 more minutes of your life and please watch the video by clicking it below.

Til next time...


  • I’m with you on this song. I’ll admit that this isn’t the typical type of music that I tend to listen to but for me it was one of those rare occasions where you hear a song for the first time and it draws you in. It’s quite raw which is part of its appeal. I heard these guys being interviewed on the radio and apparently this song is autobiographical—I think your interpretation captures the song’s essence. In fact, the recording on the answering machine at the beginning is a real recording that his mother left for him. Thanks for posting the video. I hadn’t seen it and it adds a new dimension to the song.

    By Anonymous dave b, at 14:59  

  • good post. i liked your exploration of this song even more than k. west's.

    By Blogger IndieFaith, at 18:14  

  • thanks guys. it means a lot that someone even skimmed the post. i think it's probably the one i've put the most into since i started blogging.

    By Blogger johnny m, at 21:02  

  • You've always been such a softie! Tee hee. But seriously now, I really enjoyed watching the video and reading the lyrics (really quite touching) and also reading your commentary on it. I, too, think was a great post.

    By Blogger Shiny Beamer, at 09:39  

  • thanks shiny. it's made me realize that unconditional love means being willing to put oneself through hell in situations where it will salvage the well being of those who are loved.

    By Blogger johnny m, at 02:28  

  • i don't think i caught the answering maching message at the start of the video and so i thought he was carrying an old nintendo unit. this made things very confusing for awhile. i kept thinking it was a symbol of loss of innocence.

    By Blogger IndieFaith, at 20:57  

  • lol, what?! so you didn't actually hear his mom's voice? i guess if you have your volume a little quiet...but yes, thinking it's an NES console would definitely make the symbolism confusing.

    By Blogger johnny m, at 09:00  

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