"21st Century (Digital Boy)" as written by and Brett Gurewitz....
I can't believe it
The way you look sometimes
Like a trampled flag on a city street
Oh yeah

And I don't want it
The things you're offering me
Symbolized barcode, quick I.D
Oh yeah

'Cause I'm a twenty-first century digital boy
I don't know how to live but I got a lot of toys
My daddy's a lazy middle-class intellectual
My mommy's on Valium, so ineffectual
Ain't life a mystery, yeah?

I can't explain it
The things you're're saying to me
It's going yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Oh yeah

'Cause I'm a twenty-first century digital boy
I don't know how to read but I got a lot of toys
My daddy's a lazy middle-class intellectual
My mommy's on Valium, so ineffectual, oh
Ain't life a mystery, yeah?

Tried to tell you about no control
But now I really don't know
And then you told me how bad you had to suffer
Is that really all you have to offer?

'Cause I'm a twenty-first century digital boy
I don't know how to live but I got a lot of toys
My daddy's a lazy middle-class intellectual
My mommy's on Valium, so ineffectual, yeah

(Twenty-first century digital boy) cats, sports, iron claw
(Twenty-first century digital boy) neurosurgeon screams for more
(Twenty-first century digital boy) innocents raped with napalm fire
(Twenty-first century digital boy) everything I want, I really need

Ain't life a mystery, yeah?


Lyrics submitted by M4R5, edited by snotface2

"21st Century (Digital Boy)" as written by Brett Gurewitz

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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21st Century (Digital Boy) song meanings
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38 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think people take this song the wrong way. People assume that he's distracted and made complacent by his "toys". That since he doesn't know how to read or live then he's fucked. It's the opposite. He's rallying against conformity.

    He's disapointed by what the world (or America) has become, and he rejects the invitation to conform ("Symbolized bar code, quick ID"). He rejects attempts to tell him how to live properly ("I can't explain it, the things they're saying to me,
    It's going yayayayayayaya").

    He slams his parents as being lazy and ineffectual, it could be to explain his rebellion, show that they didn't have the power to stop him.

    He a 21st Century digital boy. He's part of the new generation of malcontents. He doesn't know how to live or read, but he's got a lot of "toys" (instruments, maybe) that will help him get by.

    "I tried tell you about no control,
    But now I really don't know,
    And then you told me how bad you had to suffer,
    Is that really all you have to offer? "

    "No Control" and "Suffer" are the two Bad Religion albums that were released before this this album (Against the Grain). Nobody seems to pick up on that.
    Unrighton April 14, 2006   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionI've been listening to this bad for nearly two decades and Stranger Than Fiction is by far one of their best albums. It's still in my playlist and forever will be. I believe this song isn't to be taken literally as 60% of Bad Religion's songs are written with ironic intentions. Greg Graffin has stated he love technology, but this song is an ironic twist characterizing the youth of today, which is 100% true even though this song was written in 1990.
    Smartbomb7on November 15, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think its refering to the technological brainwashing of the youth via television and the internet, and the "modern" ages dependency on technology and the inevitable collapse of our society.
    ThE GlOWiNg?on June 19, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFunny, I see that guy everywhere. Last time he was in the mirror
    Durang0on March 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsongmeanings.net/…

    This song seems to me to have basically the same theme as 21st Century Schizoid Man. Honestly, I see the song more as a tribute to it/reimagining of it in a punk style with basically the same theme. Both songs are excellent, and definitely worth listening to.
    life_as_lucidon February 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is about, the way times are changing and how we have changed to match our environment. lazy slobs is what the kids are turning into, look around you, its plain to see, and how we are becoming dependant on technology.
    westyon March 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song, to me, makes a political and underlying backslash at the way our technological society is upbringing newer generations. We do not expect people to accept their consequences anymore, which ultimately will lead to our country's greatest downfall. We are now focusing more and more on material advances than a whole-hearted, and stable family tie. The older generation was brought up with a mind set that they do not have to face their problems (hence the allusion to the parents), and the newer is even worse. This song, clearly coming from the more radical approach that the band members of Bad Religion, is what our ultimate society in America is coming to. Sad yet truthful.
    moonboy87on April 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is actually about brett gurewitz himself.
    soowton May 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is actually about brett gurewitz himself. . . .
    soowton June 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsoowt's rite its about gurewitz and his mest childhood. i think its talkin bout how his parents didnt do shit for him, that meant n e thing. They stuffed him full of destractions to make him happy, but at tha same time theyre not teachin him n e thing. (i dont no how to read but i got a lot of toys)
    Mutton July 22, 2002   Link

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