"Black Masks and Gasoline" as written by and Principe/mcilrath/barnes/mohney....
Simply because you can breathe
Doesn't mean you're alive
Or that you really live
This life has taken its toll
She just doesn't know
How much more she can give

But here, at the top of the world
Where I raise my hands, and I clench my fists
And they stand before me, below
Demanding the answers with flips of a switch

I don't understand where you got this idea
So deeply ingrained in your head
That this world is something that you must impress
'Cause I couldn't care less

A need for revolution rising
It comes to the surface, gasping for air
And we're not putting up with this planet
One more day, much less one more year

I don't understand where you got this idea
So deeply ingrained in your head
That this world is something that you must impress
'Cause I couldn't care less

So here, and now, in our rotting nation
The blood, it pours, it's all on our hands now
We live, in fear, of our own potential
To win, to lose, it's all on our hands now

And I have an American dream
But it involves black masks and gasoline
One day I'll turn these thoughts into screams
At a world that turned its back down on me

I don't understand where you got this idea
So deeply ingrained in your head
That this world is something that you must impress
'Cause I couldn't care less

Lyrics submitted by rjbucs28

"Black Masks & Gasoline" as written by Tim Mcilrath Brandon Barnes

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Black Masks and Gasoline song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentWhy does everyone dismiss the anarchy angle so quickly? Does anyone here actualy study true anarchy? It isn't protesting and bitching. It is idealism. A world where everyone can be truely free of mindless comitments and other peoples perceptions. It doesn't work in our world today, but idealistic viewpoints, like Communism or perfect democracy don't. They are not practical. But theoreticaly possible, and models from which we can model to create a better world, if not that perfect one over the horizon.

    People today live in a mindless routine of money and social status. These things are meaningless, whether you are spiritual or not. I am 100% materialist, yet detest consumerism and the viewpoint that money and society has any meaning beyond that which we give it. I don't believe in souls or spirits, but do believe in humans and nature, and the fact that we have the potential to be something special.

    More or less, the words are saying that the world we think is important is just something that people have created, some fiction that the world subscribes to. If we want to, if we try hard enough, if we fight hard enough, we can redefine these fictions. We can go beyond that that society defines and simply get things done. We can dodge the bull and hypocracy, and the mindless rat race, and simply live as we should. As we see fit.

    Society doesn't do anything for those who are cast out by it. By redrawing society along lines that don't judge on financial or cultural standards, we can create something where everyone can find a role within it.
    TANSTAAFLon February 26, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentanarchy? dont be an idiot. tim is much smarter than that. its about taking action. not anarchism!
    Jipon May 26, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm always really disappointed when nobody posts their interpreted meanings on these boards. Stuff like " i dont care what it means it's still my favorite song by them
    virtk0son March 31, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentfucking comment got cut off. Anyway, this isn't the kind of mindset we want to embody or promote listening to such meaningful music. This is why we've got so many fucking posers who could give half a damn about any kind of noteworthy Cause.

    I interpret this song rather holistically. The world is exhausted from the immaturity and inability for its inhabitants to take actions towards rational actions. In, "and she just doesn't know how much more she can give," I take the pronoun she to refer to the world itself, given in the next sentence.

    The song embodies weariness given from ignorance and the need for the masses to be told what to think, as given by, "they stand before me below demanding the answers with flips of a switch." Impressing others isn't the prerogative, it's changing the world the way you feel it should be.

    Yet despite this black hole of inactivity, the need for revolution is there! The time for change is now, yet people are more content to live in ignorance and sit in front of their televisions than take life into their own hands and make a change -- sometimes you just want to set America the fuck on fire.

    The message: Don't live in fear of your potential, a need for revolution is rising. Set the world on fire.
    virtk0son March 31, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commenttl;dr they're not dumb, they just believe in an ideology that can only exist if no one is greedy or power hungry, or violent, or just feels like bossing people. even in nature there is government...alpha males and alpha females among MOST (not all but most) mammalian animals. more detailed explanation follows.

    of course you can be intelligent and be an anarchist, but the thing is to believe that anarchism would lead to an utopia is MASSIVELY idealistic, studies have shown how most humans will behave when no one is watching them or there is no fear of reprisal. yeah you don't have to pay taxes, but then you don't have a government to tell your boss that paying you in rotted food is wrong, or to incarcerate that guy trying to kill you for your property. anarchism will not be the paradise, it will be more like the road warrior, or fist of the north star.
    you're thinking this guy's full of sh**, using movies and anime to make as examples, well let me use science, almost every mammalian species of animal, who lack the ability to rationalize what a government really is has a government, it's called the pack and someone ALWAYS leads. would you rather there be rules as to how your leader treats you? or would you prefer he have carte blanche to do anything, even going as far to make you his b****?
    midnightcityskyon November 20, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTim is a genious. Anarchy you say?? Horsefeathers I say to that.
    Torch In The Darkon June 27, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYes, the references to black masks and gasoline seem to connote black bloc anarchism, but it really reminds me of militant "ecoterrorism" in the vein of the ALF and the ELF . . . think arson. It also reminds me of the slogan so many groups like those mentioned use: "If not you, who? If not now, when?" But I definitely understand how someone could get the black bloc out of the black masks.

    Also, shallowXgrave, it is entirely erroneous to assume that because animal exploitation was common practice in the days of the Bible's origin, that it is God's will that humans exploit animals. It is necessary to consider the social influences upon the actual text of the Bible; whether you believe God was truly the author is irrelevant. A book that did not support the values of the time would have been violently opposed and most likely ammended to reflect these values. Also, hypothetically, if a "superior" life-form began eating us and we were relegated to a lower position in the food chain, would you consider this justifiable for this "superior" life-form simply due to its standing in the food chain? You must consider morals rather than falling back upon this cold adaptation of darwinist ideology (an adaptation that shares most of its premises with the even colder idea of social darwinism). Food for thought, if you will.
    Speed Is Dreamingon October 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is simply amazing. Really proves how much talent Rise Against has in song writing. This whole album is good and this song is perfect to start it off.
    refinehateloveon June 21, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthere are a lot of problems with the lyrics in that posting
    deville22on September 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I have an Amerikan Dream,
    but it involves black masks and gasoline,
    one day I'll turn these thoughts into screams,
    at a world that turned its back down on me"

    ambulanceartiston December 18, 2004   Link

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