"Entertainment" as written by Zach Blair, Joseph Principe, Timothy Mcilrath and Brandon Barnes....
All we are is entertainment
Caught up in our own derangement
Tell us what to say and what to do
All we are are pretty faces
Picture perfect bottled rage
Packaged synthesized versions of you

We've all made petty fortunes but we can't afford a life
Confined to pull-out quotes and hotel rooms
They all scream California and its toppling empire
Can't you see the end is coming soon

Come one come all the new sensation
Guarantees that obligations
Spotlights follow every single move
Basking here on ten-foot stages
Pouty lips and oh, so jaded
All as if we have something to prove

Despite these petty fortunes we still can't afford a life
Confined to pull-out quotes and hotel rooms
They all scream California and its toppling empire
But can't you see the end is here

And if we cared at all
About this unknown plight
Then we'd do something more
To finally make this right

Is this only entertainment?
Pull the curtains, places please
We've learned to sing and dance and cry on cue
But this is more than entertainment
In a world so sick with pain
This is the only thing that's real or true

We've all made petty fortunes but we can't afford a life
Confined to pull-out quotes and hotel rooms
They all scream bloody murder over graves already dug
But can't you see the end?


Lyrics submitted by Yoshü

"Entertainment" as written by Joseph Principe Brandon Barnes

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Entertainment song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commentthis song to me is simply an anthem of calling out commercialism and materialism as an ilusory reality which even in terms of getting paid doesnt really afford you the money you need for life (as life in a strict sense doesnt actually require money). One of the nice things about this song is the reaction in the third chorus section, the strung out carnival section, that entertainment is actually more than just entertainment to people who need something to distract from their own plights. It's fairly accurate to the real reason people engage in entertainment from the ancient greeks to now.

    "Confined to pull-out quotes and hotel rooms" sounds to me like a criticism of pretentious artists, but i could be wrong. i'd love to hear what the rest of you think on it, as well as the line "They all scream California and it’s toppling empire" because i dont get much from it.
    aardvarkscanflyon September 26, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is smarter than just Rise Against are angry towards artists writing poor songs or actors talking about the environment and not actually doing anything...

    This song is talking about the hollywood entertainment industry that has us wrapped around its little finger.

    "All we are is entertainment caught up in our own derangements
    Tell us what to say and what to do."

    --> This part here is saying how we've become too caught up in the entertainment industry. We've stopped thinking for ourselves and now we're trying to be like what we see... We're trying to become entertainment (Trying to look like an actress or a singer, etc.)

    "All we are are pretty faces, picture perfect, bottled rage.
    Packaged synthesized versions of you!"

    --> This is sort of a follow up to what I said. Entertainment cares about 2 things, its image and making money. Entertainment has to look good, even if it means replacing every part of your body with artificial substances and limbs (so to speak). We all want to look like a rock star, or a model.. so we change everything about ourselves to become this.

    "They all scream California and its toppling empire,
    but can't you see the end is coming soon?"

    --> We all scream for California, in the sense that we all want to be what California is. We all want to be like the people we see on TV, we all want to become them. and when he says "And its toppling empire" I believe that pretty much speaks for itself. Cali has become an empire of its own and its toppling over us... nowhere in the world can you get away from it. The Hollywoodian industry is everywhere!

    The entire second verse is just completely destroying the Hollywood scene and what its appearance. Just saying, again, that it's trying to preserve an image of falseness and insecurity hidden behind pride.

    To me, it's more than just an angry hate song towards artists and actors. It's a song about how we have to snap out of this charade! We have to disconnect ourselves from these projections. It's insane (when you think about it, injecting yourslef with botox, which is a poison, to have tighter looking skin is pretty fucked up!), it's immoral and it's killing us. It's killing who we are as human beings. It's unhealthy, degrading and embarassing.

    That's my opinion, but I really think he's voicing a call to the californian empire that has become too big... too important in our lives... it has become an unhealthy role model and even more, it's portraying a false sense of reality. It's ubstructing our view on the rest of the world, on more important things happening.

    lol sorry if this is long, but it's harder to explain than it looks :)
    Mac98on December 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe greatest thing about music is that everyone can relate and interpret the same song in different ways.

    Most people think the song is about how people over-glorify and worship celebrities. But instead I see the song as if a famous celebrity wrote the song from their point of view and they are explain the truth behind all the lies of Hollywood

    Let me explain in more detail

    Quotes like: " All we are is entertainment, caught up in our own derangement, tell us what to say and what to do."
    " We've learned to sing and dance and cry on cue" and
    "We've all made petty fortunes but we can't afford a life. Confined to pull out quotes and hotel rooms."

    This explains to us how celebrity status isn't as amazing as it seems to be, all these famous people are perceived to have perfect lives but in reality everything they say and do are directed by other humans. They can't live their on lives like they should be because they constantly have paparazzi watching their every move and managers who dictate their every move for more money.

    Also some lines in the song refer to celebrities being not so different from you basically explaining it's nothing special, like:
    "All we are are pretty faces, Picture perfect bottled rage. Package synthesized versions of you"

    Most people interpret this quote from the song as normal people attempting to be as good looking as the celebrities and normal people looking up to them. Instead I see it as a celebrity saying that they are just as normal as any other person but all their pain and suffering are hidden by make up and lies. It indicates that celebrities are just like normal people hence "Packaged synthesized versions of you" but their real emotions are covered up. some are happy, some are depressed and some are even suicidal. (Reason why there have been a lot of celebrity drug overdose deaths).

    And finally the quote:
    "We all scream California and it's toppling empire"

    It's hinting at the toppling of the "Californian Empire" because it's starting to crumble at the base as people start to discover the truth behind Hollywood and they start to understand that celebrities aren't all mighty gods.

    This is my fav song, listened to it thousands of times. Not saying I'm an expert on the subject but this is just how I've always seen the song and it's one of the reason why it's soo fucking good
    TheGivingTreeon May 09, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat each line of the lyrics means:
    (to my point of view)

    "All we are is entertainment"
    Meaning:
    Simply means fiction, and should not be imitated or done exactly.

    "They all scream California and it’s toppling empire"
    - and -
    "They all scream bloody-murder over graves already dug"
    Meaning:
    People who always want violence, murder and killing, and brutal action in their movies are always demanded towards "California", specifically Hollywood. Most of these movies are bad influences amongst young and innocent ones who haven't understand the meaning of it.

    "This is the only thing that’s real or true"
    Meaning:
    The line simply says reality in a fictional point of view. The "thing" portrays of how things in our world go and of what they are experiencing in reality. It's like experiencing another person's life and what can result to it if the person was you.

    "But cant you see the end is coming soon"
    Meaning:
    There is still hope towards entertainment and it should be done with better reflection and influence towards others, especially the children and teenagers.
    rjzaga92on October 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe second chorus needs to be changed...kinda tired of seeing the same damn copied lyrics on the internet....

    Despite these petty fortunes we still can’t afford a life
    Confined to pull-out quotes and hotel rooms
    They all scream California and it’s toppling empire
    But cant you see the end is here!

    The interlude goes
    Is this only entertainment, pull the curtains, places please
    We've learned to sing and dance and cry on cue.
    But this is more than entertainment in a world so sick with pain, this is the thing that's real or true?

    Last chorus

    We've all made petty fortunes.

    Please fix these.
    mrandersonon October 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfavorite song on the new cd
    thoughtxrioton October 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of my favorite songs on this album, right next to savior and re-education. its definitely about the life of celebrities and big stars who do not have a good life at all, although to people it seems like they are truly living life. i love the beginning and that carnival sounding part.
    nickjomaffaon October 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti feel that Tim is singing about all the bands and celebrities and musicians that do what they do for the sole purpose of entertainment, and dont take their work seriously or dont send a good message (like Buckcherry, Saving Abel), or dont agree with the things they are singing about (like The Killers, She Wants Revenge), or dont even attempt to convey a serious message at all. and how everyone is so obsessed with and influenced by california (hollywood) but wont pay attention to the important problems

    the circus music bridge caught me by surprise
    x_no_poison_xon October 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthanks for the lyric change, didn't mean to come off as mean, but I guess I was having a bad day.
    mrandersonon October 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdefinitely one of the best songs on the new album.
    MissNeuroticon October 26, 2008   Link

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