Monday, December 8, 2014

Musical Monday: "Chop Suey!" by System of a Down - Why I Never Committed Suicide

"Chop Suey!" directed by Thomas Mignone for the rock band System of a Down.

I love the sound of this song. It has such an awesome blend of loud and soft volumes, slow melodic tunes juxtaposed against raging speed metal, and easy to sing lyrics. Who cares if the lyrics don't necessarily make sense, or if no god (or God) is really going to care about a "self-righteous suicide."

The song has an awesome sound :)

I love the video, too. The mashup of the three guys blurring together is cool, and the constant motion, and I love the shot of rolling beneath the guitar guy only to come back up looking at the lead singer.

The use of the SnorriCam (camera mounted on the performer making him appear still while everything else moves)  just adds to the sense of surreal already conveyed by the lyrics and other visuals.

On a more philosophical tangent, suicide sucks. There is a reason the Catholic church ascribes it as a sin - it is ultimately selfish, brutally wounds those who survive, and is fatal (duh).

Now, in juxtaposition (see what I did there?), I understand why people commit suicide. PAIN HURTS. Look, I've been in that hole. I've contemplated death as the only way to make the pain stop. I got lucky and counseling and medication got me through until things changed and I no longer live in that black hole.  But, it's still selfish.

The song sings of a self-righteous suicide, as if killing oneself will somehow punish God for the loneliness and suffering the subject feels. It won't. God cares, and will take the dead soul into His embrace, and the pain ends, but the survivors - friends, family, anyone the deceased took out in a blaze of glory - suffer like fuck.

The best revenge against an uncaring Universe is to live anyway. If you feel like the Universe is trying to grind you underfoot, then tell it to fuck off every morning by waking up, and going through the motions and fighting to make things change. Stay stubborn long enough and eventually you either climb out of the hole, or - more likely - someone helps you out, and then you can really put your life to meaning something. Instead of a "self-righteous suicide" make it a "self-righteous life."

It's easy to die. It's living that's the hard part. Making a life that leaves the world a better place is the best revenge ever.



  1. The guy with the tattoos always, always, always makes me think of a D&D sorcerer. Even today, although today I also imagined a druid. I've never played a druid. Maybe this is a sign I need to try that. :-)

  2. Here is a great piece detailing how the song originally started while they were riding in the tour bus. It also discusses how it released the week before the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, September 11, 2001, and how the quirky lyrics might have resonated with the world consciousness at the time ,helping propel it to such amazing success.