Talk:Zero-Sum

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Meaning

GJ, posting all the lyrics. Any idea on what any of it means...and from who's perspective in the YZ universe is it being told from? I'm really curious who the narrorator is and who he's talking to. --Velvolver 11:33, 4 April 2007 (PDT)

Velvolver I think it's beeing told from Trent Reznor's perspective cause all the things in the game and most of the lines in the song seem to point to the same.Justinoverdorf 12:48, 2 May 2007 (PDT)

Absolutely fucking amazing...I couldn't believe it. Incredible chorus there, ugh I can't say enough. On a side note, sounds like a whole assload of "presences" are coming down to ruin everyones shit. -Velvolver 21:27, 4 April 2007 (PDT)

Just fixed up the lyrics a little bit. The last line of the chorus was wrong, a couple spelling errors, added some quotes where they felt necessary. Not quite sure about the tense of the "and I'll just hold your hand" part, it could go either way.

Fantastic chorus, fantastic song. Very moving. -Soupstorm 08:10, 5 April 2007 (PDT)

Does anyone else think that the piano in this song sounds a little like the second verse in 'All the Love in the World', during the line "The stars all are afire in the sky"? Was this intended? It does makes sense to the song. -Kathuerun 16:18, 6 April 2007 (EST)

I was instantly reminded of All the Love in the World too. Pomte 04:03, 7 April 2007 (PDT)

I'm pretty sure the narrator of the song is all of humanity. I love that the entire album up to this point has been savagely calling out religion for all of its hateful and destructive tendencies, but here, at the end of the world which has been brought about by religious violence and oppression, the good of religion shines through (I'm speaking as an extreme atheist here, too). 'God have mercy on our dirty little hearts' -- the redeeming quality of faith is that it reminds people that they are part of something larger than themselves, that they should make good decisions in life even though they may not result in immediate rewards. This is a truly beautiful song. Only at the end, while the world we've ruined is being taken away from us and we are being eradicated, do we realize...we deserve it. That we've failed. That we never even had a chance. You can almost see giant groups of people, staring toward the sky with regret, like children who've misbehaved and know it's time to be punished. And Americans and Arabs, Christians, Muslims, and even non-believers know that they are all guilty, that the Presence is justified in wiping us out. Because we all have, at some point, made decisions based on callous greed and short-sightedness. And we all should have known better. Zero-Sum is an obituary for the human race. Simulatedbear 1:54, 8 April 2007 (EST)

That was fucking excellent bear. I thought that too, that this was the individual AND collective thoughts of the human race. And the entire "I didn't know it was happening" or "What could I have done?" mentality doesn't cut it. -Velvolver 08:42, 8 April 2007 (PDT)

One of the most beautiful and sad songs I've heard in a while. I agree with Velvolver--my mental image is of Angry_Sniper sitting on a hilltop, holding Mallory's lock of hair in his hand, whispering the song's lyrics as storms of Presence hands descend upon the earth, each changing into a massive set of dying-sun-red talons sweeping away man and his works. Saturnine Night

Simulatedbear - you almost made me tear up and respect religion again! Anyways~ none of us can forget that this isn't the end of the world in this song... There's going to be a part two :) Jgrizzy89 13:50, 8 April 2007 (PDT)

Another theory I've heard is that the song is being sung by the members of SBI and that even through all they've tried to do, they still failed to change the world. Only a theory though. ubahman 18:49, 8 April 2007

I think it's important to bear in mind that the extreme likelihood is that, although the coordination with 42 Entertainment has clearly been going on for a while, the album was written before any of the ARG back-story was. TR probably had vague ideas about the current Christian vs. Muslim war escalating to a nuclear disaster, enabled by the sort of fiercely ignorant nationalism we see that is so rampant today, and the hand from the sky (that we know is a recurring image in his subconscious) cleaning it all up. And he probably wrote the album just trying to capture that place in his head. All the individual characters and storylines in the ARG are most likely entirely the product of 42 Entertainment after they heard the album, and had TR describe his mental imagery to them. This is what those guys do for a living, after all. Certainly the storyline they've created is brilliant, and creepy, but they couldn't have done it without Trent's haunting music to go by. I just think it's important to remember that Year Zero is a very important album because it is directed to us, the human race, in the present. It's a warning, like 1984 and Brave New World before it, about what will happen if we keep going down the path we currently are on. That's the difference between 'art' and 'entertainment.' 'Year Zero' is most certainly a work of art, and I believe it stands just fine on its own even without the silly internet game.Simulatedbear 19:54, 8 April 2007 (EST)

Unfortunately we cannot be sure that Trent didn't plan the ARG with 42 Entertainment. The lyrics to the song, 'The Warning' appeared around the time of With Teeth. Seeing as how the song has references to The Presence, you can't be too sure that Trent didn't plan this ahead of time. If anyone has any info about whether or not the ARG sites were made with the songs or if it was made after the album was made, post it here. Until then, there is no proof whether or theories are right or false. But as Trent had stated that there will be a Year Zero Part 2, could this song really mean the end of the world? This song has deeper meaning then what you might think. Could this album and ARG be a message to tell us to change what we're doing or who knows what will happen? Year Zero? Or worse. Year Zero even has some truth to it. The effects of global warming strike hard. Species are being hunted down by 'Omega Men'. And deadly viruses, like the Red Horse Virus, are affecting the world. Humans have caused all of this and Zero Sum shows us that if the world ends. We deserve it. Ubahman 23:39, 8 April 2007 (EST)

Trent is sort of a control freak hence I find it highly unlikely, that he'd just vaguely describe what he had in mind and let others, like 42 Entertainment, do all the rest. Especially regarding his blog entry on the 11/03/06: "Working, working, working. We are currently doing rough mixes to assess the situation of what needs what. I pretty much know what I'll be doing every day from now until next summer. We're up to some cool shit here - looking forward to the day when you get to experience it. By FAR this is the most ambitious multi-faceted project I've ever undertaken. Details soon..."
Speaks for itself, doesn't it? Wolf

Exterminal

I also hope Exterminal will have something to do with this song, as it references that we are only zeros and ones, and that was what was found on the cover art, and through the zeros and ones we found exterminal... Jgrizzy89 13:52, 8 April 2007 (PDT)

OH! I was right! Exterminal does say "Zeros and ones"... foocha! (BTW Should we mention that in this article - or the Exterminal one???) Jgrizzy89 17:53, 16 April 2007 (PDT)

I think it's worth mentioning on the Exterminal site.--Leo3375 13:17, 2 May 2007 (PDT)

I agree, but I don't know how we can tie it in??? Maybe if we just completely mention it and do the whole tie in later? Jgrizzy89 18:03, 2 May 2007 (PDT)

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