Bust it! Deconstruct it to its source!
This is the motivation of the whole album – insanity (or more precisely the depiction of the insanity happening all around). The best comment on the album I read says: “The Devin Townsend Project hits the gas pedal on Deconstruction with so much power that it accidently kicks in the doors to hell”. And if I remember it right a ride to hell is the plot of the music video Juular. The album constantly spirals down from “Praise The Lowered” where the lyrical I wants to do drug experiments to “Stand”, followed by the mentioned Juular. Planet of the Apes lines up with the other titles, but this time with a focus on the existential instincs, on sex and survival.
Deconstruction finally reaches to the point of “The Mighty Masturbator” (and later explains and wraps itself up in “Deconstruction” but this is a song for another topic):
The Intro with the acoustic guitar claims the song to be chilling and relaxing but the sudden break in of some kind of brutal electric guitar and drums destroys this picture completely. In general the song breaks itself several times, changing themes at an quite impressive speed. The crazy thing about it is that it’s not incoherent at all.
The lyrics tell us about a lyrical I that somehow returned from a hard time of suffering and self-exploitation, now coming up with a plan to save the world. It seems that the lyrical I is quite insane with its confusing speeches to itself. At first it frees itself from the chains and the past, revealing and constantly overthinking its purposes.
There comes a point (“Save the world, you fool, you child!”) in which another opinion disturbs the thoughts of the protagonist, stating that the world can’t ever be saved, by the same time suggesting to change the mind and view on the world instead of changing the world itself (which is a frequently used phrase in psychotherapy). In the following the lyrical I goes completely nuts, the lyrics tell a story of how the world should connect to the intergalactic community. It also tells about some functions of the human mind such as adherence and the obedience to a higher being (god and satan are both mentioned at the same level, which may seem disturbing at the first look but isn’t, on a meta-layer of the mentioned obedience). The teaser which reminds a bit of an opening on a movie advertisemen “We bring to you: THE PROCESS OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT”) wraps up the whole human mind theme. The Devin Townsend Project once again puts something very complex (i. e. the mindset of humans) into an understandable form by describing the excesses.
It gets a bit futuristic when the story tells about the unification of minds and finally becoming god (which may be a reference to some transhumanists visions of the collective mind). The purpose stays the same: To overcome pain, to overcome the animal in us and to explore the universe (“I want you to follow me, into the stars… // Why don’t we just leave? // …TO INFINITY, AND SURROUND!!”) but at the same time still staying in conflict with its very own idea (“I’M TURNING BACK! I DON’T WANT TO! I’M TURNING AWAY FROM THE WORLD! // I’M TURNING BACK! I DON’T WANT TO! I’M TURNING AWAY FROM THE LIGHT!”).
The song ends with:
“And now…hunger does what sorrow could never do…
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
Egads! Astounding! MY WORLDS!!
Ladies and gentlemen, I now see my life’s purpose:
I AM THE MIGHTY MASTURBATOR!!!
At this point it isn’t sure if the narrator refers to the hunger of the collective or the longing for something; either way there seems to be a plot twist at the very end of the song, where the lyrical I returns to his basic instincts and ending his thoughts (and his message). This means a complete different outcome as the one praised, appealing to the referred animal in the first chapter of this song. So is it just a great seductive speech that in the first place promises to save the world, but finally delighting the masses with basic instincts? Or is it a cathartic process of a mind moving from megalomaniac thoughts of saving the world to his final very basic level, the core of its very own problem, its sexual desires?
As always, perspective and interpretation is dependent on the observer.
To build your own interpretation, here is the link to this very special tune:
Picture credit: (C)