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The L: I understand that, but then aren't we holding her to very low standards? Like, "Just say something, and then you're awesome"? But, alright, let's talk about Titus Andronicus for, like, two more minutes: The song "Theme from Cheers" is sort of confusing for me...
Patrick: I grow more confused about it all the time.
The L: How so?
Patrick: I worry that it encourages kids to drink. That wasn't really the point.
The L: What was the point?
Patrick: The point was the same as the other songs. I can't talk for everybody, but for me...
The L: You mean for our hero...
Patrick: Yes, for our hero, in the context of the album, getting drunk is just an excuse. Why do people do it? They do it 'cause they wanna get wild, lose their inhibitions, do whatever, just live it up, and then the next day, if they did something fucked up, they can just say, "Oh, I was drunk," meaning, "It wasn't really my responsibility." But of course it was. Ultimately it's each one of us that puts the beer in our hand, or the tenth or eleventh beer, and we have to be responsible for the choices that we make while we're engaging in that stuff.
The L: In the song, it seems like there are conflicting takes on aging, on what it means to grow up. The first half seems to view aging as an inherently negative thing—the end of good times, etc. But then by the end, it's more about embracing it. And it's sort of nice, but it's also probably the saddest part of the record, wondering if all the shit you thought when you were younger is meaningless, questioning every single thing that got you to where you are.
Patrick: Well, that can be quite a haunting thing, you know? Have we made all the right decisions in our lives?
The L: Well, so what's next for our hero? I think this person has put a couple conflicting takes on how life can go out there.
Patrick: Well, life is very confusing, isn't it?
The L: So, you can take it however you want—as a question about the band, or about your own approach to life—but what's next?
Patrick: Well, the record hopefully suggests that our hero will come to start defining himself positively, maybe start to understand the fluidity of human relations, the elasticity of our many relationships as individuals and as communities. Will he? Hopefully. It's a tough thing to do. Over the course of the story, we didn't really learn how to productively do that. Maybe that will be the next step. Maybe the next step is to put it into action.
The L: So, the line, "Let it be on a stretcher if I get carried away..." Carried away from what?
Patrick: I'm just saying if I'm gonna get wild, I'm gonna get so wild that I'm gonna have to go to the hospital. I'm saying if this is how it's gonna be, let's do it to the max. And unfortunately, for our hero at that point in the story, that means engaging in destructive behavior.