Section H. “Ænima”

Released 1 October 1996; Certified Gold and 3X Platinum by the RIAA. Debuted and peaked at #2, according to Billboard.

Track Listing:

Stinkfist

Eulogy

H.

Useful Idiot

Forty-Six & 2

Message to Harry Manback

Hooker with a Penis

Intermission

jimmy

Die Eier Von Satan

Pushit

Cesaro Summability

Ænema

(-) Ions

Third Eye

H1. Okay, first of all, what is that on the cover?

It is a painting of artist Cam de Leon’s Smoke Box that is animated through the use of a lenticular lens, and is surrounded by eyes.

H2. So, there are different versions of the artwork?

There are versions of the album cover that are static, without the lenticular case. 

H3. What’s with the nude person in that… pose?

That is a photo of contortionist Alana Cain. As to why she is in that position, we may never know. 

H4. What is that anesthesia stuff all about?

Look up Vitamin K.

H5. Who is that blue dude?

He is another sculpture by Adam. 

H6. Who is Bill Hicks?

He was a stand-up comedian that the band befriended in their earlier days before he passed away of pancreatic cancer in 1994. 

H7. So, Paul isn’t listed?

That’s because by this point he had left the band. 

H8. Something is wrong with the map of the United States. 

That depends on which part you are looking at. If you are referring to California disappearing, then, no there isn’t anything wrong. Listen to the song “Ænema” and Bill Hicks’ sketch, Arizona Bay, and you will find that it fits nicely with the theme.

If you are looking at the missing Oklahoma Panhandle, then yes. There is no word, however, as to whether or not this was intentional. 

H9. I heard something about fake albums?

Outside the US, the animated CD came in limited quantities. The new cover had a static Smokebox image and the inside had a list of “Other Albums by TOOL” and even featured 16 bogus covers for these albums. These “albums” are, for the curious:

Gay Rodeo               

Bethlehem Abortion Clinic

Bad Breath              

The Other White Meat

Two Weiners For Daddy   

Three Fat Brown Fingers

Mungey the Clown       

I Smell Urine

The Christmas Album     

Iced Pee

Spring Boner            

Tetanus for Breakfast

Crapsteaks Smothered in Dictators

Nurse Ketimella’s Kit’chen

Just Up That Dirt Road: Tool Live! at the Acropolis

Brown Magic and Big Appetites: Music from the Movie Soundtrack Jelly Donut

H10. Okay, what is “Ænima” all about?

The title is a mix of the words “Anima” (a Jungian term) and “Enema”. It also pays homage to a book recommended in the band’s newsletter called “Ægypt.”

H11. How, exactly, do you even pronounce “Ænima”?

The most commonly accepted way is to say “enema,” though it has been rumored that the correct way to say it is “on-ima”. 

H12.  What is “Stinkfist” about?

The song deals with how modern technology tends to desensitize people and keeps them from really feeling. It states that only way to really feel true emotions is by experiencing things with other people; really connecting and stripping them of all their outer layers and really penetrating the person underneath that, hence the fisting metaphor. It also states how addictive and primal this is.

H13. What does “stinkfist” even mean?

It likely ties in to the “knuckle / finger / elbow / shoulder getting deeper within the borderline” theme. 

Evidently, there is a 1986 Clint Ruin (Jim Thirlwell) / Lydia Lunch song and EP by the same name.

H14. Did they edit “Stinkfist”?

MTV, at the time, changed the title to “Track #1” the few times they actually aired the video. As for the radio, again at the time, the words “knuckle, finger, and elbow,” were edited out. Apparently using slightly graphic metaphors were more offensive than the sheer violence, drug use, and misogyny that proliferated music at the time. 

H15. Did they change “Stinkfist” up for their live shows?

In early 1998, Maynard added some Elvis lyrics, specifically the lyrics from his song, “Suspicious Minds” and the band had also added a fast breakdown in the middle, complete with a sample from the beginning of the song. 

H16. What is Maynard saying at about the 2:45 mark?

He is saying “Chupa minha pica pichu / Chupa minha pica pinto.” And no, you won’t find the translation here. Try google.

H17.  Who or what is “Eulogy” about?

Contrary to popular belief this song is not about Jesus but merely uses him as analogy. The band has stated in several interviews that this song is about L Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

Maynard has said that this is about the tendencies of people to stand on a soap box and sacrifice themselves in some way. He believes you should make your own decisions.

In other words, the song isn’t directed at any one specific person, rather it is most likely about the death of a person or an idea (or both) that turned out to be untrue.

H18. Toward the middle of “Eulogy” what is he saying?

“You / could be / the one / who saves / me from / my own / existence.”

H19. What does “H.” mean?

Reportedly, the working title for this song was “Half Empty” so it is most likely to stand for “Half-Full”.

H20. So, what is it about?

On 23 November 1996 during a show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, Maynard did grant some meaning of the song. Speaking to the audience he said, “So, any of you ever watched those Warner Bros. cartoons? Sometimes there’s that one where that guy is having a tough time trying to make a decision. He’s got an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Seems pretty obvious, right? Usually it’s the angel who is kind of the one trying to give him good advice while the devil is trying to get him to do what’s bad for him. It’s not always that simple though. Most times they’re not really angels or devils. They’re just friends giving you advice, looking out for your best interest but not really understanding what’s going to be best for you. So it kind of comes down to you. You have to make the decision yourself… This song is called H.”

H21. What is a “Useful Idiot”?

In political jargon, a useful idiot is a derogatory term for a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause’s goals, and who is cynically used by the cause’s leaders. The term was originally used during the Cold War to describe non-communists regarded as susceptible to communist propaganda and manipulation.(Wikipedia)(Oxford English Dictionary)

H22. At the beginning of “Forty-Six & 2,” what is he saying?

“Join in my / Join in my child (and)

Listen … / Digging through / My old numb shadow”

H23. What does “Forty-Six & 2” mean?

In order to understand this song, you must first make yourself aware of two different theories: Carl Jung’s Anima theory, and Melchezedek’s consciousness theory.

In Carl Jung’s theory the ego is built up of the individual’s sense of personal self. However, this sense of identity, or personal self, cannot be built without the rejection of traits that are ‘not-self’. According to Jung, these rejected traits come together as a kind of unconscious archetype, which he termed the “shadow”. The shadow’s role in this song will be touched on later. (Anthony Stevens, On Jung, London 1990, p. 206)(Carl Jung, The Psychology of the Unconscious, 1917)

According to Melchezedek, there are five levels of consciousness, depending on how many chromosomes are present: 42+2, 44+2, 46+2, 48+2, and 50+2. Humans have 46 total chromosomes right now, placing us at 44+2. According to his theory, every other level is a common consciousness level (42+2, 46+2, and 50+2) and the levels between them (44+2 and 48+2) are “gateway levels”. In his theory, once on the common consciousness level, the entire human population can think on one consciousness level as well as individually, whereas in the “gateway levels” they can only think individually. In order for the population to evolve we must reach the next level, 46+2, where we can think as one population on one consciousness. There is no scientific evidence that humans will evolve like this or that even if we have that many chromosomes we will think as one, hence it is just a theory. (Ramya Achanta, The Ultimate Guide To Merkaba Meditation)(Michael Lieb, Children of Ezekiel: Aliens, UFOs, the Crisis of Race, and the Advent of End Time)

H24. Is “Message to Harry Manback” real?

According to Danny, “”Message to Harry Manback” is a recording of the words of an uninvited Italian guest who came to Maynard’s house one day. A so-called friend of a friend of a friend of Harry’s …. Before we finally managed to figure out that nobody really knew him, he had already emptied the fridge and run up a huge phone bill. He got kicked out of the house.”

Harry Manback is a pseudonym for the real recipient of the message, presumably a past roommate of Maynard’s: Hotsy Menshot of Green Jello.

According to Richard Keenan, the world’s foremost TOOL collector (and band acquaintance), “The reason it ended up on the TOOL album is because the original answering machine message had become a long running, “inside joke” with Green Jellö (which featured Gary [Helsinger {aka, Hotsy Menshot}], Maynard and Danny). Gary had a friend from Italy who he’d let stay at his previous [apartment], but when he kicked him out for stealing, he left this message in retaliation. A long time later, after Gary and Maynard had become roommates, he found the original answering machine tape, so Maynard dubbed it, added piano, and put it on Ænema!” (Richard Keenan, Facebook post; 19 May 2020)

H25. Who is “Hooker With A Penis” about?

It seems to be directed at anyone who doesn’t understand the concept of “selling out.”

H26. What does he mean by “OGT”?

You might be aware that “O.G.” means “original gangster”. In the context of this song, “O.G.T.” may very well mean “Original Gangster TOOL”; that is, “Original Tool Fan” since 1992, or the first EP.

H27. Great, more whispering. What’s he saying?

At about 1:40, he is saying, “consume, be fruitful, and multiply.” Sound familiar? Those that grew up in Christian households may recall the Bible verse, Genesis 1:28. 

H28. “Intermission” sounds familiar. 

That’s because it is a keyboard version of the main riff to “jimmy”. 

H29. Who is “jimmy” and why is it lowercase?

Maynard’s real first name is James. One of the most common nicknames for “James” is “Jimmy”. As to why it is lowercase, it may be because he is referring to his younger self. 

H30. For those of us that do not speak German, what does “Die Eier Von Satan” mean?

It translates to “The Eggs of Satan” or “The Balls of Satan”.

H31. Okay, so what does it mean?

It is a recipe for Mexican wedding cookies. 

H32. What is with “Pushit”?

It seems they have resolved the indeterminate “Push It on me” vs. “Shit on me” into “Pushit.”

*H33. Okay, so what is it about?

On the surface, “Pushit” seems to be about Maynard’s experiences with being abused as a child and how his parents claimed to love him yet abused him. Hence the last phrase in the song, “Remember I will always love you, as I claw your f–king throat away. It will end no other way, it will end no other way.” In the first verse he says, “Choke this infant here before me” – here he is referring to himself as the infant and suffering from neglect and abuse. Throughout the song, he describes how he would like to take revenge on his parents and strike back, but was afraid to for fear of continued abuse. This song is one of Tool’s most violent stories of Maynard’s childhood.

H34. What is a “Cesaro Summability”?

The title is the name of a mathematical theorem describing a method of adding certain infinite series. As for what the segue means or why it’s here, we may never find out.

H35. Is that Maynard’s baby, Devo, crying?

It seems that the baby crying is not Maynard’s son Devo; it is just a sound effect from the Sound Ideas Series 2000 library, released in 1987. Go to the following link to hear the clean, unedited sample: 

https://soundideas.sourceaudio.com/#!details?id=7630077

H36. I swear I can hear talking, but I can’t quite understand what is being said?

This seems like the best guess:

“TOOL(?) lives through me / are you through playing poker? / you shouldn’t have gotten us involved.”  

The band has never said what is actually being said, however, and we may never find out for sure. 

H37. “Ænema” and “Ænima” are spelled different. Is that a typo?

No, this was intentional. “Ænema” the song title has a different meaning than “Ænima” the album title; that whatever “Ænema” represents must not be representative of the entire album.

H38. Wait, so if that wasn’t a typo, then why is it spelled the same on the vinyl version?

That is a typo.

H39. What on earth are “(-) Ions”?

Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy. (Denise Mann; WebMD.com)

H40. Who is that talking at the beginning of “Third Eye”?

That is the late stand-up comedian Bill Hicks, and those are clips from his routine, “The War on Drugs” and “Drugs Have Done Good Things”.

H41. So, what exactly is a “third eye”?

The third eye (also called the mind’s eye, or inner eye) is a mystical and esoteric concept of a speculative invisible eye, usually depicted as located on the forehead, which provides perception beyond ordinary sight. (Richard Cavendish, ed. (1994). Man, Myth and Magic – Volume 19)

H42. So, what is “Third Eye” about?

Once again, the band hasn’t confirmed one way or another. That said, it seems to be along the same lines as “Break On Through To The Other Side” by The Doors, on how drugs can, may, and will show you the world in a different light than you would otherwise normally experience it. In other words, it changes you, transforming who you are by helping you to open your mind to that which is around you. One such drug that aides in helping to open your “third eye” is peyote. The “phosphorescent desert buttons” is a direct reference to peyote; it is phosphorescent and grows only in the desert and looks like buttons. The “third eye” reference, as used here, doesn’t necessarily refer to the pineal gland, but is a mystic metaphor for seeing with your spirit; something that peyote helps to enable. 

H43. I’ve been seeing the Ænima CD in stores with the picture of the Bill Hicks painting instead of the Smokebox? Why is that?

The band hasn’t said for sure, but that is most likely a result from their 2007 lawsuit. The Smokebox is still there, it’s just now on the inside. See Question C20.