Interpretations:Miniature Sidewalk Whirlwind

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I'm still getting a grip on it, but I think the bag represents misfortune. The guy can't avoid his problems, and once it gets him, he can't get it away from him. The onlookers laugh at his misfortune, and he gets angry, but he's too wrapped up in dealing with this one problem. He storms off, obsessed with this issue, and he doesn't care about anything else or anyone that may get hit by bags. So it shows that we can become so wrapped up in our own problems that we completely ignore the plight of others. Just a guess. -Ecks 14:05, February 10, 2006

I agree and I couldn't have worded it any better. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, February 10, 2006

Everyday situation[edit]

Who doesn't know that everyday situation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, February 10, 2006

Me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:08, February 11, 2006

Did you ever notice[edit]

Though I'm usually one to try to find deeper meanings within TMBG songs, this particular one strikes me as a simple Jerry Seinfeld-esque "did you ever notice..." kind of song. -Cronny 19:51, February 12, 2006

Interpretation 4[edit]

I personally don't think it's much more than it seems. Someone is walking down the street and a plastic bag is swirling around in the wind, like you see every day. You try to casually walk away from it but it seems to chase after you and gets caught on you leg. You are embarrassed and think about acting violently against those who snicker at you, then you think the bag is a better target for your anger. -BriGuyD 20:46, February 13, 2006

Traditional TMBG[edit]

This is TMBG traditional - a little slice of existence that no one else would think to write a song about - it's visual, and the sounds mimic the action. You can hear the (fake?) flute sound imitating something light caught in the wind. This is experiential: the songwriter experienced something and wants to share it with you. [~ Christina Miller, February 2006]

Interpretation 6[edit]

It also includes a bit of the "unreliable narrator" stuff... the bag is made of some kind of new plastic that "cannot be ripped apart"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, February 18, 2006

They actually make bags like that now, which stretch instead of ripping when poked by something inside. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TDK (talkcontribs) 11:31, February 18, 2006

Like Wearing A Raincoat[edit]

This song is kind of like Wearing A Raincoat with all the words repeating. I think this song is about the usual workday with someone walking to work and a bag "attaches" to their leg and their struggle to get it off. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:14, February 20, 2006

Interpretation 8[edit]

I mostly agree with the above people. It's kind of like the endless cycle of despair, whirling about the earth, confusing and angering all. Kind of depressing, but pretty cool. Well, not that depressing. I don't know. Turnip 22:48, February 27, 2006

Simple, everyday frustration[edit]

It's about simple, everyday frustration. In fact, the airy flute and cheery melody makes it a perfect song to listen to when frustrated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:35, March 4, 2006

Interpretation 10[edit]

I love this song. It certainly works at face-value. But then you hit the end of the song, and it says (paraphrased): "Wherever you go throughout the world, you will always find those particular people who will go out of their way to avoid the bag in the whirlwind." And then the possibility of metaphor jumps in.

Personally, I think the bulk of the song is nothing more than a literal "slice-of-life" observation. But that last line brings new meaning to those everyday events: Notice that the bag in the whirlwind is a catalyst for all sorts of discomfort: humilation, anger, contemplations of violence, shame, unconcern towards others... All of this negativity that could have been avoided by simply steering clear of the whirling bag.

To me, the song seems to be observing people's fear of conflict, however minor (A bag blowing into your leg? How could that be such a problem?) and how some people will go to any length to avoid even the tiniest conflict, for fear of the discomfort that could arise. --Salt-Man Z 16:33, 6 Mar 2006 (CST)

Musical diary[edit]

What I enjoy so much about this song is that I can totally imagine Linnell getting into this situation, and then immediately walking home and writing this song about it. It's like a musical diary of sorts. -SweetAfton23 20:15, July 21, 2006

Interpretation 12[edit]

Have you ever seen those bags - like from grocery stores - that are just blowing around the streets or parking lot or whatever? The wind is just blowing them around, and there are several people near by who could pick up the bag and throw it away if they wanted too. But they don't; they're too lazy, or maybe they just don't care, but whatever the reason, they walk right by and leave the bag there! I think that's what the song's about. There's this guy, and a bag is blowing around on the sidewalk in front of him. he wouldn't have to go out of his way to pick it up and dispose of it, and yet he walks right passed it. I suppose that the bag got angry that so many people had walked passed, and this was the last straw. It angrily attaches itself to the guy's leg. Now the guy has to go through levels of embarrassment and humiliation, because when he neglected to grab the bag, the bag decided to grab him instead. The guy wasn't physically hurt in any way, but maybe next time he walks past a grocery bag, he'll think twice before leaving it there. This popped into my head when I saw a man in a parking lot experience something similar to what's described in the song. Uh... yeah. -- Ganna 19:26, December 21, 2006

Interpretation 13[edit]

It's very funny how Linnell can make a normal situation seem interesting. It's also funny how he turns the windy air found on a sidewalk into a "Miniature Sidewalk Whirlwind". This song seems to be about a funny situation but spoken in an interesting way. -- Buzzmusic100 ("Keep your voice down...") 17:50, November 21, 2010