Am I Missing Something?

If you haven’t heard the song “Rotten World Blues” by The Eels, check it out, it’s a pretty cool song, and listening to it might help you make sense of the questions I’m about to ask here.

There’s a line in that song that keeps coming up and it confuses me. It’s really annoying because it’s the chorus so I have to hear it over and over again. It goes like this.

This rotten world’s gonna chew you up
Swallow you whole, and then spit you back out
The sooner you recognize this simple fact
Then this rotten world gives you what you lack

I’m pretty sure that some of you probably know where I’m going with this. How can you be chewed up and yet still swallowed whole? And when you’re spit back out, which form would you take, the chewed up or the swallowed whole?

Is it creative or poor songwriting, am I missing a reference to something somewhere, or do I just have way too much time on my hands since I’ve got time to sit here and think about things like this? If anybody has any ideas on this one I’d love to hear them.

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