Marilyn Manson


In the name of the father son and Holy Spirit, of all that's good and all that's evil. Lock up your daughters and put the guns away. The red and blue pills have nothing to say. Guitars and makeup are coming your way. Manson has a concert on this gorgeous day.

Today I wish to introduce you to a very special someone. This wonderfully executed disaster. An absolutely clueless fuck or an underappreciated genius, either of whom, knows big words and likes to use them. 

Here is an extract from the Phil Donahue talk show that I found from the 60s. It is an explanation of his adopted name. Marilyn Manson.

Phil: And you call yourself Marilyn Manson because?

Manson: It’s my name.

Phil: You’re not going to help us understand where the uh….

Manson: oh you want to know where the name came from? 

I've always watched talk shows. I haven't got to watch yours very often though, I watch more the trashier ones. I found that Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson were the two most memorable people from the 60s. I thought it was interesting that things like talk shows put them on the same kind of celebrity status. I thought that the dichotomy between the positive and negative of putting those two names together represented what I had to say and what I was about.

“We're not in Wonderland anymore Alice.”- Charles Manson.

Charles Manson was an American criminal and cult leader. He formed what was known as the Manson 

family. It was a quasi-commune that committed a series of murders at different locations in the ‘60s. 

“Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”- Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe was ‘blond bombshell’ of her era. She was the iconic all American pop star: singer, actress, and dancer. 

Marilyn Manson knew that the good and bad that is immortalized by a generation are both equally a part of that era. Just like people. No one generation or person is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. We’re all a dichotomy of all the good and bad we do, say and think. Which is what Marilyn Manson wanted us to know. He took the two icons of an era that symbolized ‘good and bad’ and used a combination of their names as his own.

His music is not auditorily appealing to me. My attraction to this musician lies in the persona he created, everything from the make-up to his ideologies. (Small disclaimer: attraction is not equal to agreement). I don’t think Manson’s art existed to popularize his own opinion but to shock people into thinking about ….well….thinking.

What Manson music does, is cause him to appear is the passenger seat of your brain as you drive down the highway; all clad in black metal garb; shout ‘BOO’; and force you to take an un-indicated turn into a by-lane of your mind.

“I like to provoke people so they think. It is a healthy part of the entertainment, which you don’t get too much from the spice girl.” says Manson.

Manson's reputation among reporters preceded him. His environment for an interview was trademarked and feared.  I’m sure most interviewers who're working around rock stars see and hear things that could easily have to classified into the extraordinary side of events. After meeting Manson however, this particular journalist is forced to realize that he has, till the day he met Manson, managed to avoid being flicked in the testicles by an interviewee. The popularly known requirements for an interview with him include a solitary dark and cold room. Air condition on full and curtains are drawn to block out the sun. the television turned to an ambient channel which is just static and endless footage of an abstract subject like trees or animals. What he hasn't been warned about is Marilyn jumping out at him from behind the door clad in death metal garb and shoving a gun into the back of his neck. The gun is fake but real enough to warrant the appropriate ‘what the fuck do you think you’re doing” from the reporter instead of the traditional ‘hello’. Manson just laughs and offers him a beer. 

An unnecessary act or comical disarmament of formality and politeness? 

The interview is about the elusive question of where Manson’s persona begins and ends or whether he, like many other rock stars has dissolved that line between themselves and those personas. 

Manson just takes the interviewers pad and writes down: “person(a)” on it. 

The remainder of the interview takes place like any other interaction with Manson or Manson's work. A wrestling match of intellectual well being.

With the man announcing himself as the Antichrist and the fearless display of his conviction to a vulgar and violent tonality, controversial opinions about his persona are drawn like flies to honey. Manson says that this chaos between two perspectives is exactly what he intended to invoke. He knew there would be people who took him and his work at face value and see violence, and those would dig deeper and see his communication of peace and acceptance. Everything he does is begging us to look into what is around us and reject face value. See individuality.

Have a little sympathy for the devil. Look past the gossip and rumor surrounding him. 

“It’s part of the shell that I’ve always built up around myself,” Manson says. “And it’s only because what is inside is so vulnerable that the shell has to be so hard. That is the only reason.”

Look past the shell. There exists a man who has something to say. He says it with lyrics, make-up, and microphones so it’s not so hard to hear. He may look a little scary but I think the intimidating interviews just break the monotony of a press-day and the eye shadow is just for a laugh. Go introduce yourself. Meet Marilyn Manson.