Marilyn Manson. The name of the artist evokes varying reactions, but one thing is for certain: he’s one you know immediately, and have an opinion on. To some, that is success – any kind of publicity being better than none and all – but it is more infamy than fame.
Marilyn Manson the gothic freak. Marilyn Manson, the guy who cheated on Dita von Teese with that Lolita-esque Evan Rachel Wood. Marilyn Manson, the man behind the music that drives teens to mass murder. Marilyn Manson, the one to blame for Columbine.
Say what you will about his music, the man is more intelligent than most give him credit for. And just as so many generations before have done, teens have turned to his anthems of self-loathing and rage at the world for comfort from their own tortured thoughts and sorrows. If Prozac is the pill that defined the late 90s to early 2000s, then Marilyn Manson’s music was the synopsis of the accompanying soundtrack and score. From Linkin Park to Limp Bizkit, from Korn to Drowning Pool, plenty of bands stepped up to the misery challenge posed by the troubled youth and adults of society.
I of course was one of them. I was such a bloody statistic, it was pathetic.
What Manson understands is that music does not kill people; people kill people. And for most, music as dark as his was an escape, a means of releasing the pressure of mental illness and sadness, to function and later grow above it.
From the film Bowling For Columbine:
Marilyn Manson: The two by-products of that whole tragedy were, violence in entertainment, and gun control. And how perfect that that was the two things that we were going to talk about with the upcoming election. And also, then we forgot about Monica Lewinsky and we forgot about, uh, the President was shooting bombs overseas, yet I’m a bad guy because I, well I sing some rock-and-roll songs, and who’s a bigger influence, the President or Marilyn Manson? I’d like to think me, but I’m going to go with the President.
Michael Moore: Do you know that on the day of the Columbine massacre, the US dropped more bombs on Kosovo than any other day?
Marilyn Manson: I do know that, and I think that’s really ironic, that nobody said ‘well maybe the President had an influence on this violent behavior’ Because that’s not the way the media wants to take it and spin it, and turn it into fear, because then you’re watching television, you’re watching the news, you’re being pumped full of fear, there’s floods, there’s AIDS, there’s murder, cut to commercial, buy the Acura, buy the Colgate, if you have bad breath they’re not going to talk to you, if you have pimples, the girl’s not going to fuck you, and it’s just this campaign of fear, and consumption, and that’s what I think it’s all based on, the whole idea of ‘keep everyone afraid, and they’ll consume.’
Michael Moore: If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?
Marilyn Manson: I wouldn’t say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.
To this day, very few people listen, still.
Day 270: Coma White – Marilyn Manson