Something Wicked This Way Came
A few years ago, in an exchange of correspondence, came this simple message from ABC's Sam Donaldson: "Remember, always professional, never personal." Good advice for anyone who analyzes the words and actions of another. But not always. From time to time a person comes on the scene who is so disgusting, and whose message is so revolting, that one should take the affront personally.
Which is why I hope someone smacks that pig of a "man," the so-called musician Marilyn Manson, right in the chops. Literally.
Manson and his band stopped in Washington this month on a concert tour, performing songs that set hate-filled, despairing, grisly lyrics to an obnoxious, techno-heavy metal racket. They've been compared to Alice Cooper and Kiss, but those acts and their comic-book gore are to Manson and his repellent presentation what an ocean breeze is to a hurricane.
In a recent Rolling Stone cover article, Manson said that one of his messages to his predominantly teenaged fans is, "Believe in yourself and stick to what's right." As gleaned from press accounts and from his latest LP, "Antichrist Superstar," which entered the Billboard chart at #3, here's what Manson thinks is the right course for children to follow.
On religion and the religious: "Angel With the Scabbed Wings" juxtaposes Christian doctrine with Manson's: "'He is the maker'/He is the faker/'He is the saviour'/He is the raper." "The Beautiful People" sneers, "It's all relative to the size of your steeple/You can't see the forest for the trees/And you can't smell the s-t on your knees." In the Rolling Stone piece Manson endorsed "the Nietzsche philosophy of 'you are your own God,'" but even on that score he's a hypocrite: he's a member of the Church of Satan.
On the free market: In "The Beautiful People," Manson states, "Hate every motherf--er that's in your way/The worms will live in every host/It's hard to pick which one they eat most/.. Capitalism has made it this way/Old-fashioned fascism will take it away." His loathing for the market doesn't prevent him from taking advantage of it. Check out "Irresponsible Hate Anthem," which proclaims, "I'm so all-American/I'd sell you suicide." He also sells T-shirts reading "Kill Your Parents" and "This Is Your World in Which We Grow and We Will Grow to Hate You."
On thievery: Manson told Rolling Stone that in school, "I started going to the record store and buying [an album by the '80s heavy-metal group] W.A.S.P?.for seven bucks and then selling it for, like, twenty bucks to some kid whose parents wouldn't let him go to record stores. We didn't have locks on our lockers because we were on the honor system, so later in the day I would go and steal the album back and keep it for myself. I didn't realize it at the time, but there's always been this underlying theme in the stuff I do: It's teaching people not to be so stupid."
On violence, a sampling: "Let's just kill everyone and let your God sort them out" ("Irresponsible Hate Anthem"). "I lift you up like the sweetest angel/I'll tear you down like a whore/I will bury your God in my warm spit/You'll be deformed in your porn" ("Deformography"). "Spread me open/Sticking to my pointy ribs/Are all your infants/In abortion cribs" ("Man That You Fear"). Don't misunderstand the last entry. Manson is not pro-life; he's promoting brutality for purposes of titillation.
The audience for Manson's rants would be infinitesimal if not for two entities. One is the establishment media, which are allowing him to peddle poison. The adulatory Rolling Stone piece was bad enough, but it contained nothing as appalling as this bilgewater from the Washington Post's Richard Harrington: "Perhaps Manson could be regarded as a well-meaning but eccentric camp counselor. He's providing a kind of emotional support?for teenagers grappling with the awkwardness of growing up." Even the normally rational New Republic chimed in, stupidly suggesting that "Marilyn Manson will soon be as mainstream as Hootie and the Blowfish."
The other is Manson's record label, Interscope. A few years back, Interscope, then affiliated with Time Warner, issued the vile gangsta rap of Tupac Shakur and Snoop Doggy Dogg. Now the company is part of the Seagram empire. Throughout, it has been run by Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field. Write to them at 10900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1230, Los Angeles, California 90024 and tell them what you think of Marilyn Manson. And tell them they deserve a smack in the chops, too.