.. America. His philosophies are by no means far-fetched and therefore they should not be under any sort of heat for being stupid. Stupid is what Marilyn Manson and many of his followers have been called. Many remarks like these are made by protective parents, whom however, must in turn realize their own moral and ethical deficiencies first.
The main argument that has been made of Mansons antics is his corruption of Americas youth. He has been accused of having sexual intercourse on stage (Manson 246) and influencing others to have sex as well. These are of course false rumors, because singing and playing music at the same time would be rather difficult. Of course Manson is in no way a perfectly clean man. The rock group Marilyn Manson consists if demons or evil spirits in that they espouse heretical beliefs, claim to be Antichrists and Satanists, and attempt to tempt children away from Christianity with Sin.
(Manson 248). This is one parents view about Mansons lack of morals. It is obvious in his music videos and stage antics that Manson is very liberal when it comes to drugs and sex. However, his music does not encourage suicide. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry lists 14 signs to look for in a suicidal child.
Music choices are not among them. (Rosen, Music Violence) His on stage antics are something that many people would find disgusting and erroneous. He does pretend to have simulated sex on stage, along with various on stage effects that are degenerative towards religion. (Lunchbox, Rock is Dead Tour VCD). The pinnacle of his onstage performances are the introduction where Manson is brought onstage crucified to a cross made of TVs, and his performance of Antichrist Superstar where he proceeds to rip the pages out of the bible behind a podium whilst the audience cheers and beats their fists in the air.
(Antichrist Superstar, Last Tour on Earth VCD) This has been controversial, as the major part of the population does not listen to Manson or follow Satanism. Manson has never done anything criminal other than illegal drugs; there he is not liable for any of the events that happen during his concerts. Unfortunately, many of the audience members cause more problems than the band. Fights have broken out and various other illegal activities have occurred. (Lunchbox, Rock is Dead Tour VCD). However, not everything involved with Manson is negative. In fact, some parents would interpret Manson in a different way. Manson is a gross-out artist, his look is often repulsive, he has a laissez-faire attitude about sex and drugs, his music is often violent and vile.
All this crap has made him ridiculously rich. That’s nothing new, though, in the world of rock and roll. What is new is his message – America is neglectful, scornful and afraid of its own children and they’re not gonna take it anymore. Maybe parents are the ones who should be listening to what he has to say. (Humphrey, Fort Worth Weekly) This particular parent believes that Manson does send a strong message and that he is a good spoof of American society. The Religious Right needs Manson as much as he needs it.
With the death of communism, the religious conservatives and the politicians who feed off them needed a new bogeyman to scare true believers into keeping those checks coming in. Marilyn Manson, who urges kids to question the existence of God and believe in themselves, is a gift from evangelical heaven. (Humphrey, Fort Worth Weekly). In essence, this quote is saying the only person you can trust is yourself, because politicians, the church and other institutions are corrupted and only in it for the money. As can be seen, even the older generation may be somewhat cynical, but able to relate to what Manson is criticizing. In these conversations we’ve had some very spirited exchanges about morality, the First Amendment, values, the profit motive in show business and good taste.
(Hall, Spirit) A parent says of Mansons appeal to kids. Parents have found ways to show their kids the importance of morals and ethics by using Manson as an example. In fact, it is quite ironic that parents would be criticizing Mansons morals and ethics. After all, Manson is the way he is because of his poor childhood and bad parenting. His lack of morals can be blamed on the fact that his parents did not give him the attention he needed as a teenager. (Manson 60) He was never put through the moral and ethical background that many of us take for granted.
He was left to figure out his own morals for himself. (Manson 71) He is a hurt man. Regardless of his actions, he still has feelings, and truly believes that is what Christianity is all about. If some could reach him, maybe, just maybe, he could be able to bring millions of teenagers into Heaven, instead of leading down the road to hell.(Ignored Now Famous, Seaport Community Church) This comes to the younger generations perception of Manson. Many of the younger generation can relate to Mansons state of mind. Almost all teens feel confused and disgruntled growing up, trying to determine where they fit in and Manson has given them a place to look.
Manson too, had experienced just about every kind of abuse and seen all the horrors of a young teenager growing up in Christian School and then transferring to Public High School. His life has been a messed up one and only now has begun to capture a meaning, which has come to him through his music. (Manson 180) Teens can relate to him, particularly the ones who are different look up to Manson, because he is the epitome of different. He dresses differently, often cross-dressing and he pretends to be a homosexual, which is always a big issue of acceptance in society. (Manson 182) Much of his onstage antics also appeal to teens, the same ones that would appeal to adults if they were in a different place.
In fact, the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) has employed some of the same antics that Manson uses on stage. It has become one of the most popular entertainment phenomena in America in the last few years. Manson has become the Rolling Stone cover boy and the idol of quasi-Goth teenagers everywhere. (Collins, YH online) Teens labeled Goth are the ones who dress in black, are often depressed and into gloomy settings and themes like Halloween and Edgar Allan Poe. (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary’s Definition) Teenagers can relate to Mansons thinking: I’ve always tried to let people know it’s OK, or better, if you don’t fit into the program.
Use your imagination — if some geek from Ohio can become something, why can’t anyone else with the willpower and creativity? (Manson, Rolling stone). He uses himself as an example to show everyone that he made himself into a rock star. This is a strong message to young kids who are confused and discontented. The younger generation also tends to be a lot more liberal and accepts Manson much better than the older generation. It is also because of the short attention span of many youngsters who need someone like Manson to do outrageous things to keep them entertained.
Even kids however, will support one another in what music they listen to, no matter whether they like it or not. Teenagers however do listen to Mansons music much more than adults and this is because they can relate much better to him and the feelings of emptiness. Because its a Great Big White World/and we are drained of our colors/We used to love ourselves, we used to love one another. (Great Big White World) Manson sings about the emptiness of a world where perhaps a person has had bad luck. A certain amount of teenagers can relate to Mansons childhood where faith failed him, love went sour and money was not fulfilling.
In this case, Manson resolves to promoting himself to his own god, a elitist view, but one that appeals to adults and teens alike. The harm in Mansons expression comes indirectly to most. Teenagers such as Harris or Klebold who would interpret messages in music and entertainment negatively are where problems start to arise. Manson does preach two things, drugs and sex which can easily lead to greater problems should a person interpret his musics message incorrectly. I am the god of f$#%, I am the god of f#$%/Virgins sold by quantity, herded by heredity /Who says date rape isn’t kind. (Cake and Sodomy) Manson sings.
It is this kind of lyrics which would cause problems if an action were taken according to the message. However, those particular lyrics come from an older not well-known song of Mansons and luckily, no real crimes of rape have occurred because of them. (Humphrey, Fort Worth Weekly) It is given that Marilyn Manson has done dishonorable things, but he has self-confessed this to the world. Im such a dirty Rock Star, yeah, (Deformography, CD) Manson sings in his song Deformography, a song about his transition from a nobody into a Rock Star. People, who listen to him, listen because they find him intriguing in that he speaks his mind against common concrete beliefs. Although Manson does has done immoral things, sings about sex, drugs and the antichrist, there are bands and people out there who are much worst than him.
If America is complaining about morals and ethics, it should first worry about whom it selects as President, because he has not shown to have much stronger morals than Manson. Manson chooses to convey himself to the world openly, which is why he receives so much negative publicity. This negative publicity is publicity either way, and that means Manson is getting attention, which is what he wants. If people who dislike him were to utterly ignore him, there would be no controversy over his religious and moral position or whether he was influencing teenagers to become delinquents. The bottom line is, Marilyn Manson is an entertainer like all other entertainers, and although he chooses to articulate himself in an out of the ordinary fashion, he is still protected by the First Amendment.
The boundaries of what exactly the Amendment allows and does not allow is a major controversy and which will never be solved because the Amendment allows for so much difference in interpretation. Just like every belief of Mansons is open for interpretation as can be seen with the different viewpoints of parents and an older generation compared to the views of teenagers and generation X. The freedom of speech, press and religion granted by the First Amendment should benefit those who do not like Manson as much as those who do. Those who dislike him do not have to listen to him or acknowledge him, and those who admire him will experience a plethora of bizarre ideas and antics. Perhaps no one can sum up Manson better than himself; F$#% all your protests and put them to bed.
(Rock is Dead) Bibliography CDs, lyrics, rollingstone.com.