Marilyn Manson… Still a Born Villain?

(Written 28th April 2012) 


Everyone’s favourite ‘God of Fuck’ kills again for our entertainment… but why?

“I’m a poster boy for fear, because I represent what everyone is afraid of. I do and say what I want”, said Marilyn Manson in 2002. Ten years on, he’s returned to prove that this is still the case with last night’s premiere of the video for lead single ‘No Reflection’. It’s dark. It’s gruesome. He doesn’t say ‘fuck’. Two out of three is close enough though – it’s classic Manson.

The dingy clip features him grinning as his female guests give up their ghosts, coughing up blood having swallowed his spiked beverages. There is no escape. He has boarded up the doors. When one won’t die, he drowns her in a toilet, but not before kissing her. Lovely.

You didn’t miss anything in the lyrics about gargling bodily fluids or the wanton slaughter of women. It’s not there, which pitches the question – is he making a statement, or just crying for attention?

This isn’t the first time that people have died at the hands of Manson for entertainment. It’s not even the first time that it’s happened over a dinner table. In 2001’s ‘The Nobodies’, slaves are ground into a pie, which he enjoys a mouthful of. It’s revolting, but it is strangely relevant, tying with the lyrics’ mentioning ‘feeding machines’ – an abstract reflection of the Columbine massacre, as the media benefited and enjoyed the sorrow greatly for being infinitely newsworthy.

2001 also brought ‘The Fight Song’. The band performs beside a high school American football game. Again, it’s all about America’s worries about violence in front of children, but not batting an eyelid as the players brutally bundle one another. It was made all the more poignant as that media enjoyed blaming Manson for the events.

Even 2004’s ‘(s)AINT’ (NSFW) was a satire of his portrayal, ditching the cryptic imagery as he raves about his ungodliness, amongst a grisly medley of blood, guts, drugs and sex. Even in the foulest of moments, Manson seems to have a moral.

Manson was once public enemy number one in America, but in recent years, aged 43, he has faded from the press radar. It seems that 99% of mentions of him are for describing Lady Gaga’s latest costume. So has Manson set out to shock for publicity? Maybe. He claimed in a recent interview “I just want people to fear me, and out of fear comes respect.” And respect equals sales.

“The only thing you can do is confuse people, because it makes you think.” He’s right. Until the tales of Born Villain truly unfold, we won’t know what he’s truly up to. Though it is productive. It won’t be on MTV, but we are definitely interested in the self-proclaimed God of Fuck’s enigmatic exploits once more.

The new album Born Villain is released on 30th April 2012.

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