Saturday, June 28, 2008

10 Years Ago...

I'm not quite sure what reminded me precisely of Marilyn Manson. Perhaps it's my unapologetic lust for one of his many ex-girlfriends, the B-actress Rose McGowan. Pictured below.

*Yes, she is a redhead. And no, it's not her natural color, but I'll gladly overlook it.

Back in those ancient days of the late 90's, among a certain sub-faction of fashionable social defectives, said entertainer's flare for shameless self-promotion and hyperbole won him massive fame among the dark clothing, overly tatted, and pierced set. Manson hooked into teenage rebellion, open defiance of parental authority, and slaughtered a variety of sacred cows. In an effort to be as patently offensive as possible, Manson hyper-marketed his particularly glossy, cartoonish, and utterly overwrought take on heavy metal. And...(SURPRISE) made a tremendous amount of money in the process. Nothing sells quite as well as being the willful walking incarnation of all things wrong with American society, and for a two or three year period he was the most cited example of the corrupting influence of the entertainment industry on teh youth.

I never completely took the man seriously, though many of my contemporaries did. Among the women who could have easily been voted most likely to have borderline personality disorder or most likely to marry a complete loser, he was the epitome of attractive-- the kind of attractive guaranteed to unnerve adults, that is.

A cursory glance at the man reveals a dubiously talented misfit who like so many before him, managed to transform minimal talent and shock value into wealth and the obligatory fifteen minutes of fame rendered thereof. I remember once I tried to listen one of his albums and found myself unsurprisingly underwhelmed in the process. To this day, I completely fail to understand the appeal. One or two songs were slightly tuneful, though aside from the hype, the costumes, and the hyperbole is an amateur's command of the most basic heavy metal riffs and a massive reliance on studio trickery. Rehashing the kind of sound that Trent Reznor invented and did a far better job of presenting to the record-buying public, Marilyn slid by on an stretch of almost unbroken manufactured controversies.

And, to lay it on thick, a glance at his long history of girlfriends, each of whom fits a fairly unsurprising criteria: a) extremely attractive b) much younger than him shows him to be not that unspectacular a character: self-absorbed, narcissistic, and eager to dwell in a state of fashionable arrested development; Manson's nothing to write home about. Now that he has extinguished the attention of the notoriously fickle American audience, he's nothing more than a middle aged cad desperately trying to seem youthful, hip, and relevant. These days, he's none of the above.

1 comment:

Aaron Sawyer said...

I grew up around people who ACTUALLY thought he was the anti-christ


he had an impact to be sure

and I still love his take on Beautiful People and the Anti-Christ Superstar Album- though I haven't listened to them in years