Maybe I’m showing my age with this one. Maybe I’m old as fuck. I mean…I do have like 3 gray ankle hairs (that’s between us obviously…)
But when I was a kid, the most talked about person in entertainment wasn’t Lady Gaga, or Justin-freaking-Bieber, or certain boy bands from Britain [One Direction cough]. It was a tall, thin dude who scared the world. A dude called Marilyn Manson. And today he teaches you about being yourself…
You don’t hear much about Marilyn Manson anymore. Maybe it’s cause radios just don’t play anything other than the same 5 songs (lame). Maybe it’s cause that awesome, most creative part of any artist’s career has pretty much passed for him. Maybe, though, what he represents just doesn’t resonate anymore. It doesn’t shock.
In the late 90s, though, he was maybe one of the most recognizable men in the country, though if anyone passed the real him on the streets, they probably wouldn’t know him at all.
Just Google his name and you’ll see why…
No person looked like Marilyn Manson.
No person could conceive of someone who remotely looked like Marilyn Manson.
I mean, just look at him. He had a pretty damn unique appearance (a drastic freakin understatement).
He was the image of everything that is taboo. And if there was a single thing in you that caused you to be scared of something, or shocked, or uncomfortable at all, he wanted to be the one that brought it out.
And so he became the most shocking dude in the world.
He blasted religion. He told everyone God was a lie. He drank (fake, I think) blood on stage.
He took on the most hated and unlikable personality he could conceive – on purpose.
His name alone is meant to offend – the combination of an American sex icon (Marilyn Monroe), and, of all things, a convicted serial killer (Charles Manson).
I mean, wtf?
His whole band was like that, and together their performances – if nothing else – caused a very real reaction in every person that watched them.
It wasn’t just, “Oh hey, look at that…”
It was, “Oh my god, what the fuck is that?”
And so people hated him…
They did. They despised him. Because they were legit horrified of him.
I remember people literally thinking he was the Anti-Christ; that he was legitimately freaking evil – like glimpsing-the-face-of-the-Devil evil, or whatever’s the most horrifying and soul-shivering thing you can imagine.
People HATED him.
Churches demonstrated outside his appearances. They prayed for him. They prayed for his fans. They accused him of being some cult leader bent on destroying children and Jesus and God; that he drank human blood and ate babies pretty much; that he was representative of all that was wrong and gone awry in society and in people.
Because he wanted them to believe it.
He wanted to be the enemy.
He wanted to be the enemy, even when most any person only ever wants to be the hero.
Realize, though, that there are very few people in this world like Marilyn Manson – that what made him so unique is that he was everything that most people will never be…
Cause most people aren’t that different, right? In this sense, at least.
We try to fit in. We mostly avoid attention at all, and negative attention completely. Cause we wanna be liked. We wanna be loved. We wanna be accepted by as many people as possible.
Cause who in their right mind would want to be the outcast? Who would want to be the one in the room everyone is pointing at, staring at, whispering about, openly freaking hating?
The Why of Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson fed on being different. He fed on the idea that people didn’t like him, or that they straight hated him.
And it made those who love him, love him all the more.
And that’s who he performed for. That’s who he made music for – those people who were then how he was in his youth – disillusioned, lost, alone.
And those kids thought he was the greatest thing ever. Because to them Marilyn Manson was everything they wished they were, and represented the strength they wish they had – when they were being picked on or pointed at in school for being different, for wearing black, for liking a certain type of music that didn’t have 5 hot dudes singing about love again and again.
Because he represented the idea that it was possible to be different and not care, not give a shit, not spend one second wondering what people think of you or say about you.
Cause you go out in front of millions dressed in women’s lingerie and not care that people stare or point – like he did.
You go out dressed in all black, bondage-looking leather and not give a shit that others think you’re weird or messed up or evil – like he did.
You go out in a world where everyone hates you and everyone talks of you and not let it affect how you feel about your self or what you believe about your self – like Marilyn Manson did.
It’s hard. It’s unimaginably hard. And it’s very, very likely you couldn’t do it.
I know I couldn’t.
But he did. He owned it. And he did it all with a big middle-finger to the world. And to those kids – his fans – it was literally the coolest thing they had ever seen.
And so they loved him. And that was all that mattered.
And so what can Marilyn Manson teach you…
…about being your Self.
That being different is okay. That being different is a sign of strength. That being different – though others may not accept you or like you – will forever be more important than being just another faceless person in the crowd.
That there’s something of value even in the biggest enemies of society.
Being different. Being different for it’s own sake. Being different as “fuck you“.
Cause just imagine the strength that took. Think of the confidence in himself he must have possessed, and the self-esteem he must have held – even when screaming about being lost, or unloved, or depressed – to go out dressed like that, to take the stage like that, to everyday face the hatred he faced.
Few in this world could do it. Even fewer ever do.
Marilyn Manson, though, did.
And it’s something worthy of respect. And a lesson even those of us who aren’t like him, can gain a great deal from.
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