I am a man of many perspectives and nowhere is this more true than my musical tastes.
Those who have known me (particularly my best man and beloved Mexican friend Gabriel) have often been perplexed when I have said “oh if it sounds good, I dig it.” This has seemed like a copout or dodging of the question about what audio I listen to, to be fair. But it has been true. On my iPod, iPhone and YouTube playlists one could find rap, jazz, death metal and other genres mashed together.
And for a long time, Marilyn Manson was among them.
The shock rocker and for a brief bit Florida Man began his career shortly before I was born and, in some way, has been a cultural fixture since then. I saw him in Jawbreaker, he popped up in games I played before I was a teenager and the man’s sanitized music ran on radio occasionally like barbarians at normalcy’s entrance.
I was never one for the dark clothing and makeup but being a child who lived in a community which valued those with athletic ability first and others second, I cannot deny his songs spoke to my condition at the time. Here was someone who seemed like he knew what it felt like to be viewed as nothing while wanting more.
This made it easy to dismiss critique and combined with new issues and age made the man a novelty of casual interest. He was akin to Alice Cooper or others who have made hay out of being shocking and pushing the boundaries of the obscene.
Then Evan Rachel Wood spoke up.
Here was a woman whose work I had seen glimpses of giving clarity to horrifying allegations she had touched on in earlier moments of our present landscape. The man who gave an isolated Canadian child a certain strength seemed as detestable as his critics had believed and those in religious groups had said decades ago.
The novelty is gone and now only the scorn remains.
I used to believe you could separate art from the behaviour of an artist and find the notion to be increasingly impossible the more things come out about “beloved” public figures. I do not like hearing from Jerry Lee Lewis because of his relationship with a child and the credible reporting which suggests he may have killed one of his wives and never want to hear from Brian Hugh Warner again.
He deserves to be talking from the inside of a jail cell, not a car speaker if claims prove true.