Monday, October 17, 2011

Mopey Monday - Marilyn Manson Interviewed by Michael Moore (couldn't resist the tongue-twister)

In the interest of looking on the bright side, I will say one good thing about today: it's not raining. It's even looking suspiciously like it might get sunny out there. Though of course I didn't know this when I got up this morning, since it was still dark outside. Do you know how hard it is to figure out what the weather is going to do before the sun comes up? I do.

It doesn't help that I stayed up way too late on Saturday night and as a result didn't get to sleep until way too late last night either. 

 I will always identify with the tired kid in this cartoon, no matter how old I get.

So when I was perusing YouTube this weekend, I somehow ended up watching this old interview from the documentary Bowling for Columbine, in which Michael Moore explored the context surrounding the Columbine shootings. At the time, a lot of blame was heaped on Marilyn Manson. I'm not totally clear on why - it seems that the kids involved in the shootings wore clothes you might see in Manson's closet, but weren't actually fans of his music. (????) At any rate, because of all the public criticism heaped on Manson at the time, Moore interviewed him for the film.

You can say what you want about Marilyn Manson's appearance, music or general weirdness, but the guy eternally got my respect after I watched this interview. Not only does he discuss a tragic circumstance with eloquence and sensitivity, but he has obviously put more thought into it than many of those who accused him of being responsible. It's easy to respond to a tragic event by making it about ourselves. The effect it had on us, why we think it happened, who we place blame on, how it's made us afraid to go to school or work in the morning. But somewhere in the middle of all this we lose sight of the actual people who were involved in it. This doesn't mean we don't care, it just means that we're making sense of it through the lens of our own experience. It takes a special kind of person, in my opinion, to take a step back and re-focus on what the kids themselves were going through.

Though it isn't exactly a cheerful antidote to a mopey Monday, I find it to be an inspiring and eye-opening lesson that hopefully will make people stop and consider the assumptions they've made about people's intelligence, personality or perspective based on faulty first impressions. Sometimes we all need a little reminder.


  1. Very nicely said! I've been a fan of his for year, never read his book but my husband says it's pretty good if you want to know where he came from, and I in no way think he was responsible for the shootings. It's stupid to even blame anyone else than the person(s) holding the gun. Manson's a little strange but he's quiet insightful in this interview :)

  2. I agree! I definitely want to read his book. I've been watching his biography on YouTube as well, and it is quite fascinating (that's where I heard that apparently the Columbine shooters weren't even fans of his music). I also tend to think that a lot of his strangeness is calculated spectacle - for attention, shock value and to generally shake things up a bit. It's quite an effective way to challenge people's comfort zones, and sometimes that can be a necessary thing.
    I've generally been impressed by him in interviews - he's got great stories and is very articulate. Definitely on the list of celebrities I'd like to have dinner with!

  3. Bummer, the video won't play now (copyright block) but I will have to look it up later. Blaming someone for something because they are different is asinine. Look at all of the so-called nice, normal, suburbanite people who go out and commit terrible crimes--you can't say listening to shock rock or dressing differently influenced them!

    1. I found a different video and replaced it, so it plays now! (Thx for pointing it out, I so rarely look back over old posts!) I agree. While I think it's important to try to understand where people are coming from and how their experiences have formed their perspective, I think it's also important to remember that everyone is responsible for the decisions they make and the actions they take in life (except in the case of genuine mental illness). I feel like a lot of the time when people are pointing fingers in this type of situation it's exactly as he says - based on fear. It's really hard to admit that maybe there wasn't one reason or one scapegoat who can be blamed. That maybe this sort of thing just happens sometimes without any logical explanation, or at least, not a simple, easy to digest one. Definitely take a few minutes and watch it - and let me know what you think! :)


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