Video Interview:Marilyn Manson Speaks Out Against Violence (2000)
In the wake of the aftermath of Columbine, Marilyn Manson speaks out on violence in the media and blame at the Disinformation Conference in 2000.
How's it going New York? I chose to speak to you in a square because I think we're kinda conditioned to listen to people when they're in the shape of a square. And also, here in hollywood this is where we give people what they want: Violence, I guess that's what it seems to come down to. What I wanted to talk to everyone today about, I don't really want to preach, I just want to more bring up some questions and since I always tend to be a scape-goat I thought we'd talk about Blame.
Right now everyone wants to blame music, they want to blame movies. But we've forgotten that we have a dead guy hanging from a tree in our living rooms, and that's something that we've worshipped all our lives. If you think about the crucifix, it's the greatest mass market piece of merchandise in the history of the world. I've always found that to be kind of interesting that we haven't really sat down and talked about that on the news.
And I also wondered why nobody cares when an adult commits some senseless act of violence. They don't want to have a reason why. It's only when a kid does it. You know, Oswald: well, he was a comic. Timothy McVae? Well he's crazy. Bill Clinton, Why'd he shoot all those bombs and kill all those foreigners? Oh, well he's the president and that's the american way.
But I think what's really begun to confuse people now, and why we're in this state of chaos and PC non-sensical uptightness. It's white teenagers. That's the real enigma: Why are they mad? They're middle class, they're white, they're spoiled, Their parents even buy some of them guns. You know.. what do they have to be mad about? Is it because they know America's a lie? Is it because we make them feel like they're never good enough. You Know? They're never good enough for the scholarship, for the car, for the girl. Never good enough to be famous for fifteen minutes.
Is it the first race in kindergarden where it starts? When mom's yelling, "Get the White Ribbon, Get the White Ribbon!" "..oh, I got the Yellow ribbon.." and mom's "Oh well.. you know.. It's okay It's okay" And then the highschool football games and soccer moms screaming "Kill em, Kill em!" When ancient Rome reappears. You got moms, you got kids they all want blood, and they always have. It's not new. People pretend like just because Maury Povich, or Fox News, or Montel Williams says that Times are violent, that it's brand New.
The thing that kinda struck me that has been avoided and ignored because people always want to point to finger at someone like me because I'm an obvious, and easy target because I look like I cause problems, and I do, and I try to. But I think just like the Gladiator, the Sports Hero is the icon in the status quo. You know, more than Elvis or James Dean ever was. He's in the Wheaties, in McDonalds, he's in the Movie, He even has his own talk show. Well, He did it in some cases.
What is that saying to kids? When we think about it for a second. Sports. Physical Prowess is more important than intelligence, knowledge? Is that encouraging America to be not only more violent, but dumber? Are we going backwards on the evolution chart? I actually would like to check, but it's gone because the creationists have taken it away. You can't even find the evolutionary chart anymore.
I think everyone knows growing up, that Jocks ruled the school. You look at a movie like the Outsiders, or Heathers. The Nerds, the Throw-aways, the Thinkers, the Daydreamers: These are the beaten, These are the kids that can't drink out of the waterfountain today. Noone's announcing, or standing up for they're civil rights.And then.. Are we suprised why they're mad or why they end up dead. Why the violence? You know.. you made them America, what do you expect?
Look at Woodstock for example. They're all supposed to be hippies, and love and PC, and united colours of Benetton. But instead they got riots, fire and Rape. And part of it is this phenomenon to me that is related to sports, and it's when Rap and Rock began to mix and we created this oxymoron called Jock Rock. To me it's kinda like.. People come to a party that they don't understand, but they're just smart enough to know that they're the stupidest people there, so that makes them mad. I think that's what Woodstock was, is you had these white kids in football jersey's trying to make Rock and Roll a sport by raping girls and beating eachother up. And everybodies suprised, you know.. Why Why? It's the Music, It's the Music.
I think part of Man's evolution is always to compete. I think parents are driving their kids particularly through sports.
You got O.J. Simpson, well he can't be guilty, He's an american hero. We were just about to put his face on a Three dollar bill. And then this Ray Caruth guy, this NFL wide reciever, charged with murdering his pregnant girlfriend. People, do they ask why, "Why'd he do it?" But noone cares. Ray Lewis, this NFL linebacker, charged with double homicide in Atlanta on Superbowl Sunday, the Most Violent Day of the Year, with the most expensive commercial time. Of course, He's out on bail. He's charged with murdering two people and he's out on bail. You've got Charles Manson sitting in prison for conspiracy, sentenced to death. And you just let the guys walk on the streets because he's a sports hero.
One story that really struck me and got me thinking about this, was a Few years ago. There was this teenage punk-rocker kid who was run down in an iHop parking lot by a White Jock and his girlfriend in Dad's cadillac. And this boy died because he looked different, and he was run down by a drunk piece of shit that hated him, and had always picked on him. And it's a situation where you've got six kids who got their noses peirced and you've got 30 jocks, who are the popular kids at school. And they're pickin on them. They're calling them Fags, they're calling them.. whatever. So this thing happens, this guy kills this kid, and is cleary guilty, his guilt is admitted. And guess where this all-american athlete is? He's in college. The Jury felt that the punk rocker deserved to die because he looked the way he did. And not only was he killed, but then in the trial he was killed again because they critisized his lifestyle. Because he didn't wear a Tommy-Hilfiger shirt and Khaki pants. And then the killer was even applauded at graduation because he was a football star: The American Dream. Strong. Normal. He never spent a day in prison.
So who do we Blame? Everybody wants to say, There's too much violence, there's too much violence today. ... well........ Did everyone forget about the civil war, the Bible, or Shakespeare? Violence isn't brand new. And I don't even think seeing violence is Brand New, that's not the problem. What I think is the more serious problem is that seeing violence as a solution to solve a problem is what is sending a bad message to kids growing up.
Even going back to a Western: The Hero kills the villain, and saves the day. Childeren grew up in World War Two and they learned that total violence is the answer. And I think that that's where a dying culture began, and a dying culture kills everything that it touches. So these kids grew up learning this. They pass these values down with pride "We Won the War!" But Damn that Hitler, Genocide and all those terrible things he did. We dropped the bomb, but that's different because we're american's and we believe in god.
So that's where they create what I like to call the 'God Bandaid' That's when you got a problem and stick the God Bandaid on. "Oh, my Record's dirty and violent, but I just won a grammy. So I wanna thank god"
Or "Someone just killed my daughter" and they're like "Oh" "but it's okay she's with God now" "Oh, okay."
Or "You killed somebody." "Oh, but I believe in god now, so it's okay" And all the other people with the God bandaids see that and they go "Oh he's like us. That's okay, let's let him go.
So, bad parents make bad kids. That's the way I look at it. That's why I asked the question, put this up on my website: " Is Adult entertainment killing out childeren, or is killing our childeren entertaining adults?". I think that's the question that we have to ask ourselves today, and you have to ask yourself every time you watch the hungry cameras at the crime scene or at the funeral or at the plane crash interviewing the victim. 24 hour footage watching the guy blow his brains out on the L.A. freeway.
I'm in a square right now. You're looking at me on the screen, I'm looking at myself on the monitor. We sit infront of the TV, and we are the TV. We're a copy staring at a copy and a copy and a copy. It's like the guy on Jerry Springer staring at the monitor to see if he sees himself and it becomes a loop. Because you see it, and you see yourself again and again and again. So eventually it's a Xerox that's so degenerated we don't know which came first. And that's where we are. That's what I'd like to leave you with.
- Disinformation speech at marilynmanson.forumfree.it.