The music of shock-rocker Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner) is definitely controversial. This musician was banned from performing in South Carolina and has been offered $10,000 not to play in Salt Lake City. His stage name was derived from combining the names of actress Marilyn Monroe and serial killer Charles Manson. His work was described by some as playing a large role in several school shootings. Angry parents pointed to Manson’s violent and misogynistic lyrics after Michael Carneal’s 1997 shooting and the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. Fourteen-year-old Asa Coon, whowounded four people at his school in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2007, was also said to have been a fan. On May 18, 2009, a 15-year-old middle school student in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, fired a gun at a teacher, demanding that she say “Hail Marilyn Manson.” He then shot himself in the head and was in critical condition. Out of sensitivity to the community, Manson canceled the last five dates of a concert tour following the Columbine massacre, but at the same time denounced the media for unfairly scapegoating him.
In his 2002 documentary Bowling for Columbine, film-maker Michael Moore interviews Manson. Manson suggests that music, film, and video games are being wrongly targeted and that politicians have created a “campaign of fear and consumption” intended to distract the public from other societal ills. He ends the interview by telling Moore that, given the chance to talk to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, he would not say anything. Instead, he said he would listen to them, as often no one listens to young people.
- Baddely, G. (2008). Dissecting Marilyn Manson. New York: Plexus.
- Bowling for Columbine: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0310793/quotes
- Chi, T. (2007). Studying Marilyn Manson: Groupies, school violence and bullying: Marketing revelations, Christianity, antichrists and psychiatrists. New York: BookSurge.
- Foster, M. (2009, May 18). Louisiana school shooting: Student shoots himself in the head after firing at teacher. Huffington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2010, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/18/louisiana-school-shooting_n_204704.html
- Manson, M. (1999). The long, hard road out ofhell. New York: IT books.
- Sterngold, J. (1999, April 29). Terror in Littleton: The culture; Rock concerts are cancelled. New York Times. Retrieved May 3, 2010, from http://www.nytimes.com/1999/04/29/us/terror-in-littleton-the-culture-rock-concerts-are-cancelled.html