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Marilyn Manson (3439 words)

Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson is a name that has been a thorn in the side of society as a moral
and ethical issue for the parents and kids of the generation “X”. He is one
of the most controversial artists in the world today, one who chooses to express
himself in a way that provokes in the most extreme methods possible. His methods
are bizarre and shunned by most of society, as it cannot fathom what he is
trying to accomplish. However, further research into his life and beliefs will
explain that he is sending a very strong message to the world. A message that is
firmly protect by the First Amendment in the American Constitution. This freedom
has unleashed a number of technical issues, as well as indirect damage done by
the people who would interpret his message incorrectly. The First Amendment
guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of association
(assembly). It also protects the rights of citizens to worship as they please
and the right not to be forced to support someone else’s religion. The First
Amendment also provides for the right to assemble and to demand a change in
government policies. (Bill of Rights, Encarta 1999 CDROM). Manson uses this
freedom fully, getting his message across by any means possible, mainly to the
younger generation. These younger generations are more accepting of his attitude
and beliefs, partly due to the fact that teens are more susceptible to mass
persuasion and are easily confused. This has helped Manson conjure up a large
loyal following of disgruntled teens that are called “Mansonites.” How
Manson gets his message across has been the center of controversy revolving
around the US ever since Manson’s rise to stardom. His moral, ethical and
religious actions have been questioned repeatedly. His ethics may be a
representation of how disorientated American society has become in the late
1990s. Alternatively, Manson may simply be showing that the media can be used to
manipulate the American mind more easily than their own values at heart. “God
is in the TV” (Rock is Dead) Manson screams. Now, how did this man become what
he is today? Where did he form his views about life and society, which would
ultimately lead to his notorious antics and cause millions of American parents
and city council members to want to cancel his concerts, against the First
Amendment? (“Politicians Rally against Manson”). Marilyn Manson is the band
name and the stage name of lead singer Brian Warner, who formed the band in 1989
and whose apparent business savvy and flair for controversy turned into a
success. Using androgyny, satanic images and themes of rebellion and death,
Manson irked bystanders and proved that outrageous rock was still a viable form
of entertainment. (“Manson: Rock Star”) The name Marilyn Manson comes from a
pseudonym of Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson, two opposites of society.

(Manson, 85) Ever since Marilyn Manson’s release of his album Anti-Christ
Superstar, many people have associated and accused him of influencing teen
suicide and Satanism, just because he acted, dressed and performed as an
individual brought up by society’s mistakes. (“Marilyn Manson”) It is this
kind of media and political attention that Manson has received to become such a
big name in controversy in the last decade. It all depends in how one takes his
remarks and viewpoints. If no attention were paid to Manson’s antics, there
would be no controversy; therefore, his entire essence of being the AntiChrist
may have been created by society itself. “On moral responsibility: Kids see
more from their parents than they would anyone else. They’re the ones who
should set the example.” (“Manson on Manson”) This is Manson’s criticism
of all the parents who would criticize him. Parents are the biggest complainers
about Manson, partly because they are of the older generation and partly because
they can use Manson as a scapegoat for problems with teenage crime and suicide
in the US. “We talked about the kids inside, the tragedy of hopelessness, the
blatant rebellion against God and Manson’s part in the whole thing.”
(Benson, It’s only Rock N Roll..NOT). This is where the conflicts within the
First Amendment come into play. Too many people disagree on everything, however
everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course there are more against
Manson than for him which is where extreme actions are taken that are either
ridicules or unconstitutional. When college students are fined $250 plus court
costs for simply wearing a Manson T-shirt, there are definitely problems.

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(“Manson Shirt Wearer Fined”).


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