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The Evidence Against Media Violence:  Marilyn Manson

More on The Evidence Against Media Violence. An e-mail about the brainwashing techniques at a typical anti-social rock concert:

To: Friends:
From: Bill Johnson
Re: Marilyn Manson Concert
Date: 8/08/01


The Marilyn Manson concert
DeVos Hall, Grand Rapids, Michigan
August 2, 2001


About eight brawny police officers/security occupied the lower level area in front of the platform to prevent the audience from going on stage and/or to keep Manson from making contact with the audience. A very tattered, scarred American flag served as the background. Many Manson fans dressed in stereotypical black apparel. Some of the shirts said things like "God is dead." Or "If it breathes, I f--- it."


Early in the program Manson urged the audience to join him in a chant. F--- you churches. F--- you God.

Manson screaming out belittled the church stated "I didn't teach you how to be dirty little m-----f----- You learned on your own."


A very large rifle served as the vertical aspect of the cross. Two handguns (one on the right side and one on the left) made up a very large cross serving as a prop for one of Manson's songs.

At one point, Manson appeared dressed as the Pope with a white robe and head apparel. He threw the garments to the ground as he entertained.


Manson led in a very animated "Take Drugs" chant in the beginning moments of his concert. The scent of marijuana was overwhelming from the very beginning moments of the concert and smoke wafted to the ceiling throughout the concert.

Manson's persona: angry, hostile, pent-up, frustrated, aggressive, harsh body movements, hard dress styles, aggressive voice inflections, agitated and aggressive music and lyrics.

Audience response: Sheeplike the masses thrust up their middle finger on cue. They stood throughout the concert synchronized to their leader. Gyrating, shaking their heads, following in the chants upon command.


Throughout the concert, Manson's music is laced with the f--- word. As he sings out his characteristic f--- you, his audience follows his lead as in unison the masses lift their middle finger, violently upward. I saw one young couple face off toward each other and give each other the finger.


Manson frequently touches his crotch area in the beginning moments of the concert and little by little comes increasingly animated giving a pumping action around his genital area.

Manson picks up a microphone stand and sticks it between his legs. He pumps on it and a little later bends it and uses it as a phallic symbol. The audience roars in appreciation.

Manson struts about as a sex symbol. Falls to the floor on his back, reclining he massages himself as if masturbating. Then he flips over and crawls on the floor. Falls forward to the floor and then humps as if engaged in sexual intercourse. The audiences roars in approval.

At one point, Manson turns his rear to the audience bends over and strokes his crotch and rear then tosses a bottle of water that he has been sipping from into the audience. Liquid flows into the audience.


Manson screams out to the audience. "Anyone have a good abuse story? You've been abused or abused someone else?" A rough looking young woman comes up from the office and speaks into the microphone. Her voice is not easily understood. The audience boos her off the stage.

Manson again screams out his request. "Anyone have a good abuse story? You've been abused or abused someone else?" Manson spots someone coming forward and hollers out to him. "Get up here you dirty m-----f-----!" A cocky, down and outer, big-mouth type of guy says his step father abused him. He takes his belt out of his pants. Gives the belt to Manson. The audience participant pulls down his pants exposing his rear. Manson spanks him twice with the belt. The man hugs Manson presenting a picture of sado-masochism.

Meanwhile the police stand at stage side doing absolutely nothing—inadvertently endorsing by their silence a wide-variety of behaviors that are unhealthy, unwholesome and in some cases in violation of state statutes.


In the 1999 concert at the VanAndel Arena the day after the Columbine killings, Manson insensitively and irresponsibly laced his program with violence themes . I reported it in a letter that I wrote to Mr. Richard MacKeigan (April 23, 1999), General Manager of both the VanAndel and DeVos Hall.

I was expecting that Manson would avoid songs of violence, especially as the concert was just one day after the killings in Littleton where Manson was linked with the killers. But in one of his skits, a large American flag (with a satanic symbol in place of the stars) served as the backdrop. Manson was dressed as a police officer. He arrogantly sang a song "We hate love. We love hate." The audience energetically sang along with him. He raised his middle finger and screamed aloud "Let's see your middle finger." Thousands of Manson followers lifted their middle fingers in accord with him—jerking their fingers upward in perfect synchronization. A person dressed as a police officer, with a shot gun, suddenly appeared and fired two shots as Manson "dropped" to the stage. The atmosphere set by this song was one of rebellion against authority, hate, confusion, despair and violence.

Surprisingly and thankfully, violent themes were absent at this particular concert. However, many other degrading, injurious themes were not:

1) The frequent use of profanity; 2) the promotion of drugs; 3) a hatred toward God and the church; 4) the promotion of unhealthy sexual practices.

None of these so-called themes are beneficial to society. What's worse is how these concerts promote a violent or aggressive attitude centered on the self. You're the most important person in the world, heavy-metal bands seem to be saying. You deserve whatever you want, whether it's sex, money, or power.

Note: I have nothing against Marilyn Manson. For all I know, he may not be typical of heavy-metal or goth acts. The points in this posting apply to any acts that promote greed and selfishness as their core values.

Rappers are problematical too
From an article on the Grammys in the LA Times, 2/22/01:

Moby took off on the controversial rapper [Eminem], after a nod to the 1st Amendment: "I support Eminem's free speech," said the dance/pop auteur. "I oppose censorship in all forms. He's very good at what he does, but he's also a misogynist and homophobe and racist and anti-Semite.

"I'm 33 and can see through it, but I can't imagine that an 8-year-old in Idaho sees it as just a joke . . . and I find it deeply disturbing that people are lending him as much support as they do," Moby said. "You cannot say there's no correlation between people's actions and what is seen and heard in popular culture. You can't put out homophobic and misogynist and racist stuff and say it's all a joke. It's not."

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Victor or victim:  our new national anthem?

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