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Marilyn Manson got fat, and I love him for it

Marilyn Manson got fat, and I love him for it

Fat and sassy

Fat and sassy

In one of those rare moments in life when the stars seem to align just right and everything falls into place as if it was meant to be, I found out that Marilyn Manson, one of my all time favorite artists, was going to be playing a show in Portland on my birthday. Suffice it to say that I was thrilled.

I’d recently downloaded his new album, The High End of Low; and the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me. And I definitely wasn’t disappointed. The show itself was awesome, even though Manson himself is now forty and slightly out of shape.

Shakespeare famously wrote, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players,” but what does it really matter in the end if you’re not being true to yourself? Whether you’ve tried to act like a saint, or played the part of a sinner, why bother wasting time trying to be something you’re not, something you don’t even want to be, when the world will just as likely turn on you either way?

A few years ago, people hailed Manson as an iconic antihero reflecting our all-American hypocrisy back at us, saying he didn’t “pull any punches.” These same people now criticize him as a fat, washed up has-been who should quietly slink away from the spotlight—as if they’ve done anything remotely noteworthy their entire, pathetic lives and possess some kind of self-appointed authority over when other people should stop being themselves.

And all the while Manson, now noticeably older and slightly overweight, is still doing what he does best—challenging society’s ideas of what’s acceptable while defiantly giving the world the same two middle fingers—with the attitude of, in his own words: “What’re you going to do, punish me? Is there something worse than where I’m at now? Is there a prison that is worse than the one I’m in, that I put myself in?”

Yes, the once tall and slender “god of fuck,” the symbol of rebellion for a whole generation of young social outcasts, has gotten fat. And I love him for it.

Comments

  1. Thrax
    Thrax The beautiful peo-- wait...
  2. pseudonym
    pseudonym I'd get fat too if I broke up with Ms. Von Teese.
  3. Shorty
    Shorty
    pseudonym wrote:
    I'd get fat too if I broke up with Ms. Von Teese.
    +1
  4. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster In rock, some acts age gracefully and others, not so much.

    I'll reserve judgment for Mason because it was never really my cup of joe, but I will say that there is something honorable, okay about changing with the times as well.

    Pearl Jam's newest tune (I can't stand it), is very poppy, almost happy, kind of radio friendly. Does it make Pearl Jam any less artistically relevant if people latch on to the new sound and enjoy it, no, not at all, but for me, I just don't care for it, and I used to be a big fan. U2 is a band that has enjoyed a bit of a strange maturation curve. U2 started as the post punk, new wave of pissed off youth, I was there, a young U2 could inspire you to action, then, they got rich as hell, and on a personal level they had so little to be internally angry about, so they made records that were different in their core theme, and everybody said "sell outs!", but the reality was that things had changed, and they would rather change than fake it. Were they as good? Meh, though I did see them on the Elevation tour shortly after 09/11 2001 and I will say there was a moment in that show that emotionally griped me in a way that was very genuine.

    I guess what I am saying is this. If your up there and being in the moment, being genuine with people, the audience will get that vibe and run with it. If your 40 and just pretending to be 20 you can't really fake it. If you are 40 and you still feel 20 deep inside, you can channel that energy and the audience will buy into it.

    A few weeks ago there was panic amongst Rolling Stones fans that Charlie Watts may have informally called it quits. Imagine a 68 year old man that just wants to retire. He has not officially announced that he has, but if he does I say good for him, you can only be a Rolling Stone for so long.

    Neil Young has embraced so many changes over his career. In fact, Neil Young is the quintessential ever changing artist. From rockabilly to folk to country to grunge rock to commercial pop rock back to folk back to country, he has done it all. When Young followed Freedom which was primarily noted for his return to crazy horse style grunge with Rockin in the Free World, some people did not understand the shift back to a more introspective country folk sound of Harvent Moon, what was amazing, is that Young does what he feels like doing, on his terms, without clinging to any specific image, now that is being a rebel.
  5. Jason
    Jason
    I guess what I am saying is this. If your up there and being in the moment, being genuine with people, the audience will get that vibe and run with it. If your 40 and just pretending to be 20 you can't really fake it. If you are 40 and you still feel 20 deep inside, you can channel that energy and the audience will buy into it.

    I get the gist of what you're saying, Cliff, and I'm almost inclined to agree with you, but let me ask you this: How are you supposed to act when you're 40 as opposed to 20?
  6. kryyst
    kryyst I think the point he's trying to make is act how you feel and don't try and fake it. It's not about acting your age it's just about being yourself.
  7. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster
    Jason wrote:
    I get the gist of what you're saying, Cliff, and I'm almost inclined to agree with you, but let me ask you this: How are you supposed to act when you're 40 as opposed to 20?

    Let me just apologize a little. I went back and read what I wrote word for word, and it can appear that I mean to be a little abrasive, I don't. I totaly dig what you are saying about an aging musician that does what he feels is genuine. If Marilyn Manson whats to project the same image he did 15 years ago, or at least a slightly bloated variance of it he is entititled, and he should do whatever he feels is genuine. People that go to his shows will be able to tell if he is giving them something genuine, something real, or if he is just faking it through another show for a pay day.

    So to your question, I think what it comes down to is what the performer feels is genuine about their own personal experience. Some will choose to change their style, and others will cling to their youth, neither one is right or wrong, what matters is if what they are doing is connecting with their audience in a way that feels worthwhile and genuine.
  8. Jason
    Jason
    Let me just apologize a little. I went back and read what I wrote word for word, and it can appear that I mean to be a little abrasive, I don't. I totaly dig what you are saying about an aging musician that does what he feels is genuine. If Marilyn Manson whats to project the same image he did 15 years ago, or at least a slightly bloated variance of it he is entititled, and he should do whatever he feels is genuine. People that go to his shows will be able to tell if he is giving them something genuine, something real, or if he is just faking it through another show for a pay day.

    No need to apologize, Cliff. There's nothing inherently wrong with what you've said, and I'm not going to be offended even if you say he's a washed-up slob.

    Maybe this is getting too existential, but I wonder if we can ever really know who someone is. Half the time I don't even know who I am!

    (And just to play the devil's advocate, even if he's just "faking it through another show for a pay day," if he really only cares about the money, he's still being genuine to who he is.)
  9. -tk
    -tk Well said! Most of the so called "rock stars" of the pre-MTV generation were all a little doughy and out of shape, and nobody cared. Hell some of 'em even touted the fact; i.e. Fats Domino, Chubby Checker, etc. Thousands of albums were sold, people came went to shows and everyone was happy.

    I think it's a shame that we live in an era of style over substance, especially in regards to visual artforms. I mean really, who cares what the people on the record look like?! You don't listen with your eyes.
  10. Omega
    Omega Kay so who cares if he's put on weight? This is an unflattering picture. Just go look at mansonwiki.com The 2010-2011 pictures he is in, are showing him as skinny. Therefore the pictures that he is in that are "fat" looking, are obviously taken from a bad angle. People call him a has-been, and sell-out, yet he still makes excellent music, and still pulls off crazy antics on the stage, so therefore he is not a has-been.
    This picture... I'm wondering where it came from, the only thing that actually looks like Manson is the facial structure, the hair doesn't even look like him. But really, does it matter if he put on weight? NO! He's 41 years old and most people at that age generally gain a bit of weight. He's still good lookingto me so leave him alone. Though he looks better in the MA ERA.
  11. Jason
    Jason
    Omega wrote:
    Kay so who cares if he's put on weight? This is an unflattering picture. Just go look at mansonwiki.com The 2010-2011 pictures he is in, are showing him as skinny. Therefore the pictures that he is in that are "fat" looking, are obviously taken from a bad angle. People call him a has-been, and sell-out, yet he still makes excellent music, and still pulls off crazy antics on the stage, so therefore he is not a has-been.
    This picture... I'm wondering where it came from, the only thing that actually looks like Manson is the facial structure, the hair doesn't even look like him. But really, does it matter if he put on weight? NO! He's 41 years old and most people at that age generally gain a bit of weight. He's still good lookingto me so leave him alone. Though he looks better in the MA ERA.

    I don't know about now, but he definitely gained a bit of weight when I saw him last year. He may have trimmed up since I saw him, but you could clearly see his gut. (I have a couple of pictures I took at the show that I'll upload if I can I figure out how). That said, I'm not sure who you're responding to, but I'm certainly not dissing him if that's what you think. Did you happen to read the entire article?
  12. Dr. Shavani
    Dr. Shavani It's INCREDIBLY easy to tell that this is a fake. Don't be morons! His NOSE is a dead giveaway. Manson's is very pointed. This one is very rounded. The close-up (also a dead giveaway, since there's only two pictures) very clearly shows abrasions and scarring in the tissue. These are not present on Mr. Warner (Manson).
  13. MAGIC
    MAGIC What a fatty.
  14. Me
    Me first of all, he's not fat. True, he's not stick thin like he used to be, however, I would say he's about average weight now, Never mind the fact he's in his 40's.

    second, as the previous poster said, you listen to music with your ears not with your eyes.

    I would also like to point out that Robert Smith from the band The Cure used to be very thin in the 1980s, however, he too gained a lot of weight, but both men are still relevant and very attractive to this day.

    People need to stop caring so much about what society thinks and just start being themselves.
  15. SaintObsequeyVodevil
    SaintObsequeyVodevil I have always loved his music, so why does it really matter if he gained a few (or rather many) pounds. I mean hell, he is not that fat! His music is awesome and if you don't like it nobody is making you read this, you dont have to post...
  16. LazarusXero
    LazarusXero Marilyn Manson is in his 40's?!?!

    <facepalm>

    God, I'm getting old.

    Next thing you'll say is that Pearl Jam is "classic rock".
  17. shelby
    shelby does it really matter? hes still the same person. if it really bothers you, then you're a fuckin troll. gaining weight and getting old doesnt change the true person. so really it shouldnt bother anyone. and its just life, not a big damn deal.
  18. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster Shelby,

    Did you bother to read the article??
  19. Jason
    Jason
    shelby wrote:
    does it really matter? hes still the same person. if it really bothers you, then you're a fuckin troll. gaining weight and getting old doesnt change the true person. so really it shouldnt bother anyone. and its just life, not a big damn deal.

    Of course it doesn't matter; that's the whole point of the article, which I wrote simply as a response to all the criticism Manson was getting at the beginning of the High End of Low tour.

    Most of the reviews were fairly negative, attacking his weight and accusing him of being washed up; but I loved both the album and the show, and thought Manson was true to form. I was being extremely critical of his critics if anything, which I think the fourth paragraph makes abundantly clear.

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