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Are you there, world? It’s me, Marilyn

What’s a shock-rocker gotta do to cause a stir these days?

Image
The Christian Right has found more meaningful things to attack, but Marilyn Manson still wants to be heard, dammit.
Photo: T. Van Nunnery

A decade ago there was no bigger threat to society than Marilyn Manson, the cartoon-like stick figure playing Eurythmics and Patti Smith covers while wearing a black leather thong. It was a theater of the absurd. A cry for attention with upside-down American flags and torn-up Bibles.

Since then, the Christian Right has found more meaningful things to aimlessly protest: gay rights, evolution and, most recently, health care for everyone. Perhaps, if Manson wants to stir the pot during his Friday-night show at the Joint, he should take a few moments to speak in favor of President Obama’s health-care reform policies.

That has a better chance of drawing evangelicals with “Repent Your Sins” sandwich boards than a creepy 40-year-old. Television preachers used to lead protests against Manson in backwater towns like Utica, New York. It was like Footloose with black eyeliner and better acting.

Now nobody seems to notice he’s still around.

Calendar

Marilyn Manson
August 21, 9 p.m., $45.50.
The Joint, 693-5000.

He did get a few headlines recently by saying he would kill the next journalist who criticized his act. This came after the owner of a website that’s been dead since 2005 told a funny story to LA Weekly about the rocker wearing a Von Dutch hat and asking for blow. Manson pecked out on his MySpace profile that he “will personally or with my fans’ help, greet them at their home and discover just how much they believe in their freedom of speech.”

Apparently, Brian Warner in face paint is the only one deserving of free speech these days. So if you see a lanky goth guy staging a one-man fetish party on Green Valley Parkway, give me a heads-up.

None of this means Marilyn Manson has no future. Alice Cooper has taken off the makeup, found Jesus and started playing golf. Gene Simmons is a reality-television star.

So the Antichrist Superstar may someday be relevant again. But for now he seems to be a preacher without a congregation.

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