Why Marilyn Manson is a Success

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Why Marilyn Manson is a Success Slowly the lights dim and the volume of the crowd rises. About 3,000 people have come to Massey Hall in Toronto on this night to witness what some consider rocks most bizarre spectacle: Marilyn Manson. They grip the back of the seat in front of them in anticipation of what is to come, some are almost to excited to stand still whilst others seem just a little bit scared. It begins with a few dull flashes from strobe lights accompanied with ear splitting guitar feedback noise. The flashes from the strobe light quicken and theatrical smoke pours in from all corners of the stage. One by one, the members of the band take their respective places on stage to the jubilation of the audience. The anticipation for the man himself builds and as it reaches a fever pitch, Marilyn Manson emerges from the darkness at the back of the stage like a lion pouncing on its prey and the band breaks into song. Perhaps more shocking than any other artist in the history of rock and roll; Marilyn Manson is probably the most hated man in Middle America these days and with good reason. In 1995 for example, after being banned from playing a show in the southern United States, Manson decided to come out during the headlining bands set and tear the pages out of the Mormon bible. Most would say that this type of anti establishment behaviour that Manson encourages is responsible for turning seemingly normal young people into dark, cynical and often angry youth (Manson, Strauss, 1998). Or is he? Marilyn Manson has done what most artists can only dream of: to create a cult following mentality among millions of fans (Mattingly, 1998). Why him though and why not any of the other thousands of musicians that are floating around this continent every day? Well the truth lies in the message and the delivery of it. Marilyn Manson’s strong beliefs and powerful character provide him with a means of giving his fans an escape from their mundane reality, a sense of belonging to a group, and an uncanny ability to manipulate mainstream media for his own benefit. A large portion of one’s leisure time is spent attempting to escape reality. This is the reason that television is so successful as well as books have been in the past and now video games.

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