How Marilyn Manson Changed Society Forever

By: Clay Drummond

No artist has changed the course of history like Marilyn Manson. In a time when conservative politics dominated the United States, Manson did the unthinkable. He built an industrial metal empire with a fan base across the globe. However, Manson’s career has been continuously flooded by the dark side of society. Despite such a vast amount of criticism, he has relentlessly continued his music/pop culture journey and has not strayed from his roots.
Brian Hugh Warner, now known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, is an Ohio native who began his musical endeavors in 1989. Manson’s initial career path began in journalism, in which he shifted gears to music full-time in the early 90s. Dating back to his rise to prominence, Manson attracted a vast amount of criticism for a variety of reasons. Foremost, his name is supposedly based from former superstar Marilyn Monroe and cult-leader Charles Manson. Since his move to music, Manson has released ten full-length albums and appeared in a variety of TV/movie roles.

A Gift to Society
If I were to write an entire article on Marilyn Manson’s accomplishments, I would have already lost you. One thing is for sure, people either love or hate this guy. There is simply no in between. However, place yourself in the shoes of Manson for just a moment. He stood out like a sore thumb. The way he dressed, his persona, his entire act was rebellious. Even more so,  his success came during the Reagan and Bush administrations, both of which highly conservative. Not to draw conclusions, but we can say an accurate representation of society’s majority was conservative.

“10 Times Marilyn Manson Outclassed Interviewers” via Loudwire

In my opinion, Marilyn Manson did something I have never seen done. He managed to bring out the worst in people that society thought were the best. TV hosts harassed him for his act and he took it on the chin. Judged by his appearance and artistic depiction, he managed to kick society in the teeth solely based off of his character. I recall one TV host asking Manson of his moral/ethical beliefs. Manson responded “I’m sure they are the same as yours.” The host responds “No, no they are not.” In that moment, many of us knew that Manson embarked on a journey where he would face so much hatred. Everyone thought this “satanic” character had no morals or values. Remember, at one point this guy was blamed for Columbine (this almost ruined his entire career, btw). Let me say that again, a musician was blamed for a mass shooting. Could you imagine that going over today? Arguably, it wouldn’t. Manson already went through that, changing society forever. It takes heart and drive to continue after such a devastating blow. I don’t even have to say it, this guy is a legend.

Kids were rebelling and parents despised it. Parents were accusing their kids of being devil-worshipers and evil. In some cases, that may be true. Any sort of cult following can develop toxicity, regardless of religious ties. What Manson did more than anything else was instigate a wildfire of thought. I’ve wrote about Ghost before, who is somewhat doing the same thing. Older generations hate it because kids are thinking differently. Forget what you grew up knowing, Manson’s style is about finding your own. He’s said it time and time again that he simply wants people to be who they want to be, not who society wants you to be.

Regardless of what the older generation says now, Manson’s stunt worked and it worked brilliantly. Let me add, he’s extremely intelligent. We aren’t talking about just a normal guy playing music. If you haven’t heard him speak, take the time to hear him out and his message. Anytime he has talked to the media over the years, he has shown time and time again that he is not going to conform. He stands out and stands on his own and it gets the attention of the people. Safe to say, Manson’s mark on society will stand the test of time. Rightfully so, as I don’t think anyone could endure what he has been through and still be such an accomplished performer.

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