Rolling Stone's Erik Hedegaard's recent article on Brian Warner, AKA Marilyn Manson, poses the following nugget of geographical ignorance: "Among other feats, his new album The Pale Emperor, is almost an equal to Antichrist Superstar, the 1996 record that lifted him out of the Fort Lauderdale post-grunge wasteland and shock-rocked him straight to the top, much to the dismay of the Christian right..."
Holy fucking Jesus eating hot dogs on roller skates! "Post-grunge wasteland"?
Yes, to the rest of the contiguous United States that's what Fort Lauderdale in the early '90s was, a "wasteland" and Warner, fuck it, Manson, does very little throughout the rest of Hedegaard's article to illustrate how his Ohio/South Florida upbringing made him into what he is today.
When Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids exploded unto the national consciousness, it (for it was a band before a cult of personality) was a viable and polarizing force. It was dangerous; it carried street cred. It idolized and vicariously exhibited the dregs of humanity in a way that was cool and launched a generation of pimply, lunch-box-carrying, shopping-mall goths across the world.
Where the punks and new romantics had failed at shocking with their fashion antics, the spooky kids that followed Manson were a rumor-mill-fueling force that had America in the '90s reeling with misguided thoughts of the occult, sacrifice, and Satanism -- all of it mined for great effect by Manson. Aside from having successful albums under his belt like Portrait of an American Family and Mechanical Animals, Manson found another vehicle in motion pictures like David Lynch's Lost Highway and a surprisingly eloquent and level-headed interview in Michael Moore's documentary Bowling for Columbine.
In other words, Marilyn Manson was awesome, and South Florida was happy to call him its own.
So who in the fuck is this pale shell of their former self that Rolling Stone tries to laud and applaud while describing in the mundanely antirigorous foils of a Sunkist grape soda? Is this product placement? Has the cognoscenti of that publication's board gotten so drunk on antihipster hipstering that this is a viable read?
And yes, we are first and foremost peeved at being referred to as a "post-grunge wasteland," but good heavens, is this article about Manson the musician or Manson the womanizer, the cool Hollywood insider, and/or the not-so-spooky-anymore kid?
At 46, Manson has plenty of himself left to make engaging and relevant music -- look no further than spiritual guide Trent Reznor's latest tour, which showed him in excellent form, perhaps his best in years.
The only thing we can imagine here is that Manson has become a parody of himself, and voicing the concerns of longtime South Florida musicians on Facebook threads this afternoon, the consensus remains that, yes, he has become a parody of himself and he certainly abandoned the scene that made him after the money began to roll in.
We'd rather hear about Sting's eternal scowl banging Trudie Styler for 30 hours than of Manson's five to ten "sexual congresses" a day, but maybe we are just skewered toward other parodies of themselves here at County Grind. It doesn't matter that our angle -- shit, my angle -- here is a fraction of Hedegaard's Facebook shares. How's that for self-
And we didn't even discuss Fort Lauderdale's awesome, decades-long musical contributions!