Not sure if I should bother with this: Manson’s new music video

I just watched Marilyn Manson’s new music video for Running to the edge of the world, and I’m wrestling with it. I’m not a fan of his, so there might be something about the video that I’m not getting.

(I had a link to the video here and it’s dead now, so feel free to find the video on YouTube.)

Battered girl from Manson's video

Battered girl from Manson’s video

I researched it a little to see what others are saying. I was surprised to read a lot of people found the video artistic and beautiful (apparently, there are illuminating moments of intertexuality). I’m wondering if anyone wants to connect the dots for me, because here’s how I interpret it:

Marilyn Manson is beats and kills a girl (with a striking resemblance to his ex-girlfriend, Rachel Evan Wood) because she hurt him in some way. I assume she cheated or broke up with him, or maybe she used his eye liner without asking. Whatever it is, she has angered MM and now she is dead in a bathtub. I think we’re supposed to connect with him because he sings the song with teary eyes.

I have to say I had trouble sympathising. I am also a little shaky on how showing a woman being literally beaten senseless is beautiful. What I see is portrayal of violence that (I think) is meant to make viewers relate with his anger.

I realise Manson is a “shock” rocker, but this isn’t one of those taboo subjects, such as religion, where he dresses up like Jesus to anger conservatives. Domestic violence (particularly against women) is a real issue and he presents it like it’s an option, or as though he *wishes* it was an option. He was actually quoted earlier this year, saying “…the song ‘I Want to Kill You Like They Do in The Movies’ is about my fantasies. I have fantasies every day about smashing [Wood’s] skull in with a sledgehammer.”

In light of the recent gang rape in Richmond, California, I find this video especially heartbreaking. Nothing about violence is beautiful or artistic.


6 thoughts on “Not sure if I should bother with this: Manson’s new music video

  1. Update: some people commented, saying it’s a metaphor for a death in that chapter of his life. To which I say, there are other ways of making that point.

  2. 1. I don’t get the video, and I don’t like it. It’s just lame.
    2. I don’t agree with this sentence “Nothing about violence is beautiful or interesting or artistic.”
    Violence in artistic mediums can be all of those things. Kill Bill, for example, or Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”

    However, it certainly becomes less beautiful, artistic, etc., when there seems to be no message or meaning behind it other than to condone the behaviour, i.e. the ignorant passions of an upset grown child towards an innocent child (MM to RMW)

    I would, however, agree with you that violence that is experienced by a person or thing that can feel that suffering is a terrible terrible thing (I hope that goes without saying). Also, any message that condones that kind of thing is also terrible.

    Have you ever read American Psycho? It depicts terrible violence towards innocent people and refuses to give the reader any moral compass from which to judge the acts. We are left to judge them on our own terms. (I’m not making a deep point there, only that the book is ultra violent yet interesting, all the while not condoning or condemning)

    Also, speaking of Kanye West, have you seen the other video he did with Spike Jonze? Something like “We Were Once Fairy Tales”? SOOOO good (non violent though).

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