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.)
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.