The Antichrist Superstar Emblem
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THE ANTICHRIST SUPERSTAR 'SHOCK ' EMBLEM
Making, as it does, for stark and intriguing imagery, there seems to be no concrete source of information that details the consolidation of influences for the Antichrist Superstar “shock” logo, used most prominently on the ensuing Dead to the World tour, and as staple artwork for both the record itself, and the ensuing EP, Remix and Repent. If one traces a succession of identifiable comparisons between the emblem and other cultural imagery, the trajectory becomes more satisfying.
Whilst not meant to literally invoke or advocate 'Nazi' ideology, it can be argued that Marilyn Manson has taken the original context of Nazism, (Much like the Nazis did with Antichrist Superstar's biggest philosophical influence, Nietzsche) and reassigned it to his own in order to identify the evils of totalitarian government and organised religion.
The 'Antichrist Superstar' is one created by factors, as much as he is in opposition to them -- "I am your shit, you should be ashamed of what you have eaten" -- signifying that any immediate link with fascism in Manson's visuals is representative of how meaning is changed and moulded to fit the message of a vocal group, in the same way that preachers do.
The images below are from various Nazi insignia, much of which was in turn stolen from areas of the occult, magicks and religious symbolism, all of which are re-designated on Antichrist Superstar.
CYNICISM • HOMAGE • MISAPPROPRIATION
Three examples given of the shock symbol for all electrical products.
It appears on goods which could cause electric shock if handled improperly or damaged by the user.
The theory has been attributed that as a premeditated in-joke, Manson used this in anticipation of the "shock rock" tag he would no doubt be sullied with after releasing Antichrist Superstar.
For comparative purposes, scrutinise the Antichrist symbol in connection with the aforementioned images.
To further theorise the origins of Manson's appropriation of it, you'll no doubt agree bowie alladin sanethat the second image from the two above was incorporated or at least looks incredibly similar to the strike worn by David Bowie on his Aladdin Sane album cover, as seen second left.
The zig-zag was adapted from an earlier image of Bowie's, which was the backdrop to his final Ziggy (probably a pun) Stardust performance at Hammersmith Odeon.
Also interesting to note is that Bowie wrote and recorded a song in 1970 called Lightning Frightening, which was due to feature on The Man Who Sold The World, but was dropped. It later appeared on a re-released version of the album in the early nineties, and features this interesting lyric:-
I'll give you back my right to be free
Whether intentional or not, you can make comparison between both the use of the lightning motif, and the duality of the sun and the moon, something featured in other areas of Manson's work ["the moon has now eclipsed the sun" being one if the chief lines from Antichrist Superstar itself].
The images above compare the Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane emblem, included on a banner reminiscent of Nazi rally decoration, to the same set design used by Marilyn Manson on various performances of the song Antichrist Superstar, thus linking it to the original point of this analysis.
Much has been made of the similarities between Manson's "rally”. It would appear that as well as Bowie's design, the backdrop composing banners adorned with the Antichrist symbol were similar to the same style banner used by the Nazis at their rhetoric based "political" assemblies.
Marilyn Manson, ever the wry critic, has no doubt noticed the equal similarities between the set-up of those rallies and presidential speeches. Televangelist gatherings and speeches by the Pope bear similarity also.
Compare these images of both John F Kennedy at a Presidential address, and the live performance of The Beautiful People at the 1997 MTV Awards:-
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