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S.D.
12-14-2010, 06:41 PM
There's been an idea forming at the back of my mind since The High End Of Low, and I wanted to draw together sources and notes in order to pinpoint what it is.

Although it's easily one of the most stirring and gruesome Manson songs in a long time, I've never been able to isolate what I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell was trying to discuss, but I think Manson is edging further and further towards the notion of Hell On Earth.
"Marilyn Manson will be the house band in Hell"
Marilyn Manson, 1996
I was so wrapped up in the (aforementioned) song I hadn't taken the title in its literal form, looking up from out of one place (burial) into another. I think Manson has been subtly hinting at the idea that humanity is so fucked, that human nature is so warped and counter-advanced, that we've forgotten we're flesh and bone, and can be killed, we can rot, we are essentially just waiting to be claimed back by the earth - "The minute that it's born, it begins to die"/"This is where it starts, this is where it will end".
The High End Of Low (the title itself reflecting the concept of a grave...?) sees Manson discussing things from the viewpoint of the deceased, or those accepting of their own fate:-


"I can see the coffin shining through my tinted window"
"Everyone will come, everyone will come, to my funeral to make sure that I stay dead"
"I'm sick of immortality"
"Call the grave and make a reservation"
"Timelapse and dancing, and rotting in place, and we've reached The High End Of Low"
"You can take me, the grave can take me, the earth is waiting to eat us alive"
"Never eat from the grave"



http://www.providermodule.com/news/uploads/grave_hand.png



Perhaps, "never eat from the grave" refers to not fucking around with nature too much, don't take anything for granted, don't play god, because you will be enveloped as a result.



I think the record (especially leading on from the "immortality" discussed in places during EAT ME, DRINK ME) witnesses a slow progression in Manson's mind from simple death, to understanding of true "destruction", this rather horrifying idea that he accepts the soil as the place we all go, and the refutation of Heaven and Hell - "Forbidden in Heaven and useless in Hell". That makes some sense to me in this light, you would be forbidden a place that doesn't exist, but useless in a Hell that already exists on mortal earth, like any of us.
Remember the rather adamant woman at the beginning of Dead To The World?: "When Manson gets there, he sure won't be the leader..." Maybe she was right? If Hell is on earth, no one is the leader, we're all fucked. And that brings home Manson's continuous notion that if you are only in charge of governing yourself, you have no one to answer to either.

Perhaps that's the real meaning of HELL ETC., it's not just about throwaway phrasology, but rather the idea that life is... "Hell, Et Cetera", and all the various ways Manson has discussed that in the past; Snake Eyes and Sissies, Anti-People, Mechanical Animals, Nobodies, Punk God Angels, Vampires, Rapist Werewolves and "Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin'-Geddon"...

I have other ideas to share, but are there any thoughts on this?

Shangri-LIE
12-14-2010, 08:34 PM
I have no interest in being a dead fucking hero so forget them. - John Lennon



I think that you've touched upon something that has perhaps been in the back of Manson's own mind since before he even emerged on the scene. I can see what you're trying to delineate with the lyrics/words of Manson that you've cited and how the establishing of HELL ETC is not just the inevitabally accepted outlook on art, and life that Manson has come to terms with, but also the realization that you're not going to change the world without expecting to die for it. At the same time, if you claim to be a revolutionary one has to eventually conceed to the fact that when you are martyred, you are just creating another corpse for another naive malcontent fuck to feed upon, reincarnate into, and start things all over again. Even if you don't want it.


"Go ahead and build a better messiah. We can dig another grave."
"You say you want a revolution and I say that you're full of shit"
"When I'm God, everyone dies"
"So I'll join the crowd that wants to see me dead. Because right now I feel I belong for the first time"


The point that I think you are getting to, S.D., and the point that I am getting to as well is that yes, we are all fucked, but we can still be fantastic motherfuckers. This shadow is ours to secure. This realm is for us to either burn in or rule in, and it doesn't matter if it is relevant to others or not.


"We know who we are and what we want to say
And we don't care who's listening
We don't rebel to sell, it just suits us well
We're the bright young things "


No matter how many components of Mansons art that we take whether it be lyrical, an excerpt from an interview, or a quotation of any kind, we can make what we want of it. With that said ... I think that we can now expect a true WARTIME FULL FRONTAL

Mary
12-15-2010, 07:53 AM
The line "The grave can take me, earth is waiting to eat us alive" from 'I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell' has always intrigued me, and now reading through your analysis it has jolted more thoughts on what it could be referring to.
I think it could support the concept you were talking about of 'Hell being here on Earth', and Manson writing from the viewpoint of the deceased. If heaven's forbidden/non-existent (Four Rusted Horses), and earth is being referred to as Hell, then when you are 'eaten alive by earth' and dead and buried, from the viewpoint of the deceased, you would then be looking up to 'Hell'.

This idea also reminded me of Numbers 16: 31-33. 31 from the Bible:


"The ground under the men opened up and swallowed them alive, together with their
families and everything they owned. Then the ground closed back up, and they were gone."



I think Manson has been subtly hinting at the idea that humanity is so fucked, that human nature is so warped and counter-advanced, that we've forgotten we're flesh and bone, and can be killed, we can rot, we are essentially just waiting to be claimed back by the earth.

This made me think of the lyric,"Timelapse and dancing and rotting in place, and we have reached the high end of low" - supporting the idea of life as time lapses, and people rotting here on 'earth' (apposed to the traditional/biblical perception of Hell) as that's all there supposedly is.

timoldbean
12-15-2010, 08:35 AM
Yeah, very gruesome song - I love the 'in the napalm heart I explode' line and 'the earth is waiting to eat us alive'. I find the song as coming to terms with something ... I don't see it as written by someone who wishes for a change in the world, but perhaps finds himself a home in hell.

I say this mostly because the song announces that it's found what the album was looking for all along ('we've reached the high end of low'). Considering the starting point of this journey - track 1, Devour, is certainly the low end of low.

But there's other reasons - like if you expand S.D's point of taking 'I have to look up just to see hell' literally ...by taking it more literally in that if you look at the tracklist of the album, you only have to look up from that song on the list to see hell (at least, Manson's own hell). From the desperation of Devour, through 'Armegeddon', Running to the edge of the world...there's alot of demons trying to be exorcised in all these songs but I think 'I have to look up just to see hell' in particular that finds meaning and perhaps even a sense of pleasure in being with these demons.. 'I love you damaged, I need human wreckage'. It's an admittance.

What I'm most confused about, however, is this verse:

'the core of a woman
is where her body
chooses to revolve like a corpse.
centrifugal, melted under the skin,
bacteria…
into the napalm heart i explode'

What could be meant by this? The first bit brings to mind a chicken on a turnspit - a revolving corpse, but that's not particularly melted under the skin but it does link in with the idea of devouring a woman / cannibalism that's no stranger to Mansons' work. But I don't get what it's doing here in this song.

Shangri-LIE
12-15-2010, 04:51 PM
“And in Hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments. . .” Luke 16:23


All very interesting replies. Earlier on I was entertaining myself with the thought that if you rearrange the word Heart, taking H, and putting it after T, you get Earth. With Hell literally being at the center of the Earth, and his heart being dragged through Hell in pursuit of his true love. So, with that said, Manson is actually talking about being completely devoted to/buried for this woman. Even if that burial is in a literal sense, where he is willing to die more with than for just to be with her forever. "You're just a coffin of a girl I knew, and I'm buried in you".


I don't feel like looking for the exact quotation, but I think that we all remember Manson saying that at his funeral he'd like to have a big bomb that killed everyone else that attended it. He even spoke about how if he hadn't written the song "Devour" on the day he did, it probably would have ended in a murder suicide.



"I was a hand grenade that never stopped exploding" - "I will blow your heart to peices".



To me "into the napalm heart, I explode" is Manson saying that if he can't have the woman he loves all to himself forever, even after chasing after her through Hell just to have her, then he'll blow her and everything else apart. Even if that literally means killing everyone else along with himself.

S.D.
12-15-2010, 07:07 PM
If heaven's forbidden/non-existent (Four Rusted Horses), and earth is being referred to as Hell, then when you are 'eaten alive by earth' and dead and buried, from the viewpoint of the deceased, you would then be looking up to 'Hell'.
Precisely, the Hell I have started to perceive through this song in particular is Hell of man's own making, which would surely make sense given that "we are our own wicked gods", no? Even tangentially, Manson has made numerous commentaries whereby man is the creative force behind the idea of Heaven or Hell, The Reflecting God being a perfect example: "I went to god just to see, and I was looking at me, saw Heaven and Hell were lies".
Also, during Wormboy, this seems pretty revelatory in relation to the topic:-
"When you get to Heaven, you will wish you're in Hell.
When will you realise, you're already here.
You'll thank us now, when you have crossed over"
It's all the same thing, this idea of Armageddon or Paradise or 72 virgins or enlightenment or whatever the fuck else it is people destroy themselves and others over, it's all already here on earth, we created god in our image and we created Heaven and Hell in relation to our deepest wants and desires, or guilts and fears. They, among other things, are the areas of psychology man couldn't comprehend before psychology had a name. They're good and evil, male and female, child and adult, the two sides of the brain, Marilyn and Manson "Etc".
If Freud had been alive when The Bible was written it would have probably ended up being one of his journals, and ironically there's plenty of parallels between both... You're in Hell when your own human nature is out of your control, and you're in Heaven when it is the governing force behind what you do, and who you are.


This idea also reminded me of Numbers 16: 31-33. 31 from the Bible:


"The ground under the men opened up and swallowed them alive, together with their
families and everything they owned. Then the ground closed back up, and they were gone."

That's a brilliant excerpt, I imagine you'd know the text better than I do given your upbringing, thank you for this. It reminds me of his book actually, remember the sections where Armageddon was discussed at Christian school? He said they told him; "You will know the beast has risen up out of the ground, because there will be heard everywhere a great gnashing of teeth" (I think the aforementioned woman from Dead To The World shares similar sentiments...)
But in essence, is this not true? I am not trying to make this topic seem morbid or futile, but essentially the cycle of human life (as mirrored in Shangri-LIE's quoted lyric "Some of us are really born to die") is a process of waiting to be eaten by the planet, it's inevitable, unavoidable, and the ultimate apocalypse; the destruction of everything you know - Your Self.
"When I speak about the end of the world, it may be in literal terms or it may be a matter of everything in your mind dying off and starting fresh."
Marilyn Manson, Seconds (http://www.providermodule.com/media/index.php?v=i/1996/boydrice_manson), 1996

"The whole world is what you make it and if you want to destroy it, that's easy to do. You can do it with just one bullet."
Marilyn Manson, Livewire (http://www.providermodule.com/media/index.php?v=i/1996/livewire), 1996


"But I have to show you, that you played a role
And I will destroy you with one simple hole"
King Kill 33


Timelapse and dancing and rotting in place, and we have reached the high end of low" - supporting the idea of life as time lapses, and people rotting here on 'earth' (apposed to the traditional/biblical perception of Hell) as that's all there supposedly is.
Absolutely, and a grand analysis of the text. Did you see the caption beneath Concentration Camp Sexy?:-


http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/151/m_a83c3145c6df450c92a22ff2f4246a11.jpg
"Besides the traditional aids/leprosy/crazy undead---
i have a strange fascination with the decomposition of a sex symbol.
Like timelapse film"

Why would you waste time being worried about the potential imaginary horrors of Hell, when there's so much damnation and decomposition happening right here and now?: "Our life is horror themed" (Manson, Scream Awards '08).


I think 'I have to look up just to see hell' in particular that finds meaning and perhaps even a sense of pleasure in being with these demons.. 'I love you damaged, I need human wreckage'.
Remember Are You The Rabbit?: "You can't escape, can't escape, all your demons, "Watch out, watch out, for your lovers"".


What I'm most confused about, however, is this verse...
You know something, that section is fucking terrifying, and I have no idea why. It's one of the bleakest things I've ever read from Manson's hand, and it's a severely underrated lyric, though I'm not sure it should ever even find a proper explanation. There's something there, hideous, dark sex, something primal I'm not sure people remember about themselves or their instincts anymore.

There's still so much more to add to this topic, and another theological avenue I'm thinking of branching into a separate one. Thank you for the thoughts so far everyone, I look forward to reading more.

Shangri-LIE
12-15-2010, 07:49 PM
I'm going to go into this later tonight, but S.D., when you mentioned "two parts of the brain", I was actually thinking of that about 4 hours earlier. It isn't the first time that I have, but it was something that I wanted to add but I haven't yet. I was reading through some of my booklets again tonight just while moving some things around, and I was thinking about how Manson seems to write lyrics/orchestrate the story from other "characters" vantage points, instead of it being a straightforward one track bio.

In the meantime as for "You can't escape, can't escape, all your demons. Watch out, watch out, for your lovers". It is actually a reccuring premise to his work. "Don't let them know how far you go or that you use you lovers" - "The day that love opened our eyes we watched the world end" - "I'd love you love you but my heart is a sore" ...ETC. All point towards the Heart being a realm in itself, one that you can consume eachother in, or be consumed by and forgotten. Either way, none of us are getting out of this alive. "Obsession, Obsession, Obsession, Obsession ..."

Dronepool
12-19-2010, 04:53 PM
"We are damned and we are dead
all god's children to be sent
to our perfect place in the sun
and in the dirt"

"They've cast the shadow of our perfect death
in the sun and in the dirt. "

A perfect place in the sun = heaven & the dirt = hell?



The line "You can take me, the grave can take me, the earth is waiting to eat us alive" always intrigued me and the way you summed up your post makes it more awesome. I like the revolving grave theme you highlighted there. I always thought of a 'cycle' when I heard that line. Now going by your themes, A Place In The Dirt always made me think of the grave. That's the first thing that I thought of when I read the name from the back of the CD.

S.D.
12-19-2010, 07:03 PM
That's really interesting reading Drone, I've thought about A Place In The Dirt before, but not necessarily in this context. Similarly, Shangri-LIE's observations about love and emotional distance/damage are good.
There's actually two further analyses that I should write before I forget, one of them I had considered making a separate topic for prior to this one, but as conversation has moved outside of The High End Of Low well enough, here is more appropriate.
From Fundamentally Loathsome:-
"And I am resigned to this wicked, fucking World
On its way, to Hell
The living are dead, and I hope to join them too
I know what to do and I do it well..."
There's two avenues here, the first once again being Hell On Earth, in the sense that Manson describes the world being headed for Hell, implying the two are synonymous. Also, Hell is where the dead live in eternal torment, which seems conducive with "The living are dead". Hell On Earth and Armageddon texts often explore the notion of limbo, dead spaces, the undead (remember Manson's explanation of Little Horn in his book...), so this seems to fit in with the idea. As an aside, I also think Manson may have had the essence of Bowie's We Are The Dead in mind when writing the song, especially given that Diamond Dogs explores a post Apocalyptic world, with commentary on death and barren landscapes.
Moving back to I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell briefly, it's interesting that chronologically, it is followed by Into The Fire on the album tracklisting, one could stretch to things like "Set the world on fire", and the obvious connotations of flames and the underworld, plus the Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin'-Geddon video:-


http://www.providermodule.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10001/normal_THEOL_Promotional_73.png


That video seemed to show suburbia (the burning house - 'god's house' - "If god crossed us we'd take all his drugs, burn his money and his house down"), and things one would associate with the world we know; "stupid teenage girls", the Police, riots, so perhaps more Hell On Earth commentary in there?

The other thing that occurred to me was a reiteration of one of Mary's analyses from the EAT ME, DRINK ME topic here: http://www.providermodule.com/forum/showthread.php/1812-EAT-ME-DRINK-ME?p=56414&viewfull=1#post56414
If you read from this post downwards, we discussed how the song EAT ME, DRINK ME has the possible personification of The Devil as female (The Red Queen), and "The Wasteland" as a representation of Hell. It all seems familiar now the various lyrics are being discussed, and there's other examples of The Devil as a woman, or related to the subject of women in Manson's work: "I never believed The Devil was real, but god couldn't make someone filthy as you" in Slutgarden, "The Devils are girls with Van Gogh's missing ear" in The Golden Age Of Grotesque (also referenced in the Armageddon video...). There's also this:-


http://i403.photobucket.com/albums/pp112/providermodule/Analysis/Baphomet.png

B A P H O M E T
[Note "The Devil's Tits"]


Manson has of course portrayed himself as the Baphomet numerous times. And then of course this...


http://www.providermodule.com/discography/images/ma/front.jpg




The Red Queen...?

Also, I guess the lyric "On it's way to Hell" and "On the way to the Red Queen" are comparable. Some things to think about and discuss perhaps.

Norsefire
12-19-2010, 09:27 PM
Some really nice thoughts in this thread and since we're looking at Earth being Hell, forgive me if I've over looked this, but these lyrics sprang to mind -

we light a candle on an earth
we made into hell
and pretend that we're in heaven
- The Death Song

The Empirical Guy
12-20-2010, 01:30 AM
There's excellent ideas on everyone's part all throughout this thread, so I won't go in to many specifics, but well done all.

There's one line that I can't believe people haven't beaten me to bringing up: the censored line from the end of ACSS, that is still used live:

"You might as well kill yourself, you are already dead."

Already dead? As has been said, is humanity that fucked? Are we on Earth actually the dead in Hell?

The only thing I'm not entirely comfortable with is the line from Four Rusted Horses, "Forbidden in Heaven and useless in Hell". Maybe I'm just being too literal with it, but given the rest of the song and my personal connection to it I find it difficult to hear that as anything else but a commentary on Manson's place in the music industry today - or rather the industry's views on him. But given the context of this thread, I can definitely see how you would fit it in.

The other interesting thing is the Baphomet painting. Baphomet traditionally has one arm pointed up and one down, pointing to Heaven and Hell, but this figure has both arms upwards. Maybe he has to look up just to see Hell. Also note that one arm is washed out and almost non-existent, it reminds me of the missing arm on the back of MA or in the video for I Don't Like The Drugs, which tie in with the Omega image S.D just linked it with.

Dronepool
12-20-2010, 11:32 AM
Good point.

It's the left arm that's missing as well, right?

The Empirical Guy
12-20-2010, 06:15 PM
Yes, same arm on both.