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kleiner352
05-14-2012, 05:02 PM
Everyone has noticed the recurring themes of Flowers and Guns throughout Born Villain. Obviously these are not new concepts for Manson's work, with flowers first being mentioned on Great Big White World ("all the vases are so broken, and the roses tear our hands open"). EDIT: Thank you too A Better Messiah and Brian219 for correcting me! it's actually on ACSS. Guns have been prevalent in all of his work but most notably were used in the Reflecting God, singing "one shot and your world gets smaller" and of course the entire Holy Wood era. I think if we're going to understand what the point of them are on Born Villain we need to look at his other work and get a sense of his general use of them.

Flowers and references to plants are used in (and if I leave something out, let me know, I'll add it as this is a work-in-progress):
Kinderfeld: "Because you're lies have watered me, I have become the strongest weed."
Man That You Fear: "Collapse me like a weed."
Great Big White World (aforementioned lyrics)
In the Shadow of the Valley of Death: "She put the seeds in me, plant this dying tree..."
Valentine's Day: "We slit our wrists, And send us to Heaven, The first flower after the Flood."
Diamonds and Pollen: the title referencing pollen, as well as "in your garden, and they're waiting to grow and to die like flowers do"
Slutgarden (no direct mention but the title is indicative)
Putting Holes in Happiness: "The grass is greener here, I can see all of your snakes."
Devour: "You're a flower that's withering, I can't feel your thorns in my side."
Pistol Whipped: the title can be seen as a pun on the pistil, the female part of plant, meaning he is pussy-whipped
Overneath the Path of Misery: "You're not a shovel, I'm not your dirt."
The Gardener: the entire song, but a most notable line being "Soon it becomes a struggle for sunlight, or rain, or weeds."
The Flowers of Evil: "The day they covered us in the dirt, like stars in the ground that will grow into dead flowers."
Born Villain: "Cut pink red or white, I wonder if they knew what they would grow to become."
I know that Obsequey has references to flowers but I can't remember the lyrics off the top of my head, and the Doppelherz film has numerous lines including "Keep watering a dead flower"
Also the video for Disposable Teens involves flowers growing from Manson's head. When played live, Man That You Fear would have a microphone with a dead flower attached to it. At some performances of Great Big White World Manson would beat himself with a bouquet.

I'm certain there are more but I'm both tired and lazy right now and don't feel like going down to minutia here. So my point is: from his body of work he seems to mention flowers in a sense of both growth and decay, the idea of flowers growing and dying. They can represent either positive growth or negative decay, but in general a sense of either natural increase or decline. Whether negative or positive it's always in an organic sense of it being natural. Also there's a cyclical nature shown, with lines like "keep watering a dead flower", or "to grow into dead flowers," "plant this dying tree", the idea that "when one world ends, something else begins", or "the first flower after the Flood."

Then there are guns (if I included all weapons it would get really tedious so I'm keeping this to exclusively guns):
The Reflecting God: "One shot and your world gets smaller."
Astonishing Panorama of the End Times: "Boy's fifteen, but he's sixteen gauge."
GodEatGod: "Dear God your sky is as blue, as a gunshot wound."
The Love Song: "She tells me I'm a pretty bullet, gonna' be a star someday." and "I've got a crush on a pretty pistol, should I tell her that I feel this way?" as well as "Do you love your guns...?"
Crucifiction in Space: "This is evolution, the monkey, the man, then the gun."
The Fall of Adam: the anthemic "do you love your guns, your god, and your government" lines recur, as well as "let me hear every one of you fuckers say you want a gun goddamnit let me hear you!"
King Kill 33: No direct line but it was originally titled Gun Factory which I consider noteworthy
Count to Six and Die: the whole song, importantly though "her mouth on the metal, the lips of a scared little girl."
Devour: "This is loaded if I open them, I'll see you and I'll blow your heart to pieces"
Leave a Scar: "And I'm like a gun, not easy to hold"
No Reflection: "A gun's cliche, and a razor, too"
Pistol Whipped: obvious
Disengaged: "The handsomest gun and put the diamond bullet into your 404 Error face"
Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms: the title and "You can't shoot the lock."
Murderers Are Getting Prettier Everyday: "The one with bullet holes for eyes."
Born Villain: "And you know I'm loaded, but not which chamber, touch me and I go, click, click, click, click, click."
It's clear that his view of guns are as destructive, man-made change devices that don't exactly work out positively but instead just destroy things. They cause change, directly and quickly, not in the organic sense of flowers. They're fast, abrupt and destructive. Nonetheless they're tools of change.

So, there's that duality again. Two sides of a coin. A flower is natural decline, natural change. A gun is abrupt and man-manipulated change. Themes of destruction run throughout his work, obviously, and guns are seen as a tool to cause it. To me Born Villain is an album about duality, about having to accept being two things at once, in this case being Marilyn and Manson. Having accept change and evolution and that they can be good things if they're natural but if they're forced, they don't have a positive outcome. A lot of that can be put into his personal life but I don't really want to go into that.

Manson has stated that his idea of a villain is the character that causes the change and shakes things up, the catalyst for a shift. I think the constant recurrence of two things that are presented as causes of change fits right in.

Other themes I intend to explore through this post later on that all appear on Born Villain:
Angels
Books
God
Love and abuse
Sense of Self (No Reflection is essentially all about identity struggles)
Fathers

Also this is a random unrelated thing but I noticed that the lines "I want to have your ache, and beat you too" in Pistol Whipped is a play on "have your cake and eat it, too".

brian219
05-14-2012, 05:13 PM
Very awesome post, sir. I look forward to more.

A Better Messiah
05-14-2012, 05:24 PM
According to this post, Manson himself is "the gun" at this point. He is the natural, man-made change. You also can't forget the line "Collapse me like a weed" from "Man That You Fear," way back on Antichrist Superstar!

brian219
05-14-2012, 05:33 PM
According to this post, Manson himself is "the gun" at this point. He is the natural, man-made change. You also can't forget the line "Collapse me like a weed" from "Man That You Fear," way back on Antichrist Superstar!

Yeah, I agree that he is now the gun. I'll go ahead out on a limb and suggest that all these folks who are getting doublecross and other tattoos (such as Depp's 'no reason' tat) might now be Manson's bullets. I haven't put any thought into that idea whatsoever so it may not actually make any sense.

Also, another plant reference: "because your lies have watered me I have become the strongest weed."

thatrussianman
05-14-2012, 06:00 PM
omg "I wanna have your cake...and eat you too." XD I never realized that was a play on the classic CLICHE

kleiner352
05-14-2012, 06:26 PM
omg "I wanna have your cake...and eat you too." XD I never realized that was a play on the classic CLICHE

Yeah, I didn't notice it until I mentioned the lyrics to someone out loud and realized how close it was! I love those lines since noticing it, it was subtle in a really nice way.

To A Better Messiah/Todd: I like that way of seeing it. I think the idea of Born Villain fits the thought of him being the gun after having tried to be the flower, trying to fit in and realizing that a slow growth and change isn't his thing, it's a rapid, unpredictable and possibly consequential one.

A Better Messiah
05-15-2012, 04:38 AM
I think the idea of Born Villain fits the thought of him being the gun after having tried to be the flower, trying to fit in and realizing that a slow growth and change isn't his thing, it's a rapid, unpredictable and possibly consequential one.

OMGz!!1! That totally makes sense in the context of "The Gardener" with the (in)famous "I'm learning to fa-fa-fa-fake it!!"

Sans Agendum
05-15-2012, 04:04 PM
omg "I wanna have your cake...and eat you too." XD I never realized that was a play on the classic CLICHEI read a review saying that was the worst line on the album.

Was like "Went over your head, poor sap."

brian219
05-15-2012, 05:18 PM
I read a review saying that was the worst line on the album.

Was like "Went over your head, poor sap."

Yeah, I'm constantly surprised at how many people keep saying they missed that. On my first read through when the album lyrics leaked that was the only wordplay that I didn't miss.

thatrussianman
05-15-2012, 05:58 PM
I wanted to start a new discussion but I don't know how to =/ Never been on a forum before XD
Anyway, I just read the Yin Yang article on wikipedia, and I KNEW from even before the album was released it had something to do with Born Villain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_yang

1. Obvious, Dark and Light, Male and Female, Marilyn and Manson
2. Black and White are significant on the cover and.. well just LOOK at the cover for No Reflection
3. Manson explicitly mentions the Golden Ratio in Children of Cain
4. The I-Ching! Check it out....

kleiner352
05-15-2012, 06:07 PM
Alright, it's time for us to talk about the Angel(s).

Angels were first largely introduced in Manson's work on Antichrist Superstar. Within it, there's the depiction of the Worm growing/metamorphosing into an angel. The idea of becoming an angel and getting your wings, so to speak, on the album is presented as a strengthening of the self, gaining power and certainty within yourself. Transcending your insecurities, taking power over your own life and becoming your own god. The referencing of angels throughout Manson's work seems to have the idea of someone powerful and strong, reaching their full potential.

Examples of usage (not a comprehensive list though if anyone feels that I've left any important ones out, feel free to chime in! This is just to get a feel for his view of the concept in his work up to this point.):
Astonishing Panorama of the End Times (demo): "Kill the king and break his wings."
Cryptorchid: "Each time I make my mother cry an angel dies and falls from Heaven....". "I feel my back it's changing shape...."
The ACSS-mantra of "...the Angel has spread his wings, the time has come for bitter things."
Wormboy: "Then I got my wings and I never even knew it, when I was a Worm thought I couldn't get through it."
Count to Six and Die: "I've got an angel in the lobby, he's waiting to put me in line..."
Hey, Cruel World...: "There's no drugged-out devils or square haloed angels walking among us."
Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day: "I hear the horrid voices of someone else's angels."

Angels are brought back into Manson's work for the first major time since ACSS (if this is incorrect, let me know). Why?

Well, in Antichrist Superstar it's a symbol or concept of strength, of self realization and achieving your potential. On Born Villain it's almost a negative connotation, accusing others as pretending to be angels, being false (not truly realized individuals, rather people trying to pretend they are).

Square-haloed angels refers to the practice of those commissioning religious paintings to have themselves added in as angels, commonly with square halos. This obviously is the idea of someone falsely appointing themselves as an angel, something pure or glorified. On the same song there are the lines "You don't have what it takes, we don't need your faith, we've got fucking fate." They don't have what it takes to truly realize their potential, they have to lie and pretend, they have to sell the idea to others instead of being all they can. They have "faith" that one day they will be, they have faith because they are afraid of being who they are, whereas Manson's "got fucking fate", not needing to believe in something else beyond himself to feel secure in life.

The concept of self-appointed false angels works into Murderers... as well. "The horrid voices of someone else's angels"- others who people view as angels, but Manson hears as spouting lies, claiming to be pure, strong, and powerful. Possibly false leaders, religious leaders, etc. The idea of being a Born Villain, being the one to incite change, to be who you really are instead of conforming is what fits in with Manson's idea of an "angel" on ACSS. If anything the two are one in the same. The Angel is the Born Villain. "I was born into this."- Man That You Fear. The concept of being the influence and not the influenced, the one creating the change or destruction and not the victim of it.

I want to get more into the connection between Born Villain and the Triptych later on, and I plan to do so (the "drugged out devil" is Adam/Omega/The Worm, specifically the MA piece of the Triptych)

brian219
05-15-2012, 06:33 PM
My understanding of the angel phase seems to differ from the idea that you present here. I was under the impression that the "angel" was simply the middle step between worm/boy/nobody and the disintegrator figure. The angel being the phase where he finally realizes that the revolution was sold out and hollow, the wings scabbed. Note the "rapeture" post's mention of wings being torn off and never having needed them anyway. To me that journal post heralded the arrival of the disintegtator, or villain, who will now destroy what he has created. The angel was always a hollow attainment.

Sans Agendum
05-15-2012, 11:01 PM
Monkey>Man>Gun

Duh

Dronepool
05-16-2012, 01:44 AM
Negative 3-

give me your hand i'll never give you flowers your touch can't begin to satisfy my...



semi off topic- Meat For A Queen sorta omens Children of Cain-

"You don't need your worthless mortal body"

Sans Agendum
05-16-2012, 11:10 PM
^Are you high?

Dronepool
05-17-2012, 01:10 AM
What does that have to do with anything? He used the word 'flowers" and it should count even if it's pre-POAF.

Manson15Marilyn
05-18-2012, 10:18 AM
But you have to remember, in most of those songs in the past the flowers represented something different than they do on this new album. Plus, this album has more references to flowers than on passed albums. Manson has said a couple things about the flower imagery on the album, though:


I don't know where [the flower imagery] came from essentially. Maybe it's because my dad was in Vietnam and there's an iconic image of the flower being put into the rifle.

A pistil is obviously the female part of the flower and I think that this record and everything on it is an implied threat.

brian219
05-20-2012, 04:28 AM
Flowers (and trees, actually) fit the three phase evolution as a linear construct: roots, stem, blossom. Admittedly, the blossom is more complex than all that, having a stamen, pistil and petals, but I think we mostly look at the head of a flower as one thing. At least I do.

The main parallel I see is with the rising aspect, going from in the dirt, as the root, to becoming the stem and climbing out to finally reaching the height and blooming. I see this concept as parallel to Holy Wood especially, where the valley is the dirty root and Holy Wood the pretty blossom sitting up high. But really it could be a metaphor for anyone who tries to climb to higher things. In Manson's case I think there's a sense of dissatisfaction because although he achieved his height, it didn't bring happiness. He became the bloom and found he was no better off than as the root. Maybe this is off base but it's just a thought I had listening to Diamonds and Pollen.

Sans Agendum
05-20-2012, 08:45 AM
But you have to remember, in most of those songs in the past the flowers represented something different than they do on this new album. Plus, this album has more references to flowers than on passed albums. Manson has said a couple things about the flower imagery on the album, though:

"They slit our throats like we were flowers"
"The first flower after the flood"

I could go on. He's pretty much always used flowers as metaphors for people. How exactly is he using the metaphor 'different'ly than he has in the past? It's always been about how people grow and change and are used and destroyed for shallow reasons.

Manson15Marilyn
05-22-2012, 08:29 AM
Yes, I already knew he uses flowers in other albums...

What I was getting at is that this album is unique to the others, and the way he uses flowers in each album is different.

However, his connecting women to pistols has to do with flowers; and has been the same throughout. Although, there are only one other time I can remember him referring to a woman through the image of a pistol. And that was in The Love Song. Then, of course, there's Pistol Whipped.

But for example, The Speed of Pain flowers are only briefly mentioned to describe the stars in space (The Beautiful People in HOLY WOOD); as that set of 7 (Great Big White World, Mechanical Animals, Disassociaive, The Speed of Pain, Posthuman, Coma White) were all internal not only to the main character but whom the main character represented; Manson. These seven are about Omega's life in space, somewhere he didn't feel he belonged, and the stars were all drugged up; and he was too because he was a star as well. And then there was Coma White.

Anyways, the flower was just a way to describe how dead the stars were; figuratively of course. Nothing to do with growing, it has to do with how people cutting the flowers in their gardens to make them appear perfect.

And in Valentine's Day, its more about the emergence of an entire people (The Beautiful People) because of the events of the past (The bullets and flies). Rather than the growth of a person or people together.

kleiner352
05-22-2012, 03:46 PM
].
But for example, The Speed of Pain flowers are only briefly mentioned to describe the stars in space (The Beautiful People in HOLY WOOD); as that set of 7 (Great Big White World, Mechanical Animals, Disassociaive, The Speed of Pain, Posthuman, Coma White) were all internal not only to the main character but whom the main character represented; Manson. These seven are about Omega's life in space, somewhere he didn't feel he belonged, and the stars were all drugged up; and he was too because he was a star as well. And then there was Coma White.

Anyways, the flower was just a way to describe how dead the stars were; figuratively of course. Nothing to do with growing, it has to do with how people cutting the flowers in their gardens to make them appear perfect.

And in Valentine's Day, its more about the emergence of an entire people (The Beautiful People) because of the events of the past (The bullets and flies). Rather than the growth of a person or people together.

First off the entire space thing on MA is just a metaphor for feeling isolated and cut off, and the whole alien thing is yet again a metaphor for feeling like you do not belong. That's the whole point. Come to think of it, it connects very well with "I'm not man enough to be human, but I'm trying to fit in, and I'm learning to fake it". Yes, there's a story, but come on, to say that the flowers is actually talking about people cutting flowers to make a garden look pretty and nothing more, when we're talking about a man who constantly uses metaphors, is a little absurd.

And the first flower after the flood comment is open to interpretation, I enjoy yours but I do see it quite differently. It connects back to "when one world ends something else begins" and the entire cyclical nature of Holy Wood and the rest of the Triptych.

Dronepool
05-22-2012, 04:41 PM
"They slit our throats like we were flowers"
"The first flower after the flood"


He actually got ""The first flower after the flood" from El Topo. But yeah-


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFo50ECyDI0

Manson15Marilyn
05-23-2012, 11:41 AM
First off the entire space thing on MA is just a metaphor for feeling isolated and cut off, and the whole alien thing is yet again a metaphor for feeling like you do not belong.Stars in space = the beautiful people in Holy Wood

Listen to track 15 on mechanical animals. Omega was like an alien in space because he didn't belong among the stars.


Come to think of it, it connects very well with "I'm not man enough to be human, but I'm trying to fit in, and I'm learning to fake it".What I offered also connects with that line.


Yes, there is a story.Well, what's the story then?


to say that flowers is actually talking about people cutting flowers to make a garden look pretty and nothing more, when we're talking about a man who constantly uses metaphors, is a little absurd.Yes, he is a man that constantly uses metaphors but they're not limited to always being the same throughout. When you think about what mechanical animals is about, it makes perfect sense. People cut their flowers in their gardens to make them appear "perfect", and our celebrities (gods in the TV) are made to appear "perfect" the way our society defines it. So its still a metaphor, just not the same one it meant in the album before, or in the album after.


He actually got ""The first flower after the flood" from El Topo. But yeah-


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFo50ECyDI0Oh, thank you! I was actually looking everywhere for the title of the movie he got that from. I'd heard that long ago, but forgotten all about it. XD

Sans Agendum
05-23-2012, 11:46 AM
He actually got ""The first flower after the flood" from El Topo. But yeah-


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFo50ECyDI0

Yes, I was aware of this.