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Thread: Born Villain

  1. #11
    The Wax Gentleman's Avatar
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    Flower and Gun References


    Victorian era poet Charles Baudelaire, being an obsessive perfectionist, strained over every last word in this thin book of poetry for years and years before finally allowing it to be published, only the French government vetoed over half the poems for “obscene content,” (the book containing numerous then-controversial themes such as homosexuality, death, and vampires,) disallowing six poem’s publication. Baudelaire was charged 300 francs.

    Aside from these tabooed subjects Baudelaire found intriguing, Le Fleurs Du Mal muses over subjects such as good and evil, human nature, separation of the physical body and the spirit, self control, and artistry, themes all considered by Marilyn Manson in Born Villain.

    “Folly, error, sin, avarice
    Occupy our minds and labor our bodies,
    And we feed our pleasant remorse
    As beggars nourish their vermin.”
    -Charles Baudelaire, Au Lecteur, Le Fleurs Du Mal

    Here, Baudelaire is acknowledging the sins of the world, so to speak, or perhaps it is our own sins, and it comes full circle, turning us into miserable vermin, and wretched villains. We are not over, nor underneath the path of misery, we are both engulfing it and engulfed ourselves, we are overneath.

    “The Devil holds the strings which move us!
    In repugnant things we discover charms.”
    -Charles Baudelaire, Au Lecteur, Le Fleurs Du Mal

    If the devil truly holds the strings which move us, then Baudelaire is suggesting we cannot be responsible for our own actions, that we are all insignificant and victims of fate. In repugnant things we discover charms suggests an alchemical theme, turning something dull, boring, or even grotesque into something beautiful. Born Villain apprehends concepts vastly similar to these, such as fate vs. free will and alchemy.

    “What does God do with the wave of curses
    That rises every day toward his dear Seraphim?
    Like a tyrant gorged with food and wine, he falls asleep
    To the sweet sound of our horrible blasphemies.

    The sobs of martyrs and of tortured criminals
    Are doubtless an enchanting symphony,
    Since, despite the blood that this pleasure costs,
    The heavens have not yet been surfeited with it!”
    -Charles Baudelaire, Le Reniement de saint Pierre, Le Fleurs Du Mal

    A sacrilegious statement to be sure, decades ahead of it’s time. Baudelaire, early into the book, is already questioning society’s values and morals, and what makes a person who they are.

    The book goes on with a surge of chaotic thoughts and ideas swirling around your head, is one responsible for anything? What should one believe? Or should one believe anything? Is God responsible? Satan? Life should be lived to it’s fullest. But it’s so menial and confusing! The book doesn’t mean anything as a whole if closely inspected. But if you step back and look at the big picture it makes a grandiose statement.

    Flowers cannot be evil. If flowers cannot be evil, neither can human beings. Human beings are as delicate, and always innocent as flowers are and will be. If a flower doesn’t reach full height, dies early, or dries up, this is a result of it’s nurture, not it’s nature. Do any of us really have our own true nature? When born, we are blank canvases waiting to have paint thrown on us by the media, lovers, parents, religion, and anything else that might come our way. To find any degree of true nature within us, we must look deep inside our soul and be at total peace with our innermost feelings, again turning towards the I-Ching philosophy. (See “Logo and I-Ching philosophy.)

    Painting by Marilyn Manson, ‘Le Fleurs Du Mal’

    Apart from the entire album’s concept, similar to that of Le Fleurs Du Mal, the most blatant reference to the book by Charles Baudelaire in Born Villain is the seventh track on the album, The Flowers of Evil.

    To better understand the metaphor, here are all the direct lyrical references to flowers in Marilyn Manson’s career.

    “Because your lies have watered me, I have become the strongest weed.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Kinderfeld

    “Collapse me like a weed.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Man That You Fear

    “All the vases are so broken, and the roses tear our hands open.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Great Big White World

    “She put the seeds in me, plant this dying tree.”
    -Marilyn Manson, In The Shadow of the Valley of Death

    “We slit our wrists and send us to heaven. The first flower after the flood.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Valentine’s Day

    “…In your garden, and they’re waiting to grow and die like flowers do.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Diamonds and Pollen

    “The grass is greener here, I can see all of your snakes.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Putting Holes in Happiness

    “You’re a flower that’s withering, I can’t feel your thorns in my side.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Devour

    “You’re a little pistil and I’m fucking pistol whipped.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Pistol Whipped

    “You’re not a shoven, I’m not your dirt.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Overneath the Path of Misery

    “Soon it becomes a struggle for sunlight, or rain, or weeds.”
    -Marilyn Manson, The Gardener

    “The day they covered us in the dirt, like stars in the ground that will grow into dead flowers.”
    -Marilyn Manson, The Flowers of Evil

    “I can give you a dozen, fresh, cut, pink or red or white, I wonder if they knew what they would grow to become.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Born Villain

    All these flower references come back to the natural cycle of growth, change, and destruction. Only not in a synthetic way, in a completely organic way. The natural increase or decline of things, and the positive and negative sides of growth and decay.

    Photograph of Charles Baudelaire

    Marilyn Manson in photo shoot for V magazine with a similar attire to that of Charles Baudelaire

    The Victorian era is one that spawned many poets, writers, and other artists Marilyn Manson is fond of referencing in his work, Charles Baudelaire most frequently in Born Villain. Thus Manson can be seen in various Victorian-inspired guises within the Born Villain imagery.

    Marilyn Manson in photo shoot for Born Villain with Victorian inspired dressware

    Marilyn Manson in photo shoot for Revolver magazine, with Victorian inspired dressware, and a flower on his left shoulder

    Marilyn Manson with Victorian inspired dressware on the Hey Cruel World… Tour

    In addition to flowers, guns have their extensive place in Born Villain, often placed side by side with the flower metaphor.

    The war in Vietnam, which Manson’s father fought in, alienating many people all across the world, was protested against on October 21, 1967 by large groups of people. Though it was a peaceful protest, the government sent in the National Guard, and as they were threatening the protesters, the protesters stuck carnations in the barrels of their guns, a visual representation of the statement “Make Love, Not War.”

    Iconic image of a flower in the barrel of a gun

    Manson has expressed his appreciation of this iconic image in multiple interviews over the years, but he really brings it into his art with Born Villain.

    “I don’t know where all this 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.”
    -CNN Q&A with Marilyn Manson

    Marilyn Manson in photo shoot for Born Villain with a gun shaped halo

    Marilyn Manson holding a guitar like a gun on the Hey Cruel World… Tour

    Marilyn Manson holding three fingers like a gun in the No Reflection music video

    Here are the direct lyrical references to guns in Marilyn Manson’s career.

    “One shot and your world gets smaller.”
    -Marilyn Manson, The Reflection God

    “Boy’s fifteen, but he’s sixteen gauge.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes

    “Dear God, your sky is as blue as a gunshot wound.”
    -Marilyn Manson, GodEatGod

    “I’ve got a crush on a pretty pistol, should I tell her that I feel this way?”
    -Marilyn Manson, The Love Song

    “She tells me I’m a pretty bullet, an imitation Christ…”
    -Marilyn Manson, The Love Song

    “This is evolution, the monkey, the man, and then the gun.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Crucifiction in Space

    “Do you love your guns, god, the government?”
    -Marilyn Manson, The Fall of Adam

    “Her mouth on the metal, the lips of a scared little girl.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Count to Six and Die

    “This is loaded if I open them, I’ll see you and I’ll blow your heart to pieces.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Devour

    “And I’m like a gun, not easy to hold.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Leave A Scar

    “…A gun’s cliche…”
    -Marilyn Manson, No Reflection

    “You’re a little pistil and I’m fucking pistol whipped.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Pistol Whipped

    “…The handsomest gun and put the diamond bullet into your 404 Error face.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Disengaged

    “…You can’t shoot the lock.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms

    “The one with bullet holes for eyes.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day

    “And you know I’m loaded, but not which chamber, touch me and I’ll go click click click click click.”
    -Marilyn Manson, Born Villain

    Destructive themes run through Manson’s artwork, and most often guns are the cause of it. For guns represent synthetic change, abrupt change, manipulative change.

    And so we are dished out another dichotomy. Flowers represent natural, organic decay or decline, while guns represent artificial and destructive change. Accepting change and growth is a positive thing if it’s natural, but if it’s forced it can be negative and disfiguring, both emotionally and physically. With this concept in mind, the villain is the flower, while the hero is the gun. Contrary to popular belief, but it does perhaps make more sense.

    Screenshot from the No Reflection music video where flowers can be seen on the table

  2. #12
    The Wax Gentleman's Avatar
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    Song By Song References

    Born Villain album cover

    “Restriction creates the desire to have the necessity or the determination or confidence to deal with your situation. It’s like a zombie movie, it’s like being in prison, it’s being stuck with one choice, survival. That’s what this record is. I was given a choice. When I started making this record, I decided that I didn’t like who I was. I didn’t want to be who I used to be. I wanted to be who I knew I could be, and that’s an evolving process. But the whole key to it is that if you stagnate, if you become something that no longer transforms, there’s nothing that’s inspirational about it. Whether it’s nature and you see a peacock, or whatever it is, you pick who you’re going to be in life and you need to be confident about it and stick with your gut instinct and don’t waiver. It took me completely stripping my life away, moving into a place with black floors and white walls, putting all my things in storage and just taking my movies, my instruments, my cats and realizing, “I don’t need anything else. All I need to do is fill this [room] full of something.” I’m trying to take things back to the beginning. I was not calculating that way, I simply needed to realize that this is life. I needed to realize what I wanted out of life. I suddenly realized that I was the one who sat and drew my first flyer. I went to Kinko’s, I printed it out, I put it on cars myself personally and I didn’t have any songs at the time. With this record, I’ll always remember more than any others. They weren’t happy memories all the time. Everything has to be ups and downs or you’re not an artist. If everything is happy, then who gives a shit, or if it’s just a straight line, I won’t give a shit either. If it’s down, which is sometimes where I was more often than up, it’s not inspiring. So I just wanted to make something that would make people feel something. I was playing it to people that were my friends. Some of them never heard my music before, never liked my music, whatever the situation was… but it’s a challenge and I love a challenge. I had forgotten how much I love a challenge.

    I think this will probably be the grandest concept record of all.”

    -Marilyn Manson interview with Revolver - ‘Reinventing the Steel’


    Creator, Preserver, Destroyer. Ask which one I am.

    This stanza has three religious meanings, each one referring to the creator, preserver, and destroyer of everything.

    The symbols above have their roots in ancient Egypt, pre-Hellenic Greece, Tantric Buddhists, and Hinduism. They stand for the holy Goddess’s three phases of the Creator, Preserver, and the Destroyer. This holy Goddess is one of a thousand names, including Maya the birth-giving Virgin, representing the creation of life. Durga the preserving Mother, raising that life and keeping it pure. And Kali Ma the death-dealing Crone, representing the destruction of everything. It is expanded upon in Hinduism;

    The Trimurti, the same concept edited to fit Hindu belief, is when the concepts of creation, maintenance, and destruction are all personified in three gods, Bramha, Vishnu, and Shiva, the Creator, the Preserver, the Destroyer. Trimurti translated directly to English means “three forms.”

    Ancient depiction of The Trimurti

    The third religious meaning of the Creator, Preserver, Destroyer line is one that fits into the I-Ching philosophy. Out of the eight I-Ching symbols of change, three of them reflect this stanza.

    I-Ching symbol “Qián”

    Creative, the father of the family, the head of the body, the sky, the horse. This is a strong, and creative person.

    I-Ching symbol “Kūn”

    Receptive, the mother of the family, the belly of the body, earth, the cow. This is a devoted and friendly person.

    I-Ching symbol “Zhčn”

    Arousing, the first born son of the family, the foot of the body, thunder, the dragon. This is a person with the ambition to cause change.

    There’s no drugged out devils or square-Halo angels walking among us.

    Here we are presented with another dichotomy. Angels and devils, an extreme opposite. Devils are known to be evil, cunning, and mischievous, and the word “drug” promotes offensive imagery in one’s mind. Square halos were painted on subjects who were deemed holy, but still alive, from 500 – 1100 AD in Europe. Hierophants, basically. A good example of this is the Pope.

    Painting of Pope Pachal

    Here is a painted portrait of Pope Pachal depicted with a square halo during his lifetime, around 800 AD. A prime example of the square halo.

    Angels are supposed to represent good and devils bad, but Manson, in his nifty ways, is having us look at it the other way. The Roman Catholic-church has had many legal cases over child molestation, and devils can represent change, and looking at things differently.

    Hey, Cruel World, you don’t have what it takes.
    We don’t need your faith, we’ve got fucking fate.

    Our cruel world is what turns a person into a villain, and at the same time, the world is cruel to the villain after the transformation.

    Fate vs. free will is an idea Manson likes to muse over, and the fate here is that he will turn into the villain, due to our cruel world. The idea of fate vs. free will is also prevalent in Le Fleurs Du Mal, Oedipus, and, particularly, Macbeth. The three witches in Macbeth are known to represents fate, which is sometimes cruel and harsh. At the beginning of the play they wear masks as they cite Macbeth’s prophecy. Not only does Hey, Cruel World read like a prophecy, but while performing it live, Marilyn Manson wears a mask, Twiggy Ramirez wears a mask, and Fred Sablan wears mask-like makeup.

    The three witches from Macbeth wearing masks

    Twiggy Ramirez wearing a mask on the Hey Cruel World… Tour performing Hey Cruel World

    Marilyn Manson wearing a mask on the Hey Cruel World tour performing Hey, Cruel World

    Fred Sablan wearing mask-like makeup on the Hey Cruel World Tour performing Hey Cruel World

    Twiggy Ramirez at a press conference in Lithuania

    Here is Twiggy Ramirez wearing a bindi, which origins are in Hinduism. Hinduism is alluded to in this song with the Creator, Preserver, Destroyer stanza. His hat and clothing are reminiscent of the witches from Macbeth.

    I am among no one.

    This line is a reference to the following journal entry, or perhaps vice versa. Whatever the way, the journal entry and the entire song are related.






    Brave Now World. Don’t ever believe what you read, especially if you are illiterate. Art will be the burning churches, burning beds, burning witches, burning bridges, burning Cadillacs, burning forests, burning flags, and the burning human remains that are the evidence of the burned books, filled with stories of our razor and rope burns.

    But we will not be the ashes. We will not be cremated, we will cauterize our wounds. We never wanted our wings anyway.

    We are more than the flightless creatures, that are always expected to rise from the bonfire. These are barbecues for trembling, idiot arsons who pretend to be America’s Vatican in whatever ‘ism’ is easiest to swallow. After the horrid blowing jobs, they expect us to fight against each other to obtain the security of willing slaves.

    We do not walk among them. I am among no one.

    Marilyn Manson

    This is obviously a statement on separating yourself from the pack, and following your own desires. Being alienated by the rest of the world. Because the rest of the world is cruel.

    The center of the universe cannot exist if there are no edges.

    We are all the center of our own universe. Our eyes observe things around us and relay them back to our mind, and wherever we go, we are the center of that place, in our own eyes. We are the meaning of our own life. Our life is simply what it is, life. However, a well known scientific theory is that there is no center to the universe, there are no edges, it is ever expanding. Taken as a metaphor, our minds think of ourselves as mortal humans, only capable of what we are capable of. But think of the things we could accomplish with the mindset of “I can do anything!” This stanza is saying that we are only limited by the limitation we put up for ourselves, and by knocking those down, we can spread throughout the entire universe and do anything. A perplexing theory, to be sure, for if we could do anything, would anything really exist?

    Essentially, Hey Cruel World is a prophecy. A prophecy telling us change is coming, and change is coming quickly. You will become your own creator, preserver, destroyer, and reinvent yourself, no longer a product of the cruel world around you. You will realize that you have no limitations, and you will find your true self, which is a mindset the rest of the world refers to as “villainous.”

    These are hidden images from depicting the cruel world we live in.

    Hidden image from exhibiting an army health advisory poster from the 1940s

    Hidden image on exhibiting a baby with an unknown disease causing it’s stomach to swell

    Hidden image on exhibiting a tumor on an unknown part of the body

    Hidden image on exhibiting a person with their face cut open with an axe

    Hidden image on exhibiting a homeless AIDS patient with scabies

    Hidden image on depicting George Bush dressed as a pilot

    Hidden image on exhibiting the mass grave in Treblinka

  3. #13
    The Wax Gentleman's Avatar
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    This line is obviously about Evan.

    Crushing, Cheating, Changing

    With this opening stanza, we are reminded of the Creator, Preserver, Destroyer line, and how it is all just one and the same. Sometimes the Creator has to crush, or destroy things to create, and after creating, the Creator must preserve their work. These are all traits of a villain. Sometimes the Preserver has to cheat the rules to preserve. This is a trait of a villain. Sometimes the Destroyer must change things to destroy, and after destroying, things are changed. Sometimes a person can be changed after trying to preserve something. These are all traits of a villain. The Creator, The Preserver, and The Destroyer are deemed holy, as they are gods. It’s true, they do good. But there are also numerous villainous traits associated with them. Everybody has a villainous side, and everybody has a good side. But what is good and bad? Nothing’s as black and white as that.

    Am I deaf or dead, is this constricting construction,
    Or just streets with rusty signs of something violent coming?

    This stanza represents a swirl of confusion, and, once again, the foreshadowing of dramatic change.

    This will hurt you worse than me,
    I’m weak, seven days, I’m weak.
    Don’t run from me I won’t bother counting 1, 2, 3
    I don’t know which me that I love,
    I’ve got no reflection

    The core meaning of No Reflection is finding you don’t know who you are anymore. You act differently in front of every person, in every situation, you’ve been so twisted by all the confusion around you, the cruel world around you, that you have multiple personalities. There is no one person that is you. You look in the mirror, and find you no longer have a reflection. And so you must kill off all the other branches of your personality, to find your one true core.

    In the video for No Reflection, Marilyn Manson serves dinner to his five female guests, each one representing a different branch of his personality. The green liquid he serves them represents a truth serum, giving them their first glimpses of the cruel world they live in. Before drinking, they perform a seance, metaphorically trying to make contact with something that’s been gone from Manson’s life for a long time, his innermost self. After being exposed to this harsh reality, the branches of his personality become zombified. They become villains. They become something that is not them, and they begin displaying the traits of a zombie, wreaking havoc, heaving up blood, etc. With sheer will power, Manson kills off the other branches of his personality, but tries to save one, his conscious. His conscious voluntarily sips the truth serum, desperately wanting to see what the others do. To save his conscious, (thus himself,) being utterly corrupted, Manson drowns it in the toilet, and therefor, with everything but himself lying dead, he has rediscovered who he is an has a forever clean slate to work with for the rest of his life. But this, too, is an act of a villain. For no matter what circumstance you’re in, it’s human nature to act like a villain. Villains represent us. This is where the violent foreshadowing has taken us. This is where the prophecy has taken us.

    Screenshot from the No Reflection video

    Screenshot from the No Reflection video

    Screenshot from the No Reflection video

    Screenshot from the No Reflection video

    Screenshot from the No Reflection video

    Screenshot from the No Reflection video

    The This will hurt you worse than me, I’m weak, seven days, I’m weak stanza is referring to how much it will “hurt” the other branches of his personality to be killed off.

    Don’t run from me, I won’t bother counting 1, 2, 3 is perhaps alluding to the lyrics, as written in his next song;

    1. A bloody nose
    2. A busted lip
    3. A blackened eye
    -Pistol Whipped

    Manson is telling his different personalities not to run from him, he won’t bother trying to coax them back. He will pounce. This is a statement on self control.

    Showed myself how to make a noose, a gun’s cliche, and a razor too.

    This stanza is Manson fantasizing how to murder his many personalities.

    I’m not a deathshare vacation, vacant station.

    This stanza is Manson telling us that after reaching his core self he isn’t a blank canvas ready to be drawn on again. He’s not a vacant station.

    Made of scars and filled with my old wounds.

    This stanza is Manson telling us what he’s made of now. He’s made of dreadful past experiences. He is no longer himself, but a product of today.

    Screenshot from the No Reflection video

    Screenshot from the No Reflection video

    The colour black represents all things evil, which villains are widely believed to be. Whilst undergoing the transformative process of turning into a villain, a black tar like substance begins seeping from the cracks in the wall and the corners of the floor.

    Marilyn Manson with a black, tar like substance seeping from his head on the Hey Cruel World Tour

    Screenshot from the No Reflection video

    Black, tar like substance rains down from the sky outside the window of the dining room.

    You don’t even want to know what I’m going to do to you.

    This stanza is, once again, Manson referring to killing off the parts of his personality that aren’t his.

    Religious Significance

    The video for No Reflection can also be viewed in a religious sense. After drinking the green liquid and being fed the lies of the Bible,

    Screenshot from the No Reflection music video depicting Marilyn Manson reading from a version of The Living Bible with reflective pages

    the girls realize what utter bullshit it is, and wreak havoc in the dining room, before perishing in their fit of frustration. Religion being the end of us all.

    Screenshot from the No Reflection video depicting bread and apples at the end of the table closest to the camera, bread and apples being two symbols of the catholic church

    So, what changes a person? What makes them a villain, other than being human, being mortal? Is it…

  4. #14
    The Wax Gentleman's Avatar
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    Yes, Pistol Whipped, being a song about a solely sexual relationship, the very title being a wordplay on “Pussy whipped,” is a song about synthetic love. You’re left feeling empty and somewhat confused after this song, as you often are after experiencing a solely sexual, empty, synthetic relationship. Synthetic love. Diving a little deeper, however, this song can also be taken as women who double cross and cheat men. The word “pistil” means the female part of a flower, and “pistol” means a firearm. She is beautiful, but she is cold.

    You look so pretty when you cry. Don’t want to hit you but the only thing between our love is 1. A bloody nose 2. A busted lip 3. A blackened eye
    You’re a little pistil and I’m fucking pistol whipped (Cock, cock, cock it.)
    When I undo my belt, you melt and you walk away. With a red, red, red, welt. Or so they say.

    Marilyn Manson holding a guitar like a gun on the Hey Cruel World Tour

    The line

    I want to have your ache and beat you to

    Is a reference to the saying “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” You might want to have a woman, but you can’t devour her, leaving her empty, and rendering your love synthetic.

  5. #15
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    “And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing. ”
    -William Shakespeare

    First Witch: “Where hast though been, sister?”
    Second Witch: “Killing swine.”

    Hidden image on exhibiting three hands, or three witches murdering a pig alive

    A stanza repeated often in this song is one that goes like this.

    No no no no no reason.

    That’s simply it. No Reason. The song is laced with confusing, seemingly random metaphors, all tied together with No Reason. Is there no reason for the metaphors? No reason at all? Themetaphors are all aiding to the concept of No Reason, in which case there would be a reason for the metaphors, and no reason to say no reason, but there would be, without a reason to say it in the first place, and so on and so forth. This gets the perplexing all over the place concept of No Reason in your mind, and then when Manson begins referencing villains from the past, you see the reason for No Reason. There is no reason for these villains turning to be villains. They’re just villains. At least, that’s what many think. There are very complex reasons for a person to turn into a villain, or rather be a villain, which is what everybody is born to be. It is extremely difficult not to be one, as what you do may bother a certain person while another adores you for it. Every person always will play both the roles of hero and villain.

    Your Macbeth confessed, Oedipus no longer present tense.
    Dad is missing an “e.”

    Macbeth killed his father in order to become king.

    This song also deals with the idea of blame, and how people play the blame game in order to feel better about themselves.

    You’re not a shovel and I’m not your dirt.

    This is alluding to the lyric in The Flowers of Evil:

    The day they covered us in the dirt, like stars in the ground that will grow into dead flowers.

    The dirt being our cruel world, all the lies, confusion, etc that some of us feel buried in. Your not a shovel and I’m not your dirt is saying that it’s not fair to turn somebody into the villain for no apparent reason, it’s not fair to turn somebody into the dirt. It’s not fair to turn somebody into the villain when they haven’t done anything

    Why die when you can kill the father?

    Why admit fault when you can pawn your responsibility off on somebody else?

    Hidden image on exhibiting Marie-Antoniette playing her harpsichord

    Marie Antoniette was a sort of scape goat of her time. A victim of all kinds of gossip, the public came to despise her for no particular reason at all.

    This song also demonstrates uncontrollable whirlwinds of emotion, and misery, that can turn somebody into a hostile hate machine, or a villain.

    Overneath, overneath, overblown, unbeloved, cannot be low.
    From the top of my lungs to the bottom of my heart I scream.
    At the chasm in between. And the path of misery.

    We are not over, nor underneath the path of misery, we are both engulfing it and engulfed ourselves, we are overneath.

    Born Villain & The Holy Mountain - Screenshots

    You’ll notice many of the images are showing the portrayal of women as sex symbols, and portraying people with physical disabilities as circus icons. How can one not be alienated to the extreme, or turned into a product of what’s represented here, as this is such a massive part of our society today?

    Marilyn Manson portrays extreme sexuality, violence, fascism, etc because that is what he sees. All these things around us in the media, talked about by other people, and buried deep inside ourselves. For we, as human beings, feel a constant need to belong. If we want to belong to this society that doesn’t view women as anything other than a pair of breasts, then we must first shed our humane values and morals, sit down, and shut up.

    Here is Marilyn Manson with a spiky metal gag across his mouth, symbolizing the porn industry’s total disregard of anything other than the female body. Not their voice, thoughts, interest, only their appearance, that is all.

    Stare into my Kodak Rome jackhammer ice eyes.

    “Kodak Rome” being a play on the word “Kodachrome,” a method of photography in which Kodak used a range of subtractive colours instead of light, in turn making the photo appear darker. A reference to darkness, villainy, and pornography.

    The video also deals with the idea of plucking your eyes out. When you voluntarily pluck your eyes out you are taking away your sight, or your sense, if you will, totally giving yourself over to the void. To be a victim of your own thoughts, to be a victim of belonging.

    At the end of the myth of Oedipus, Oedipus pulls his eyes out in a whirlwind of uncontrollable emotion.

    Black, white, and red are all the colours of alchemy, and they are also he three colours most frequently featured in the Born Villain film. The concept of alchemy ties in with turning something dull, boring, or even grotesque into something very beautiful. This is a concept prevalent throughout the entire album of Born Villain.

    In a nutshell, Overneath the Path of Misery presents us with more reasons as to why a villain might be a villain. Why we change. Is it temptation, society’s misogynistic view of women, uncontrollable emotion, or being blamed for everything? These are all feelings that can take you rather suddenly and wrap you around the path of misery and leave you to rot. Another step along the way of Born Villain.

  6. #16
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    Slo-Mo-Tion is what is illustrated above. A song about corruption in the media. Any form of media has a false, artificial-like air about it, and encourages human blindness, another reference to the “voluntarily plucking your eyes out” concept illustrated above.

    Hidden image on exhibiting ‘Hell’s Teeth’

    You’ve got your Hell’s teeth smiling at you. It keeps your brain safe as it eats at your face.

    Image depicting Hell’s mouth

    Originally appearing in Anglo-Saxon art, Hell’s Mouth is intended to depict the opening to Hell, which is the mouth of a massive monstrous creature. In regards to the song, this outlines the void we are about to enter. The artificial almost drug-induced lands of the media, and human ignorance. Hell’s teeth is also a common phrase, (“oh, Hell’s Teeth!”), and so the opening line, as well as the void we are entering, represents The Media’s way of twisting information to make it sound more thrilling and exciting, (ie. taking the “Hell’s Teeth” saying literally.)

    Hidden image on exhibiting gum disease, or ‘Hell’s Teeth’

    Often times when a person is watching television and they hear of rape, homicide, floods, disease, it doesn’t seem to bother them in the slightest, because, after all, it’s all in their TV. We’ve become so numb to themes such as death which should be talked about heavily, as they’re a heavy subject, And so the line It keeps your brain safe as it eats at your face is a reference to zombies, an ever-prevalent theme in Born Villain, and the way the Media will slowly eat away at us until we ourselves resemble zombies, while we stay in utter ignorance. The shell our brain has put up for ourselves.

    But don’t worry, we’ll blur it out and no one ever will know.

    Human ignorance again, and censorship in the media. With how ghastly it is already, what’s really the point of blurring out the breasts on the Howard Stern show?

    This is my beautiful show and everything is shot in Slo-Mo-Tion

    Slow motion was officially invented shortly after motion pictures were, but experts have reason to believe that it may have existed theatrically in ancient Japanese culture. The film effect of Slow Motion evokes suspenseful, awe-inspired thoughts, what the media is full of, but all of it being rather narcissistic.

    Pump in the laughter of dead audience applause.

    Canned laughter from the 1950s is still used on televised sitcoms today, and so this lyric has two meanings. One being that obviously all the sources of the canned laughter have now all passed away, leaving the canned laughter dead, the other being that dead audience applause evokes thoughts of a dead audience, a comment on the meaningless shock factor applied to everything nowadays.

    …And teenage rape candidates. I think we’ve got ourselves a real hit.

    This stanza is a statement on the newspaper headlines you can see walking past your local newsstand. Never will you see any “good” news so to speak, or even something of mild personal interest to you. All you can be sure you’ll see is pages and pages worth of stories of the personal trauma of families halfway around the world from where you are, and rare fictional “diseases” dressed to impress, only later identified as fake, making another huge splash, even though it was blatantly obvious to begin with.

    Don’t we wish we could feel something more than hate and more than panic? Morbid panic?

    A human emotion anybody with a conscience should be feeling for certain. Humans feed off of the misery of others in a televised, spoon fed fashion.

    Hidden image on exhibiting a photoshopped photo of a man being pumched in the face

    And I’m the host with Vaseline I hide behind bullet proof glass and I can feel your tits with my brand new camera equipped with a FLASH! Fast food nude I hate you all and somehow you find me incredibly charming.

    Vaseline is commonly linked to masturbation, as it is a preferred lubricant by many.

    The bullet proof glass line is a comment on pointless violence in entertainment.

    Undoubtedly a reference to the Howard Stern show, as he frequently invites topless women on stage for the sole purpose to squeeze their breasts. Also a comment on how many needs a camera or some other form of media, even if only relayed to their close friends or family to assure to themselves that they are an all powerful example of their own gender.

    Howard Stern invites nude women onto his show

    Howard Stern, being widely regarded as a douchebag, but a charming one, is referenced in the last stanza. This could also be a satirical lyrical representation of Manson’s career.

    But then again, all the hosts of these tacky shows, all the publishers of these newspapers, these women, these screenwriters, they have lives of their own. They’re not just acting like morons for the sake of doing so, they have an extremely complex background leading up to this as well. And though in Manson’s eyes they’re the villains, in another person’s eyes, they could be the heroes! It’s all entirely relative to the way you look at it. But as a whole, the media is corrupt, and it’s another reason a person might become vilified. Another step along the path of Born Villain.

  7. #17
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    If Pistol Whipped is a song about synthetic love, then The Gardener is a song about wholesome, organic love. Or maybe not so much. The song is a narrative for two flowers in a garden, representing two lovers. Manson draws a picture with his voice of a male flower who has finished growing, alongside a female flower that is still growing. He lists how he loves her and how dearly, but how meeting her friends is a horrifying prospect, and reality. The two flowers must fight together against wind, and weeds, and rain, a metaphor for all the things that might ruin a relationship with two people.

    I’m not man enough to be human. But I’m trying to fit in, and I’m learning to fake it.

    This is alluding to the mask concept, (outlined further in the post of the same name).

    Your book isn’t burned, it was never written.

    This is referencing the idea of a person “destroying” another person. Is there really anything to destroy? Anything to burn? A person’s book of moral codes hasn’t been burned, because it hasn’t been written. If they haven’t discovered themselves, then they have nothing written in their conscience, and it is impossible for the to “fall from grace,” so to speak.

    Another reason a person might transform into a bitter “villain” is because of, simply, women.

  8. #18
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    The day they covered us in the dirt,
    Like stars in the ground that will grow into dead flowers.

    Humans are born as radiant and beautiful as stars, and it is easy to bring that out. But they are immediately covered by the dirt of everything that makes up our world today, and they don’t know how to escape. Eventually, they grow into a dead flower. A flower has divine beauty, and death paints the word grotesque in our mind. For if a person has been planted in the dirt of society and watered with lies, they have become a zombie of sorts, something that isn’t them. They have never been them.

    Your body’s on me like sleepless spiders. Your touch is so empty.

    This is a stanza foreshadowing the zombie-metaphor-bomb we are about to experience, as well as portraying inconceivable amounts of emotion, impossible to write out in a logical, thoughtful way.

    I’ve been running from the bloodless for fear of exile for all of my sorceries,
    That shun the light.

    This stanza paints a picture in your mind of a scene from a horror movie involving zombies and villainy, both subjects prevalent throughout the entire course of Born Villain. This song doesn’t keep the album moving forward in the way the past few have, but it keeps the concept of change and villainy as the envelope for it all. Another step along the path of Born Villain.

    ‘Le Fleurs Du Mal’ painting by Marilyn Manson

  9. #19
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    Hidden image on exhibiting Elvis Presley as Christ

    Sacrifice won’t suffice. Resurrection needs your death to happen twice. Fall on my heart and burn and forge your tortured black smitten into the sharpest fucking sword

    This stanza represents the consuming and needlessly violent ways of Christianity, how it is a villainous religion in itself.

    Don’t assume that I’m always with you, it’s just where my mortal body happens to be.

    This line is referencing astral travel, the concept of mind leaving the body and travelling in the realm of energy, a Tibetan practice.

    No sineater to slay us Children of Cain.
    Watching monkey suicide, Sunday, AIDS, and church wine wash it away.

    Here Manson references the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. Cain, after realizing that God preferred Abel to him, struck his brother to the ground, blind with jealousy, and killed him. The Bible’s first villain.

    Painting depicting Cain striking Abel

    Given lack of sufficient evidence, sineating still exists in the realm of folklore, though it is believed to have had it’s place in England, Scotland, and Wales from the dawn of Christianity to the late 19th or early 20th century. The term sineater is a literal one, referring to a person who would go into a deceased person’s home, and symbolically eat their sins via bread and wine, allowing them to rest in peace.

    With this stanza, Manson is saying that if we’re all children of Cain, then none of us can be guilty for our actions, we are all products of Cain, and of God, again dealing with the concept of fate vs. free will. Manson is also saying that nobody is born a sinner, the term “sinner” shouldn’t even exist. We are sometimes confused by the circumstances we’re in, thus turned into a villain, but never a sinner, or a bad person.

    Sunday, being “God’s day,” AIDS, representing “homosexuality and the devil,” working as a scapegoat of sorts, and wine served in church are the three supposed holy comforts of any one Christian person, essentially washing away all the confusion and life’s problems, instead of confronting things.

    Christ consciousnesses manifesto the Golden Ratio,
    5 or 500 million years ago we were 15 foot high
    And to die was a Bardot Bridge(t) we never thought we’d cross,
    To burn down, behind and below.

    This stanza is, first off, referencing a Fibonacci math theorem where the number 5 is found extensively, accounting for the next few lines.

    Fibonacci’s ‘Golden Ratio’, sometimes referred to as the 'fingerprint of God'

    The next line representing the total inaccuracies of The Bible, especially from one gospel to another. 5, or 500 million, one and the same? “Psh, yeah, whatever.”

    In addition, an interesting theory is that 500 million years ago there were humans on earth, but in the spiritual realm, and we were giants. 15 feet high. Every time we died, we would come back in the form of a newborn child, giving us eternal life.

    “Bardot Bridge” is a play on the name “Brigitte Bardot”, who was a famous actress, sex symbol, and activist in the 60’s.A “bardot state” is an in-between state of awareness achieved through meditation, drug induced hallucinations, or even death. According to Christianity, after death you spend your entire life in heaven, thus the concept of death has never been fully accepted by Christianity, accounting for the line “death was a bardot bridge we never thought we’d cross.”

    Brigitte Bardot in a photo shoot from the 60s

    So take your little black book, I see the way that you look into it.

    I’ll eat it and I’ll cut my tongue.

    And all the pages you spread, sweet as honey you said,

    but I’m choking on your bitter stories.

    This stanza is a reference to this Biblical quote from Psalm:
    “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

    -Psalm 119:103

    This song is essentially illustrating the exclusiveness of the Christian faith, and how no other religious philosophies are taken into account. How it puts up barriers, rather than helps you discover yourself. And, most notably, it teaches you that you are born a villain, that you are born a sinner. Another reason why a person might turn into a true villain. Another step along the path of Born Villain.

    Hidden image on exhibiting a Satanic cliche

  10. #20
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    Similar to The Flowers of Evil, Disengaged is keeping the overall concept of change the envelope for all these different songs.

    And I could look into the crowded morgue of mistakes. The sun stopped it’s smile and frowned on me too.

    The sun is often depicted smiling, or with a cool drink. To have a sun frown down on you is difficult to achieve, and it must be taken as significant. The world is always cruel to the villain, and the cruel world shapes the villain. The sun, in an area where all the world can see, represents the world turning it’s back on a villain.

    My rebuilt, remastered heart has smashed into it’s faces, now it’s face is confused.

    If the faces here are the many personalities represented in the No Reflection music video, then this line is demonstrating how emotion can get in the way of common sense, and change you so much until you’re confused as to what you are.

    I cut my throat in two, I said sorry to you for being a fool, but I didn’t want forgiveness.
    It was regret, not an apology.

    Here he is finally getting to the core of who he is. He is rediscovering himself. And he is regretting becoming what he used to be.

    Dis, dis, dis, disengaged.

    He is no longer a loaded gun. He is no longer engaged, he is at total peace and harmony with himself. He’s been disengaged.

    You’re with me, against me, but the only thing forever is hate.

    In this stanza Manson is commenting on the uncertain people everybody will meet in their life, totally uncertain of anything, including their identity.

    I forget what I saw before and after that day. I’d trade all I was worth to make myself into the handsomenest gun and put the diamond bullet into your 404 ERROR face

    In comparison to everything else in his life, and how vivid his memory is of the day of his sudden mental viewpoint on things, he forgets what he saw the day before and after this change, after that day. The next lyric, however, demonstrates him having not fully matured yet, still wanting to shoot somebody or something in the face. Still wanting to to be destructive. Thus the path has not been completed yet. Another step along the path of Born Villain.

    You decide if you can live, you decide to let someone decide for you.

    The concept of fate vs. free will once again.

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