Speaking on behalf of every misunderstood kid ever to attend grade school, the former Brian Warner crafted a persona and career for himself that celebrated weirdness by embellishing it to outlandish proportions. His stage name alone – a combination of Marilyn Monroe and the mass murderer Charles Manson – was conceived for maximum shock effect. With ghoulish pancake makeup and contact lenses that made him look like the undead, Manson presented himself as the "Antichrist Superstar." After the 1999 school shootings in Columbine, Colorado, the theatrical rocker was forced to defend himself against charges that his music had inspired the murderers (who, it turned out, weren't fans). He emerged from that incident as an unlikely voice of reason, expressing the hope that such "irresponsible finger-pointing doesn't create more discrimination against kids who look different."
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