A few weeks ago, on his promotional tour for his new album Eat Me Drink Me, Marilyn Manson decided to tell the world a secret. No, he's not the illegitimate son of Jerry Falwell. No, he and Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains are not going to team up to win souls for Jesus Christ.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
No, Manson's big secret is that he's a big Justin Timberlake fan. Really big.
On a BBC One radio show, he gushed like a sorority girl about how inspired he gets listening to him. He admitted to carrying a photograph of Mr. Timberlake wherever he goes. The former God of Fuck even trotted out his own acoustic version of "What Goes around Comes Around" with guitarist Tim Skold. Granted, the cover was atrocious and sounded stilted and wholly unnatural, but it was one of the most surreal moments in recent musical history. For an artist of Manson's stature and reputation, this is either an odd cry for attention, or some sort of calculated inside joke we peons aren't meant to get. Did his new 19-year-old girlfriend put him up to this? (It all smacks of Absinthe-fueled jackassery.)
In the span of ten years, Manson has turned from scourge of parents and the religious (f)right to a blubbering pop fan-boy. He used to scare old ladies and enthrall teen girls to carve their bodies with his initials. People blamed Columbine on him, but in retrospect that prospect seems ridiculous. The man is clamoring for time with a former member of 'N Sync, a former Mouseketeer. That's the cultural equivalent of Eminem singing a duet with Elton John. That actually happened? Holy shit! Where was I?
Maybe Marilyn can teach us all something about letting our inner geek flag fly. If the same man that used to urinate on deaf girls can get down to "SexyBack," then each one of us can find the courage to express our inner musical secrets. Maybe after a lifetime of debauched excess and shocking behavior, there are no more limits. Even the ones that keep us from falling in love with skinny, vain, ex-boy-group singers?