Marilyn Manson sits in his home studio with a glass of absinthe by his side, strumming an acoustic guitar and singing about a girl he once hurt. Now, Marilyn’s from Transylvania, where you are required by law to eat puppies for breakfast, so usually his confession of casual cruelty would be an occasion for pride, a signifier of his bad-ass beyond-good-and-evil übermensch status. But today, as he sings the painful lines, he feels something wet sliding down his face—and to his horror, it’s not blood.
From across the room, his nineteen-year-old fuckpuppet looks up from her Japanese torture porn to gaze at him, questioningly. “New contact lenses,” he mutters, and indeed, the pair he’s wearing today give him the appearance of hosting parasitic fetal aliens in his vitreous humours. “Totally gonna freak the mundanes when they get a load of these,” he drawls, and dabs his eyes. She nods, and returns to her reading. Marilyn Manson goes back to work, thinking he’s kept his secret for another day.
And across the room, the girl wonders: wonders what happened to the leather-tongued cockgoblin she fell in love with; wonders just who is this sensitive artist sitting in his place; wonders how on earth she’s going to tell him. Because it’s time, now. It’s time to tell him.
A cautionary tale, this week, from the case files of How Bad Can It Be?
I had to hold myself back from going on a tangent about divorce albums, in this piece. I would argue that Shoot Out the Lights still counts, even though it was completed while the marriage was still operational, if not actually functional. Phil Collins’s first disc, Face Value, is another one, and not coincidentally it’s the best of his solo work. What are some other classics of the genre?