People don’t seem to understand (or appreciate) the power of fear, of what you can achieve or how far reachilg your influence can be if your percieved as a threat, as something dangerous.
I was watching an old CNN report on Marilyn Manson from 1998, right around the time Mechanical Animals was released, that someone posted on Facebook, and it had snippets of ‘fan commentary’, people saying why they liked him, what they thought about his music, his look, his message. In it, one guy was talking about how with the new look, maybe less people will get scared away and maybe more people will understand what his message actually is. The guy that posted it included his own commentary: “It’s sad that not many people ever took Manson seriously or understood what it was all about. What really gave him a bad reputation were all the kids buying his stuff just to piss off their parents.”
It’s my contention that a lot of people took him very seriously, in large part because they percieved him as a threat (to their kids, to their beliefs, to the youth of america, etc). The fear he inspired arguably played a significant role in so many people being exposed to him; whether they hated or loved him, they new who he was. That’s not sad at all. What I used to think was sad is how people got accustomed to it, started looking at him as a human being, as just a man. And maybe he even started looking at himself that way instead of trying to embody and be living representation of his concepts and ideas. When you’re not a threat or an idol, it’s easier for people to turn their attention elsewhere. The thing is… people don’t worry about what he might do, because by now those that feared him – an even those that adored him – tend to see him as benign.
I had thought that was the sad part, before. But honestly, what I really think is sad isn’t that he might seem benign or that they’ve gotten desenstized to the kind of theatrics he’s he’s known for… it’s that people don’t appreciate just how dangerous he actually was. He seemed intelligent, soft-spoken, with a keen eye for uncomfortable elements/truths about Man, Religion, society, etc. and a talent for fucking with perceptions in such a way that it would threaten peoples lies about these things, the lies they comfort themselves with, and the lies they feed to their children. He was dangerous enough to inspire a United States Senator to hold up a copy of Mechanical Animals to his colleagues with the proclamation that “this is a hand grenade”.
Inspiring fear means your on peoples radar. And it gives you an avenue to enter through, to get something across one way or another. Whether it’s well recieved or not doesn’t matter as much as whether it’s recieved, and whether it’s a catalyst, an inspiration for thought or growth. It’s only one Gateway, and I grant without any hesitation that there are plenty of other openings one could take, but this is an effective one worth noting.