the NachtKabarett

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All Writing & Content © Nick Kushner Unless Noted Otherwise

Lustmord painting by unknown artist
from the book Voluptuous Panic
Lustmord, or Sex Murder, photograph of Dita von Teese.
Artistic collaboration between Marilyn Manson and Gottfried Helnwein

Certainly one of the most 'Grotesque' elements 'of The Golden Age' is that which the song Spade is about; 'Lustmord' or 'Sex Murder'. To reflect the degradation and depravity of the culture of the time, particularly in Weimar Germany after World War I was the artistic fascination of sex murder. The subject is not one that was by any means invented at the time period as it is a prominent and underlying aspect that has always existed in the human psyche, championed by de Sade, enacted by Jack The Ripper and analyzed by Freud. Like de Sade, who worshiped women and esteemed them as divine, and misconstrued completely as mere misogyny, giving a woman such power over a man's heart also gives her the power to destroy it. And with that destruction is the natural human instinct to reclaim what had been usurped, which is the what Sex Murder answers towards.

The fascination in art had been most prominently portrayed by the German artists of the 1920's and 30's, Otto Dix and George Grosz, an illustrator, artist and political satirist. The aim of both of these artists was the ability and courage to portray the ugliness and grotesqueness of the world unabashedly and unflinchingly, as is always the duty of the artist. And thus another parallel that can be seen immediately to Manson and his views towards art. Manson has cited Dix and Grosz, among the many artists demonized as "Degenerate" during the time and the two primary places Manson has reference Sex Murder is in his photographic art with Helnwein and in the song Spade.

The "painting pictures with words" imagery Manson uses often comes into play with Spade, as a Spade itself resembles an upside down heart which has been stabbed. Just as in the song his "sweet knife rusts tomorrow", covered in the color red and corroding with the stains of blood from the body of the lover who scorned him. "And we said 'til we die", being realized, although not in the manner it is traditionally said in, whilst the screams of the retribution sex murder victim can be heard after this line, personified by Manson, as well as the exhaustive aftermath of the murder, the climax of the song.

In recording The Golden Age Of Grotesque, much of the time spent was dedicated towards developing powerful beat driven rhythms. The beat of Spade that can be heard is the lethargic beating of a dying heart.

George Grosz, as Jack the Ripper,
Self-Portrait with Eva Peters in the Artist's Studio, 1918
The Menaced Assasin by Rene Magritte.
A surrealist depiction of Sex Murder.
Two depictions of Lustmord by Otto Dix, 1922