Albeit evidently aborted for use upon the release of 'Eat Me, Drink Me' in 2007, the above montage is the official Celebritarian Corporation masthead which Manson conceptualized to embody the era and art movement he had been cultivating between 2004 to 2006.
It first appeared on MarilynManson.com as a static superimposed image on January 7th, 2006, was printed on a 'Marilyn Manson Celebritarian T-Shirt' on March 15th, and eventually reappeared again on Manson's website on April 25th as an animated interactive splash page which unveiled more of its secrets, and associated audio segments to it.
Outlined below is a breakdown of each element of the collage, all amalgamated and assembled together to embody the ethos of Celebritarianism, with each piece a representation of the themes Manson wished to portray.
Though 'Eat Me, Drink Me' subtly embodied many themes and visual elements of Manson's Celebritarian concept, the following outlines the original manifestation of the dawning of Celebritarianism.
|Click images for each element of the Celebritarian Corporation emblem.|
Andy Warhol 'Self Portrait With Skull.' 1978 (Contribution from Gilles R. Maurice) and Manson's masthead of the Celebritarian Corporation. An allusion by Manson which is yet another Warholian reference with 2006's resurrection of Celebritarianism.
Besides this obvious double connection with Warhol and Death, and another prominent Warholian allusion with the Monroe-like cascading multicolor photo montage that also surfaced during the era (a literal play on the 'celebrity' aspect of Celebritarianism in its iconography), Manson was already refering to Warhol back during the faltering steps of Celebritarianism, when describing his vision :
It's all really a metaphor for my own life, but the story [of the triptych], without giving away too much, takes place in an alternate dystopia of Hollywood where everything is taken to the extreme. It's sort of Andy Warhol's worst nightmare, combined with Scientology and communism.Metal Edge, July 1999 'Marilyn Manson - Revelations of an Alien-Messiah'
Despite the most obvious connection to the Black Death which Manson has previously stated as an influence, the Skull & Crossbones has connections to many groups, being a symbol heavily used by the Freemasons , the order of the Skull and Bones, Alchemists, the Nazis, the supposed Illuminati, the Egyptians, and even the Romantics and the Victorians. The acknowledgement of death (memento mori) served those groups as a vessel to undergo transformational rebirth, enabling them to acknowledge their own mortality, which then gave them the ambition to live their life to their greatest potential. This continual cycle of death, rebirth, and transformation is at the very heart of Manson's work.
The image encircling, and partially obstructed by Manson’s head, originates from “Les Devises Heroiques”, also known as “The Heroicall Devises of M. Claudius Paradin”, which was first printed in 1551 in Lyon by Ian de Tournes and Guillaume Gazeau. It originally contained 118 illustrations by Bernard Salomon, but was reprinted just six years later with 182 illustrations.
The Heroicall Devises is full of pages of tales and illustrations, specifically created for the point of relaying kernels of moral wisdom through fables (in many ways quite similar to Aesop), with a particular issue covered on each page (for example; one page deals with the neutrality of God, while another proposes the idea that if God is with us, who can be against us, while yet another page reads that wholesomeness is the antidote to bitterness).
In terms of numbers, the character fifteen became a powerful and reoccurring number for Manson's new work, as there were fifteen swords visible surrounding Manson's head. Though the source of the swords image bore sixteen swords, not fifteen, it is unlikely that Manson did not realize he was fully obstructing the view of only a single sword. While to a certain extent, the positioning of the swords may be similar to the crown of thorns which Christ wore prior to the crucifixion, the text accompanying the original source of the image seems to describe its purpose well enough on its own:
"Destruction waiteth for the wicked in every place these swords which are placed and stand forth of a round circle, and a trembling Hare in the middlest thereof, do signify unto us, that a safe refuge, is no place granted to offenders, either in the field, or in the city, or in any other place in body or of spirit. For so both in infinite other places, and also in Moses the scripture threatneth, saying, The sword shall destroy them abroad, and fear at home."
|Left ; original source. Right ; alternate variation of the crown of daggers from the French version of 'The Heroicall Devises..', contributed by Gilles R. Maurice)|
The major concept presented in this reading is of divine retribution; that the wicked cannot escape punishment. This particular passage from Deuteronomy 32:25 is referring to the children of Israel, who (according to the text), are now a...
"perverse and crooked generation" that "sacrificed unto devils, not to God."
This upset the LORD, who feels that the children of Israel have turned away from...
"the Rock that begat thee, thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee."
"And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. And I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith."
God speaks of his anger, and that those who reject Christ will be...
"devoured with burning heat and with bitter destruction."
The following verse contains what Les Devices Heroiques was speaking of, under the image of the hare encircled by swords:
"The sword without and the terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs."
None are exempt from the wrath of God, once provoked.
Celebritarian Seal analysis by Gilles R. Maurice
The Celebritarian Seal, which also made occasional appearances on some t-shirts during the era (most notably on the 'Double Double Tee' under the form of a Papal Orb), and on MarilynManson.com during its 2006 full Celebritarian Lauch (on the Gallery of Shapes page as well as in the Synesthesia Archive discography section, in which it's associated with Manson's upcoming album, thus confirming it was indeed the new era's logo) is perhaps the most mysterious element that surfaced during this Celebritarian 'forgotten' era. Besides reflecting an astounding level of balance in its physical structure, much like the Celebritarian Double Cross, it also illustrates quite precisely Manson's thought and artistic concept.
|Above is the actual source of the Celebritarian seal's design, from "Monograms & Ciphers," a 1906 work by A.A. Turbayne, presenting different styles of monogram for every possible two/three letters combination, which you can browse in high resolution at the Internet Archives. Thank to Jescie for this discovery.|
Indeed, bearing similarities to multiple sources such as the logo of the 'Wiener Werkstätte', a Vienna-based Arts & Crafts famous community of artists and designers Egon Schiele was a member of, the infamous 'odal' rune used by the SS, the religious monogram symbolizing the virgin Mary and even alchemical references, this logo thus once again combines the opposites of fascism and artistic expression through the magic of religion and alchemy. One can also notice the similarity with the Volkswagen cars logo, which is yet another car brand inspiration in Manson's symbology after the Golden Age of Grotesque Diamond logo and the SS Jaguar.
The infamous odal rune : left, on an Erbhof iron sign used from 1933 to 1945 in rural areas and related to the "Reichserbhofgesetz" (Reichs Hereditary Farm Law); center: on a SS insignia; right: on an anti-jew propaganda poster from occupied France. Note the similarity with the M's central loop. Another potential use of fascism in expressionism within Manson's creation.
The seal itself reveals a circle which almost makes a full rotation, but stops short, creating a C – likely representing the 'Corporation' / © pun of Celebritarianism, and reminding of crescent enclosures present in Egytian hieroglyphs and some alchemical representations of the androgyne Janus. To solidify the number fifteen connection, there are fifteen Double Crosses around the seal, along with 15 agressive triangles, which is also reminiscent of the fifteen computer keys on the Omēga logo's forehead and the importance of this number back during the creation of Mechanical Animals. It is also noteworthy to mention that hovering the seal in the flash version creates a vibrating silhouette accompanied by a buzzing noise.
THE DEVIL INCARNATE. Plate 470. It is obvious that the Medieval sorcerer who traced magic circles to stop short the advance of the hostile army and the Indian rain-maker had the same point of view and used the same methods. Both of them were anxious to conquer, since they could not convince ; they wanted to dominate, to terrify or mobilize the occult forces in order to acquire fame or profit and the rise to the highest level of a hierarchy which imposed its own laws on mankind.
The hands present in the new image shares a similar likeness from the poster for the German crime film, 'M' :
Movie poster for the 1931 German expressionist, film noir 'M', utilized by Manson in the Celebritarian masthead with the addition of a Christ-like stigmata wounds in the center of the hands. The movie initial alone makes it an apropos choice of likening, just as the theme within the film reflective of Manson's Celebritarian concept. Periodically also, in the flash version, the MM on the hands can be seen shaking.
Contribution from Daisy13, a frequent contributor to The NACHTKABARETT and part of the German Translation team.
The film 'M', a 1931 film noir directed by Fritz Lang, follows the story of a serial killer who preys on children. In order to capture children, he lures them with a balloon, away from the public, before slaying them:
Both the balloons in 'M' and the figures present in Manson’s painting share the same general form. In addition, the unusually pointy feet are common to both. It is also suggested that the figures in the painting are balloons due to the sky background in which they are floating in.
Another subtler allusion to M's balloons can be vaguely noticed in the video for Personal Jesus, in which the stigmatized Manson makes his apparition under a rain of colored balloons wrapped up in transparent plastic bags, evocating childhood, death and suffocation.
A group of individuals in 'M', known as the League of Beggars, also make an appearance in the Bertold Brecht & Kurt Weill collaboration 'The Threepenny Opera', which Manson had drawn upon previously in 'The Golden Age of Grotesque'.
A later allusion to M is used in the 2007 vampiric video for Putting Holes in Happiness, when a M mark can be vaguely distinguished on the vampiric Manson's back, during a very short nightvision segment.
As yet another Celebritarian parallel in 'Eat Me, Drink Me', Peter Lorre who played the child killer in 'M' also played the starring role in the film 'Mad Love' from which Manson derived his 2007 heart-shaped spiral logo and tattoo.
The text resting below Manson in the Celebritarian Corporation logo, as suspected by many fans at the time, is Biblical in nature and originates from The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews. These thirteen chapters criticize traditional Jewish practices, and warn the children of Israel to accept Christ as the LORD (as opposed to the traditional Jewish stance of Jesus of Nazareth as a prophet).
Chapter 10 begins with a criticism on the practice of animal sacrifice:
"For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."
"we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
In essence, Christ made a superior sacrifice, and thus is the authoritative sacrifice for the sins of mankind, simultaneously marking Christ as the original Celebritarian, whose death even to this day is still exploited, idolized, and worshiped, rather than his teachings or the way in which he lived.
The text in question lies below, and some lettering is faintly visible in the shirt:
|"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works".|
|Image and discovery courtesy of Blind Messiah from MansonUSA.||Original passage from Hebrews 10.|
T-shirt design of the masthead bearing what Manson stated to be the official Celebritarian Corporation slogan ; "WE WILL SELL OUR SHADOWS TO THOSE WHO STAND WITHIN IT", a mantra denoting the exploitation of those who efface themselves via imitation. In an apropos fashion and further evidence that Manson had incorporated Celebritarianism into 'Eat Me, Drink Me', after his seeming departure from it, the slogan was sung in the song, 'Mutilation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery' as a diatribe against those who deliberately imitate Manson in attempt to become commercially viable.
The most telling difference of this depiction than the previously revealed masthead on MarilynManson.com was the addition of a seven pointed star on Manson's forehead. Of course its placement here draws a parallel to Charles Manson's self-scrawled swastika on his forehead, and also corresponding to Manson's "third eye" point which denoted intuition and inner-vision. See ALCHEMY & KABBALAH for more on the correspondences between points on the body with Kabbalistic centers of energy which Manson has referenced within the 'Holy Wood' album artwork.
The seven pointed star was also adopted by Aleister Crowley as the emblem of his organization, the A.·. A.·. ; known as the Star of Babalon. Babylon is most synonymous with corruption and the downfall of the church, as in the Book of Revelation the Whore of Babylon road upon the back of the Great Beast to lure and corrupt mankind into the ways of sin. Additionally it is prophesied in Revelation that the Great Whore (which many throughout history have interpreted to be a coded metaphor to warn against "moral threats" ranging as diverse as the Catholic Church, the entertainment & sex industry to a fascist one-world government) will seize control of mankind and force all those upon the earth to bear her emblem, "the mark of the beast", upon their hand or forehead or be unable to buy, sell or function in society.
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand.Revelation 14:9
Equating this symbol, via the philosophy of Aleister Crowley, denoting it as the Seal of Babalon, is Manson's illustration of bearing the apocalyptic Mark of the Beast upon his forehead... and hands, as prophesied, via the two 'M' palm prints.
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.Revelation 17:5
As a tangential footnote, Crowley spelt the name of the Great Whore as 'Babalon', as opposed to the traditional historical 'Babylon' spelling, the reason being that the Kabbalistic numerical value of the former was equal to the value of the Hebrew spelling of Mount Zion in the Bible. This has been cited and can be found in 'The Confessions', the autobiography of Aleister Crowley.
This, however, is not the first instance Manson has utilized the seven pointed star, in fact the first came almost six years prior amidst the very esoteric occult imagery which 'Holy Wood' was laden with, appearing on both MarilynManson.com and on the reverse cover of 'Holy Wood'.