the NachtKabarett

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Holy Wood era gun crucifix logo

All Writing & Content © Nick Kushner Unless Noted Otherwise

"Do you love your guns, your god, your government?" as Manson scathingly indicted on 'The Love Song', against the ideals America holds above all else. The three tools it uses to justify its bigotry, blind-hatred and bloodlust. The gun crucifix symbol which Manson adopted during the 'Holy Wood' era symbolizes that very theme of, literal, violence worship by combining three guns into a symbol of universal worship, the central arm of which is styled after the rifle used to assassinate Kennedy whom America has historically valued as a martyr, or Second Christ, via his very public death. The type of death which both makes the aggregate public reel in horror, and conversely enthralled to complete absorption and consumption of tragedy.

METAL EDGE: How do you see Kennedy as a Christ figure?

MARILYN MANSON: First of all, my theory that I've really been thinking about since I had so much interaction with Christianity after doing 'Antichrist Svperstar', is that Christ was the blue-print for celebrity. He was the first celebrity, or rock star if you want to look at it that way, and he became this image of sexuality and suffering. He's literally marketed - a crucifix is no different than a concert shirt in some ways. I think for America, in my lifetime, John F. Kennedy kind of took the place of that in some ways. He became lifted up as this icon and this Christ figure. I started to, in my weird drugged version of Hollywood, dream up a world where these dead stars are really saints. Jackie O[nassis] is kind of like Mary Immaculate. That's what I was thinking when I was writing the album, and I hinted that in a lot of song like 'Posthuman'.

A still frame from the 'Coma White' video portraying a crucified and deified Manson in the role of JFK; imagery used to illustrate the manner in which Kennedy had become a "second Christ" in the eyes of America when his televised assassination had made him into a martyr to the popular consciousness.
The story was something that I had in my head, and that's where the songs came from. As the songs came to life the story kind of grew also. It's all really a metaphor for my own life, but the story, 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. If you imagined everything was as far as anyone can take it, the way the movie stars are treated. There are a lot of references to the way that I see John F. Kennedy as a modern day Christ and how religion kind of sprouts from that. It's really a strange story, but in the end it's a parable about fame and love and what matters to you the most, but I can't say it's got a happy ending. The video for 'Coma White' is adapted from my script, so it will be a bit of a teaser, a hint at what people can expect... Though I'm sure they won't understand it or make it any clearer.
Metal Edge, July 1999 'Marilyn Manson - Revelations of an Alien-Messiah'

It's the very theme which Manson based his concept of Celebritarianism on and that which has been illustrated time and time again throughout history ; those who have died in a public or exceedingly gruesome manner and then subsequently their death's garner them the status of sainthood in the eyes of the very society that killed them. The gun crucifix was also intended to be used on the cover of Manson's novel 'Holy Wood', which was intended to be released coincidingly with the album to illustrate these themes of death worship, set in an exaggerated and metaphorical variation of America, to portray in allegorical story form the very concepts approached within the album.

'The Love Song' ; Manson on the 2000-2001 'Guns, God & Government' tour in Moscow assuming the role of Nuremberg-esque rally for our society today where violence is religion and where fame & death on camera is better than life itself.
Holy Wood novelCover illustration of the 'Holy Wood' novel, first previewed on in July 2000, prominently depicting the gun crucifix emblem which symbolized the concept of Celebritarianism





For more on the conceptual significance of Celebritarian and Celebritarianism as well as its relation to Holy Wood & The Triptych, see the CELEBRITARIANISM section of The NACHTKABARETT, as well as the following: