All Writing & Content © Nick Kushner Unless Noted Otherwise
Twiggy Ramirez ; arguably "co-star" in the band to Manson himself, and with whom the grand Triptych of 'Antichrist Svperstar', 'Mechanical Animals' and 'Holy Wood' were co-written with. The following are various visual influences and evocations made by Twiggy since joining the band prior to 1994's 'Portrait of an American Family' and up to his rejoining for the 2008 'Rape of the World' tour.
|Left ; The Alchemist | Alejandro Jodorowsky in 'The Holy Mountain', one of Manson and the band's admitted favorite, highly influential film. Right ; Twiggy Ramirez on the 2008 'Rape of the World' tour in his "witch's" guise stage outfit, evoking 'The Alchemist' Alejandro Jodorowsky in the film 'The Holy Mountain'|
From left to right ; Alejandro Jodorowsky in the oft-Manson-referenced film 'The Holy Mountain', Charles Manson during a parole hearing in the 1980's and infamous drag queen Divine, in the film 'Pink Flamingos' which was sampled heavily throughout 'Portrait of an American Family'.
Three previous demagogues, cited by Manson and the band at various points as inspirations, who were "predecessors" of a shaven forehead aesthetic.
In joining the band, Twiggy Ramirez took the feminine prefix of his name from the model Twiggy Lawson, a 1960's cultural icon. Her 'twig' like figure and pale complexion (think Mia Farrow in 'Rosemary's Baby') made her one of the most famous and recognizable fashion models of all time.
Though the band generally veers away from literal allusions to their surname owners, Twiggy (Ramirez) did make one overt reference with his eye makeup mirroring an exaggerated version of model Twiggy's signature lashes.
|Twiggy Lawson and her signature lashes and a 2008 Marilyn Manson 'Rape of the World' tour poster featuring (the model) Twiggy with Manson's stage makeup throughout the tour superimposed upon|
In 1998 both would team up to record a remake of Dusty Springfield's 'I Only Want To Be With You' on the Dead Man On Campus soundtrack.
This is beyond your experienceThe Reflecting God. Antichrist Svperstar, 1996
Richard Ramirez, serial killer. Courtroom statement during murder trial
It's nothing you'd understand, but I do have something to say. In fact, I have a lot to say, but now is not the time or place. I don't know why I'm wasting my time or breath. But what the hell? As for what is said of my life, there have been lies in the past and there will be lies in the future. I don't believe in the hypocritical, moralistic dogma of this so-called civilized society. I need not look beyond this room to see all the liars, haters, the killers, the crooks, the paranoid cowards--truly trematodes of the Earth, each one in his own legal profession.
You maggots make me sick-- hypocrites one and all. And no one knows that better than those who kill for policy, clandestinely or openly, as do the governments of the world, which kill in the name of God and country or for whatever reason they deem appropriate. I don't need to hear all of society's rationalizations, I've heard them all before and the fact remains that what is, is.
You don't understand me. You are not expected to. You are not capable of it.
I am beyond your experience.
I am beyond good and evil, Legions of the night--night breed--repeat not the errors of the Night Prowler and show no mercy. I will be avenged. Lucifer dwells within us all. That's it.
|Left ; 'The Night Stalker', Richard Ramirez, in the original courtroom photograph of his admonishment of the alleged "Satanic" motives behind his killing. Right ; Marilyn Manson 2008 'Rape of the World' tour poster depicting Richard Ramirez in said pose|
a. and b. This famous symbol is known as the Trinacria or Triskelion and is probably derived from the three triangles. It was later developed into a figure consisting of a head surrounded by three legs, commonly associated with time and speed. Some authorities trace the three-legged Triskelion to at least thirteen hundred years before the birth of Christ. It is extremely valued as an amulet against the evil eye.
. This figure is known as the Triquetrum and is used instead of the Triskelion whenever one desires the forces of speed it represents.
Preceding the release of 'Holy Wood' in 1999 / 2000 Manson had begun unveiling his watercolor paintings which he had been amassing throughout the prior three years. Among these was a facial portrait of Twiggy Ramirez which was later revealed to be titled 'Oedipus', via the internet following Manson's first art exhibition in 2002 entitled 'The Golden Age of Grotesque'.
The title 'Oedipus' is a reference to a classical Greek tragedy of the same name wherein which a king received the prophecy that his son would one day murder him to usurp his thrown, taking his Queen (the son's own mother) as his wife. The King, to thwart this prophecy, bound his son's legs and left him destitute to be devoured by wolves in the woods. The Gods, not to be circumvented, intervened to set young Oedipus free where his hostile upbringing after abandonment nurtured him into a powerful and conquering warrior where he would in fact later usurp his father's throne, marrying his mother. Having been abandoned with his former life as a young child being completely amnesiatic to his adult self, he went to bed with his mother as a spoil of conquer completely unbeknownest to his actual relation to her. The later realization of this yielded one of the most harrowing and cathartic elements of dramatic history where Oedipus gouges out his own eyes crying to the God's that he is no longer able to see joy, while his mother / wife commits suicide.
'The Oedipus Complex' ; In the early 20th Century, Sigmund Freud, in his decryption of the human condition being rooted in various subconscious sexual repressions, theorized that after the male matures it is the maternal influence which shapes his conception and preferences of sexuality. That being, the characteristics the male will seek out in a sexual partner will embody those similar to his mother, be it physical appearance, personality traits or the ways by which his mother (did or did not) nurture him. A common example is a male who is spanked by his mother as a child for disciplinary purposes may later develop a fetish of Sado-Masochism where he will request his female sexual partner to spank, beat or humiliate him in the subconscious desire to revert back into his childlike formulative state by requiring his partner to treat him as his mother did. Thus simultaneously fetishizing his mother by envisioning his sexual partner to be an extension of her and dually hating her for inflicting abuse on him as a child which may also lead to a misogynistic disposition later in life.
As most of the English language and etymology is rooted within Classic Greek and Latin terminology, Freud later termed this predisposition 'The Oedipus Complex'. The history of The Oedipus Complex, both Freudian and the Classical Greek literature is far too voluminous to delve into for purposes here, the synopsis above categorizes the psychological complex in a very abridged state.
While a lengthy discourse for the simple title of a painting, Manson's choice of title apparently alludes to Twiggy's potential sexual predilections and where he developed them. The following is a quote by Twiggy from 1997:
I want to continue to break the barrier between male and female," said Ramirez, whose drab dresses, dreadlocked hair and motley makeup make the strongest physical statement in the band. "I think I got my first erection when I tried on my mother's underpants growing up. It's just a side of me that I feel comfortable with as well. I'm obviously not a hermaphrodite, though people seem to think so. There's an area between the two of those, you don't have to be heterosexual, bisexual, or gay, it's just sort of everything.'Twiggy: America's Androgynous Superstar' by Paul Gargano. Published by Movie Mirror in a Marilyn Manson exclusive special issue. 1997.
The same article additionally reveals that Twiggy's mother was a traveling groupie herself.
The excitement of the music industry is nothing new to Twiggy, who grew up entrenched in the music industry. "I was born of the road, I'm not exactly sure where because my mom used to dance onstage for Mountain, Leslie West's band. She used to dance for the Kinks as well," he said, implying that his father might be either the guitar legend West, or the Kinks' Ray Davies. "When I was growing up I was around music constantly. My aunt, who I was living with, was a groupie as well, and she was friends with the Ramones, they would come over and she used to date one of the Bee Gees."'Twiggy: America's Androgynous Superstar' by Paul Gargano.
While any virile and living human being should undoubtedly have lust reserved for the opposite sex ready, willing and enthusiastic to offer themselves in the throes of passion, Manson's watercolor portrait may reveal a possible psychological predisposition of Twiggy's desire of being a rockstar by profession. That with Twiggy onstage there are legions of nubile girls who will throw themselves at him, just as he witnessed / heard of his mother doing to the rockstar icons of his childhood.