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Marilyn Manson Says Columbine Massacre, and Not His Sh*tty Music, is Blame for His Career Decline

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Marilyn Manson in the documentary Bowling for Columbine.
Marilyn Manson in the documentary Bowling for Columbine.

So for reasons I can’t even begin to fathom, Marilyn Manson attended this year’s Cannes Film Festival (that’s in France, dummies), where, Metal Injection tells me Billboard tells them, he said this:

“With Columbine, it really shut down my career entirely, to the point where casinos — gambling establishments — refused to book my shows,” Manson said.

Manson goes on to express jealousy of Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Kelbold:

“They put these two killers on the cover of Time magazine. I’ve never been on the cover of Time magazine.”

Manson was actually attempting to make a statement about “the hypocrisy of news outlets that would demonize his music while prominently featuring criminals,” but, c’mon: he could have phrased that a little better so it didn’t sound quite so envious.

ANYWAY, it’s possible Manson means that Columbine “shut down my career entirely” at the time of the event, which, one could argue, is an accurate statement.

But assuming the shock rocker means “shut down my career entirely” as in “it really did irreparable damage to my career which still impacts me today,” well, yeah, I’m not buying it. It’s important to remember that mainstream MTV culture was already beginning to move on when Mechanical Animals was released in September of 1998 — a full seven months before Columbine. Columbine definitely disrupted the promotion process, but the album’s sales were already lackluster relative to Antichrist Superstar, which sold about seven times as many copies as Animals. It’s hard to imagine that even if Columbine never happened, Mechanical Animals would have caught up with Superstar.

Besides which, everyone save for the most die hard of Manson fans will probably say that his creative golden era, such as it was, ended after Superstar. I really like all of Manson’s albums up through and including 2007’s Eat Me, Drink Me, but I know I’m in the minority there — and three records which have followed have been okay at best.

My point being: regardless of Columbine ever occurring or not, I think it’s safe to say that Manson’s tenure as one of the biggest rock stars in the world was probably gonna be short lived no matter what.

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