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Unraveling the Meaning of Marilyn Manson's New Teaser Video

Marilyn Manson's new teaser video, by which he announced his new record label Nuclear Blast and introduced us to new music after nearly four years, is also rich with imagery and symbolism in its brief one minute and ten second duration. It's not clear if this teaser is complete in itself or just a portion of something else to come, nonetheless I observed a possible explanation as to what we may be looking at, and I wanted to share my thoughts and open it up to criticism so we can arrive at the truth. From what we have gathered so far, we know that Manson is bringing back the imagery of the Tryptich ( Antichrist Superstar , Mechanical Animals , Holy Wood ), with a special emphasis on the revolutionary theme of Holy Wood , since a parallel is being drawn to what inspired its creation (Manson being blamed for inspiring the Columbine shooters, the cancelation of his tour that ensued and his ultimate comeback) with Manson's current troubles of accusations against him and his s

Evan Rachel Wood as a Manipulator (Ten Years Earlier)

In light of my four part series "Evan Rachel Wood as a Manipulator", where I analyze Evan's account that she wrote for Nylon in November of 2017 of her relationship with her unnamed abuser, I wanted to go back to an article I have not brought up yet from September 2007, where the cover story of Nylon was titled "Evan Rachel Wood: 'It Got Crazier Than I Thought'. I wanted people to read it in light of the series, since she describes her relationship with Manson after around ten months of dating him. 
The setting is the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, where she was staying with Manson until they bought a house where they could move in together. She had just come from New York with Manson, where she was working. In fact, this interview seems to have been conducted in the middle of the Rape of the World tour, which means Manson and Evan were on a short break in between gigs, since she was with Manson for most of the tour, though she took some short breaks to work on her own projects.

The original words from the 2007 article below are in grey:

According to the interviewer, who began by asking Evan about her new film Across the Universe, when she begins to bring up Manson, she notices a change in her demeanor:

Up until this moment, she has been animated, but maybe a little tired--an actress doing an interview to promote her projects, excited but obligated. But when she starts talking about, as she calls him, Manson, she seems to let go, to become visibly lighter and morph into a girl who's in love.

The interview continues with Evan describing how she went karaoking in New York with Manson:

"We actually just went karaoking in New York," she continues. "And you haven't karaoked until you've karaoked with me. Everyone's like, 'Aw, no. I don't wanna go,' so they drag their feet, but the second they get there..." She gives a knowing smile. "OK, you have to remember that when you do karaoke you pick the most ridiculous songs, right? So Manson and I sang 'Don't Stop Believing,' and 'Born to Run.' But in the middle of the night, I looked at him and said 'I'm gonna sing one of your songs.' And I was just threatening as a joke, but then I saw 'Lunchbox' in the karaoke book. I don't think he thought I knew the song." Wood clearly likes to surprise people. "So I went up and just screamed it and sang it, sat back down, and he looked at me and said 'I'm so in love with you. You have no idea.'" She seems to be floating above her chair. "It was really awesome."

Evan goes on to describe the first time she and Manson met:

"It seemed like fate. I wasn't supposed to go out that night and just by chance a friend of mine invited me to the Chateau Marmont," she says of their meeting. "And I never go out, but it was after a photo shoot and I was all done up, and I thought, well, all right. We both get nervous around a lot of people and were kinda hiding in the same corner. I think I was sitting on the balcony and he came up to me because he was worried I was going to fall off..." She goes on to say that they were friends for a while, but then slowly grew to realize that they had many of the same interests and tastes, and had so much in common that it was "a little scary."

"We never have to explain anything," she says. "He can say something, or I can say something, and we automatically get it. And that's really nice when you find somebody who needs no explanation."

I ask Wood if it was also scary because she knew what she would be getting into. "I've always been a really private person, never big in the tabloids or anything. But you just know it immediately when you get into something like that, not only because he's very famous, but because the relationship is so strange to so many people that it's going to draw attention," she says. "You know it going into it, and you just have to think, is it worth it? And yeah, it absolutely was. If it's ever hard, it's not because of anything that's going on with us, it's because of dealing with everybody else. Even after everything that we've kind of had to go through, I'm still happier than I've ever been."
Evan then begins talking about her battle with depression growing up and her transition from a teen actress to an adult actress:

She dropped out of high school because she didn't get along with her fellow students or her teachers, and she was depressed. Filming Thirteen was the best therapy she could have hoped for, because it helped her let it all out and also made her realize that what she was going through was normal. She says she's happy now, and she certainly seems like she is, so I ask her if she's ever worried that she'll be depressed again. "Yeah, and it's strange, because I started having kind of similar feelings recently, but I kind of figured out what it was," she says. "When I was really depressed then, I was going through the transition from being a kid to being a teenager. It's when you're stuck in the middle, and you don't know where to go, and you're being pushed and pulled, and you're confused and trying to figure out who you are, that's what screws with you. And now it's because I'm going from teenager to adult! It's hard being in this middle area, but it has always kind of been that way for me. I've grown up in this adult world and have always been around adults, so I'm mature, but at the same time, can't deny my actual age."

Evan goes on to explain how supportive Manson is in their relationship, how they understand each other yet are misunderstood by others, and about working with him on a music video:

And while her relationship will likely remain baffling to many people, even its more outrageous moments make perfect sense to her. "We really inspire each other. I've been kind of shy about anything I did on my own, what I wrote or any songs that I made," she says. "I never let anybody read them or hear them, but he's definitely made me feel comfortable enough to come out of my shell. I've been writing, getting really into photography now. Because Manson is just really encouraging in every way, it really makes you want to get up and go, and now we each have a partner in crime."

And if you're wondering what it looks like when Wood and Manson collaborate, just watch his "Heart-Shaped Glasses" video: The couple has sex, with Manson's black-fingernailed hands splayed across her breasts as she screams like she's been stabbed; they drink and drive in a vintage convertible; play with knives; make out in a rain shower of blood; take Polaroids of each other; and he performs on stage while she watches, transfixed and clutching her hands between her legs. It's a portrait of consumptive love, of two people obsessed with each other. Wood was reportedly the highest paid of any actress ever to appear in a music video, a term Manson insisted upon, since, he said, the song was inspired by her and there was no one else who could do it. Wood, for her part, insists she would have done the video even if she and Manson weren't dating, just for a chance to work with him. When I ask her about how the idea for the video came about, she laughs. "Well, first came the heart-shaped glasses..." she says. "I've had them since I was 15, because I used to dress like Lolita. Not like full on, but I always had something, like I wore ruffle socks every day, even if I was wearing jeans, and saddle shoes and would sometimes do my hair in braids. When we started hanging out, I knew that people would immediately make the Lolita reference, and so as a joke, I showed up at his house one day wearing the glasses. He said he was going to write a song about it, and he actually did." When it came time to do a video for it, Manson and Wood were watching a lot of movies like True Romance and Bonnie and Clyde because "that's kind of how we were feeling at the time." They started to write their own script, and it eventually turned into the treatment for the video. When the video was released, Wood admits, things got even crazier than she ever thought they would. "All these rumors started floating around, and everybody thought we were just trying to exploit our relationship and were viewing the video as a sex tape," she says. "But it wasn't supposed to be playing ourselves. It was just a music video, it was a video!"

There was a good side to all of that, though. "It was right at the start of taking all the heat for the relationship, so it was really nice for us to be able to do something creative together and something we considered romantic. At the time, I was like, 'I know in my heart that this comes from a good place, and a romantic place for us, and I know that most people aren't going to understand it. But I just need to do something for me, and I cannot care what anybody else thinks about it.' It really gave me a kind of strength that I needed at the time," she says. "Because I knew then that it was a time in my life where I was probably going to have to be stronger and braver than I'd ever had to be, so if I could do this and put this out and get through it, then I'd be OK." I tell her that from an outsider's perspective, she seems just fine. "I hope so. If you'd talked to me a couple of months ago, I might have seemed a little more frazzled. I'm kind of in a good place right now, where any negativity towards it, I've really heard it all, and it just doesn't bother me anymore."

Despite all the positive aspects of being in love with Manson, it was not easy on Wood when it came to having to explain to others she was in love of Marilyn Manson:

"Falling in love is one of the scariest and hardest things that someone can do, but it's also the most amazing thing that can happen to you," she says. It's when talking about the reactions of people close to her that Wood's voice expresses the most hesitation and not exactly regret, but reluctant acceptance. "Um, it's been interesting," she says, staring at the wall. And here, I can't help but wonder that if actresses can make themselves cry, are they equally capable of making themselves not cry? "That was just the scariest part, when all of a sudden there are people in your life who you thought understood you, and you thought they would understand something like this, and then they don't. It's such a wake up call. You're like, 'Oh, OK....' But it also shows you who really cares about you. With people close to me, it hasn't been mean. People have just been worried, because if you don't know him, all you hear are the rumors. And if you go online...well, you're screwed if you go online!"

She then talks about Manson's project Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll:

"It's an amazing script. He did a really, really great job on it and he filmed a trailer for it," she says. "It's going to look beautiful." Talking about the film was also something that initially brought them together. "I've always had a real fascination with Alice in Wonderland and really related to it in some way. And since I was little, people always nicknamed me Alice. Even total strangers," she laughs. "I do know I'm always in Wonderland. And I'm definitely just as curious. I don't mind being amongst all the mad people, I enjoy it."

After this, Evan leaves, but not without stealing something for Manson:

Wood's water glass is empty, and it has been for a long time. She has tucked herself sideways into her chair, and as she unfolds to leave and head back up to her room, she glances around for a waitress and then grabs the snack dish from the table. "I'm stealing this," she says. "Manson loves wasabi peas."

Concluding remarks:

In light of how Evan described her relationship with Manson ten years later for the same publication, which I analyzed in the four-part series "Evan Rachel Wood as a Manipulator", we get a very different picture of their relationship in this interview. 

1. The interviewer describes Evan's mood as changing when she talked about Manson, into a lighter mood and having the aura of someone who was in love.

2. When Manson and Evan went karaoking in New York, it was she who dragged him there, and he went, even though it seems like he didn't want to go. Manson not only goes, but to make her happy he even sings two songs with her.

3. After she sang "Lunchbox" as a surprise, Manson expressed to her how much he loved her, and by recalling the incident the interviewer notices how happy and elated the memory makes Evan feel, which Evan describes as "awesome".

4. She describes her first meeting with Manson as "like fate".

5. She describes their common interests being so common that it is "a little scary".

6. They had such a mutual bond that they understood each other like no one understood them before. If she said something, he understood what she meant, and if he said something, she understood what he meant.

7. She says that even though she is a very private person who doesn't like being in the tabloids, she considers it "absolutely worth it" to enter into the spotlight to be with Manson.

8. The only thing Evan found hard about her relationship with Manson was not anything between them, but other people's perception of them.

9. Evan describes her relationship with Manson as "happier than I've ever been."

10. Evan described herself as mature and happy, but struggling with depression due to the fact that she was struggling with the transition of going from being a teen actress to an adult actress.

11. Manson inspired and supported her and helped her come out of her shell, especially regarding her passion for music, writing and photography, which she was shy about.

12. She saw Manson as a "partner in crime".

13. Manson made Evan the highest payed actress ever for a music video on "Heart-Shaped Glasses".

14. Evan dressed almost full on like Lolita since she was 15, which is a teenage character who seduces an older man.

15. Evan commented on "Heart-Shaped Glasses" as "just a video" and not "about ourselves", when responding to rumors.

16. They both considered the making of "Heart-Shaped Glasses" as something romantic. She says that she knew in her heart it would be misunderstood by people, but the two did it mainly for themselves, and they were proud of it.

17. Ten months into the relationship, she saw herself in a good place, no longer bothered by all the rumors about her and Manson.

18. Falling in love with Manson was for Evan the most amazing thing that happened to her.

19. When talking about people's reactions to her relationship, her demeanor changes and it almost brings her to tears because she feels let down by them.

20. She shows equal support for Manson's work on Phantasmagoria as he shows for her, almost as if she is grateful to him and proud of him, since they are both going outside their comfort zones to tackle new forms of art.

21. Thinking of Manson when she sees something in front of her that he would like, she steals the wasabi peas for him.

I wonder how Evan would explain this article today. It sounds like a typical young woman in love with an older mature man. There are no signs of abuse, just signs of happiness and love. The only explanation I can see her giving is that Manson had not started abusing her yet. But in her 2017 article the things she describes in this interview in 2007 were the things she would later describe as products of Manson's manipulation. But is it Manson manipulating Evan in 2007, or was it Evan manipulating us in 2017? The fact is, Evan in 2007 is very clear that all her thoughts and feelings have their origins in herself, and are not something she needed to be convinced of or deceived into thinking. It is an honest self-portrayal with nothing to gain. I think this interview, together with my analysis of Evan's 2017 article, proves that Evan is in fact manipulating us, because in 2017 she would have a motive to do so as she embarks on her venture of being a political activist and building a platform for it. 

And remember, the Evan of 2007 is supposed to be the Trump supporter of 2017 - both victims of abuse. It is a total twisting of reality for the sake of building a political platform.