Interview:1996/11 SmellsLikeMeanSpirit

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1996-11 RIP cover.jpg
Photos by Joseph Cultice
Interview with Marilyn Manson
Date November, 1996
Source RIP Magazine
Interviewer Chuck Dean

Chuck Dean watches Manson TV and offers some sympathy for the drivel.

It's stupid. Yes, so, so stupid. So damn goofy, but the bad part about it is that I don't want it to be. Really. This is what happened: It's a dicey Anne-Ricey night in New Orleans, and I'm on a streetcar heading - desirelessly, believe me - into the sumptuous Garden District section of town. Heat has made my sweaty skin and clothes inseparable. I could stink, I thought, as the gloved driver hissed the green contraption to a stop and nodded toward the river. "That's your street, honey," she said with a Southern-spiced tongue. "You have a good night."

"Thank you," I said. "I will." Because it was creeping on nine, and I was about to interview Marilyn Manson. I admit I was a bit fidgety because I had researched the hell (figuratively) out of this godforsaken assemblage who, in the span of two major releases, ceremoniously clawed their way out of the Trent Reznor Dungeon of Hard Rocks and into the callow, bruised hearts of our tune-hungry young. Yep, I was hip to their antics, wise to their reputation, au fait with their penchant for dipping into the dark side and taking many prisoners. But that did not matter or deter, because this writer has been on the rock beat forever. I'm seasoned, experienced, and have the war wounds to prove it. Plus, as that other sinewy rock bad boy once belted: nothing's shocking. Plus, I had vodka.

The houses looked nice. A seemingly prosperous neighborhood. Probably a decent place to raise a dog, if not a family. I counted the numbers, and there it was, his house, a hop off the tracks. I pushed through an Addams Family-esque gate and gave the doorbell a tap. A guy answered, took a baby step toward me, yet remained in the door's frame blocking any view or entrance.

"Wait," he said. "What's up?" I wondered.

He peered into the shallow blackness over his left shoulder and asked, "Are you ready?" And here comes the stupid part: I guess someone said yes, because I was allowed into Marilyn Manson's house, his living room, and yes, he was there, but not really. He was on the TV, the black-and-white TV, the one that sat glowing innocuously on the hardwood floor.

I was told to sit in a chair facing this TV Manson. His eyes flitted back and forth, checking everything out, checking me out. His hair seemed characteristically greasy. Lips black like wet coal.

I did as I was told, sat. To my right rested three religious candles illuminating what I could see of my confines. To my left I saw Madonna Wayne Gacy (a/k/a Pogo), Manson's keyboardist. He was rocking back and forth like a jarred moth, and to my right was tiny Twiggy Ramirez, the band's bassist. He basically writhed on the floor in what seemed to be a cute orange dress. His panties were chalk white and I silently worried about him getting splinters.

Next, I was handed a microphone and was kindly told that I must talk to Mr. Manson through it. That's what Pogo called him, "Mr. Manson." His real name is Brian Warner. From Ohio way, I think.

What did I think? That I could have stayed at home and done this over the phone, saved someone some dough and not suffered the godawful airport food. It was so fuggin' crack-brained that I hoped against hope that Marilyn Manson were not serious, that the whole spectacle was a joke, their kooky way of saying "howdy," or possibly, for lack of a better explanation, that they were on drugs. I thought about crossing my fingers for luck, but I didn't, because I had to fish for my notes and I needed my hands and I couldn't see.

To start the conversation I said something like, "Hello," but I did it all wrong. I didn't talk into my microphone, so I was promptly corrected and, thank the Lord, I began to see the light (again, figuratively).

Manson answered back, his face pressed against the TV. He looked like a lone goldfish, the black sheep of the aquarium. I take that back, he looked like a puppy that's for sale in the window, but no one wants him. He never sells. No, he looked like Olive Oyl the morning after, Popeye so many miles away and possibly in the arms of another. No, he looked like a damp, pre-plastic surgery Cher. No, he looked stupid, folks. Just plain stupid.

He answered, but it sounded like this: "Mmmarg argh mmmuh muda muda." Kind of like an AM radio station during a thunderstorm, like a blender chopping ice, like low-grade feedback or an old-timey blow-dryer about to short out. Rocking Pogo (remember, he had the headphones) muttered something like, "Mr. Manson says good evening." Twiggy hiked his shiny panties and writhed.

When I really caught on I wanted to laugh, but I didn't because I figured I was supposed to be scared, or maybe impressed or maybe entranced, or maybe nothing. Even after I remembered that the band once covered Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You," I decided on the latter, then informed my hosts that my chair didn't suit me. Too elevated. So, I snatched the candles, brought them down to the floor, and I got nose-to-nose to the screeny Mr. Manson. Suddenly, I was on rocking Pogo and writhing Twiggy's level, and all I could think of was my dear mom telling me not to sit too close to the TV because it would ruin my eyes.

Mr. Manson said, "Arggh muda muda poncho murriygard fizzy rizzy hiccup gawk," which I took to mean, "Pogo, please adjust the camera." See, since I moved Mr. Manson couldn't see me. I kind of bungled the set-up, but not really. It was fixable, and Twiggy didn't seem to mind. He just writhed a hair closer and asked for a piece of paper so that he could draw trippy-acidy pictures that I decided later would make very nice Jefferson Airplane album covers, should that band ever decide to reunite for the good of the masses.

"I find it most entertaining that people miss my irony, and they've played into the joke that I have laid out and made fools of themselves."

Thus began this interview, my interview, the story of the band and the man, Marilyn Manson, and why he's coming straight back at you (on stage, screen and shiny CD) via his latest Nothing/Interscope effort, Antichrist Superstar, an un-Andrew-Lloyd-Webber, autobiographical, ahem, metaphorical tale of "a worm that transforms into what it believes to be a beautiful angel." But, of course, "that's not exactly how the world sees it."

What does all this humbug mean?

That's for me to know and for you to find out. So... pull up a candle, switch over to MTV (that's Manson Television) and read on:

Chuck Dean: Tell me, was it strange being featured in Entertainment Weekly's "Summer Cool" issue?

Marilyn Manson: It was something I didn't expect. It's very important for Marilyn Manson to infiltrate the mainstream, because by doing so I change what people think. People have said that rock and roll cannot make a difference, but I disagree.

CD: What's so special about Antichrist Superstar?

MM: We've gone through the world philosophically, and we've found answers to questions that were posed in the first two releases [ Portrait of an American Family, Smells Like Children ].

CD: What questions?

MM: They dealt a lot with Christian rot, dealt a lot with the politics of television, dealt a lot with family values and the morality system.

CD: Do you have a greater perspective on those issues now?

MM: Antichrist Superstar is the personality to answer all of those questions by a form of leadership that we've been looking for.

CD: How does it compare to other concept albums like Pink Floyd's The Wall or Joni Mitchell's Blue.

MM: Over a year ago I realized I'm here to have a lot of great opportunities, and to better understand them I placed myself in various situations with narcotics, pain. And through all of this I've managed to tap into a subconscious, a place in my mind which may have already existed. Maybe that's where the concept came from. I saw part of the future, and this album speaks of things that can happen, which will occur, and of the metamorphosis that occurs as it happens. It's somewhere between [David Bowie's] Ziggy Stardust and The Wall.

CD: You're proud of it?

MM: I feel very strong about it. As each person plays this album it should bring them closer to apocalypse, whether or not that Armageddon is subconscious or the destruction of the world as we know it - it's up to them to decide. It's a living piece of art, so I am proud of it, but I don't want to presume to be pretentious.

CD: That's neat. Excuse me if I use the word "neat." I often do.

MM: That's fine.

CD: What's the funniest thing you've ever read about yourself?

MM: I hope that Antichrist Superstar will be appreciated for its music and its intellect, so we've taken away the image. We had to be recreated. As far as the most humorous thing I've read, I find it most entertaining that people miss my irony, and they've played into the joke that I have laid out and made fools of themselves. The instances when people misconceived me as a devil worshipper, misconceived me as a child molester or a sexual deviant - they don't realize that they're actually reading their own game and they're only hurting themselves.

CD: Yeah, but didn't you lay out the means for them to think that in the first place?

MM: Absolutely, and that's where the irony lies.

CD: So is the joke on them or on you?

MM: It depends upon how willing you are to take yourself seriously, and how much you take yourself seriously.

CD: Do you take yourself seriously?

MM: I consider everything I do to be very sincere. Anyone without a sense of humor is a parody of themselves. When people think that I don't realize that I'm being ironic, satirical or humorous, that's when they're making fools of themselves, because I know exactly what I'm doing.

CD: Is there a particular reason why we're not talking face to face now? Did you just want to have the interview like this [via the television]?

MM: For the last two months I've chosen to secure myself from the outside world to better understand this record and also for security reasons; to protect myself from those wishing to keep me from my accomplishments or those things I would like accomplish.

CD: Such people exist?

MM: There are people wishing to stop someone like me, who is putting himself in this position.

CD: During your live shows is there anything you hope to achieve from the audience or is each show basically the same?

MM: The live show to me is the greatest form of expression. I prefer that to recording. It's very ritualistic, and anything I do on stage is best for what's involved for me and the audience. In the past, people have been up in arms about me bleeding on the audience, spitting, and things of that nature.

CD: At live shows, are your expectations met or are you often disappointed?

MM: It all depends on the audience. In the end they see everything as rock and roll.

CD: Do you remember the first time you were spit on?

MM: I don't remember the first time exactly. The expression of spitting is such a release, and to give someone the opportunity to have that release is one step closer to exploring themselves, to finding the answers to all of their unanswered questions.

CD: I love to spit.

MM: There is a psychology there. I don't believe people catch that at first, though. I appreciate it, and I enjoy utilizing it. Spitting between me and the audience is an act of acceptance and an act of human debasement - to show them that I consider myself the same as they.

CD: Is this isolation where your music has taken you?

MM: Musically, I found that this album is at a higher stage of maturation. I'm surprised and pleased how it turned out. If it weren't for my ability to receive the ideas when I saw them - visions I've had of the future - then [the visions] could not have been written in the present.

CD: Do today's rock stars really have anything to say?

MM: I was particularly impressed by the frankness of the Gallagher brothers from Oasis, because they've embraced their role. The rock star is a dying breed that needs to be resurrected. As a child, that's one of the few things that I could identify with. I believe that many people today need that, just as much as they need an antichrist they need a superstar.

CD: You're often compared to Alice Cooper, how much homage do you pay him?

MM: It's an easy comparison to choose, however I do consider him a great influence, as well as Ziggy Stardust, for that matter. We differ in that Alice Cooper considered Alice a character. Marilyn Manson is two characters. It is a role from which I cannot escape.

CD: Which is the case for most artists, from William Blake to Patti Smith. She did escape to the suburbs. But most artists can't separate themselves from their art.

MM: A person who elects to play one role, to be one person their whole life, I find it to be a very boring life. Within Marilyn Manson there are so many different personalities, and there have risen many more in the coming of Antichrist Superstar.

CD: You're 27, right?

MM: Correct, I was born in 1969. A Capricorn.

CD: What, a Commodore ? You do look a little like Lionel Richie.

MM: [Silence]

CD: Umm, a little Commodore joke there...

MM: Actually, I'm a very big fan of Lionel Richie. I did some charcoal sketches of the Commodores and sold them to fund a Dr. Hook reunion.

CD: 27, that's the Kurt Cobain Death-age.

MM: Sure, if you want to look at it that way.

CD: Are you afraid of yourself?

MM: That subject came up many times during the making of Antichrist Superstar. It's the constant, pressing struggle between chaos and order, between control and addiction, maintaining an erection and premature ejaculation. These things are always a daily struggle in my life, the things that make me afraid. Because being weak is to refuse myself.

CD: Do you watch TV?

MM: Right now, this is the only type of television I watch. In the past months, in the creation of this record, we've shut ourselves away from society, whereas in the past I've spent a lot of time watching television.

CD: What were your favorite shows growing up? Facts of Life. Alice.

MM: When I was a child I watched Land of the Lost.

CD: Wow! Pylons. Sleestacks.

MM: I've found fantasy television shows to be a greater escape. The imagination is something that should be appreciated. That's why I think children are innately magic, because they realize the power of their mind and haven't been de-purified by television or Christian morality.

CD: I don't know if they realize the power of their minds. It's just that they are so young. They're children until we put stuff in their minds.

MM: When all your wishes are granted, then every dream will be destroyed.

CD: Did you watch the Olympics?

MM: I didn't watch the whole thing, but I was entertained by the bomb.

CD: Say you're suddenly on The Brady Bunch and you're able to spend one night with the whole clan. Could you explain the episode?

MM: I would start by smashing Johnny Bravo's guitar. I would finish by spilling my seed on that girl's braces.

CD: Who, Jan?

MM: Correct, and somewhere between those two events I'd enjoy spending a good hour brushing Marsha's hair.

CD: Do you feel that you've taken a step that most people aren't willing to take, to be themselves? To reap the benefits and suffer the consequences?

MM: I try to. I find that most people go most of the way. In order to become truly sane, you must go all the way. That's what I try to do. That's what I've tried to do in every aspect of my life. Extremes are the only things that please me.

CD: What did you eat today?

MM: Two pills to increase my metabolism and awareness, and a drink made of crushed fruit.

CD: The pills weren't Flintstones vitamins, were they?

MM: No, they weren't.

CD: What's your favorite breakfast cereal?

MM: I don't eat breakfast. But if I did, Lucky Charms.

CD: They're magically delicious, you know?

MM: Exactly.

CD: Where does religion enter the picture? By not allowing us to be ourselves? Or does it allow us the leverage to be ourselves within someone else's guidelines?

MM: Everyone needs religion. It's a part of man's nature. It's up to him to decide if he's going to worship himself or be a coward in fear of someone else's god. But if I find something I'm afraid of, I become it.

CD: Do you vote?

MM: No. I believe that people who buy Marilyn Manson records are voting for Armageddon. There is no other reason to vote.

CD: Before you've said that balance is very important to you. Is that true?

MM: Yes.

CD: How do you explain balance to one of your fans?

MM: It's innately in the name of Marilyn Manson. It's the balance between male and female. I like the balance of what's inside us, good and evil. If you want to talk to someone about balance, those are the first things you would mention.

CD: Do you find yourself in the weird position of giving advice?

MM: Quite often [with] fans, on all sorts of subjects ranging from how to deal with their family, what to do as far as an education, and what they do with sex and drugs as well.

CD: Are you good at it?

MM: I'm probably [better] at it than their parents. I say the truth, and it may not be what they want to hear. I can't tell them what to do, but hopefully I make them find what they want.

CD: What's the best advice you've ever received?

MM: That's a tough question. It's more an impression I received as a kid, when I was told I'd never be anything.

CD: My dad told me that in a K-Mart parking lot once. He said I wouldn't do anything but shit and fall back into it. I was eight.

MM: Those are the same type of words that I received from Christian school teachers, Episcopalian ministers and my own adoptive parents. It put a chip on my shoulder that has yet to be removed.

CD: Yeah, but don't you think that everyone has a chip on their shoulder?

MM: Everyone has something. It's just a matter of doing something about it rather than wallowing in your own self-hatred.

CD: It does give you an internal energy to prove them wrong.

MM: Yes. If you want something badly enough you will make it happen.

CD: Now there's a positive message from Marilyn Manson that parents can appreciate.

MM: [Laughs] Unfortunately, I want the end of the world.

CD: I like it when you laugh. Do you have a sense of humor?

MM: Absolutely. I have a strong sense of humor. I'm not a miserable person.

CD: Has fear always been part of music?

MM: I remember being scared listening to Black Sabbath's We Sold Our Souls for Rock 'n' Roll. I remember being scared listening to Iron Maiden's Piece of Mind. I remember being scared listening to Rush's 2112. I believe, obviously, fear is a great motivator. That's why, since the very beginning, Marilyn Manson has been a science project on fear. I like to find what scares people. I like to see what scares myself, and all of these things influence what I write.

CD: How do you ease someone who's afraid of you?

MM: I don't necessarily try to ease anyone's fears. I try to confront them with their fears, and it's up to them to accept or deny their own self-fear. They'll either be eased by that or offended. I know people who don't want to admit that they agree with what I am saying. It's too embarrassing.

CD: So you wouldn't try to soothe a parent who's upset that their son or daughter is listening to your music?

MM: Absolutely not. I hope that, if they have something to fear, it would make them better parents and want to educate.

CD: Other than those albums you mentioned earlier, what were you afraid of growing up?

MM: I was terrified of an impending apocalypse because Christian school had hammered it into my brain every day.

CD: It kind of makes you not want to do anything. What's the use, if the world's gonna blow up?

MM: I've experienced the same feelings. When 1984 arrived and the world was not over, I knew it was my part to make everyone suffer for what I'd been through. I will bring about the end of the story. But the apocalypse, the end that I speak of, will be something that happens in the mind. A person's old self will need to be killed off or die.

CD: Which is a characteristic of an apocalypse-to destroy all that is.

MM: And that's exactly what America needs, because it's gone to a place where it was never meant to be. Now it must die and be born again.

CD: But people have been saying the end is just around the corner forever.

MM: There have been many antichrists before me, and I believe that those people have cracked open the watchtowers of the earth, whether the watchtowers are mythical or not. These people in the past - such as Caesar, Hitler, Aleister Crowley, and Anton LaVey - have brought us all closer to the apocalypse, and I believe that we're in the last hour of everything that can be imagined. However, this does not need to be something grim. This can be a positive thing. This could be just what the world needs.

CD: Are you drinking anything?

MM: No.

CD: You're not drinking anything.

MM: No.

CD: Okay, can you talk to me some about the psychology of the little guy? You were the little guy growing up. You got beat up and picked on. Do you think that the little guy always retaliates in this fashion?

MM: That's what happened in the past. I think people have their own ways of retaliating, some greater than others. Maybe it's something to piss off your parents, or you buy a Marilyn Manson record - or an Ice-T record, for that matter. Any step away from the norm or the status quo is payback.

CD: Since it made you who you are, do you appreciate your past now? What if you'd turned out like them?

MM: I have no regrets. And yes, I do appreciate the fact that I experienced the things that I did, because they have made me what I am. I cannot step back and think what I would be if I hadn't had those things happen to me. I do not have that insight.

CD: Are you a victim?

MM: I don't allow myself to be a victim. I chose not to be a victim.

CD: Today, it's very easy to be a victim, even if you're not one.

MM: America likes to sell you on the idea of being a victim. That's why they created psychiatrists, psychiatric medication, Santa Claus, Rogaine... anything you can think of that extends from being a victim. They try to control you, and that's what capitalism requires. I don't dislike that. In fact, I appreciate it in some ways. But I just like for people to be aware that the world is not a fair place. It was never meant to be. Social Darwinism: the strong will survive. It is not the strong's duty to always help the weak. The idea of "love everyone" is a Christian value that nature, at times, has considered a character flaw. If you love everyone, the value of love is destroyed. However, the things that I love, the people that I care for, I would do anything for.

CD: So you do love?

MM: Absolutely. But I don't cheapen my emotions by saying that I love everyone, or hate everyone for that matter.

CD: Where are you now in your evolution?

MM: Some days I'm at the end, and some days I'm back at the beginning.

CD: How old were you when you realized you were not like most other people?

MM: It's hard to say. I've often had to consider the old saying, "If the whole world appears to be marching out of step, you should look at your own feet."

CD: Is it harder to be an American teenager now than it was in the past?

MM: Yes. There's too much information. People are so open to so many things to worry about. Prior to television, people didn't know how ugly the world was because they never had the chance to see it. People didn't know how ugly auto accidents were. People didn't get to see the effects of diseases in full color. Children today are very desensitized. And if you were to see - and I have seen - something like a person being killed, you would think it did not look like what you see on TV... That's why you're looking at me now through the TV screen. The only thing that really is real is television. We have crossed over to the other side of the screen.

CD: Will this interview be better because of your method?

MM: Better or worse are relative terms until I see how the article comes out.

CD: When you were a kid, did you have a G.I. Joe?

MM: Yes, one with Kung-fu grip.

CD: Kung-fu grip!

MM: I put firecrackers in their hands and blew their fingers off.

CD: Wow. I'm impressed.

MM: My father was in Vietnam. I think something he experienced prior to my birth, something in the darkness of the jungles, was passed on to me. He was also sprayed with Agent Orange.

CD: My dad's a trashman. He has one eye. He's a one-eyed trashman.

MM: [Laughs] That sounds fantastic.

CD: What was Christmas like in your house?

MM: It's hard to say.

CD: What did you get? Did you get good stuff?

MM: I used to get a lot of rock albums. Unfortunately, my mother didn't know what I liked, so I ended up with Europe, The Final Countdown. I was hoping for Dio.

CD: Does it take any special credentials to be the self-proclaimed "God of F**k?"

MM: It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"People have different ways of selling themselves. Prostitution shouldn't be looked at as any different than what we do."

CD: In what way?

MM: When you state something, you ultimately become it - you are it.

CD: Why do people consider you a freak as compared to someone like Madonna?

MM: At first she wasn't accepted, and neither was I. But any pioneer has to take a few arrows in his back in order for others to follow. And in history, any form of art or ideology or religion that has been against the status quo, people have always tried to keep it down. But time changes that.

CD: Would you like to have a conversation with televangelist Pat Robertson?

MM: I think it would be a waste of time. If I thought it would be something that entertained people, I'd take time to do it.

CD: What could you teach him?

MM: How to give head.

CD: Or how to get ahead.

MM: [Laughs] That's right.

CD: Why do you appeal to 14- and 15-year-old boys - philosophically, sexually, and musically - more than girls the same age?

MM: It's probably the same way I related to Ziggy Stardust when I was in high school. In their sexuality, that's an age of experimentation. Boys are attracted to it in that sense.

CD: That's such a contradiction. Most of the guys who listen to your music would hate you in normal life. They wouldn't hang out with you. They're probably like the guys who beat you up as a kid.

MM: That's the ultimate revenge. It's the Trojan Horse.

CD: But is revenge healthy?

MM: If what someone has done to you has created a hatred or has consumed you, then you need to release that in some way. The revenge may not actually affect them directly so long as you purge it from yourself. I believe that that is very necessary.

CD: Remember that scene in Blue Velvet where Isabella Rossellini stumbles naked onto the lawn and says, "He put his disease in me?" Is it kind of like that? Are you putting your disease in them?

MM: That's very insightful. I'll have to agree with that. Often I have compared different aspects of my life to cinema recently, being such a fan of David Lynch. Twiggy and I appeared in a pornographic scene at the end of Lynch's film Lost Highway.

CD: Would your music have been different if it existed in a pre-AIDS environment?

MM: It may not have been as sexually challenging, but AIDS has given us a new apocalypse. But I cannot say that the music would be different, because there has always been something to fight against.

CD: One of your defects is that you tell the truth, and that's what you've been suffering from your whole lifetime. A lot of people think like you, but they don't want to admit it.

MM: That's exactly what we do with Antichrist Superstar. The antichrist is something that is in everything. It's just the matter of an awakening.

CD: Is America a culture of recovery?

MM: With consumerism, I believe that the idea of addiction and recovery are the same. It's something that makes people feel better about themselves and also creates more jobs.

CD: But it takes self-control to be addicted.

MM: There are people who are great at using drugs, and there are people who are very poor at using drugs

CD: Is recovering giving up or an actual sense of empowerment?

MM: A year ago, I referred to rehab as being for quitters, but this year I'd probably look at it differently.

CD: How important are drugs?

MM: If at anytime I've been afraid of being a drug addict, I've done a lot of drugs to prove that I am not. Drugs have been a way to tap into parts of my mind I would not normally look at.

CD: Drugs aren't the problem. It's the people who take them, I think.

MM: I prefer a society based on Social Darwinism, where anyone can take the drugs they choose to do, and those who want to die will die, and those who wanted to live would enjoy doing drugs for many years. Before you leave, I want you to piss in the bedpan over there so I can keep it in a jar. That's how I remember my friends.

CD: So we're friends?

MM: [Smiles]

CD: What is your opinion about the recent reports of Robert Downey, Jr.'s problems with drugs?

MM: I believe that there is a large amount of irony because of the character he played in Less Than Zero.

CD: You liked that? I thought it was kind of stupid.

MM: I didn't like the character, but I see life and art combining to be one in this instance.

CD: Yes, but it's pathetic when the combination is made with Robert Downey, Jr.

MM: I've never considered Mr. Downey to be that great an actor. I believe his real-life exploits have been far more entertaining.

CD: When someone dies from drugs or heroin - like Blind Melon's Shannon Hoon - does it affect you, or is it more like just another one biting the dust?

MM: I believe that particular incident made me feel better to be alive. I had no personal feelings toward him.

CD: You've been to Disney World, right?

MM: Not recently, but many times in the past.

CD: You've been to Disney on acid, right?

MM: I've only been to Disney World on acid. I never went as a child, but I used LSD and a form of time travel to create the larger-than-life scariness I would have experienced as a youngster, and it worked quite effectively.

CD: Did you ride stuff?

MM: I rode everything.

CD: Earlier, you talked about movies. Which ones did you watch growing up?

MM: The obvious: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Over the Edge.

CD: Matt Dillon! One of the greatest movies in the world. The kids take over the school! Great Cheap Trick soundtrack.

MM: Let me share a moment with you. The other day in Los Angeles I woke up to watch Over the Edge on cable, and later that evening at the movie premiere for David Lynch's Lost Highway, I saw Matt Dillon and he had a negative reaction toward me because several months earlier in New York we were drinking in a bar and I managed to get gum stuck in some pubic hair.

CD: Your pubic hair or Matt Dillon's?

MM: My pubic hair! I approached Mr. Dillon and asked him for a a pocket knife much like the one he carries in Over the Edge. A friend of his offered me a pocket knife and made me wait in line at the bathroom to cut the gum out. While I was doing that, Matt Dillon had a change of heart and asked for the knife back. So, when I saw Dillon in L.A., I referred to the pocket knife one more time, and he seemed to be perturbed by my comment. Things like this, seeing the movie, then seeing Mr. Dillon - coincidence happens a lot, as does déjà vu. I suffer from the psychological problem known as the "delusional self," when you believe that every coincidence in your life is related. I don't consider it a disorder. I consider it a higher form of awareness.

CD: So you've been diagnosed?

MM: Yes.

CD: Would you like to be on Oprah?

MM: Sexually? Sexually, I'd prefer to be on top because I'm a small person. There may be a crushing problem.

CD: No, I was talking about being on Oprah, on TV.

MM: I don't believe that Oprah deals with any subjects of real value. Not that other talk shows do, but she seems to have gone to a different level and doesn't have the psychological ammo to provide an interesting conversation.

CD: You've been arrested a few times.

MM: Yes.

CD: I like jail. Do you like jail?

MM: I wasn't very fond of it because I was wearing a rubber jockstrap and had lipstick on, and there were several individuals, all in uniform, who took great delight in inspecting my rectum... sans lubrication.

CD: What do you think in general about prostitution?

MM: People have different ways of selling themselves. Prostitution shouldn't be looked at as any different than what we do.

CD: In his diary, Kafka once wrote, "Occasionally, I feel an unhappiness which almost dismembers me, and at the same time am convinced of its necessity and of the existence of a goal to which one makes one's way by undergoing every kind of unhappiness."

MM: Much like Kafka, I find myself wondering if I'm the man who thinks he's an angel, or an angel who believes he's a man.

CD: What do you like about Kafka?

MM: The way he spells his name, mostly.

CD: Are you happy?

MM: Right now, yes. In general, no. I believe that any person with any degree of personality or intelligence cannot be happy.

CD: Were you sad when George Burns died?

MM: No, that did not affect me, but I did enjoy him in the Oh, God! series of movies.

CD: Are you bored?

MM: No, you're the only person I've conversed with in the last couple days, other than Matt Dillon.

CD: Do you want to be remembered? Is it important?

MM: Absolutely. I believe your remembrance is your immortality. What you leave in this world is that part of you that lives on forever.

CD: What do you want to be remembered for?

MM: The person who brought an end to Christianity, or died trying.

CD: If you could tell parents one thing about yourself, what would that be?

MM: That they shouldn't be afraid of me, because I am their children.

CD: What is the ultimate form of retribution?

MM: Success.

CD: If you reap what you sow, what will you reap?

MM: Man can never reap what he sows. He can only live trying.

CD: What has been your favorite interview?

MM: Well, you're only as good as the last one you've done, so I find this one to be my favorite so far, but don't take that as a pick-up line to suck my dick, though.

CD: Okay.

MM: Thank you.

At this point, I gathered my stuff in the dark and prepared to leave. Amazingly, Twiggy was still at it. I honestly never knew a man could writhe that much. I felt my way to the door and stepped into the night. It was cooler. Soggy and still. Once I reached the road, I turned around for one final glimpse of the Manson quarters. Through a draped window, I noticed that the lights were on. They put on the damn lights!


Credit: DirectorNo5819