Interview:2001/04/06 Politically Incorrect

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Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher
Interview with Marilyn Manson
Date April 6, 2001
Interviewer Bill Maher


Guests on this program were: Marilyn Manson, Daril Bonner, Kathy Griffin, Katherine Wai

Bill Maher: All right. I don't know where his album is -- but I was listening to it today. Please, I'm excited, too. Because I'm a big fan of this guy. His new record is called "Holywood." Marilyn Manson, ladies and gentlemen. How you doing? Okay. She is a movie actress, MTV talk show host and Eminem's favorite fiery comedienne -- Kathy Griffin, ladies and gentlemen! [ Cheers and applause ]
Kathy Griffin: The teens love me.
Bill Maher: They do. She is a 16-year-old junior at New York's Hunter College High School and one of "Teen People"'s new teamers -- Katherine Wai. Hey. How you doing?
Katherine Wai: Fine. Thank you very much.
Bill Maher: Did I say that wrong?
Katherine Wai: Yes.
Bill Maher: Is it "Way"?
Katherine Wai: Yes.
Bill Maher: I'm sorry, "Wai." I said it wong. Okay, he's a senior at Hoover high school in San Diego and President of its african-american student union -- Daril Bonner! Daril.
Bill Maher: Hey. How ya doing? Nice to see you. Okay. Manson, where's your record? I know it's available. I was listening to it today.
Marilyn Manson: I don't know.
Bill Maher: And it's terrific. It took --
Marilyn Manson: Thank you, but --
Bill Maher: Yeah.
Marilyn Manson: It's being burned somewhere currently.
Bill Maher: It probably is being burned. I know, whenever there's a school shooting, they go through a certain ritual. First, shock. Then grief, then blame. Which goes from guns to, "We didn't have the ten commandments in the school." To TV, media and then you. And --
Marilyn Manson: At least I'm good at something.
Bill Maher: Yeah, at least you're good at something. And -- I don't even want to talk about that. It's an old argument. I mean, anyone who thinks that you're responsible really ought to spend more time with the kids themselves. But what I do want to talk about -- and I've talked about it before on this show -- is I don't understand the hate that's in music today. Not your music, but like, rap music. Even girl bands. I mean, the guys are all scrubs, the women are all bitches and hos.
Kathy Griffin: Who's cheering? Who's cheering for the women being bitches and hos?
Bill Maher: Apparently the women. I heard a lot of squeals.
Kathy Griffin: Oh, great. That's great that they buy into it.
Bill Maher: But I mean, that is the message of the music nowadays. I don't know where this hate -- when I was a kid, the music was all about love. And now it's all about hate. How did we get to this point?
Marilyn Manson: I remember it being broads and dames, which I still use.
Bill Maher: No, you don't.
Marilyn Manson: I like broads and dames.
Kathy Griffin: In your Broadway collection --
Marilyn Manson: Broads and dames.
Bill Maher: Yeah, right. Yeah, "Guys and Dolls" --
Marilyn Manson: That was derogatory, though, broads and dames.
Bill Maher: Yeah, I remember when you were in "Guys and Dolls" with Marlon Brando.
Kathy Griffin: Remember?
Marilyn Manson: I had a small part.
Bill Maher: You'd like to get back to Broadway. No, but if you watch any video, I mean, the message is sort of that, you know, bitches is all hos and that sex is something that you grab from a manipulative bitch before she tries to get something off of you. And if you want sex, what you really do is have a lot of stuff that the bitches want, like a big house and a pool and a big diamond-encrusted crucifix.
Kathy Griffin: Right.
Marilyn Manson: That pretty much sums it up.
Kathy Griffin: And they want you to have those Benjamins. Girls apparently love Benjamin. [audience screams] No, don't! I was being ironic. Stop it!
Daril Bonner: As you can probably tell --
Marilyn Manson: I think you've got it in a nutshell there.
Daril Bonner: As you can probably tell by the audience's applause, I mean, a lot of the people in society, this is how they feel towards each other, especially, you know, when men, you know, consider girls these kind of words. The reason why is because, you know, it's that rivalry they have towards each other, and the females, they consider guys, you know, dogs. All due to the fact that, you know, they may have been treated, I guess, rudely or maybe have been dumped by another male, and so what they do is -- this is all in society. So what the music does, they take what they see in society and then they just give the people what they want to see. Obviously, they're applauding, right?
Bill Maher: Yeah. My question is why? How did it get to this place? I know you're young, so you don't know that it didn't always used to be this way.
Daril Bonner: Oh yes, I do, believe me.
Bill Maher: But you know, it used to be, you know, "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes." [ Kathy groans ] How many remember that one? [ Silence ] Okay, uh -- "Birds suddenly appear every time you walk near."
Marilyn Manson: The woman's supposed to be the cook in the kitchen and the whore in the bedroom. That's what my mom taught me.
Kathy Griffin: Well, that's real nice. Real nice, Marilyn. Honestly. You're grounded. [ Light laughter ] I think a lot of it, unfortunately is the culture of cool. And the thing that's upsetting is, it was just a few years ago that latifah was singing that song, "Who You Callin' a Bitch?" And that was cool. Only now, somehow, with, you know, like, Master P and DMX, it's really cool, "Oh, it'd be so cool if I could get one of these rough riders to bend me over and stick it up my butt until I'm crying. That's so cool!" [ Cheers and applause ]
Bill Maher: Right. What are you applauding? [ Light laughter ] What is wrong with you people?
Kathy Griffin: They don't know. They're nervous.
Marilyn Manson: There's nothing wrong with a little anal sex, but just the way it's presented. [ Cheers and applause ]
Kathy Griffin: I --
Bill Maher: Oh, what a bunch of posers you are! Like you've had anal sex! [ Cheers and applause ]
Kathy Griffin: Someone's saying, "Whoo! I have! I'm so sore, it's great! Whoo-hoo!" No!
Marilyn Manson: No, but, it can work for Britney because she's supposedly a virgin, but we don't know. Anal doesn't count. I've read it. [ Applause ] I read that somewhere.
Kathy Griffin: Well, Katherine, who do you idolize? What teen pop idol girls do you think are cool?
Katherine Wai: Well, I don't think any of them are really that cool. I think -- they kind of repulse me. [ Cheers and applause ] Like, that's just in hip-hop, where the men degrade the women and the women degrade the men. I mean, if you talk about like, Sarah McLachlan or Dido, they don't sing that kind of stuff. And even Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, like, "This I Promise You" is not about degrading girls.
Bill Maher: Yeah, but they stink. [ Laughter ]
Kathy Griffin: Okay. [ Cheers and applause ]
Marilyn Manson: What about degrading cross-dressing men?
Bill Maher: Cross-dressing men?
Marilyn Manson: How do I fit into this? [ Light laughter ] Should I be offended when someone says, "Bitch"?
Bill Maher: You don't fit in, and that's what so great about you is that --
Marilyn Manson: Do they mean me?
Bill Maher: No, they don't.
Marilyn Manson: Am I the dog? Am I the bitch?
Kathy Griffin: I think people with one fake blue eye are persecuted --
Bill Maher: You could sing the songs to yourself. You could sing it to yourself. "Hey, you bitch, you scrub, who you talking to?" [ Laughter ] All right. There's "Holywood." I found it. It's hard to live with that sound. But listen, we have a very diverse panel here. We have Black, White, Asian, Manson. [ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] Since we have this diversity, I want to ask you this because -- the media sort of presents this image that race is over in America as an issue. If you watch lots of TV shows, lots of movies, there's lots of interracial dating. It doesn't even matter anymore. What's that movie -- the dancing movie?
Kathy Griffin: "Save the Last Dance."
Bill Maher: "Save the Last Dance" -- you know, "it's just not an issue anymore." But I wonder if that's true. I mean, I would think if you're in a high school, the black kids -- what?
Marilyn Manson: I was thinking about this today. I've seen -- my problem is that it's become a cliche now. It's like a marketing thing. But they gotta take it to the next level. We need something more extreme. We need like, the black panther militant woman who falls in love with the Grand Dragon of the KKK and it could be -- [ Laughter ]
Kathy Griffin: Yeah.
Marilyn Manson: -- "Crouching Panther, Hidden Dragon," you know? [ Laughter ] Or Americans dating Canadians.
Kathy Griffin: What?!
Bill Maher: That's radical. That's very, very radical. That'll never happen. [ Light laughter ]
Marilyn Manson: Cats [ bleep ] dogs, whatever it takes.
Kathy Griffin: Okay. [ Cheers and applause ]
Daril Bonner: Well, basically, I mean --
Bill Maher: He's got the kids wrapped around his finger.
Daril Bonner: Well, I see it all the time. I mean, I go to a very diverse school. We have Asians, Latinos, you know, Blacks, Somalians, all that, and --
Bill Maher: Somalians?
Daril Bonner: Right, Somalians.
Kathy Griffin: You go to Somalian High, right?
Daril Bonner: Ain't nothing funny about that. Ain't nothing --
Bill Maher: They're black, right?
Daril Bonner: But what I'm saying is, it's not unusual to see an Asian going out with a Mexican or a black person going out with a white person. It's just not.
Kathy Griffin: I think that's in the cities. I mean, I'm from Chicago, and when I was in high school 20 years ago, there were black kids and white kids dating, but I think in rural areas, you're still gonna find people that have never met a gay person, or they're never met a black person or, "I think I've never met a black person," and really they have. [ Light laughter ]
Marilyn Manson: Or, they've met Michael Jackson.
Kathy Griffin: Then you don't know.
Bill Maher: Yeah, it's kind of hard to say -- I know, what is --
Marilyn Manson: But you know what? This is not the same show, but you could have a little love connection right here.
Katherine Wai: Well, I go to school in New York City and it's really, really racist there.
Bill Maher: New York City? New York City, the seat of liberalism in America, is really racist?
Katherine Wai: Yeah, it's really racist, and my school is, like, half Jewish and half Asian and then there's like, a couple of Blacks and like, the Whites -- the Whites, the Blacks and then the Asians, we're like the Asian party, and like, we're all really angry at each other and yet --
Bill Maher: Why?
Katherine Wai: I'm not really sure why, but I remember there was this race conference --
Bill Maher: You're angry at the Blacks?
Katherine Wai: Well, we're just angry at each other because we say that like, the other cliques are like, taking over the school because everything is divided into racial cliques in my school. It's not like a jock hierarchy with like, the jocks and the preps. But, it's more like --
Bill Maher: Who does better academically?
Katherine Wai: The Asians, and then the Blacks get mad because -- [ Light laughter ]
Bill Maher: Whoa, whoa, whoa --
Kathy Griffin: Whoa, hold it. No, no! Let her talk!
Bill Maher: Let her talk.
Daril Bonner: Let her say what she has to say.
Katherine Wai: I mean, that's the way it is. I mean, like, maybe it's just because there's more of us so it seems like --
Daril Bonner: And calculators.
Katherine Wai: -- when we succeed, like, there's like, so many of us it's like so obvious. And that's why they are so angry.
Bill Maher: Are you saying they're angry because you do better?
Katherine Wai: Yeah, because my school is, like, academically gifted. You have to take an entry exam to get in and that kind of thing.
Kathy Griffin: But she also said everyone's angry at everyone's different race, right? It's not like, just two angry black guys and then all you of doing really well. [ Laughter ] That's a school you don't wanna go to. That's uncomfortable.
Katherine Wai: We just respond --
Bill Maher: But the Asians -- even when I was in school, the Asians did better in math. They just did. They were just better in math and science, and we kind of, like, resented them for that, too. And we were white. [ Light laughter ] So it's like whoever excels in America, there's a kind of a like, "Ungh! Why are you better?"
Katherine Wai: But despite the resentment, we all think, like, interracial relationships are cool. There's a lot of like, Blacks dating Whites in my school for some reason and, like, Mexicans and Chinese people and that kind of thing. And it's kind of strange because, like, we did an article in the school newspaper about this and they had a survey. And 98% of the people thought interracial relationships were fine and they had no problem with that, yet on a daily basis you can't make friends with the black people. Like, I can't -- I don't have any white friends. They're very few.
Marilyn Manson: That's kind of what I was joking about earlier is that, to me, it's become fashionable because of these TV shows. It's become a cliche. And I think it's kind of insulting to both races that it becomes some sort of a new reason to sell a T-shirt of some sort. You know?
Bill Maher: Yeah. And rock stars like yourself -- you mentioned Michael Jackson -- seem to have superseded race by becoming a color no one has ever seen. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ] I mean -- I mean --
Kathy Griffin: And there's only one of him, so it's not like there's oppression against whatever he is. Because there's only one of him.
Marilyn Manson: I used to like to say I'm the white Michael Jackson, but now it doesn't make sense anymore. [ Laughter ]
Bill Maher: Why did he -- it's so sad. I mean, he was such a great-looking guy at one point, after his first operation. Remember his first, like in '79 -- you don't remember, but --
Kathy Griffin: You mean the early incarnations of the nose.
Bill Maher: Like, right -- the first -- he just should have stopped at one, and then he became an elderly white woman. It's just --
Kathy Griffin: I know. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ]
Bill Maher: Right? And I'm a fan of his. I've never done Michael Jackson jokes about little boys, 'cause I don't know if it's true.
Marilyn Manson: "Off the Wall" is a great record. I listen to it all the time.
Kathy Griffin: But he is -- he is off the wall. He's crazy.
Marilyn Manson: "You Wanna be Startin' Somethin'," you know?
Bill Maher: He's just bleached. [ Light laughter ] I don't know if he's crazy.
Marilyn Manson: I credit most of my stage moves to the choreography in "Thriller." [ Light laughter ]
Kathy Griffin: So when you moonwalk, you look back to the early days of Michael Jackson.
Marilyn Manson: Absolutely.
Kathy Griffin: I know.
Bill Maher: Okay. We got a few minutes here. I've been kind of rough on mtv all week, I think with good reason. I know you have a show on mtv, and you certainly have your videos on mtv. But they kind of promoted my view of -- I call it "Mt values," get it? M-t-v-Al --
Kathy Griffin: Got it.
Bill Maher: Anyway, they kind of promote wealth, physical perfection and self-absorption as the values that kids ascribe to, and they don't seem to have a parent in the House nowadays to sort of counterweigh that view.
Kathy Griffin: Well, they don't even have other kids to counterweigh that view. That's what's a shame. You know, they have the character cartoon of daria, who is the only girl who's sort of atypical on that whole channel.
Bill Maher: Right.
Kathy Griffin: So I'm not saying -- I don't mean to get Dr. Laura on you, "I don't think you need the parents" -- but there are other kids in high school that do not look like Christina aguilera. There's whole schools full of girls that have real boobs! [ Cheers and applause ]
Marilyn Manson: And my message is that I'm as ugly as God makes them and girls still want to have sex with me. [ Cheers and applause ] So people really win on mtv.
Bill Maher: Yeah, but the message is -- [ Bill chuckles ] But you have to be a rock star first.
Kathy Griffin: Yeah, right.
Bill Maher: That little clause there, the little fine print. You can get laid if you're ugly and a rock star, it's like at the bottom -- [ Light laughter ]
Marilyn Manson: I try to promote a different approach of beauty.
Bill Maher: Yes. Oh, yes.
Marilyn Manson: You know? And if all of what you're saying is bad -- what mtv promotes about wealth and all that -- well, then I guess what I do is good because of course, you know, I promote devil worship, violence and drugs. [ Cheers and applause ] So what could be so bad? But I try --
Bill Maher: It is an alternative.
Marilyn Manson: I really -- I think that my fans, in all seriousness, understand that -- stop trying to fit into other people's standards.
Bill Maher: That is the message.
Marilyn Manson: And you don't have to be -- you can be pretty on your own terms.
Bill Maher: I agree. I would say the same thing with eminem -- [ Cheers and applause ] You and eminem get more crap than anybody else -- [ Applause ]
Kathy Griffin: Eminem wouldn't be nearly as popular if he wasn't a cute, little white guy. You know what I mean? He's a cute guy. He's very sort of unassuming --
Marilyn Manson: He's smart, though, too.
Bill Maher: He's smart.
Kathy Griffin: He's smart. He's a good writer, but I'm just saying, it's not hurting his popularity that he's a cute blonde kid, you know, guy.
Bill Maher: All right. Monday, we have Marion Ross -- well, I guess teen week is over -- Beth Littleford and representative Jack Kingston and Rodney Crowell. Now, apologize to China? You say yes?
Daril Bonner: Yes, I believe so. I mean, to me, it's like a childish matter. You know how you get taught by your parents --
Bill Maher: But it's not our fault!
Daril Bonner: Let me finish.
Bill Maher: Does it matter if it's our fault.
Daril Bonner: Let me finish --
Bill Maher: Well --
Daril Bonner: Let me finish. You get taught by your parent to just apologize. I mean, it's real basic, just apologize, it's done.
Bill Maher: If it's not your fault, you still apologize?
Daril Bonner: It's over. It's over. It's over. It's done.
Bill Maher: Well, actually, the show is done.
Marilyn Manson: Chinese food in the green room.
Bill Maher: "Holywood," Marilyn Manson's record. Chinese food in the green room. [ Cheers and applause ]