A COLLECTION OF STORIES BY LUKE TAGG
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SMOKE: Email To Marilyn Manson

Originally published: 29 March 2004

I'm not an opponent of excesses and outrageous behaviour in the world of rock and roll and indeed was entirely impressed by Ozzy Osbourne and the bat incident, but for me that excess must be backed up with talent.

Anyone can cover themselves in swine blood and urinate on adoring fans, but there are relatively few who can marry that with some damn fine rock and roll.

Just ask Marilyn Manson, who has made a career out of shocking people into believing he's something special. But I don't see how someone who doesn't know whether they're a boy or a girl, who craves eternal damnation and who spends their lives covered in stupid stage makeup can be thought of as special, or indeed taken seriously.

I explained as much to Marilyn, in an email.

Dear Mazza

Fuck.

See? Anyone can say it. Just because I've said it doesn't make me special - it just makes me yet another bloke who has no problem uttering the word.

To me it's simply language - a string of letters put together to form a word with multiple meanings, and while I'll use it liberally to emphasise a point I don't worship the word or anything - it's just a word.

I know that your intention is to shock people - look no further than the repeated profanity, the white facial makeup, the stupid eye and the anti-god references which are splattered so liberally throughout your lyrics - clearly the work of someone who wants attention so badly he'll say or do anything to get it.

Even your name - I'm sure all the girlies are very impressed that you've named yourself after one of the most notorious and barbarous killers of all time, but to me it suggests you're just trying a little too hard.

I reckon you'd change your tune smart quick if Charlie and da Family came calling of an evening, with the intention of carving you up and writing PIG on your refrigerator with your own blood as you lay there gasping your last, staring down at your inner bits seeping out.

Then you'd wish you'd settled for a more temperate Bill Smith, or Tom Brown, or even Keanu.

Killers are only cool when they're not killing you, Marilyn, but ask anyone - Sharon Tate, say - what it's like to be repeatedly stabbed to death, and trust me - it's not cool. I know it's cool to say it's cool - but it's not cool. Not at all.

I reckon you're just a Big Wet Jessy underneath all the bravado and makeup - it's usually the case with people who need to shock in order to hide their own deficiencies as human beings.

A ghostly face and some uttered mumbo-jumbo about Satan are just the right ingredients to deflect attention away from what you truly are, and when someone takes it to the extremes you do, it's pretty obvious there's a bunch there they don't want people to see.

An honest rocker will allow you into the depths of his soul - he will bare it all and let you judge him for it. But a shock rocker like yourself will just write words he thinks sounds cool, and although you pretend to speak to likeminded troubled youths - you're not actually saying anything of substance at all.


I know you're a Reverend of the Church of Satan and while I'm sure your Mum is very proud of you and the kiddies adore you it's just a bit stupid. I'm not suggesting you become celibate and start thanking God for everything good in your life, but I've said it once and I'll say it again: wishing eternal damnation upon yourself is not the brightest thing. Cool? Sure. Clever?

I think you should have become a male model instead (minus the freaky contact lens, of course) - you've got just the lanky, bony, boyish frame the fashion queens love so much and you're hardly too way out for them - they're used to androgynous, confused, heroin-loving societal freaks, and will have you schnarfing lines off their private parts before the day is out.

Hell - they'll give you the closet to emerge from, just in case you're lacking one, and in no time you'll be prancing up and down the ramps of Milan, Paris and New York and making millions, just like all the other narcissistic airheads who manage to convince the queens that their ugliness is its own kind of beauty.

Right up your street, I would think.

Ultimately - I know you've carved out a niche for yourself and there are enough troubled teens who think their Mommy treated them bad to enfold in your understanding embrace and make a fortune.

But the real world is still out there, and at some stage I reckon you should step outside and take a look around. Go take a stroll down Reality Street, and you'll find the real world is far tougher than the fantasy you've created in your head.

We're the badasses - you're the coward.

Regards,
Luke "I eat human excrement" Tagg

PS - what's it like eating entrails and drinking blood every day? Must be pretty hard maintaining the image when all you have is brains for breakfast, heart for lunch and used intestine for supper, washed down with thick, sticky, lukewarm blood. Me? I do a hearty sandwich with cheese and pickles, and I've been known to knock back a Coke or two. Not as mad - granted - but a damn sight tastier. Give it a shot - I won't tell.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I fired off my email to Marilyn and received the following reply:

Dear Luke

I have millions and millions and millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars. You have...?

Love,
Mazza

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

She has a point.

All Smoked Out,
Luke Tagg
Spending time online does bad things to a person, but I'm OK.

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Copyright © Luke Tagg. All rights reserved. A few lefts as well.

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