The Philosophy of the Worm: Marilyn Manson and Nihilism
When narrowing in on how Manson directly applies nihilism to his music, it is important to recognize what Manson stated about the trilogy of concept albums after they had each been released. It was a story told in reverse. How does this relate to nihilism? Because, although each album functions as a self-contained work, there is a hidden story to be told that tells of an actual human being, Marilyn Manson. If Holy Wood is the first entry in the story and Antichrist Superstar is the last, then the story tells of a person who comes to begin a revolution through music, becomes disenfranchised by the horrific and hateful nature of the people (the story of Holy Wood.) Then, he roots himself and rises to star power by adapting to his surroundings and conforming to the life of a rock star that utilizes drugs, alcohol, and other substances that numb him to the pain of his conformity. Then, in Antichrist Superstar, he finally ascends to the Antichrist, what he sought to become all along, and then nihilistically realizes that he despises what he has become and is struck with the truth that he has become the essence of what is wrong with his society, so he destroys himself, tearing down everything that he built over the course of his career as a rock star. From the perspective of a nihilistic philosopher, it is truly haunting.
Thus ends my philosophical analysis of Marilyn Manson's triptych of albums. Most likely the most nihilistic artist of the past few generations, Marilyn Manson is an important figure in modern nihilism.