I Think I Know Where You Live

Cover

Marilyn Manson hasn’t stopped producing shock rock music that intellectually stimulates, challenging our views, perceptions and beliefs. His music is still laden with literary depth. He might not be as popular, inspire the same hysteria as he did amongst conservatives and the general public when he first started, nonetheless his music still remains powerful, threaded with immense value (civic, personal, literary, philosophical, social and political value). This makes him difficult to listen to, a bit uncomfortable, and sometimes a bit confusing but not necessarily without cause or logic, although it may seem that way sometimes – he doesn’t lay it out for you, he expects you to do the hard work of interpreting and analyzing his music.

While he has certainly gotten older, therefore not as ferocious as he was earlier in his career, he remains sharp in certain aspects. While the theatrics have been dialed low, his lyrics have become are still as impressive and experimental, comprising of a concoction of literary references, meaningful word play, metaphors, deliberate omissions, historical references, religious references, symbolism, philosophies, poignant narratives, fables and so much more. His first single coming off his recent album Heaven Upside Down is not short on some of those features. The single is called We Know Where You Fucking Live. The music that accompanies the content makes it even more terrifying and haunting than the title suggests, even more so since the Las Vegas Shooting – at least for me. He has us thinking about human nature, not something Marilyn Manson hasn’t done before, but it is salient in this single (and other moments in this album and previous releases).

Whenever I listen to We Know Where You Fucking Live, I can’t help but see the footage of the Las Vegas Shooting, the sounds of gunshots, screaming, chaos, police shouting at the crowd, and the shaky images. I see Stephen Paddock firing at the crowd as Marilyn Manson belts “Fire, fire, fire away” over and over on the equally chaotic bridge of the song. “I love the sound of shells hitting the ground man,” he says. Earlier in the song, one of his lines is, “It’s time to just kill the crowd and scream as fucking loud”.  It’s difficult not to go there when you listen to this song.

You might think this is totally atrocious, crass, and he is just inciting violence. After all, the chorus says, “We know where you fucking live, we’ll burn it down and they won’t even recognize your corpse”. However, this interpretation would be overlooking some aspects of the song; although the imagery is there, it is not what he seems to be purporting. Despite me seeing that footage every time I listen to the track. The song mostly comes across as misanthropic, it suggests our civilization isn’t good – species on a road to self-destruction and, in a way, most of us are cancerous to the planet, to our own achievements and potential. That being the fact, we continue to convince ourselves that we are special, or perhaps we are just ignorant of the fact, or too distracted and caught up in our own little bubbles to see it and admit it. The pre-chorus, which is also the outro, encapsulates this sentiment well, “So what’s a nice place like this, doing ‘round people like us?” he asks. Before that, “We don’t need to move a single prayer bone, hi-def is still life”. Probably insinuating we don’t need saving, because we are unworthy as a civilization, or at least the world at its current state, and we should be wiped out. It is these misanthropic themes that permeate most of the album, from referring to an eminent apocalypse and to our perceptions of the moral supremacy of our species have. Destruction, death, chaos, and all this violent imagery simply serves as a vehicle for mere misanthropy, cynicism and moral criticism.

The interesting part is that when Marilyn Manson makes himself, in his songs, the agent of the destruction he is not suggesting he is any better than any of us, he seems to be saying “I’m an animal, destructive and evil, I’m aware that all of us are and I’m going to use that to put an end to our plunder and self-destruct in the process”. Perhaps it becomes even more clear when he says, “We don’t just intend to eat the street, the asphalt is the good meat” metaphorically suggesting to devour our cities, the infrastructure allowing our efficacy, or objects that make our destructive modern life viable. He laments that “the world was stripped of its superficial surfaces” right before delivering that line. Closes off the verse by stipulating our evil nature, including his own, with the words, “We will sleep on the skin of its(world) nightmares”.

At the very least this is an expression of the violent anger, the discontentment and frustration the singer harbors about our current state of the world.

But how coincidental though, with the imagery in this song and the shooting?

This is my take on Manson’s single We Know Where You Fucking Live.

Listen to it here below, see where it takes you.

 

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5 thoughts on “I Think I Know Where You Live

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