Un-Reality Shows and Marilyn Manson Wants to Give You a Hug

Fake reality show ads (© PBS, Thirteen WNET New York via Facebook)

The Public Broadcasting Television station in New York City decided to promote itself with some subway posters purporting to promote the farce “Reality Shows” above.  They’re JUST bizarre enough to pass muster!…

Each was followed by the legend, “The fact that you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV.”

Yes, it does!

Meanwhile, the runaway freight train that is Social Media continues to plow through people’s lives like, like… well, frankly, I think that runaway freight train simile is as good as anything…

Please consider the case of Paris Jackson.

A teenager whose father was Michael Jackson and whose life has been lived in the midst of Heaven Only Knows What Kind of Environment has made the news this week for all the wrong reasons.

The general story is that the young lady, who is still on the younger side of her adolescence, made an attempt to take her own life earlier this week with the help of some pills and a kitchen knife.

The good news is she failed to do any permanent damage and all reports are she should make a full recovery.  Statements have been made to assorted media that the family requests prayer and privacy at this time.  Fair enough.

What is sadder than these events (if that’s possible) is the actions of two adults who are absolutely old enough to know better.

Doctor Conrad Murray, whose most famous patient was Paris’ late father, has sent out word to the child that he “is there for her.”  Convicted of manslaughter in the King of Pop’s death by drug overdose, Murray went of to say, “From where I sit, all I have to give is love.”

You got that right.

Now, just in case that wasn’t creepy enough, someone else is reaching out to this troubled little girl.  Unfortunately, the person in question has eyes of two different colors, has a singing voice like a chainsaw that’s been gargling with sulfuric acid, and is absolutely NOT associated in anybody’s mind with warm, fuzzy feelings or chicken noodle soup.

Enter Marilyn Manson.

Say, wasn’t this guy’s peak of popularity back around the time that “The Matrix” came out? You know, back when all the years began with a ‘1’ in front of them?  Back before your grandmother knew what a Goth was and could recognize one on sight?


Originally born in Canton, Ohio as Brian Hugh Warner, Mr. Manson is presently 44 years of age, which actually makes him old enough to be somebody’s father.  His several engagements and marriages, however, have produced no issue.  So perhaps he’s responding to some sort of yearning to channel his inner “Father Knows Best” Robert Young pater familias.

Mr. Manson has reached out to Ms. Jackson expressing his wishes for her complete recovery, dedicating a song in concert to her and letting her know that she will be on his guest list at any of his shows she cares to attend.

Marilyn Manson Top Hat

While I am willing to applaud Mr. Manson’s apparent generosity (I don’t know that ANYbody’s concert tickets are cheap anymore,) I can’t help wondering whether a performance by one of the more ghoulish and nihilistic entertainers this side of Rob Zombie is really the best thing for a teenager with a recent psychological  tendency for suicidal ideation.

I’m just sayin’…

Whoops!  This just in!  MM has followed up his “Get Well Soon” wishes for Ms. Jackson  with his own pantomime suicide onstage.  It seems he goes through the motions of slashing his own wrists.  (Please see the links at the bottom of this post.)   Nice touch, but typical of the stage performance and not at all out of line with what  Manson’s fans look for in his shows.

Meanwhile, generally regarded as “the man who killed Michael Jackson,” Dr. Murray can certainly stand to polish his own personal brand in the marketplace these days.  Sadly, this isn’t the way to do it.  His track record for supervisory medical care is not good, although young Paris’ immediate family can take comfort (and I’m sure they do) in the fact that he’ll never get anywhere near her.

As for our friend from the Buckeye State, one is left with the impression that Mr. Warner/Manson (pictured above in a more innocent time) is protecting what he may well view as an important aspect of his own professional brand, namely, suicide.

And, while he’s at it, he generates a little publicity for his professional efforts, as well.

What’s that you say?  I’m being too cynical?  Fine, let’s consult an alternate point of view…

What Mr. Warner and Dr. Murray fail to appreciate is that there is a difference between being glib and being genuinely profound.

The same way there’s a difference between comforting an injured child and promoting your own self-interest.

We’ve all been adolescents and we all know what it feels like to be alienated and disenfranchised.

What adolescents in any age are listening for, what they need to hear, is that these feelings eventually pass.

It gets better.

What they don’t need is to be co-opted by a sensationalized desire for fame and profit that leaves them stuck … or else so hopeless that self-destruction takes on the appearance of an attractive option.

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About jaypochapin

Married adult human male, father, brother, son, writer, voiceover actor and humorist. Frequently funny, sometimes snarky, occasionally profound. Beatles, Stones, Who, Python, Firesign Theatre, Shakespeare, Bogart/Bacall, Marx Brothers, Alice Cooper and more besides. Have worked as many things: traffic reporter, disc jockey, newscaster, interviewer, producer, copywriter, voice over talent, teacher, emcee, housekeeper, janitor, uniformed security officer, bagel baker's assistant and more, but don't let the uniform fool you, baby! I ... AM ... THE WRITER!

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