Saturday June 9
Marilyn Manson – “Lunchbox” from Portrait of an American Family, 1995
“Lunchbox,” whose lyrics are both frightening and sad, possesses a great rock and roll sound. Heavy guitar licks, a pounding drum beat that goes on and on, and the aforementioned curse laden, threatening lyrics, work like a well-oiled machine to create a sound that put the first nail in the coffin of grunge. While I like grunge, nothing was meant to last forever, and if there was any rocker who grunge should bow in defeat to, it’s Marilyn Manson.
Just so you know, this song is not appropriate. It was inspired by a law passed in 1972 stating children couldn’t take metal lunchboxes to school because they were being used as weapons (which is strange since I had a metal Thundercats lunchbox in the mid-80s, guess it didn’t stick).
Anyway, the lyrics tell of a young Marilyn Manson (can you picture him? I can. He’s adorable with his make up and long, stringy black hair) who uses his lunchbox as a weapon against the bullies who pick on him. Normally, I don’t condone violence, but this song is a fantasy that some children might need to hear. After all, Manson was picked on quite a bit, if there is any truth to his book, and he didn’t go crazy but grew up to become a “big rock and roll star.” Think of it like a release. I know I did when I heard it because–and I know this might be hard for some of you to believe–I was picked on up through my senior year of high school. By the time I was a senior it had died down considerably, but it was still there. I know what it is like to be ostracized from the pack. I know how it feels to want to perform some violence on said pack.
Instead of performing violent acts though, I listened to this song and dreamed of making something more of myself one day. I’ve achieved it too folks. I’m doing fine. I have several degrees under my belt, I’m well-respected within my field, and I have a book coming out soon.
I have to give some of the credit to Marilyn Manson, because without this song, I might not have focused my anger into something more productive than violence.