Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “mOBSCENE” — Marilyn Manson (2003)

The day that love opened our eyes
We watched the world end
We have “high” places but we have no friends
They told us sin’s not good but we know it’s great
War-time full-frontal drugs, sex-tank armor plate…

You know what, this is the first Marilyn Manson appearance in our ongoing Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs, and by nature a quizzical omission. Because I mean, it’s like Manson, man.

Well let’s change that today with mOBSCENE, a King’s Cut of nuMetal from the salad days of 2003. Almost immediately it slaps you upside the puss, as the entire milieu is right up front. Within are all the trappings: crunchy downtuned guitars, driving electronic syncopation, layers of swirling industrial effects, and Manson’s inimitable multi-tracked vocals erupting into a stampede of melodic growls.

But let’s also draw the curtain of money-shot honesty here: it’s Satan’s Cheerleaders we’re really here for, and why the hell not? When they instruct us to “be obscene and not heard”, they have our complete attention.

As for the content of the song itself, mOBSCENE is apparently some amalgamation of Manson’s contemplations of and ruminations over disparate elements, such as classic 1930s musicals, the acerbic observational wit of Oscar Wilde, and rampaging elephants. Even more important though, the song reinforces the very notion that if “they” don’t think you’re acceptable, show them how much your freakin’ devastating unacceptability leaves them kicking rocks and pounding sand.

mOBSCENE doesn’t just remind us of our obligations to ourselves; it demands them. And if THAT don’t scream Halloween perfection, I’m living in the wrong meat carcass.

You want commitment?
Put on your best suit, get your arms around me
Now we’re going down down down
Be obscene, be be obscene
Be obscene, baby, and not heard…

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