Knock, Knock Ch. 13: Over-Identifying with Taylor Effing Swift
A/N: Sorry for the insanely long delay. I have most of this story entirely mapped out - it’s just about writing it. And life has been a little bit insane lately for me. And a little bit rude. But yay! I finally got myself a few hours to just write.
(Also just to clarify, I have no hate for the T-Swift and this chapter was named long before whatever weird feud thing is going on right now on the interwebs. The chapter title is simply about identifying with sappy love songs - something I myself can attest to being a swift kick in the lady parts when you’ve previously prided yourself on being independent and capable and totally above the whole lovesick puppy thing.)
Seriously, at least some people had the benefit
of an idyllic childhood – not Killian,
of course, but at the very least it was a possibility. But had anyone ever
described a grown-up scenario as idyllic? Not unless they were in a fucking
fairy tale. And even then you never actually got to see that part of it. The meat of the story was dragon slaying and
evil-stepmother-outsmarting. The floofy happily ever after part was always just
a platitude, a sentence to lull children to sleep at night.
No, adulthood was stupid. It was bills and complications and being the bigger person
and to-do lists and a whole gamut of bullshit that was so much shittier than
even the worst afternoon on the schoolyard.
Killian wasn’t one to whine – no, he was generally the suck it up type – but today he was cranky. After leaving his
soul-sucking adult job on Wall Street, he’d opted for a more exciting, a little
more carefree and fun-spirited career… only to be slammed in the face with the
harsh realities of such a jolly lifestyle.
There’s the cleanup and the logistics and all
the basic planning and whatnot. But then there’s the really icky stuff.
The High End of Low is often considered by Marilyn Manson fans to be one of the worst, if not the worst album. Behind the scenes, there was meddling from Interscope to try to make the album more marketable, forcing Manson to make “Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon” a single with the most butchered edited version ever being one of the things that pushed Manson to leave the label. But what if I told you there was almost certainly more?
If you visit the MansonWiki pages for the songs, you’ll discover something odd. Namely, there’s alternate versions for most of the album. These are all more stripped down, more acoustic versions. Many have a theme of going metal in the chorus, but being acoustic elsewhere. This fits the album surprisingly well, being both raw and powerful, and one of the main critiques of the album is that the songs don’t sound right with how their final versions are. All of the Alternate Versions are on Youtube, and the comments all say the same thing: they’re far better and more fitting.
This isn’t just with the Alternate Versions, though. “WOW” was a part of a five song demo called “The Unruly Demos” made by the band. Most of the songs are closer to their final versions, but “Into The Fire”, here called “maybeharmfulifswallowed” and “WOW”, here called “The Wow” both sound closer to the alternate versions, with “WOW” not having one but fitting the sound better. I can’t find one of them, as everyone assumes the Goon Moon track that was turned into “Four Rusted Horses” is the demo version, but from what I hear, it isn’t. That highlights another fact, though.
Goon Moon was Twiggy’s stoner rock project, and their sound is a lot closer to some of the Alternate Versions of The High End of Low tracks. The final versions are farther from that sound, but it still remains. There’s another thing though. The track they turned into “Four Rusted Horses” was called “somewheretohide”, which you’ll recognize as the same style of title as “maybeharmfulifswallowed”. Additionally, “Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon” was “Armagoddamotherfuckingeddon”. Goon Moon was far from financially successful, even with Twiggy being the founder and singer, and adding that sound to Marilyn Manson wouldn’t have been marketable as just putting out another normal Manson album, at least to the Interscope executives, who were being increasingly interfering in their work. This is what prompted the end of their partnership and the founding of Hell, Etc.
So, what am I getting at here? I believe that the Alternate Versions are the real versions of the album, and the final versions were required by Interscope. I could be wrong. If Manson follows through on his plan to write a second autobiography, we’ll find out, but until then, I highly believe that the album was forcefully changed to what we know it as.
Another reason I believe this is because “The Pale Emperor” has been referred to as “The High End of Low done right” by people, and the Alternate Versions sound like a prototype to The Pale Emperor. Not as advanced, or bluesy and heavy, but the ideas are there, especially in the “Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon” Alternate Version, where the acoustic guitar is pushed to its limits. Plus, it seems abnormal to make a semi-acoustic version of that song. What makes a lot more sense it to take that weird song that has the potential to be a hit if you strip the weirdness out and do just that, turning it into, as some critics have said, “Manson by numbers”. I don’t see it as that, but I get the critique.
So, I urge you, collect all the alternate versions. Get “The Wow”. Assemble them into an alternate cut of the album and give it a listen. Use the originals where there’s no replacement. Sadly, that doesn’t include the real version of “I Wanna Kill You Like They Do In The Movies”, which was freestyled by Manson for almost 20 minutes, but was never released. Get the Promo CD version of Blank and White, without the beep. “Blank and White”, “Unkillable Monster”, “We’re From America” and “I Wanna Kill You Like They Do In The Movies” are the only ones without a released alternate version, and “Blank and White” the uncensored version. So, a rundown:
1. Devour (Extended Cut) from the Promo CD 2. Pretty As A Swastika (Alternate Version) 3. Leave A Scar (Alternate Version) 4. Four Rusted Horses (Opening Titles Version) 5. Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon (Alternate Version) 6. Blank and White (Unedited) 7. Running To The Edge of the World (Alternate Version) 8. I Wanna Kill You Like They Do In The Movies 9. The Wow 10. Wight Spider
(Alternate Version) 11. Unkillable Monster 12. We’re From America 13. I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell
14. Into The Fire
I believe this is (mostly) The True High End of Low. A powerful, raw album that takes advantage of Twiggy’s new talents and experiences and delivers something different from the Manson catalogue.
Misha is doing such a great job portraying Marks version of Lucifer. It’s amazing! Even his voice sounded almost like Marks in his Lucifer scene. He’s just so talented and amazing and I love him so much
Did you notice that Ren and Rey being parted by a lava river was sort of a reference to Episode III last fight? Because when I saw that I remembered that Anakin and Obi-Wan finished their fight at the same side of the river, but the same didn't happen to Rey and Ren. Do you think that it's a sign that they'll end on opposite sides? Besides, it makes sense (at least to me) for even being bonded forever, Hades and Persephone couldn't stay always together.
It could have been referencing Episode III, but in general fans of the original Trilogy (which JJ is) tend to loathe the Prequels, so I’m not sure if they were referencing Episode III, specifically.
THAT SAID: you could totally take the river of red as symbolic of them ending up on opposite sides. Although from from the official posters, I don’t know how likely that is.
The movie posters have a lot of visual symbolism in them, and like-gets-grouped-with-like: the good guys are beside the good guys, and the bad guys are beside the bad. Sith Apprentices are usually placed beside their masters, if they have one (although Anakin’s on the cover of III twice). Here, look:
Here’s a closer version of Return of the Jedi, to give you a better idea of the positioning (honestly its one of the strongest). Here are two different versions, so you can tell I’m not cherry-picking my results:
Notice how like-is-positioned-with-like, i.e. Sith Lord and Jedi-being-tempted-towards-the-Sith (however unsuccessfully), and lovers are grouped with lovers? (You’ll also notice that Han and Leia are beside each other in each poster in the top collection of six, as are Anakin and Padme). What I’m trying to say - as an illustrator, instead of a fan - is that these things follow predictable, visual patterns (I’m nowhere near the first to document them), and you can sometimes pick up clues as to what will happen in the next movie and IN the movie itself, depending on the position and the size of the characters.
So now that we have that backstory out of the way - and remember it, because its important - take a look at TFA’s official poster:
See where Rey is? Remember that golden rule of like-with-like?
I don’t want to say that she’s going to end up being a Sith, but she’s probably going to end up being a Sith. And if we’re talking about Hades and Persephone, here, Persephone escaped the underworld once, when her mother Demeter (see: Leia and the Resistance) basically went ballistic and started killing everything until Hades was forced to return her (see: destruction of Starkiller). Zeus (see: Snoke) had to interfere and make Hades give her up. But Hades got pissed, so he tricked Persephone back into the underworld by giving her enchanted seeds to eat, binding her to him. She never escaped again.
Sooooooooooo, yeah. Yeah. I GUESS you could say they end up on opposite sides. I guess.