Manson - Not Handsome!
We finally got a new look at Charles Manson today, and I for one am disappointed with this year’s model. Where are my beloved crazy eyes? Where is the scraggly Mennonite beard? What about the groovy hair? Sure he’s got the swastika carved into his forehead but it’s looking a bit perfunctory these days, like the polo playing guy on Ralph Lauren shirts. (Note: that faded swastika is a textbook case for why you need to put sunscreen on tattoos!) The craziest thing about the new Charles Manson are his eyebrows, which could use a good waxing.
For forty years, Charles Manson has been America’s pre-eminent bogeyman, the guy we turned to when we got sick of Oprah and just wanted a lil’ Evil. And for all that time, he’s given us exactly what we asked for: eye rolling, finger wagging, head twitching, mouth frothing. For forty years, the guy couldn’t open his mouth without something creepy falling out.
He was the Cal Ripken Jr. of crazy.
Now though, he’s in his mid-seventies, long past the age when most nutjobs hang up their straitjackets, and it’s clear his heart just isn’t in it anymore. Manson clearly wants to hand the crown to somebody, but nobody is there to take it. Nobody has ever come close to challenging Manson as the undisputed heavyweight of psychopaths. Not Ted Bundy. Not the Zodiac. Not even Jeffrey Dahmer – and he ate people!
Manson pretty did it all: hippie, cult leader, murderer of Hollywood actress, interpreter of Beatles lyrics, one-time auditioner for “the Monkees.” Who is going to top a resumé like that? Nobody. But what’s so disappointing is that nobody’s even trying. Modern supervillains aren’t trying to start race riots. They’re just stealing money.
That’s so boring, so pedestrian, so bourgeois. Manson didn’t give a shit about money. He was having orgies. He was writing songs. He was dropping acid. He was smearing the word "Pigs" on the walls in blood. Manson was a guy who knew how to be fucking crazy!
What did Bernie Madoff ever do compared to that?
But now it’s clear that Charles Manson’s best days are behind him. His red-rimmed eyes and close-cropped hair give no hint of the rake who once said, “I’m the king, man. I run the underworld. I decide who does what and where they do it at… the game’s mine. I deal the cards.” Friends, that’s my Manson.
Or take this delightful exchange:
What contemporary crazy can compete with that? None – why? They haven’t got the style! They haven’t got the panache! Frankly, they haven’t got the eyebrows. But I believe that somebody's got to be out there. Some meth head in the heartland. Some angry artistic kid with a dream, the dream to outdo Manson. It's a lofty goal, sure, but this is America, damn it! A place where people have dreams so crazy, you'd have to be insane to think of them in the first place. Which, of course, is the whole point.