This Easter is going to be one of the weirdest in the entire history of Easters. It will be like me going to meet Marilyn Manson that one time in Hungary. You don’t know that one? Oh my good friend, take some popcorn and read along. Not too much though, as it’s not that long of a story. It is, but I’m not going into details. There’s too much chocolate bunny I have to take care of.
Meeting Marilyn Manson was one of the most intense moments of my life. It was the summer of 2009 and I was at the VOLT Festival in Sopron, Hungary. Don’t ask me how and why I was there. It just somehow happened. It so happened that I was staying at the same hotel the stage manager was staying at. Not just that, but literally in the next room to him. Chances, huh?
The night prior to Manson’s arrival, I stumbled upon him at the bar. We talked for a bit, me about my job as a travel journalist (yes, I was doing that back in ’09, so maybe I’m a couple of steps back on the path to success, but who cares?) and about his job as “the festival guy”, being stage manager for concerts with stars like Manson, but also Coldplay and other big names.
I was sure the guy was high or making fun of me, but he proved me wrong the next morning, when I met Marilyn Manson in person, got to exchange a few words with a living legend and, of course, got the autograph that you see in the picture above. I only had this Bravo magazine card in my wallet, as I’d never in my wildest dreams thought I could’ve met him.
“If Satan wasn’t around, churches would go out of business.” — Marilyn Manson
We really just said hello to the man and nothing else worth mentioning happened, as he was getting ready for the show in the afternoon. He was the main appearance at the Hungarian festival, which was just starting out back in ’09. These days, Sopron’s VOLT Festival is one of the biggest on the continent, with superstars like Depeche Mode or Iron Maiden rocking the stage.
Look beyond the makeup
If I were to choose just 3 people to meet for 10 minutes out of all the 7.7 billion people on this planet, here’s my list. Firstly, Marilyn Manson, for his intelligence and music, for the message, for the person that he is beyond the freaky, “Satanic” make-up and screamer of his lyrics.
“All the drugs in the world won’t save us from ourselves.” — Marilyn Manson
Secondly, there’s Richard Quest (a.k.a. Mr. Business, CNN Chief Economy Anchor) for his showmanship and overall knowledge of everything that has to do with money.
“Whatever you’re up to in the hours ahead, make it profitable.” — Richard Quest
Lastly, there’s David Blaine, for his inspiration and magic and for being there during my childhood and showing me the secrets beyond the card tricks.
“We are all capable of infinitely more than we believe.” — David Blaine
When you first see Marilyn Manson, he is definitely not your typical idol, but in reality, he is such a smart guy, I couldn’t even believe it at first. Don’t trust me on this, just look for his interviews online and you will be baffled. I think the overall conclusion of this story is that appearance, clothes, tattoos and makeup have nothing to do with the human being breathing, hurting and smiling beneath them.
Happy Easter, I guess…
What does all of this have to do with Easter? It’s about the weirdness of this Easter. Of this year, in general. We’re all masking out cool and calm as we spend more and more time inside. We’re all enjoying our cups of delicate coffee and sitting in the garden planting trees or listening to the bees. All tucked up in a robe reading all of the books and doing all of the chores.
While thinking the unthinkable. Listening to those weird, uncontrollable thoughts. Feeling those feelings of dread, unease, despair. Thinking about how this is never going to end. Or at least not as quickly as they say. Being trapped, for our own good, but how much trapping is good before it turns incredibly bad? One more sip of the coffee. Who puts cream from a tube in coffee?
This Easter, this 2020 as a year, is as weird as Marilyn Manson. It’s super weird, but for those of us who want to look beyond the weird and the terrible, the message of what’s happening now is loud and clear. Live with less. Enjoy more. Breathe better. Read the books, and the nature around you. Love your loved ones. Really love them. Be with them. And be with yourself.
Happy Easter everybody! Stay cool, weird and eat all chocolate bunnies you can get.
Hi! My name is Gabriel, nice to meet you.
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