“A journey through drag queens, shock artists and sword swallowing philosophers. Oh my!”
In terms of interests, I’m a pretty eclectic person. My biggest passions in life are alternative music and queer culture, and the sheer scale of both communities mean the inspirations I have gathered over the years are many and varied. However, in terms of individuals that have made a truly profound impact on my life there are only three, and they all fit a strange sort of a pattern.
I’m hardly superstitious, but the power of patterns is always something I’ve been aware of. In particular, instances of symmetry always seem to indicate a balance in my life – be that physical, mental or emotional. Reading The Celestine Prophecy from age 10 probably had something to do with it, but now whenever these little patterns emerge I take it as a sign from the universe that I’m on the right track – that my power is increasing. It may sound stupid and it could be anything from a placebo effect to straight up wrong, but it manifests especially in those from whom I take the most inspiration.
Marilyn Manson, Max Malanaphy, and Morgue. Do you see it? The Dionysian, The Apollonian, and the balance between the two. It’s a gross over simplification but these three people have helped me in very different ways, be that through cruelty, kindness or an emphasis on the importance of both.
Now I know what you’re thinking; every emo teenager loves Marilyn Manson, he’s a posterchild for everything from school shootings to drug addiction to sexual perversion, but hear me out. Marilyn Manson is catharsis personified.
I’m a vegetarian, asexual, straight-edge pacifist, about as placid and non-violent as it gets, but Manson’s music gave me a healthy way to explore the not-so-nice parts of who I am. Aside from forcing me to question my perception of gender, sexuality and authority, Manson forced me to question myself. In doing so I realised that as a human I have an immense capacity to cause harm, and that reconciling with that is okay.
At first, his music was nothing more than an outlet for my stereotypical teenage depression, but as I’ve grown up it’s become so much more than that. My love of Marilyn Manson is an acknowledgement of how my nature is faceted, a recognition that it is okay to kick and scream and take up space. Marilyn Manson for me was what Lady Gaga was to so many others; in becoming so much of a scapegoat he taught me something about being human. How that Dionysian part of us can never be repressed, but that’s for the best; for without it we would have no fire.
My second pick could not be more different. If Marilyn Manson taught be about all humanity’s potential for destruction, Max taught me about just how far kindness can take a person. She is unfailingly optimistic and sweet to every person she meets, and her ability to do that while still maintaining her individuality really struck a chord with me.
During her time on RuPaul’s Drag Race she was painted as a silver-haired old soul with a love of cabaret and a slightly prudish, introverted outlook. As a silver-haired, asexual, cabaret-loving introvert you can imagine the impact she had on me personally. I was so afraid to meet her, waiting outside in the cold for this towering drag queen to show up, but she proved the maxim wrong a thousand times. I met my hero, and it was glorious. I felt so validated, both in terms of my interests and in terms of my outlook – I had never seen a performer define herself so much by her grace.
Now, whenever I’m facing difficulty or anxiety it is Max I think of. If she can go on proudly existing as the genderfluid Weimar angel she is, then surely there is hope for me too. The Collective may not be a tangible place but it has been home enough for me this past year, and her commitment to grace and dignity despite all thrown at her has inspired me to remain a lady – even when my gender identity disagrees.
Instead of creating mindless fangirls (well, there are a few I must admit) he has turned his audience and platform into a vehicle for debate and true change, something that can hardly be said for the majority of pop-culture icons. Whenever I begin to get too wrapped-up in the politics and popularity contests of the blogging world, Morgue’s views provide a sobering reminder of what truly matters – and with no trace of idol worship I can credit his work with making me a much more empowered and self-aware person.
Even if you vehemently disagree with his ideas as I’m sure many of you will, he’s worth checking out. If Manson taught me cruelty and Max kindness, Morgue taught me balance. Human nature is not something to be trained or tamed, nor should one extreme be pursued to the detriment of the other – a person is a many faceted thing and should be treated as such. As someone who used to make themselves as small as possible, as simplistic and simpering as I could merely to avoid conflict, this lesson has been invaluable.
…And that’s it. What do you think of my three inspirations? Do you have any of your own? Tell me in the comments, and as always:
31 thoughts on “My Triad Of Inspirations”
If I had to pick a triad, I would pick the first three influences that I was conscious of: The Cure, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Atwood.
The Cure! No I totally agree, Robert Smith has had a huge impact on me too, particularly my fashion and writing.
Some music can be so empowering can’t it? I find it interesting to hear people’s interpretations of different songs. I like how you’ve done this post it’s really interesting way to look at each artist.
Thank you, that means a lot! I know my blog’s quite different from a lot of people’s, so it’s always nice to be told that what I’m doing is working. ❤
I like this, music is and was such an important part of growing up and finding my identity
I love placebo effect, it proves how much control we (are able to) have over our body and mind. You’re absolutely right about the balance too, and the evil part of our nature. It shouldn’t be glossed over, it’s there. I believe we should acknowledge it and appreciate the fact we realize its existence, which is the only way to stay clear of it.
I think what inspires us can often change with time as the people that inspired me 20 years ago may have gone in another direction. One constant source of inspiration for more was always David Bowie, a genius who never needed to sell himself, his talent did it for him!
I’m not into music these days but I’ve heard and listened to Marilyn M’s songs before. And oh, I love your name Skye. One of my sorror (sorority sister) had it ;). xx
I absolutely LOVED Max in DragRace. She was one of my favourites in her season and was so sad she did not get the win.
I may have followed simply for that comment! Seriously though, she was robbed, but she was so happy when I met her that I don’t think she minded. ❤
good post keep it up!
It’s a fascinating subject and I love the way you talked about them. I listened to Marlin Manson as I liked a couple of his songs and I wasn’t inspired by him, but now, after reading your thoughts, I can understand what you mean. Loved your post. xx
I was rather fascinated with Marylin Manson – when I was little, people around me did not have a great opinion on him, but I thought that artistically, he was great!
He didn’t get as much hate in the UK as he did in the US for some reason, and I have parents who like that kind of music too – so I grew up around people who could respect him as an artist too!
Awesome post! Keep up the good work:-)
<3: Jasmin N | littlethingswithjassy.blogspot.fi
This is not my cup of tea at all, I only know a few songs by marylin Manson ! but if I had to pick a triad it would be kiss, green and the cure 🙂
Everyone’s saying The Cure! I totally get it though, they were a big inspiration for me too!
See I couldnt listen to these type of music I am much more an easy listener
That’s fair aha. I do like softer stuff, I listen to a lot of folk and shoegazy stuff, but nothing beats the heavy stuff in my eyes. ❤
Amazing how music could inspire our lives. I”m more to easy lisening type of music.
Well, I know who Marilyn Manson is, but not the other two. Interesting how you were able to use all 3 to determine who you are. I can’t say I’ve ever done anything like that. I guess I just know and I’m happy with that.
Yeah, for a lot of people I guess it’s subconscious and not something they need to think about, but I’ve really been trying to figure out why I am the way I am recently, and I guess a lot of it comes back to this! ❤
I am a music lover. I like rhythm and blues and good old pop. Great choices here.
Glad you liked it!
I am a Manson fan and have seen him live 2-3 times now and I like that he is different. I was obsessed with Sylvia Plath, Larkin and Point Horro books growing up, all three of which are still part of my life x
Three times?? I’ve only seen him twice, you’re so lucky! I never got the hype with Plath at first, but after rereading her poetry I really connected – I guess I just needed to grow up a little bit. 🙂
I knew Manson, but the others I didn’t!
Glad I helped introduce you to some people!
I love most music. But I can honestly say [while I know some of these names] I’ve never listened to any of their music. 😦
I love Marilyn Manson the guy has style and is so intelligent but I have to put my hands up to not knowing the others
I really believe music brings out the best in us. All have a varied taste in music, its thrilling to know how much diversity music industry has.