Caricature Workshop
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I recently attended Jan Op De Beeck's Caricature Workshop at the European Cartoon Center (ECC) in Kruishoutem, Belgium. Here are some pictures of this event, followed by Jan's biography and a sample of his graphic work. Jan is a renowned Belgian master caricaturist.
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(click on image to enlarge)
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Sleeping Forever
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Sleeping at Last
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By Christina Georgina Rossetti (*)

Sleeping at last, the trouble and tumult over,
Sleeping at last, the struggle and horror past,
Cold and white, out of sight of friend and of lover,
Sleeping at last.

No more a tired heart downcast or overcast,
No more pangs that wring or shifting fears that hover,
Sleeping at last in a dreamless sleep locked fast.

Fast asleep. Singing birds in their leafy cover
Cannot wake her, nor shake her the gusty blast.
Under the purple thyme and the purple clover
Sleeping at last.

(Poem's source : classiclit.about.com)

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Selected Cartoon (Toonpool.com)
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Rubik's Cube

The Olympic Games in China are a Rubik's Cube, in the opinion of Ben Heine from Brussels. The five rings, symbolising the five continents with their colours and thereby all national flags, can be recomposed in Ben Heine’s cartoon. The result of this is not always pleasing: red, red, red, blue, yellow, black, black as a crow ...

The twisted rings form an endless chain. Moreover, nobody is able to burst these fetters. Ben Heine is a famous cartoon artist who combines newspaper articles, poems and symbols into an up to date political statement. Just like another great artists from Belgium, René Magritte, he is thereby shaking up the conventional ways of thinking and perceptions. Here it is the Rubik’s Cube that the Chinese dislocate in whatever way they see fit. (toonpool.com 05/08)

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Danger of Love
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Love is a Sickness
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By Samuel Daniel (*)

Love is a sickness full of woes,
All remedies refusing;
A plant that with most cutting grows,
Most barren with best using.
Why so?

More we enjoy it, more it dies;
If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries--
Heigh ho!

Love is a torment of the mind,
A tempest everlasting;
And Jove hath made it of a kind
Not well, nor full nor fasting.
Why so?

More we enjoy it, more it dies;
If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries--
Heigh ho!

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(*) Samuel Daniel (1562 – October 14, 1619) was an English poet and historian. Daniel was born near Taunton in Somerset, the son of a music-master. He was the brother of John Daniel. Their sister Rosa was Edmund Spenser's model for Rosalind in his The Shepherd's Calendar; she eventually married John Florio. In 1579, Daniel was admitted to Magdalen Hall (now known as Hertford College) at Oxford University, where he remained for about three years and afterwards devoted himself to the study of poetry and philosophy. A "Samuel Daniel" is recorded in 1586 as being the servant of Edward Stafford, the Baron of Stafford and the English ambassador in France. This is probably the same person as the poet. >>> More

--> The poem appeared on poetry.com

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Sketches of
random people

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(Click on image to enlarge)
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These are some sketches I recently made in the subway. This is definitely a good exercise to draw faster. Sorry for the simple lines, some of the portraits/caricatures were made in a few minutes, others in a few seconds (colored pencils).

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(Note : This is a portrait of Mona. She is a painter and sculptor, some of her works can be seen here. The nine-pointed star is a symbol used by Bahá'í worshippers as a sign of their Faith. More on the Bahá'í Faith)
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I Will Greet
The Sun Again

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By Forugh Farrokhzad (*)

I will greet the sun again;
I will greet the streams which flowed in me;
I will greet the clouds which were
my lengthy thoughts;
I will greet the painful growth of poplars
Which pass through the dry seasons;
I will greet the flocks of crows
Which brought me, as presents,
The sweet smells of the fields at night;
I will greet my mother who lived in the mirror
And was the image of my old age;
And I will also greet the earth whose burning womb
Is filled with, green seeds by the passion she has
for reproducing me.

I will come, I will come,
I will come with my hair,
As the continuation of the smells of the soil;
With my eyes, as the dense experiences of darkness,
Carrying the bushes I have picked in the woodlands
beyond the wall.

I will come, I will come,
I will come and the entrance will be filled with love;
And at the entrance I will greet again
those who are in love,
And also the girl who is still standing
At the entrance in diffusion of love.


(*) Forugh Farrokhzad (1935 - 1967) was an Iranian poetess and film director. Forugh Farrokhzad, Parvin E'tesami and Simin Behbahani are usually considered the most famous modern female poets of Iran. Forugh Farrokhzad was mainly under the influence of Ebrahim Golestan, a notable Iranian scholar. More on Forugh Farrokhzad. Poem's source : Artarena

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Thought Explosion
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The Big Bang
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By Doug Holder
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It's not the bang
so much
as the anticipation
the sensitive hairs
in each of your
expectant drums
your body
retreating into
its seminal
fetal curl
the hands'
feral clawing
and it all
boils
down to
some histrionic
exploding sun,
and then
quite simply
you're done.

(Poem's source : Authorsden.com)

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Stained Dali
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Hot Glass
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By Suzanne Cooper
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Artists inspired by secret messages
whispered
by colored glass.
Tortured elements
touched by flame.
Changing.
Flowing.
Sweat dripping from
brows of men
flirting with fire.
Beauty emerging from
infernos into the quiet.
Glass, born of sand and fire
comes to life in
frozen beauty,
fragile strength.

(Poem's source : suzannecooper.com)

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Marilyn Manson
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Biography (Source: Manson Wiki)

Brian Hugh Warner (born January 5, 1969), better known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, is a professional musician. He is the lead singer of the industrial metal band that bears the same name. His stage name is formed from the names Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson.

Brian Hugh Warner was born on January 5th 1969 in Canton, Ohio. He attended Heritage Christian School. After transferring to and later graduating from Canton's GlenOak High School, Warner moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his family. While living in Fort Lauderdale, he studied journalism and theater at Broward Community College, and became the assistant entertainment editor of BCC's student newspaper, the Observer.

Romance

Warner's first serious relationship was with Melissa "Missi" Romero. As explained in his autobiography, during the production of "Antichrist Superstar," Missi became pregnant with Warner's child, but had an abortion during her second trimester. He has also been linked to Traci Lords and Jenna Jameson. Jameson wrote about her sexual encounter with Manson in her autobiography, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale in which she noted him as being "massively endowed". Manson was engaged to Rose McGowan, but their relationship ended around the time he became involved with burlesque dancer and fetish model model Dita Von Teese. Manson photographed Von Teese for the December 2002 issue of Playboy. Manson and Von Teese wed in December 2005 in the Irish home of friend Gottfried Helnwein. Von Teese filed for divorce as of December 2006. The divorce came through in January 2007. In April of 2007, Marilyn Manson's girlfriend, Evan Rachel Wood, admitted that they were actually a couple.

Marriage

Manson and Dita Von Teese started dating on Manson's 32nd birthday, and Manson proposed three years later on March 22, 2004. On December 3, 2005 (court documents say November 28), the couple was married in a non-denominational ceremony at Gurteen Castle in Kilsheelan, County Tipperary, Ireland, the home of Gottfried Helnwein. The wedding was officiated by surrealist film director and comic book writer Alejandro Jodorowsky. Dita Von Teese wore a royal purple silk taffeta gown by Vivienne Westwood, complete with train and petticoats worn over a Mr. Pearl couture corset, topped off by a tricorne hat by Stephen Jones, while Manson wore a John Galliano black silk taffeta tuxedo with velvet trim and a hat also crafted by Stephen Jones. They reportedly exchanged vows in front of approximately 60 guests, including burlesque dancer Catherine Delish, Lisa Marie Presley, Eric Szmanda, David Lynch, Jessicka and Christian Hejnal, and Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne. Vogue magazine ran a multiple-page feature on the wedding in its February 2006 issue. Just before his own wedding, Manson criticized Britney Spears' wedding to Kevin Federline, in which they celebrated by wearing personalized tracksuits: "If you're going to do something like getting married, it should have a sense of celebration to it. It should be grand and not in tracksuits!"

As of January 30, 2007 Manson and Dita Von Teese reportedly split after her filing for divorce due to "irreconcilable differences" according to Von Teese. ET.com along with People Magazine has claimed that Manson was having an extramarital affair with actress Evan Rachel Wood, which may or may not be the true cause of the split. Manson's alcohol abuse and distant behaviour have also been cited as cause for the split. It has also been claimed that Manson was not aware of Von Teese's filing for divorce and moving out of their home at the time that the story was published, conceivably due to his reported stay in Paris, France. Von Teese reportedly took their two cats and two dachshunds, Greta and Eva, with her when she left. Manson fought for custody of the two cats, but only received one of them.

Evan Rachel Wood attended the grand opening of Manson's new Celebritarian Corporation Gallery of Fine Art and among the most notable artworks were two portraits of Evan. She will also co-star in his upcoming horror film Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll.

In music

Jessicka of the band Jack Off Jill was an early friend of Manson's, her band opened most of his South Florida shows. He not only produced most of the band's early recordings but also played guitar on the song "My Cat" and helped name the band. Manson later wrote the liner notes for the band's album Humid Teenage Mediocrity, a collection of early Jack Off Jill recordings.

In early 1993, after being instructed by his new label, Interscope Records, not to play any local shows, Manson formed Mrs. Scabtree. Mrs. Scabtree was a side project between he and newly hired Jeordie White. Manson played drums, while White (dressed as a black woman) shared vocal duties with then girlfriend Jessicka from Jack Off Jill who wore a blonde wig. Mrs. Scabtree only played two shows in South Florida.

Manson has helped or provided full scores for several major motion pictures, although several of his pieces have been cut, and his name dropped from the credits. Some of his more notable soundtrack score contributions include The Matrix, From Hell and Resident Evil.

Manson appeared as a guest on rapper DMX's album Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood for the track "The Omen", produced by Swizz Beats, and has performed (with the rest of the band) on stage with Eminem as background music in the song "The Way I Am".

Manson sang vocals on "Break You Down" off of the Washington, DC-based industrial rock band gODHEAD's 2000 Years of Human Error album. This album is distinguished for being the only one released on Manson's vanity label Posthuman Records.

In film and television

Manson made a cameo appearance as a doctor in the Murderdolls' music video "Dead in Hollywood", and also appears in the Nine Inch Nails music video "Starfuckers, Inc.", as well as "Gave Up", and Eminem's "The Way I Am" music video.

His first appearance in a film was in the role of a pornographic actor in David Lynch's Lost Highway, in 1997. He also had a minor role in former love interest Rose McGowan's 1998 film Jawbreaker and a supporting role in 2003's Party Monster, which is based on the events leading up to and the murder of Angel Melendez by the infamous Michael Alig of club kid fame, where Manson portrayed a psychotic drag queen named Christina . Manson made a cameo appearance in The Hire: Beat the Devil, a short film in the BMW films series (starring Clive Owen as the Driver), which featured James Brown as himself, and Gary Oldman as Satan. His most talked-about film cameo was in the Michael Moore political documentary Bowling for Columbine discussing the motivations of the perpetrators and allegations that his music was somehow a factor. He played himself, in animated form, on an episode of the television series Clone High, in which he sang a song about nutrition and the food pyramid. He is featured prominently throughout Not Another Teen Movie, and covered the song "Tainted Love" for its soundtrack.

His music is frequently featured on the show C.S.I.. The character on the show, Greg Sanders, is a big fan of Manson and the actor who plays him, Eric Szmanda, is a personal friend of Manson's.

Manson was featured in the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, and was set to appear in Abelcain, directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Living Neon Dreams in 2005, although both of these projects are still unreleased as of 2007. He will also be seen as a bartender in an upcoming vampire movie starring Lucy Liu called Rise and possibly has pending roles in Abelcain, RISE and other projects.

Manson has produced 23 music videos, most of which have gone beyond the scope of a normal performance video and been well received by critics for their imagery and direction. Manson’s three most recent released videos – Personal Jesus, (s)AINT and Heart-Shaped Glasses – were voluntarily funded with his own money (to a sum of $1,500,000) and largely not that of the record company. Manson stated in June 2006 that he saw himself "as more a student of film than of music".

In July 2005, Manson told Rolling Stone that he was shifting his focus from music to filmmaking - "I just don't think the world is worth putting music into right now. I no longer want to make art that other people--particularly record companies--are turning into a product. I just want to make art."

By 2006 Manson was working on his directorial debut, Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, but has since put the project off until November 2007 to focus on recording Marilyn Manson's sixth studio album, Eat Me, Drink Me, followed by a world tour. The film is said to feature special effects using a magician rather than computer-generated imagery.

In graphic art

From the beginning Manson has been a recreational painter, the oldest of his surviving pieces dating back to 1995-1996, but it was after his 1998 Grey period that Manson began his career as a watercolour painter. In 1999 he made five-minute concept pieces and sold them to drug dealers with their knowledge that they would accumulate in value over time. Gradually Manson became more drawn to watercolors as an art form in itself, and instead of trading them, kept them and continued to paint at a proficient rate.

This manic creativity resulted in an exhibit for his art, The Golden Age of Grotesque, held at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions Centre on between September 13 and 14, 2002. The reaction to his paintings was largely positive with one critic comparing them to Egon Schele's pieces and describing them as heartfelt and sincerely painted, and Art in America went as far as to liken them to the works of a " psychiatric patient given materials to use as therapy ". Others however saw less merit in the works stating that the value was in the celebrity.

Two years later almost to the day, during September 14 and 15, 2004, Manson held his second exhibit on the first night in Paris and the second in Berlin, Trismegistus, which was also the title of the center piece of the exhibit – a large three headed Christ painted onto an antique wood panel. Again the reception to the works could be described as mixed but was largely in favour of the artist.

Manson opened his own an art gallery, The Celebritarian Corporation Gallery of Fine Art, on October 31, 2006 in Los Angeles for which his third exhibition (by invitation or appointment only after the opening night) was the inaugural show. From April 2 until April 17, 2007 Manson's recent works were be on show at the Space 39 Modern & Contemporary in Florida.

A coffee table art book is in the works, initially titled The Death of Art. The last given title was Quintif. It will be published by the makers of Flaunt magazine.

40 pieces from this show were ported to the Gallery Brigitte Schenk in Cologne, Germany to be publicly exhibited from June 28 until July 28, 2007. After this they will return to the Space39 Modern & Contemporary Gallery thus leaving Manson's own gallery in Los Angeles temporarily without his own work until 2008.

The price of Manson's works has been a somewhat controversial point for fans and critics alike, with most fans realistically unable to afford the paintings save for fine art editions and lithographs. Manson's prices though are realistic and reasonable considering the long-term value at a time when prices for contemporary art have never been higher.

During his European tour 2007 Manson has exhibited his paintings in Germany, Russia and Switzerland.

In other areas

Manson provided the voice of the alien Edgar in the 2005 first-person shooter video game Area 51, which also featured David Duchovny. Marilyn Manson also appears (as himself) as a playable character in the video game Celebrity Deathmatch. Allegedly, the artist posed nude for photos prior to his rise to fame. The pictures appeared in the March 1999 issue of Honcho.

Professional fallouts

Trent Reznor

One of Manson's high-profile relationships, the defunct friendship with Trent Reznor, has been marked with mutual bitterness and perhaps vendetta. This started in the mid-90s, when Manson was due to make a track that would appear on the soundtrack to David Lynch's Lost Highway, but instead Reznor was the one who wrote a song, "The Perfect Drug", for the film. In 1999, it seemed the two artists had patched their differences, as Manson made an appearance in the video for the Nine Inch Nails song "Starfuckers, Inc."

In 2004, Reznor was asked whether he had plans to do any covers; he sarcastically replied, "I was really hoping to do something unique and pertinent - like do an exact copy of "Personal Jesus" - but it was already taken."

In a 2005 interview, Manson said Reznor's Nothing Records had lost the master recordings of Manson's first three albums. He implied it was Reznor's intention, "Now that Nothing Records doesn't exist, I think there's only one of two people responsible for that. Out of those two people, there's only one that really has an opinion of me that is voiced very often."

Twiggy Ramirez

In May 2002 Twiggy Ramirez left the band, citing differences in perspective on the future of the band. He went on to play bass for A Perfect Circle and Nine Inch Nails. During this time, Manson claimed in interviews that he and Ramirez were still close friends, while Ramirez maintained that he rarely spoke to Manson. In an interview in February of 2006 Twiggy stated he was willing to record an album with Marilyn Manson if the right conditions were met. In Autumn 2006, Manson and Ramirez were photographed together at numerous parties in Los Angeles, in amicable poses.

In January 2008 it was announced that Ramirez had reunited with the band as live bassist for the last leg of the Rape of the World tour as well as co-writer of the band's seventh studio album. In an interview with The Heirophant on January 11, 2008, Manson revealed that the reconciliation with Ramirez was not as abrupt as it initially seemed, and that the two had been occasionally communicating with each other since speaking at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California prior to the Winter European leg of the Rape of the World tour.

John 5

John 5's reasons for leaving Marilyn Manson were cited as being mutual, despite the mysterious nature of his sudden firing by Manson's manager in 2004.

John was quoted at the time as saying about the incident, "I don't know. . . I was nothing but nice to him," he continued. "I never screwed up onstage — well not really badly — and I did everything I could to get along with him. Maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with the fact that I don't drink or do drugs, and he's not like that at all. Maybe he held that against me. I don't know. He never said." John 5 was notorious among fans as being drug and alcohol free.

Before the incident, Manson had assaulted John on stage, notably, Manson kicked John in the face during a televised performance, leading to a brief confrontation in front of a packed and roaring audience (available on YouTube). This was during the intro to "The Beautiful People", when played at the Rock AM Ring 2003.

Also, during the tour John maintains that Manson spoke about matters other than business only once, "It was on my birthday, and he turned to me and said, "Happy birthday, faggot" — then walked away."

Despite this, John maintains he respects Manson, citing his skilled production style and his love for the band's music. John was already a fan of the band before joining in 1998. In response to a question regarding the reason for the split with Manson, John 5 was quoted by Vintage Guitar Magazine as saying, "(laughs) At the end of the last tour, I decided I really wanted to do this solo thing and that I had to devote all my time to it. The split with Manson was totally amicable. It wasn't one of those big breakups. We're friends. I wish there was some good dirt, but there's not (laughs)!"

In an interview prior to the January 19, 2008 performance in Orlando, Florida, Marilyn Manson revealed that John 5 would make a guest appearance during the show, stating: "I'll have [John] come on stage and play songs with us this first show. It would practically be the Holy Wood lineup." This guest appearance ultimately did not take place, however.

Madonna Wayne Gacy

Before leaving the band nothing was heard of Madonna Wayne Gacy for over a year. In an exclusive conference conducted by Marilyn Manson in April 2007, he revealed the upcoming album Eat Me, Drink Me was recorded in collaboration between himself and Tim Skold. Essentially this meant Gacy did not partake in the album, but not ruling out the possibility of him performing as live keyboardist on the upcoming tour. Later, Manson revealed that Chris Vrenna (who previously drummed for the band during Ginger Fish's hiatus in 2004) would be performing as live keyboardist on the tour, in Gacy's place.

On August 2, 2007, Gacy filed a lawsuit against Marilyn Manson seeking a back pay of $20 million dollars. Gacy claimed Manson has been using the band's money for personal interests, among which are his collection of Nazi paraphernalia, his drug addictions, his wedding with Dita Von Teese and the production of Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll.

On December 20, 2007, Manson countersued Gacy. As a reaction to the lawsuit Gacy filed against Manson in August, Manson claims, "keyboardist Stephen Bier did not carry out obligations to take part in master recordings [of Eat Me, Drink Me], concerts [of the Rape of the World tour] and the selling of band merchandise," according to this report which states that Manson is seeking unspecified general and special damages.

Insight

Even though he is known mostly for his music, which some refer to as crude and grotesque, Manson is a very intelligent and insightful man. In interviews he is always well spoken and is calm to the people who challenge him. Most people see his music as delivering the wrong message, but Manson states that his message was to be creative.

Causes

• In 2002, Manson worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to make the wish of a boy with a life-threatening disease come true. 16-year-old Andrew Baines from Tennessee had a wish to sing back-up vocals for a "big" band; Manson jumped on the task and took Baines under his wing to make his dream come true. Manson invited Baines to the studio on August 27, 2002, where he let Baines perform backing vocals for the then-upcoming album, The Golden Age of Grotesque. "Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with Andrew, who reminded me the things I create are only made complete by those who enjoy them. I just want to simply say, 'thank you' to Andrew for sharing such an important wish with me," Manson said, according MarilynManson.com.

• In 2005, Manson donated a signed collector's edition mask to Music for Relief to help victims of the 2004's Boxing Day Tsunami; this auction raised $155.

• In January 2006, Manson contributed a hand-painted guitar from the Six-String Masterpieces - The Dimebag Darrell Art Tribute to the Little Kids Rock auction. For every $100 raised by the product, Little Kids Rock would provide one low-income child with an instrument and lessons – Manson's guitar raised $6,250.

• In 2006, Manson became a benefactor of Project Nightlight, an LA area foundation that uses short films, music, and apparel to grab teenagers attention and inspire them to speak out against sexual and physical abuse. Manson afforded Project Nightlight a stand at the opening of his art gallery, and in April 2007 gave the charity a print of his painting Eve of Destruction and a framed collector's edition mask.

Legal history

Marilyn Manson was first arrested in Florida on December 27, 1994 after a concert at Jacksonville's Club 5 for "violating the adult entertainment code." Manson was detained for 16 hours before been released without charge. Bizarrely police believed Manson had performed oral sex on stage with a man (when in fact it was Jack Off Jill vocalist Jessicka wearing a fake penis) and thrown either his or the man's penis into the crowd. On February 5, 2001 in Marino, Italy Manson suffered what is to date his only other post-concert arrest when he was accused of blasphemy having worn the outfit of a cardinal on stage during the song "Valentine's Day". Soon after the detention it was ascertained that Manson had not committed a crime and it appeared the legal troubles were over until the next day when Manson was arrested in Bologne on charges of public indecency relating to a 1999 show where it was alleged Manson had exposed his penis. Manson was released and the charges dropped, notably the arrests came a week after two teenagers brutally murdered an Italian nun which some less reputable sections of the Italian press blamed on Manson's music.

Sexual misconduct

In a civil battery suit, David Diaz, a security officer from a concert in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 27, 2000, sued for $75,000 in a Minneapolis federal court. After two days deliberation the jury decided that Manson's alleged molestation had been part of the show and that he had not overstepped his boundaries as an artist, ruling in favor of Manson and against Diaz.

Manson was charged with "sexual misconduct" on August 16, 2001 after Joshua Keasler filed a complaint that as he was providing security for a July 30 concert Manson had allegedly spat on his head, wrapped his legs around him and began to gyrate his penis along his neck.

Oakland County prosecutor David Gorcyca said that "It was offensive, crude and rude. This was not something that was orchestrated or choreographed as part of the act. The security guard was an unknowing and unwilling participant and, ironically, while he was there for protection... was sexually assaulted." The charge, punishable with up to two years imprisonment, was accompanied with a charge of disorderly conduct. The complaint came with an arrest warrant but Manson thwarted this by posting a $25,000 personal bond. In a one-day December 28, 2001 trial the presiding Judge dismissed the charge of "sexual misconduct" as Manson had in his view "gained no sexual gratification from the act." Manson pleaded "no contest" to the outstanding lesser charge, which carried only up to three months imprisonment, and was ordered to pay $4,000 in fines. After the trial Keasler pursued a civil lawsuit against Manson that was dropped when the two settled out of court in February 2004.

Lawsuits

• In 1997, former Marilyn Manson guitarist Scott Mitchell Putesky filed a lawsuit against Manson seeking unpaid royalties for his contributions to the band's output up to that period, including the band's recently released second studio album Antichrist Superstar. The case was concluded in 1998, although the outcome was confidential.

• On January 4, 1999, SPIN editor Craig Marks filed an assault and battery lawsuit against Manson in the New York Supreme Court. Marks alleged that Manson, upset at not making the cover of SPIN, the lawsuit specifically alleged Manson had yelled "I can kill you, I can kill your family, I can kill everyone you know!" before two of Manson's bodyguards were said to have charged him and held him against the wall and threw him to the floor after which it was alleged Manson had said, "That's what you get when you disrespect me." The case was dropped when, weeks later, Marks was fired from SPIN over financial irregularities.

• On April 2, 2002, Maria St. John filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Manson of providing her adult daughter, Jennifer Syme, with cocaine and allowing her to drive while under the influence. The case was settled out of court.

• On August 2, 2007, former Marilyn Manson keyboardist Stephen Bier filed a breech of contract lawsuit against Marilyn Manson seeking $20,000,000 in damages. Bier claimed Manson has used the band's money for personal interests, among which are his collection of Nazi paraphernalia, addictions to cocaine and Valium, his $300,000 wedding with and $150,000 engagement ring given to Dita Von Teese and the production of Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll as well as Lewis Carroll memorabilia, human skeletons and taxidermy. Manson's lawyers responded in January 2008 with a 101-page rebuttal of the claims, the case will be tried by jury in November 2008 in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Major label discography

• Portrait of an American Family (1994)
• Smells Like Children (1995)
• Antichrist Superstar (1996)
• Remix and Repent (1997)
• Mechanical Animals (1998)
• The Last Tour on Earth (Live) (1999)
• Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) (2000)
• The Golden Age of Grotesque (2003)
• Lest We Forget (The Best Of) (2004)
• Eat Me, Drink Me (2007)

Filmography

• Lost Highway (cameo, 1997)
• MTV Video Music Awards (commercial, 1998)
• Jawbreaker (cameo, 1999)
• Clone High (cameo, 2000)
• From Hell (score, 2001)
• Not Another Teen Movie (score, 2001)
• Resident Evil (score, 2002)
• Bowling for Columbine (interview, 2002)
• The Hire: Beat the Devil (cameo, 2003)
• Party Monster (2003)
• Doppelherz (director, 2003)
• The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (cameo, 2004)
• House of Wax (2005) (acting, score)
• Abelcain (2007)
• Living Neon Dreams (2007)
• Rise (cameo, 2007)
• Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll (acting, directing, writing, score, 2008)

Bibliography

• The Long Hard Road out of Hell (1998)
• Holy Wood (Unreleased)

Trivia

• All Manson's tattoos were done at Tattoos By Lou in Miami, Florida over a four-year span starting in 1991, until a new tattoo emerged in early-2007.

• In the 1990s, an Internet rumor spread stating Josh Saviano (who played Paul Pfeiffer in 1980s drama The Wonder Years) grew up to become Marilyn Manson. As of 2007, Josh Saviano is a licensed attorney in New York. He has, however, commented on the rumor, and thinks it is neat people believe him to be in a "goth band".

• Contrary to what some may deem "common knowledge", Manson has not had any ribs removed for the purpose of autofellatio. "If I really got my ribs removed," he said in the The Long Hard Road out of Hell autobiography, "I would have been busy sucking my own dick on The Wonder Years instead of chasing Winnie Cooper."

• In an E! interview, Manson revealed that he owns a Nintendo DS. "My friend got me this little Japanese lawyer game; it's fucking amazing," he said in reference to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. He also mentioned that he was "pretty good at Mario Kart".

• In an interview with MTV in 2002 Manson revealed that for most of his paintings he uses a children's Alice in Wonderland tin. He also uses a 1920's mortician paint kit originally used for retouching cadavers.

• Manson has Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, an erratic, rapid heartbeat.

• Manson, who cites David Bowie as being his biggest influence, claims his favorite songs by him are "Quicksand", "Ashes to Ashes", and "We Are the Dead". He even proposed to his ex-wife, Dita Von Teese, during a David Bowie concert (at the time Bowie was performing "Be My Wife")

• Pets Manson has had in his life include the childhood dog, an Alaskan malamute named Aleusha, an orange tabby named O.J. which he found on the steps of Christian school, four Devon Rex cats named Aleister, Edgar, Herman, and Lily, and two dachshunds named Greta and Eva. After the divorce of Manson and ex-wife Dita Von Teese, Von Teese won the custody of both dachshunds and Aleister. For Manson's 39th birthday on January 5th, 2008, girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood gave him a new cat, Charlie (Manson), as a birthday gift.

• When asked in 2007 by Rolling Stone what his current favorite playlist was, Manson chose among Radiohead's "Exit Music (For a Film)", Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" and David Bowie's classic "We Are the Dead".
.
.
--> OFFICIAL WEBSITE
--> MARILYN MANSON on MYSPACE

------------------

--> This biography appeared on Manson Wiki

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Did Condoleezza Rice
Remember
Iraqi Women on
International Women’s Day?

.
.
By Kathlyn Stone, WAMM

.

With additional reporting
by Kristina Gronquist, WAMM
.

International Women’s Day, March 8, could be an annual day of celebration over the economic, political, and social advancements of women worldwide, and not just a press op for the Bush administration.

Condoleezza Rice on March 10 declared, “International Women’s Day reminds us of the critical role women play in addressing the economic, political, and human security challenges our world faces. The enfranchisement of women, supported at all levels, is essential to meeting our global prosperity. As history unfolds, nations are increasingly judged by whether they afford women equal opportunity. It is undeniable that the advancement of countries is inhibited when women are excluded, and it is unacceptable that women continue to be deprived of the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Rice’s statement defies the reality of the situation, as many of us mourn what our government has done to the women of Iraq.

The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq have brought an alarming increase in violence against women, including “honor killings” by religious fundamentalists. Women who do not subordinate their role to that of male family members have no value among the fundamentalists.

The Iraq Freedom Congress (IFC), a grassroots political movement headquartered in Baghdad, issued a statement congratulating women worldwide on International Women’s Day and asked that people everywhere stand with the women of Iraq as they face oppression from sectarian gangs.

Hundreds of Iraqi women have been murdered by religious gangs and unveiled women are routinely targeted and threatened with violence if they don’t wear hijabs and follow strict Islamic law. The government has not moved to stop the violence or the threats, according to the Iraq Freedom Congress. The Iraq Freedom Congress “stands at the forefront of the struggle to expel these bandits from Iraq,” said Amjad Al-Jawhary, an IFC spokesperson.

The international protests against sexual discrimination are growing louder every year, says Al-Jawhary, and yet in Iraq “the discrimination against women by sectarian militias linked to mullahs in Iran and groups of Al Qaeda has reached the level of sexual genocide, particularly in the cities of Basra, Baghdad, Mosul and Diyala. These groups have committed the most heinous crimes against humanity, and women in particular.”

The U.S. military occupation has “turned a blind eye” to the work of the religious gangs, said Al-Jawhary. He suggests that both the occupation forces and the present government have surrendered Iraq and future generations to the criminals through their failure to rein in the gangs.

“We must put an end to the killing of women,” said Fryal Akbar, head of the IFC’s Women’s Bureau at a press conference in Baghdad held earlier this year to draw attention to the escalation of violence against women.

“Women today have every right to defend themselves against the religious and sectarian gangs by all means.” She also warned that the IFC will not stand by watching crimes being committed without consequences. “From our experience, these gangs will not put an end to their crimes unless serious action is taken.”

One year ago, Yifat Susskind of MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization headquartered in New York, wrote: “Since the United States invaded, Iraqi wmen have endured a wave of death threats, assassinations, abductions, public beatings, targeted sexual assaults, and public hangings.

“Both Sunni and Shiite Islamist militias direct much of this violence. These groups mushroomed across Iraq after the United States toppled the secular Baath regime. Ironically, the Shiite militias are the armed wings of the political parties that the U.S. boosted into power. Their aim is to establish an Islamist theocracy and their social vision requires the subjugation of women.”

Suhad Salim, another member of the IFC’s Women’s Bureau, described a young woman’s sense of hopelessness: “The deterioration of the security situation, the intervention of the political Islamic groups into everyone’s personal life and the enforcement of the Islamic law on the street has forced women to quit both school and work to stay home seeking safety. These conditions create desperation and hopelessness in life leading many women to buy shrouds and wait for their death.

“I asked Sawsan Ali of Althawra city who is 30 years old why she quit school and stays home. She has lost her ambition and tends to think about death. Sawsan answered: ‘There’s no hope for safety in the foreseeable future, my rights as a woman do not exist. Everything is against me as a human: family, traditions and culture. Killing and terrorizing women have become a daily show. Why should I live? I cannot go to school safely or voice my opinion. Whatever I do is opposed by others. Basically nothing is left to live for, therefore I am preparing for death.’”

As the famous feminist and prolific writer Robin Morgan recently pointed out (while speaking at the U of M as part of International Women’s Day on March 15), women are the majority of the world’s population and not a “special interest group.” She also forcefully asserted that it is a myth that the women’s movement is a movement of Western women bringing their ideas to other societies and “causing trouble.” Morgan says that women’s rights issues are globally interconnected and women everywhere, of all classes, from India to the U.S., recognize the enormous value of women working for better conditions.

Condoleezza Rice knows full well that conditions for women in Iraq are horrid and have deteriorated since the 2003 invasion, but in the unfortunate tradition of Jeanne Kirkpatrick or Madeline Albright (who claimed that the deaths of one million Iraqi children under U.S.-imposed economic sanctions in the 1990s was “worth the price”), Rice’s turning a blind eye to the plight of Iraqi women informs us that gender alone does not make one an advocate for human rights. Ms. Rice speaks only for the patriarchal Bush administration, whose policies run roughshod over women and children in the goal of controlling Iraq’s oil and making Iraq its newest client state.

Let’s make sure that Rice’s voice of hypocrisy is drowned out by our voices, in chorus with Iraqi women, as we call for the demilitarization of Iraq and an end to all discrimination and oppression of Iraqi women.

------------------

--> This article appeared on worldwidewamm.org and was also published and printed in the WAMM last month's issue (April).

Creative Commons License
Climate Change
.
.
Rich 'bad-boy' countries are
the least worried about climate change
.

By Lisa Olstad (*)
..
Fleshandstone.net

.

Commentary from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
.

The wealthier a country is, and the larger its CO2 emissions, the less worried its citizens are about global warming.

Norway is one of the world’s richest countries – and the fifth worst in Europe for CO2 emissions in relation to its population. At the same time, Norwegians are amongst the least worried about the consequences of climate change.

It’s the same across the globe: the level of concern in a country’s population is precisely correlated with two things: that country’s gross national project (GNP) and the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The more a country has of both, the less worried its population is about the consequences of global warming, according to a global study conducted by Hanno Sandvik, a postdoc at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.

Dutch are least worried

Sandvik used the results from an electronic survey that was conducted in 46 countries as the basis for his work. The survey encompassed countries from every inhabited continent and with different economies – aside from poor developing lands where an internet-based survey wouldn’t work.

The survey showed that the world’s least climate-worried population lives in the country that will be the first to notice that sea level is rising – the Netherlands. Next in line were Russia, the USA, Latvia and Estonia. In Western Europe, the carefree Dutch were followed by the similarly unworried Danes, Belgians, Norwegians and Finns.

Most of these people have access to all the information they could possibly want – and then some. Why the lack of concern about climate change?

Other researchers have looked for explanatory reasons and variables that are inherent in the country itself: gender, age, education level, family income, political views and so forth. Sandvik is the first who has looked for explanations at the national level.

Repressed responsibility

“People are all too willing to repress unpleasant truths, particularly if one is responsible for something that’s not good. I had a theory that the countries that contribute the most to global warming might perhaps have a population that would rather not believe so much in the dangers from climate change,” Sandvik says.

When Sandvik compared data on level of concern to data on emissions, he found support for his theory: the more responsibility a country had for causing global warming, the greater the tendency of its citizens to explain away or ignore the problem. And as a country’s emissions levels increased, the level of concern sank even further.

The biggest emissions bad boys in the world, by population, are the United Arab Emirates, the USA, Canada, Australia and Estonia. In Western Europe, Finland is the worst, followed by Ireland, Denmark, Belgium and Norway. All of these countries scored conspicuously high when it came to lack of concern.

The rich would rather not share

The most striking connection came when Sandvik compared the level of worry data to the GNP for the 46 countries: the richer the land, the less worried its population.The five richest countries in the dataset were Norway, the United States, Ireland, Denmark and Canada. All of these countries are also considered to be among the worst in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. That consequently doubles the fertile ground for the lack of worry. Researchers were not particularly surprised by the findings. All “idealism research” shows that those who are most well off are always the least willing to contribute.

“If you take global warming to heart, you understand that you have to sacrifice something. And the richer you are, the less willing you are to sacrifice. It’s far more pleasant to decide that you actually don’t quite believe in the climate threat,” Sandvik says.

The study is being published in the journal
Climatic Change.

--------------

(*) Lisa Olstad writes about science for the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Hanno Sandvik's paper will be available here following publication.

--> This article appeared on fleshandstone.net

Creative Commons License
Find the Solution
.
© 2008 - Ben Heine
.
China and the
2008 Olympics

.
By Mike Wootton

The leader in this week’s Economist magazine addresses the “Chinese rage” over the disruption caused to the world-wide tour of the Olympic flame. It cites the rage as being “out of all proportion to the alleged offenses”, an opinion with which I agree.

During the initial demons-trations over Chinese rule in Tibet (Xizang), the Chinese authorities undertook to educate (or re-educate) Tibetan monks in national patriotism. This statement begs the question as to why it should be thought necessary to educate people in national patriotism? An Orwellian idea. What appears to have happened over the few weeks between the torch’s departure from Olympia in March and its arrival in San Francisco is that there has been a worldwide mobilization of Chinese nationalist sentiment, to the point where in Australia the pro-Chinese spectators outnumbered the anti-Chinese spectators. Is this because the Chinese people, as Xinhua would have us believe have been “righteously indignant” about criticism by much of the world over their human rights record and have decided to go out and show public support for China centered nominally around the flame tour, or is it something deeper than that?

I was living in Beijing at the time of the rocketing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. Although warned against it, I went out to watch the Chinese laobaixing (ordinary people) expressing their “righteous indignation” over the event at the US and British Embassies. The demonstrators had been brought by numbered buses from the various universities in Beijing to the diplomatic quarters, they were led off the buses by people carrying flags, to positions outside the relevant Embassies and then, on a signal, started their demonstrations. After a while at the blow of a whistle, the students all returned to their numbered buses and were driven away whence they had come. TV and newspaper coverage showed wild looking crowds of demonstrators outside the Embassies throwing rotten eggs and other missiles—the wrath of the Chinese people.

The power of Xinhua news-agency is not to be underrated. It is the national propaganda agency of China and has astonishing influence on Chinese opinion and Chinese thought, not only in China but worldwide. There are over 2,000 daily newspapers produced in China and with very few exceptions, they all say the same thing and contain the same opinions and views! There are also countless TV stations giving the same opinions and views—woe betide any journalist who writes something counter to the best interests of the Party.

The Chinese government has for many years tried very hard through educational curricula and the media to instill correct political thinking and behavior into its subjects. Pride in national identity (and xenophobia) is a key element of this, and these bits seem to stick ("one nation one family") when every TV station closes down for the day. Any Chinese can tell you about the awfulness of the Opium Wars and the sacking of the Summer Palace. To sustainably instill correct political thinking is more difficult it seems, laobaixing do not have too much time for political dogma and as China’s economy develops further in its skewed looking unequal way, then about 80 percent of the population (involved in agriculture) will have even less time for politics and will need to spend more time on worrying where the next meal is going to come from.

China desperately wants to be seen as a world power after so many years of isolation and so many perceived historic slights to its national pride at the hands of “evil and rapacious” foreigners. It demands respect from the rest of the world, yet in today’s world respect has to be earned, it must not be demanded, that turns people against you. Despite the undoubted and growing economic clout of the nation (supported by the multilaterals who continue to pour in development aid to the World’s biggest foreign exchange reserve country), it will not be earned by mobilization of the “righteous indignation of the Chinese people” at every incident of external criticism. Is there any other country in the World which would exhibit the same widespread level of national fervor over a perceived slight which damaged the public relations surrounding China hosting the Olympics ? Do they really want the world to tremble at China’s wrath? I hope not.

It’s time to mature and to start to integrate with the developed world, not to shout at it and vilify winners of the Nobel Peace Prize and respected international media whilst at the same time exhibiting a distinct lack of transparency over human rights ("internal matters, not anybody else’s business"). Who is it that is politicizing the Olympics?

The laobaixing are no doubt pleased and proud that the Olympics are to be held in China and those who can afford the tickets and the travel costs are looking forward to seeing an extravaganza of an event and much good sportsmanship. Let’s hope there is not too much loud trumpeting about the number of gold medals that the Chinese athletes win beating the foreigners. Turn down the volume China please, it’s unbecoming.

-----------------

--> this opinion appeared on manilatimes.net

Creative Commons License
Looking at Myself
Phenomenal Woman
.
By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's

(The poem appeared on shadowpoetry.com)

Creative Commons License
When The Flesh Perishes
.
.
The Soul's
Expression

.
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

With stammering lips and insufficient sound
I strive and struggle to deliver right
That music of my nature, day and night
With dream and thought and feeling interwound
And inly answering all the senses round
With octaves of a mystic depth and height
Which step out grandly to the infinite
From the dark edges of the sensual ground.
This song of soul I struggle to outbear
Through portals of the sense, sublime and whole,
And utter all myself into the air:
But if I did it,--as the thunder-roll
Breaks its own cloud, my flesh would perish there,
Before that dread apocalypse of soul.

Poem's source : centurytel.myway.com

Creative Commons License
Waiting For
My Rebirth

.
.
Waiting

.
By Robert Frost

What things for dream there are when specter-like,
Moving amond tall haycocks lightly piled,
I enter alone upon the stubbled filed,
From which the laborers' voices late have died,
And in the antiphony of afterglow
And rising full moon, sit me down
Upon the full moon's side of the first haycock
And lose myself amid so many alike.

I dream upon the opposing lights of the hour,
Preventing shadow until the moon prevail;
I dream upon the nighthawks peopling heaven,
Or plunging headlong with fierce twang afar;
And on the bat's mute antics, who would seem
Dimly to have made out my secret place,
Only to lose it when he pirouettes,
On the last swallow's sweep; and on the rasp
In the abyss of odor and rustle at my back,
That, silenced by my advent, finds once more,
After an interval, his instrument,
And tries once--twice--and thrice if I be there;
And on the worn book of old-golden song
I brought not here to read, it seems, but hold
And freshen in this air of withering sweetness;
But on the memor of one absent, most,
For whom these lines when they shall greet her eye.

(The poem appeared on americanpoems.com)

PS : This is a watercolour study (life drawing)
made at the Académie Royale des
Beaux Arts de Bruxelles
.

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