Comparing Manson And Harris Klebold

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While many people would easily agree that music is an art form that comes from the emotional complexity and passions of human beings, Aristotle’s truth that “music that rouses ignoble passions distorts a person's character” is debatable. The claim that “the wrong kind of music makes the wrong kind of person, and the right kind tends to make the right kind of person” is a paradoxical statement that changes meaning and credibility depending on the reader’s perspective. While morality has been an integral part of religious music throughout history, there is no direct correlation that a person’s listening choices reflect their personal belief structures or that the mental health or character of the listener is defined by their choice of music…show more content…
One of the most well-known examples is that of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s preference for industrial/metal artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, KMFDM, and Marilyn Manson. Harris and Klebold were the two American high school students who committed the Columbine High School massacre which killed 13 people, injured 24 and ended in both Harris and Klebold’s suicides. In the wake of the shooting, Marilyn Manson was heavily targeted in the media and by groups such as Citizens for Peace and Respect (an organization consisting of Columbine locals, families, and church groups) for his music’s corrupting influence on America’s youth. When asked what he would say to the two boys in Michael Moore’s documentary about gun control Bowling for Columbine, Manson stated, “I wouldn’t say a single word to them – I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.” In subsequent interviews, Manson claimed that his lyrics are often misinterpreted and that they encourage people to help process and get through suicidal or depressive thoughts. He maintains that his music promotes not being afraid to be different and for listeners to challenge societal views and norms. In the aftermath of the media circus surrounding the Columbine high school shooting it was discovered that neither Harris nor Klebold were actually fans of Manson’s music at all. Although it is not apropos to this writing, Manson did pen a rebuttal to the backlash via Rolling Stone that chronicled other musical artists that had been blamed for bad behavior throughout the years and is worth a read ( In the end however, it shows

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