Lunchbox by Marilyn Manson: a weapon or a metaphor?

The debut of the band: Lunchbox by Marilyn Manson

With this post we go back 25 years: in the video Lunchbox by Marilyn Manson we see Brian Hugh Warner (the original name of the singer) in his early twenties.

Lunchbox is part of the debut album of the US band, “Portrait of an American Family, from 1994.

Lunchbox is a metal container, which served in America many years ago to preserve lunch. It was used mostly by children at school.

Lunchbox: an autobiographical video

In the video, directed by experimental director Richard Kern, the protagonist is a blond child (played by Robert Pierce) with a colorful lunchbox.

The child is bullied by the older boys. But he plays the electric guitar in his room and dreams of becoming a hard metal rock star. In the video the Marilyn Manson band plays inside a gym, where the boys go on skates.

The blond child protagonist is also in the middle of the group, but soon falls to the ground, involving other people in the fall. Outside the gym a boy and a girl stop him and punish him. When he returns home, all his anger rages against the lunchbox.

He also takes a razor and shaves his hair, making a decidedly punk hairstyle. Finally, he returns to the gym, gives his lunchbox to Marilyn Manson and the singer sets fire to it.

The lunchbox: weapon for personal defense or a metaphor of life?

How can we interpret this video? The child’s story is biographical and tells the story of Marilyn Manson’s childhood, constantly grappling with bullies, and his desire to become a rockstar decidedly countercurrent.

On the web we read about an episode in which Manson used his metal basket to defend himself against bullies (which surely, on someone’s head, hurt), and then the principal decided to ban its use.

We also read that in the 1970s these metal boxes were also banned in public parks, as they were considered dangerous weapons.

The lunch box in this video is not just a bag for food: it contains the child’s life, his sadness, his problems, his being too small to do certain things, his memories.

Marilyn Manson finally set fire to it, because in this way he can forget his past, make it harmless and bury all the suffering.

Burning it is not a simple gesture of destruction but a purifying ritual, which makes us understand why Manson has become like this.

In short, a video definitely worth seeing, also because it is one of the few in which Manson does not have the trick!

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