Friday, October 28, 2011

What Marilyn Manson Said, and Why It Matters to Writers.

Sometimes there are moments in movies that live out loud to me, and keep playing.
They echo and haunt like the echoes in good books.
In "Bowling for Columbine," here's the conversation that haunts me.
Michael Moore: If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?
Marilyn Manson: 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."

Hearing something true from someone who is easy to label and stereotype should not be a surprise, but it was. I owe Marilyn Manson an apology and a thank you.
Think about that.
It is easy to label and stereotype kids.
It is not easy to listen with eyes and ears and heart.
Listening and taking in what kids say and do means that writing for them will have truth.
Seeing and listening.
Two of the hardest --and most important--things I'll ever do.

The giveaway for THE MARBURY LENS, signed by Andrew Smith, and page five of PASSENGER, signed and with editorial comments, continues. See here for guidelines.

The The Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is also going on right now. Each blogger is offering a book-related prize. Go for them.


  1. Wow! You're right. I would not have expected that from him. My bad.

  2. What's that old saying...never judge a book by its cover?? lol

    I like his answer on this issue though. He is right. Sometimes it's just important to listen.

  3. This part of the movie haunts me, too.

  4. Communication both ways is very important. All should listen and speak to each other whoever you are - young people have much to say, old people have much to impart and those in between continue to learn and grow! Take care

  5. Thank you for sharing this...and yes, seeing and listening so important. It's something I am still working on and be old old.

  6. I haven't seen that movie in so long. I just love Michael Moore. And what Marilyn Manson said is so right too. Love this post :)

  7. That line haunted me too, mostly because of it's simplistic truth. Saying that you should just listen has become kind of a cliche, yet hardly anyone really listens. I'll even include myself in this. I hate that I do, but when someone starts talking to me about something seemingly unimportant, my attention lapses and I find my mind wandering away. It's a horrible habit I've been trying to break. It's amazing that something so difficult, is something so simple. Listening is definitely a skill that everyone should practice in their daily lives. Kudos for sharing.