Coma is not literally a woman but is a personification of an ideal of perfection, an unobtainable entity which we forever pine after and seek to make tangible but forever out of reach. It’s a concept which the representation of which, though illustrated as a girl, is interchangeable with all that we use to numb and pleasure ourselves with: drugs, sex, religion, TV, etc. It’s these very things which we use to attempt to bring us closer to this state of perfection to make us happy, these things that we believe bring us closer to “god”, that liberates us but in reality does nothing but make us numb, inebriate us and make us more and more mechanical. Where in order to survive and function a “fuel” is needed: inject our veins or snort some powder; fuck to heighten our emotions; getting off voyeuristically in front of a screen at the misery of others; have the assurance that there’s a higher power that makes you better than everyone else or at least being “one of the Beautiful People” to just look like you are, all to make life seemingly worth living. But this contentment instead makes us automatons in need of another “hit” in order to survive. Mystics claim that the orgasm felt during sex for a mere few seconds is a brief but dulled glimpse of the experience of being one with god, yet god is perpetually out of reach and “a number you cannot count to.” So we use these methods and crutches to try to reach this perfect intangible state being but instead bring us further and further away from it because these things are a synthetic and induced happiness, as well as completely temporary, where the constant need for them makes us more like soulless machines.
I recently revisited an album I hadn’t listened to in years — Mechanical Animals by Marilyn Manson. I lost hours and hours of my teenage years to this soundtrack. The story, the characters, the fashion, the music… I’ve only come across one other artist since who is of the same calibre as Manson and that is off course, Grimes. (Bar Bowie, obviously)
Mechanical Animals follows the sojourn of two characters, the protagonist, Omēga. A Ziggy Stardust-like rock star and alien who falls down to earth, is captured and then, with a band called The Mechanical Animals, turned into a rock star product whose rock anthems are simply hollow. He has become numb to the world, becoming consumed by his addiction to drugs that has left him emotionally dissociated and broken. Acting as foil to Omēga is Alpha, a character based on Marilyn Manson and his experiences around the conclusion of the Antichrist Superstar tour/era. Alpha is only just beginning to feel emotion for the first time and trying to learn how to use them properly. He begins to despair about how little emotion most humans feel, observing them to be “mechanical animals”. Both are looking to come back into the world – looking among the mechanical animals for the thing they need to make themselves whole. They call it Coma White, unsure if she is real or simply a drug-induced hallucination.
Honestly… What a world to get caught up in. Such wonderful insight to a true creator.