The Dope Show

Album: Mechanical Animals (1998)
Charted: 12


  • This is about fame and popularity; they love you one minute and then they hate you just as fast. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chas - Webster, NY
  • The first hit off Mechanical Animals. On the CD, the number 15 has a deep significance. On the album cover, the "I" in "Mechanical" and "S" in "Animals" form the numbers "1" and "5". Another example is track number 10, which is titled "New Model no. 15." Also, on the cover Manson has 6 fingers on his left hand -- 6=1+5. The lyrics to "I Don't Like The Drugs" contain, "ready for our 15 minutes of shame." The number also appears many times inside the CD cover.
  • Mechanical Animals was released on September 15, 1998. Also, Manson's birthday is January 5 (1-5). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nick - Paramus, NJ, for above 2
  • Some of the clichéd dark aspects of fame are mentioned in the lyrics - "To swim you have to swallow" is an oral sex reference. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chas - Webster, NY
  • After George Michael was arrested in a public bathroom for lewd conduct, Manson had this to say: "I think George Michael having sex in a public place involving a police officer was a publicity stunt to promote our single 'The Dope Show,' because I mention it in the line, 'Cops and queers.' George Michael wanted to live out the line and make it real, because he's such a fan."

Comments: 32

  • Edgar from Daytona, FlThe band went to a show at a donut shop in south Florida and bought acid from some of the roadies of an indie band called Hollow, whose guitar player once got a guitar lesson from Twiggy a few years earlier.
  • Danielle from Rivahside, Rialso because mr.manson was born in 1969 ... 6+9+15 and his birthday is 1/5 it is 15
  • Mike from Matawan, NjHe has six fingers on his left hand??? OMG!!!! Someone tell Inigo Montoya!!!! Quick!!!!!!
  • Lynnard from Pinson, Alwell i think i have an explaination 4 the six finger- which has also been refrensed in a few of his paintings-there are some 6 fingered "people" in them-There is a creature called a Nephilim from the bible(The Hebrew word Nephelim (plural of nephel) (Nephilim) literally means "rejects") they are described as having a six fingers. here is some further info-
  • Katie from Lakeland, FlHey wouldn't it be funny if these songs meant nothing and he has everyone trying to "figure them out"? LOL Maybe he was just drunk and sitting in his house and thought "Hey I'll put a crapload of 15's all over the CD and see what they think it means." Ha!
  • Grayson from Vancouver, Bcin the video when he is wearing that suit thats grey and he looks like he is neither gender, i think it symbolises the fact that humans are indifferent and will never truly change.
  • Austin from Smallsville, NeMarilyn Manson ended the mechanical animals tour shortly after the columbine incedent
  • Maria Isabel from New London, CtAndrew from Hamilton, Canada: There are two possibilities I can think of. 1, in ancient Pagan traditions, "left-handed" magic was considered negative magic while "right-handed" magic was considered good. Or 2, left-handed people are a minority, and Manson himself is definitely a minority, even though he is a heterosexual caucasian male.
  • Amy from Nunyabiz, AlJessi you said it. Parents shouldn't tell kids to take responsibility for their actions if they can't. Music doesn't cause suicide. There's always some underlying cause & that is the problem not the songs. That's why they have psychiatrists & meds people geez! Manson shouldn't have been blamed for Columbine either. I mean honestly just because an artist puts out a song about suicide or murder or something doesn't mean Hey everyone let's go kill ourselves or some other people while we're at it. Exercise some common sense people. & how is this song about religion?
  • Jessi from Vancouver, WaJimmy Crickets.... I joined here hoping to learn some actual facts on the meaning of the lyrics since Wikipedia was a dead end. I want to say that this is like my second favorite song so far. My first being (s)AINT which is NOT on here for discussion. Personally I'd do some pretty corrupt things however; I have to follow my Rede not to harm others, just for the chance to pick Mr. Manson brain for a few hours. But back to my point, you all seem so infatuated on whether he is making these religious statements & if he is the reason for some stupid teenager who off-ed himself.
    I am 33 year old mother of 4 kids. My 16 year old loves Manson's music. She is into the Goth scene. Loves her dark clothing and has died her hair black. Almost a year ago her boyfriend Ray disappeared it took them 38 hours to find him. He was less than a mile from his home. He was less than 4 blocks from his home. He went into the woods & hung himself. His mother blames Witchcraft & Devil Worship Music. Never once did she put the blame where it belonged at least not openly. I'm sure she did in private as any parent would. She had to stay strong she had other, young children that needed her. She had children with special needs, and that is where the root of the problem started. Her son was depressed. He had many problems and he refused to talk to anyone about them. It's not the Music people! My point these kids need help before these tragedies occur. In the music they find an escape they get a short euphoric high and while in that state they have no fear. Come on remember how you felt when you listened to your favorite songs when you were a teenager. You felt awesome and invincible, or if you were listen to sad song and had just got dumped or something you felt like you should blow your head off. It's all emotional/psychological in a hormonal frenzy. Teens all go through it. What they need is parent who talk to them and stay in contact with their emotional/private/social lives. I have very open communication with my teen and I consider myself lucky & because of this I have no fear of what kind of music she listens too.
    I love almost every Manson has recorded. I respect and appreciate his music for its artistry and its sound. If he really has all the references to what you all are insinuating then he is truly a genius artist! He found his niche he found a way to keep himself in the spotlight. Even bad press is press and it all keeps the ratings high and bringing in money. Just shows that the masses are truly lemmings.

  • Joel from Toronto, OntarioThe video is really freaky. The song itself seems to be a metaphore for society's ills.
  • Syed Waqas from Lahore, PakistanThe Song Really Symbolize my life. Great song.
  • Junie from Eightrackton, Wicops and queers?
  • Tyler from Buffalo, NyThis song is awesome (well the acoustic version) this song is how easy fame comes and goes and just to blend in 15 there everybody else said it lol
  • Stephanie from Salem, InI just love how everyone is referring to the kid that died supposedly listening to the song "The Reflecting God." Songs don't kill people, people kill people. Get over it, yes it happened and I'm sure it was horrible for the family, I mean I'm not trying ot sound uncaring, but don't blame it on the music.
    Bonus question: Why does it seem like everyone relates songs to religion??????
  • David from Lakeview, NcThe kid that killed himself while listening to "Antichrist Superstar" was listening to "The Reflecting God" at the time, which is track 15 on the album.

    The left hand is also a reference to types of religions. The "right-handed" focus on strict moral codes and a path to salvation through a deity (like the Abrahamic religions, for example), whereas the "left-handed" religions focus on "salvation" by being fully aware of the self and the biggest sin is self-denial (such as the Church Of Satan).
  • Andrew from West Covina, Cahow freaking wierd!! lol and interesting!
  • Grace from Fairfax Station, VaThis a remake of a Berlin song.
  • Matt from Valrico, Flalso, doest ides of march mean march 15, the day ceaser died?? another 15 thing
  • Jake from Houston, TxWell if 15 was 3 times shown in the album, or a multiple of three, just show 666, 666, 666,....
  • Jake from Houston, TxThis is kinda like the Beautiful People. I think this song was inspired by what Jon Davis of KoRn said. You can check out his interview on

    (type in KoRn and select the interview in Videos)

    "You know, working for the recording industry really makes you feel like a prostitute."-Jon himself
  • Keanna from South Hero, Vti think the kid who kills himself is also 15. but i dont think it symbolizes 15 minutes of fame, mr. charie of IL.
  • Andreas from Bergen, NorwayAccording to the bible, the number, 15, stands for rest.. And this could mean that the kid who killed himself is now resting.. Well.. Just my guess..
  • Lex from London, EnglandPLUS if you look at the "I Don't Like the Drugs, but the Drugs Like Me" video, the reality TV channel he runs into is on Channel 15!
  • Vito from Brentwood, NyTake the blue case to mechanical, and put it over certain pages of the booklet, you'll see hidden text. 15 plays into the storyline, manson took things from real life (as authors take what they know but change), so I'm sure it has a rather deeper meaning to both him and the story.
  • William from London, EnglandI think the kid may of been 15, Manson got upset over that whole ordeal and i think this is dedicated to him, plus it has other refrences aswell as 15 minutes of fame (what the dope show is about) and all the 1+5 = 6 etc etc etc
  • Andrew from Hamilton, Canada15 ALSO means 'a conflict of opposites'.
    Wow, this is getting pretty intense! So much for simplicity!
  • Andrew from Hamilton, CanadaI just realized something else. there are 14 tracks on the album, but plus the secret song when you put it into a computer...
  • Andrew from Hamilton, Canada5+1=6
    666 does refer to the Antichrist... and why the left hand? The left hand is often noted as the inferior hand, and in Catholic tradition, representative of the Devil. Also!
    Grab a tarot deck and check out what card XV is... the Devil.
  • David from Willaimsburg, Ky15 is Marilyn Mansons's brithday, January fifth, aka 1/5 or 15.
  • Chuckie from Happy Town, Ali think the kid who killed himself while listening to antichrist (see mechanical animals song meaning) was 15... i'm not sure but that's what i've heard...
  • Charlie from Orland Park, IlWhat does 15 symbolize? 15 minutes of fame?
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