Charles and the Chocolate Factory

(LA5) LOS ANGELES, Dec 2--CULT LEADER--Charles Manson, 34, was described today by the Los Angeles Times and attorney Richard Caballero as the leader of a quasi religious cult of hippies, three of whom have been arrested on murder warrants issued in the slayings of actress Sharon Tate and four others at her home. Manson is in jail in Independence, Ca., on auto theft and arson charges.

By Charles Manson

Prison’s my home, my life, but it wasn’t always this way. I wasn’t always the boogeyman, I wasn’t always a shadow in the hearts of your children. I never wanted that. I wanted to make chocolate rivers, lollipop flowers, and Snozzberries that tasted exactly like Snozzberries. I wanted to be a candyman.

When I won that golden ticket, I was just a poor boy. I was in it for the money. I used to be just like you folks that condemn me. If I were the same man I was back then I’d be sittin’ at home sayin’, “Oh, that Charlie’s crazy,” just like the rest of you, but I ain’t crazy. I was born crazy and I shook it. I shook it like a wet dog over the rug of society and I don’t feel none too bad about it ‘cause that rug wasn’t about to get any crazier, and this dog was far too wet for anyones good.

I walked into that factory a bright eyed young boy, innocent, stupid, insignificant and only lookin’ for the next sugar rush. Ol’ man Wonka showed me a different way. Showed me that to make people better ya gotta punish them. Sharpen ’em. Not everyone is able to do it on their own. Wonka knew that, knew these kids were doomed to be yet more mindless bugs crawling on the surface of the planet ruinin’ a good thing for everyone else. He did fine work, good work, but at the cost of his mind.

Folks have already seen my journey into the chocolate factory as chronicled by Paramount Pictures. They got it mostly right, ‘cept my grandpa died in the root beer room. Those fans popped his head off like a Pringles can, ‘n they don’t stop once you pop. Now, they didn’t show this in the movie, but Charlie actually pushed him into those fans. Not out of hate, no, no, no, but because Charlie loved him and he couldn’t watch him go on like that. He was miserable, sick, dying, but he was Charlie’s only family. He kept goin’ for Charlie and Charlie couldn’t live with that no more. At the end of that trip, I had no home, no family and a massively unsuccessful chocolate factory that more or less only existed to teach snotty kids how to act nicer. It was a huge money-suck. And just after the credits, when Wonka and I were flying into the sky in that glass elevator? He turned to me, smiled, and said, “Good luck, Charlie. I hope you fair better in this world than I.” Then he took a chocolate revolver out of his pocket and blew his brains out with its nougatty goodness. Charlie cried the tears of a child for the last time.

It was up to Charlie to run this chocolate factory, and Charlie had no business doin’ nothin’ that wasn’t playin’ stick ball or wearin’ ol’ timey hats. The Oompa Loompas really picked up a lot of the slack but I had to teach ’em how to actually make candy at a profit and not just mock death traps for children. First thing, we got rid of the songs. Didn’t need ’em anymore. There weren’t going to be any more tours of the factory for any of the kids to hear and learn lessons and Charlie sure as shit didn’t enjoy ’em. Everything was great when it all started. I mean, it wasn’t easy, but it was better than eatin’ bugs and dirt and watchin’ my grandpa cry himself to sleep. He could sleep forever now. Because of the cleansing power of death. Because of Charlie.

Around the time I was inventing a Snozzberry that actually tasted better than Snozzberries, I was imprisoned. One of the more cowardly Oompa Loompa security guards got ahold of the tape of Charlie pushing his grandfather into the fan and turned it into the authorities. I spent five years in prison, on account of only being a child, and when I got out I came back to find that Oompa Loompa still workin’ at my factory. Charlie knows he was doing the right thing but Charlie still had to punish him. He knew he couldn’t do it himself this time. Charlie just made a comment at the chocolate water cooler to another Oompa Loompa that something had to be done and next thing Charlie knew he was dead. Drowned in the chocolate river. The security footage went missing.

Now I finally had Oompa Loompas I could trust, so I sent them out into the world. Just menial tasks at first, like getting me cigarettes and toilet paper, but after a few news headlines of these terrifying little orange buggers runnin’ ’round town got out I knew they would have to stay in the factory. The world wasn’t ready for Oompa Loompas and they sure as shit weren’t ready for Charlie. We didn’t fit into their machine, but I still needed their world. We still needed supplies and I wasn’t about to go back out there. The chocolate factory was the only home I knew back then, other than prison, and I hadn’t yet developed the taste for prison that I have today. It was the only place Charlie felt safe. And someone had to make sure these Oompa Loompas were eating something other than candy.

Charlie knew he’d have to enter the world at some point, so I left the Loompas with a bag of oranges and took what was to be a short trip to California to find some folk to help me with the factory. I would never return. Only havin’ worked with Oompa Loompas, I knew I would have to find some kids as simple minded as them. Charlie wasn’t so good at controllin’ folk back then so he found some drug-addled teenagers that were easily swayed by the promise of food and more drugs. It was easy at first, I taught them about sugar, lollipops and the freeing power of the Root Beer Room. At first it was easy, fun even, but things changed.

Charlie thought he’d be teachin’ them, to make chocolate, to play Sorry (which was at the time Charlie’s favorite game but he ain’t sayin’ sorry no more) and to just do all his bidding in general. Those kids, though? They ended up teaching Charlie. They taught Charlie about the pigs that were running this world, taught Charlie about the coming class war. Charlie was a simple man back then, just toiling all day, making candy, failing at being a musician, feeling no responsibility for making the world a better place. Charlie’s dead now.

My greatest failure, my one mistake, was abandonin’ my factory. I told the Oompa Loompas to live the rest of their lives however they chose. Most of them drowned themselves in the Marshmallow Marsh but several of them went on to lead successful lives as lawyers, doctors and extras on movies about little orange monster-people (well, two of them). I set up my new base of operations on the Spahn Movie Ranch with a new agenda; killin’ as many people as we could. Many of you would call me a monster, and you’re right, but the world needs monsters just as much as it needs chocolate, maybe more. Do I feel good about what we did to Sharon Tate and the others? Of course not. It simply needed to be done. This country needed a villain, and I was happy to be that villain just as Wonka had been for all those kids. Society needed to be collectively taught a lesson, I’d let ’em grow soft. I should never have stopped torturin’ children in that factory, it was my negligence that let this all go too far and it was my duty to set it right.

I failed to see that running a chocolate factory wasn’t simply about makin’ chocolate, it was about makin’ the world learn to appreciate chocolate, not just gobble it down like it was their birthright. It would be time for chocolate again when they’d learned this lesson. Unfortunately, I was quickly imprisoned, and the factory was condemned. There would be no chocolate, just murder and chaos. That was never what I wanted. A world without chocolate is just as meaningless as a world without mass murderers. Without chocolate, I’m nothing. I’ve got my music, sure, but it’s not even close to as delicious as chocolate. I’ve let everyone down. Worst of all, I let ol’ Willy down.

I’ll be in prison for what I did for the rest of my life, I’ll never see my factory again. I deserve it, don’t get me wrong, but I could have done good after all the wrong. I could have made steps to make this all right again. So enjoy your kale, your walkmans, your no carb diets and living in a world of monsters with no reward. I’m not sorry for what I did but I am sorry for what I failed to do; bring the world the finest candy it had ever tasted. You paid your price in blood and fear and you got nothing in return because the fascists rule, the pigs roam free, and we’ll be crawling around in their slop until the end.

It also would have been rad if I had been even a halfway decent musician but, hey, you can’t have everything.