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Pajiba 10 For Your Consideration: Shirley Manson, the Grunge Gillian Anderson

By Ryan McGee | Pajiba 10 | June 22, 2017 |

By Ryan McGee | Pajiba 10 | June 22, 2017 |

Look, I’m new to the Pajiba scene. Only started writing here a few months ago. Somehow I completely missed any and all iterations of the Pajiba 10 until it started simmering in the Pajiba Slack chats. I’m not exactly on the thirsty beat, as it were. I’m more on the “let’s write criticism about criticism” beat, which, let’s be honest, is about as sexy as writing on the internet comes. So this isn’t my first rodeo, but it’s my first rodeo that isn’t about a rodeo. If that makes sense. Which it doesn’t.

All of this brings me here, because my cursory research suggests this person has never won the coveted title here at Pajiba, and even though it’s a long shot, I gotta be me and throw my hat in the ring for one Shirley Manson.

The lead singer of the seminal band Garbage, and actress in the woefully underappreciated show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, has enough innate charisma to power a city block. I’m not going to say that I was chemically altered the first time I saw the video for “I’m Only Happy When It Rains,” but I won’t say that I wasn’t, either.


I mean, hi. You have my goddamn attention.

The first two Garbage albums are ones I continually revisit, and not just because I can stare at the pale, redheaded Scottish goddess who fronts the band. They are legitimately great records. I’d put “Vow,” “Not My Idea,” “I Think I’m Paranoid,” and “The Trick Is to Keep Breathing” against anything released in the 1990s. But it didn’t hurt that the person singing it seemed to have been beamed from another universe for the sole purpose to dominate humanity via her innate sexuality.


She’s on tour with Blondie this summer, and at the age of 51, she’s somehow hotter than ever. She’s the grunge Gillian Anderson, which combines one of my favorite musical genres and favorite actress genres all into one. I want to meet her and would be legitimately terrified to meet her. It’s confusing, yet awesome?



I hesitated to even throw her name into the ring, but enough of the Pajiba staff were annoyed that I suggested her first that I thought it was at least worth admitting my crush online for the world to see. She’s been in my proverbial Top 5 since I learned of the concept of said list, which was right around the release of Garbage’s debut album in 1995. That’s two solid decades in which people have come and gone but Manson has still remained. It’s perpetually odd to me that she never turned into the singular rock star of her generation. Given the fact that she apparently doesn’t age and might actually be a part of Skynet’s plot to overthrow humanity, I shouldn’t be calling attention to her agelessness. But since my keystrokes might already be recorded, I should soldier on through regardless. Especially when she espouses an ethos to which most of us can and should relate.


All hail Queen Shirley.

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