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By Martin Popoff
It's always complicated where the character, or the caricature, Alice Cooper fits in all this. Is Alice one of the damned, the lightning rod, the one pointing the crooked finger saying that there's still time? After Alice's answer, my understanding of his role still remains ambiguous.
"Alice is the narrator; Alice is the tour guide," begins Cooper. "Yeah, Alice is basically the tour guide of this place. Of course, it's a place that he would know about. And I think he includes himself in all of this. But I think the biggest misconception of this album is that it's political. It's not about politics. Politics is secondary. It's about morals, which is something that everybody has to deal with. Politics, I hate. I don't even deal with politics in my life. If I have to, I do. But morals, I have to deal with every day. So this is a matter of, you know, when I say welcome to my nightmare, we all have to deal with nightmares. That's something where you don't have a choice. You go to sleep and you have a nightmare and you can't do anything about it. Well, somebody in China is having a nightmare too, someone in India is, someone in Pakistan is. It's a worldwide universal human thing, same thing with morals."
So does Alice escape? What is his just reward?
"Well, I haven't let Alice understand it. I mean, Alice is the prophet of doom here. All he's doing here is he's telling you about the place. He's not explaining how to get in or out. And again, I come from a Christian attitude on this thing. If you were to say to me, as an author, how do you think you get in there? And I would say well, by my beliefs, you DON'T go to Hell by accepting Christ. That's how you stay away from being there. So I believe that. Now, if you're asking me as Alice, I would say, 'gee, I don't know. All I know is that once you're there, you don't get out (laughs).' So Alice is the prophet of doom. He's the one who's going, 'here we are, now what are we going to do? We're screwed, you know, we're really screwed. Now let me show you some of the people who are here with us. We are in trouble.' And I like the idea that it poses the question, 'well, now what!?' 'I don't know. Let's figure it out. As far as I can see, there's no way out.' I like the idea that there's no way out. I like the idea that this is... you know, when I write about scaring people, I usually write about something that's under your bed, or something that's in the closet, or something that's in your psyche. This is saying, we're dealing with eternity here, that's even scarier. Eternal damnation of way scarier than what's under your bed (laughs)."
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