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MAY 24

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Thanks to spookmonger Marilyn Manson, the shock-craving kids of America need Ozzy Osbourne now more than ever. Manson’s Ichabod-Crane-meets-Aleister-Crowley persona is just plain creepy, and his sold-out shows, complete with faux-swastika-emblazoned stage drapes and twisted demagoguery, are unhealthy. But Ozzy,dear, dear Ozzy: There was something strangely charming, even comforting, in the drunk and bloated madman diarist’s decapitating and masticating a reportedly live bat. And remember when the Oz was trying to pour himself a glass of OJ in The Decline of Western Civilization II? How the juice was sloshing all over the place while the big man was trying in earnest to elaborate on metal’s firm place in music history? Didn’t you just want to hug him? Sure, Ozzy also delights in thrilling his minions and shocking the shit out of nonbelievers, but in the end it’s all just goofy, bark-at-the-moon fun. So youngsters, listen and listen good: Next time you have to choose between worshiping Jeffrey-Dahmer-with-voice-lessons or the Winnie-the-Pooh of the death and destruction scene, do the right thing and follow the yellow brick road. Don’t worry, your parents will still be repulsed. Appearing at “Ozzfest ’97” with Our Savior of the Crazy Train are the sober remnants of Black Sabbath, plus Pantera, Type O Negative, Fear Factory, Machine Head, Powerman 5000, and a second stage of up-and-coming metalheads at 12:30 p.m. at Nissan Pavilion, Bristow. $25.25-37.50. (703) 754-6400. (Sean Daly)