When I read on Drudge that Madonna is planning a “shocking” “anti-war, anti-Bush” “commentary” of a video that will accompany the media blitz for her latest toilet paper roll of sonic idiocy to be digitized and sold for $16.99, I think of the most succinct summation of just what Madonna is, brought to us by the lads of South Park:


Madonna is an old anorexic whore who wore out her welcome years ago and should just go fuck herself.


That’s actually much more kind than anything I would typically have to say about her.

Like lots of bloggers, I spend a good amount of my time making fun of the stupid things celebrities say, but compared to Madonna, people like Sheryl Crow, Janeane Garofalo and Martin Scorsese are intellectual powerhouses. Also, at least with the likes of Scorsese you can respect his artistic product even if you have to suffer through his political opinions now and then.

This has always been impossible to do with Madonna, however, because 1) her political/public self is inextricably bound with her “artistic” (not enough scare quotes in the world to do that howler justice) image, and 2) because both of those entities (if they indeed are even separate at all) are so horribly painful to endure.

Now, one can distinctly discern how much of this “American Life” salvo of hers is an urgent cry of relevance to a world in which she finds herself as culturally outmoded as jokes about Viagra.

Ever notice how we didn’t hear much from her since Bush was elected, and even less after 9/11? No? Yeah, me neither. But then, that’s the very nature of a respite from the likes of high-profile stupidity: blissful unawareness. When an irritating public persona drops down below the signal noise of celebrity culture, the natural impulse is to simply forget that they ever held a coveted spot of public annoyance in the first place. I mean really, that’s the point isn’t it, to not be bothered by them any more? To forget them as soon as the buzzing from their ego has subsided to acceptably unobtrusive levels? And, one is naturally aided in this by the fact that modern celebrities are usually so completely forgettable. Madonna, with her deliberately frenzied mixture of inadvertantly banal poses struck for the purpose of carefully constructed sexual shock-value, is no exception to this rule.

It seems that she perhaps perceived that the world had slipped into a kind of Material Girl lethe of recent and that she simply couldn’t abide by it, with the result being her inflicting a new album and video (more likely a spate of them eventually) on the world, just to be sure and remind everyone that she’s just as vacuous and reflexively outraged by whatever the squares are doing so she can try to once again shock the parents of the 13-year-olds who buy her crap.

Except this, time, she’s trying to make Important! and Serious!-sounding pronouncements about things other than how monogamy is evil and repressive and that pubescent girls should dress and act like the kind of public slut her money and celebrity allows her to be with so little consequence. You have to sort of instantly feel sorry for any effort of hers trying to branch out into becoming an official Concerned Famous Person, something that is pretty much beyond her capabilities (and considering the woefully low standards required for being a card-carrying CFP, the picture becomes doubly pathetic). Immediately, I can’t help but think of a monkey trying to write a novel. It’s possible that with enough attempts he could approach something that remotely resembles one, but only coincidentally and after literally billions of random attempts.

It’s no surprise that Madonna’s profile became significantly lowered post-election 2000. Between then and the September of the following year, she only surfaced rarely to give the odd cheap shot against Bush’s party or the Pope, usually for their perpetual crime of being repressed puritans, or something like that. This reduced public presence after the inauguration of Bush’s America makes perfect sense, for if there was ever a president’s tenure that fit harmoniously with the public phenomenom of Madonna, it was Bill Clinton.

In an era when the president is viewed at large as a sleazy, lacivious scoundrel, and is either hated or loved for it, and when the country is fixated on something as squirm-inducing as the big ugly eel’s sexual organ, how could a figure like Madonna not feel right at home? Clinton was glamorous and photogenic (at least, many maintained as much) and always hungry for the spotlight. He was publicly fixated on all the fashionable things that the Beautiful People professed to care about, and openly enamored of all the more shallow qualities that the hordes of entertainistas really did care about, that is: their own egos, and all the things that could feed them. Despite the fact that Reagan actually worked in Hollywood for years, Clinton was much more in line with the Hollywood persona. If he can be called “our first black president,” then he was also surely our first “celebrity president.”

Maybe she saw something was changing after Bush was elected. I’m sure she, like countless other people for whom evidence is no impediment to their opinions, was certain that he stole the election, but even had he not become presidentr, Al Gore wasn’t exactly Madonna presidential material either. If not a devout Christian like Bush, he was at least eager to pretend to be one for the bible-belt rubes and Moral Majority types. The fact that the Democratic standard-bearer had gone from being someone who used cigars as dildos on his interns to an almost bible-thumper who was, on top of all that, monstrously boring, couldn’t help but signal a shifting pattern of the cultural wind, one where a Madonna didn’t fit as well as before. One simply didn’t see her as often after that.

And then after 9/11, as far as I can tell, she completely disappeared from the public eye. If the typically-Republican, boring and “repressed” nature of Bush’s presidency, and the things that it said about America’s cultural climate made Madonna uncomfortable with engaging the American zeitgeist, then surely the new atmosphere after 9/11 should have, and perhaps did, terrify her.

She’s certainly not all that bright, but she is, if anything, savvy of what sells. And it would be clear to her that the type of aggressively destructive, anti-social sexuality she came to more and more fixate upon (all comically justified as some kind of self-righteous notion of “freedom” or “anti-repression,” of course) as the 90′s wound down would not be as well received in a country debating the issue of war in Iraq and thinking about the next big terrorist strike that could claim thousands of their countrymen’s lives.

But of course, as she is always willing to latch, vampire-like, onto the next cultural wave and greedily suck (in more ways than one) until all the potential for enriching her pocket and her ego has been bled out of it, Madonna is apparently now seeking to reinvent herself as provocative, outraged anti-war activist instead of provacative, outraged slut.

The Drudge article suggests that this new video of hers will be a hard-hitting, political statement, or at least that’s what she wants her thousand or so publicity peons to feed to the media. One of them describes it as a “sweeping commentary,” which, in such a situation as this, usually means that it’s too incoherent or absurd to be understood intelligibly as being about any specific topic. When a commentary sweeps, it doesn’t have to make sense.


Dressed in commando fatigues, Madonna throws grenades as the techno terror beat pounds, claims a source. Limb-less men and women are reportedly shown, with bloody babies.

One disturbing clip features Iraqi children.

“The video escalates into a mad frenzy depicting the catastrophic repercussion and horror of war.”



Something tells me there will also be images of rich white guys in suits and pictures of oil wells. The labored pose shifts from a kinky sexual John Brown to techno Noam Chomsky. But that’s assuming, of course, that she’s ever heard of either of those fellows.

If I were you, I wouldn’t be waiting with bated breath for any deeper thought than what will surely be the implicit, “Look at all this gross, ugly stuff! Isn’t it nasty? I’m pretty sure it’s all connected in some way. Probably to the Catholic Church.”

This kind of clueless hodgepodge of elements is Madonna’s standard operating procedure when she tries to send a message and be weightily artistic, although previously her typical ingredients were race, religion and sex. If I had to come up with the quintessentially Madonnic icon, it would have to be an image of her sexually entwined on a cross with a gay, black man dressed up as a priest.

Many people in the past have breathlessly proclaimed that the very act of her mixing these types of elements is a daring, profound and socially significant statement about our world. If you’re one of those people, I’m sure this new video will be right up your alley.

last update : 26-5-2018

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