I’m not sure which is more surprising: that Madonna’s latest concert is making news even though the aging singer has done nothing of note since swapping spit with Britney Spears at the MTV Music Awards five years ago — or that Madonna doesn’t plan to vote for John McCain.
OK, OK — the latter’s not so shocking. Still, even for a woman whose made a name out of generating controversy, her latest effort — likening John McCain to Hitler — is both adolescent and puerile.
For two decades now, Madonna’s fame has stemmed more from her antics than any actual talent, singing or otherwise. Over twenty years ago she burst on the music scene wearing a bridal gown as she rolled on the floor and sang about being Like a Virgin, a marked contrast to the Boy Toy belt she wore (as well as the black bra she sported on top of her T-shirt).
Just as audiences began to ho-hum when hearing her name, she triggered another controversy by tackling the issues of birth control and teen sex with Papa Don’t Preach, a song about a pregnant girl determined to raise her own child. And again, she faded into the background.
Flash forward to the 90s when once again fans started losing interest and Madonna revived their attention through the one thing guaranteed to sell: sex. With men sporting women’s bras and Madonna herself dressed up as a dominatrix, the “Blond Ambition” tour was such a success that she decided to one-up herself. Her Justify My Love video, replete with lesbian scenes and a hefty dose of S&M, not only generated controversy but got Madonna banned from the one vehicle her career most relied upon: MTV.
By the time she made it back into MTV’s good graces — just in time for the famous lip-lock with rising stars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera — Madonna was irrelevant to both the recording industry and viewers. Naturally, she’s since taken to reprising her lesbian kisses on an as-needed basis to draw the limelight back to her fading career.
So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at all that she’s resumed her old antics of trying to stir up controversy in the wake of her anti-war album American Life, a flop which would have been her first hit-less album but for the last-minute inclusion of Die Another Day.