Friday, October 27, 2006

Schadenfreude is not the most refined of human sentiments, but few of us are above it and I couldn’t resist a cackle on hearing how Madonna’s apparently throwing tantrums on Oprah now that her latest media stunt has backfired. After all, this is the woman who is celebrated for being such a great media manipulator, queen of the image change, who is actually applauded for turning ruthlessness and superficiality into an art form. Over the course of her career she has spawned courses in Madonna studies at Mickey Mouse universities for rich idiots too stupid to get a real degree and volumes of pretentious wank written about what a feminist/post-feminist/who gives a fuck icon she is, without ever, as far as I can see, producing a half-decent song. Call me a traditionalist, but aren’t pop stars supposed to make music? Whereas this is never more than secondary, a mere vehicle for Madonna’s self-promotion, and nobody even seems to bother to pretend it’s otherwise. Does anyone actually listen to her music at home, or do they just head, lemming-like, straight for their bank accounts to fork out for an absurdly priced ticket for her ooh so controversial show. For that price it’s got to be good, right? And for decades the media have lapped it up, apparently she’s “cool”. Yes, she is one of my personal pet hates, precisely because she’s one of those who’ve got away with it. Up to now. YESSS!!

Let’s look at her beef. She sees a cute little black boy on a TV screen and is “transfixed”. Like a spoilt little girl spying the most expensive toy in the shop she decides “I gotta have it”. Cue photo ops etc. while she gets her team of soulless drones and hangers on to sort the boring bits out. With money and a profile like that, as well as the legal chaos surrounding adoption in Malawi, this isn’t difficult. Only… she doesn’t actually bother to check it properly with the boy’s father. Wouldn’t be quite so cute, would it, if she simply provided the money for a better life for both of them, father and child together? And let’s face it, an undernourished, under-educated, adult African man is not half as photogenic as his little boy, is he? Don’t want him under our roof, bloody hell! So he’s told his son’s going into good hands, be grateful, and since his choices are pretty stark, he agrees. Although now it turns out Madonna and her crew didn’t tell him that it was a case of outright adoption and he’d been under the impression it was a temporary arrangement, and wouldn’t have agreed to it had he known the full truth. What’s Madonna’s response to this? Apparently his grievances are merely due to the fact that he’s been MANIPULATED BY THE MEDIA. Boom, boom!! Their role, of course, is to photograph her and provide her with the required exposure on cue, certainly not to investigate or, God forbid, talk to the other parties involved.

So let’s get this straight Madge, are you calling the boy’s father a LIAR?


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