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April 02, 2003

Shame on You, Madonna

Madonna's new video, "American Life," has just been pulled from it's slotted Friday premier. The decision is said to have been made by Madonna herself, because she felt it would be deemed inappropriate given the world's turbulent situation. The video was to depict images of gunmen, crying Iraqi women, limbless people, and blood-spotted babies. Madonna made a statement today that the video was *not* intended as a comment on the current situation in Iraq. ........ Ummmm....ok. She also made a point of saying that this particular video was shot a long time ago, and that she is "Not anti-Bush," but that she is also "Not pro-Iraq." Blah blah blah..

Anyway, so my beef is this: Madonna's signature bit, since the beginning of her career, has been her ability to shock and provoke and offend. She likes to get down on camera, onstage, and the more people freaked out about it, the more she liked it. She had the conservative assholes of the time totally up in arms as much as possible. Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Erotica, Justify My Love, The Sex Book.... and we go on.

How did we go from burning crosses, black wooden shamans, sex onstage, dirty pictures, S&M, bisexuality, Dick Tracy, and total exhibitionism to - SO DAMN LAME?! Why, Madonna, WHY??!! You married a fairly decent movie director, and thought it gave you licence to constantly use a bad British accent. Your half-hearted attempt at a controversial video involved you riding around in a limo, tricked out all ghetto-fabulous, hitting on girl strippers. The only movies you've made in the last few year have been so, so sad. And you almost named your second child Jesus, although thankfully some sensible person was able to talk you down to Rocco. So, now that you've pulled your new video because it would cause too much talk or trouble, then I only have one question: What the hell are you good for?

You have been a tame, talentless, rather man-ish shadow of your former self. I respected you then, Madonna. Back when you were the temptress, the pot-stirrer, the pain in the ass of right-wing society. Now you make wishy-washy political statements, chicken out of risky situations, and do laughably bad work. You're just a commercial, sell-out puss like the rest of the people in your business. So then, what *are* you good for now? My conclusion: not a damn thing.

Posted by kati at April 2, 2003 09:46 AM


She's just going through the celebrity maturing process, every artist does this. Early in ones career one has to be shocking and hard core in order to attract a fan base, but once famous and established comes stage 2. Next the artist will tone everything down in an attempt (albeit typically successful) to access a broader audience. Madonna today is not the Madonna of the 80's. Madonna get's airplay in SuperCuts. She plays mothers in films, not cagy alternative jacket wearing devil-may-care Susan in Desperately Seeking. This isn't something to be up in arms about, unless you're going to widen the complaint to all of contemporary western culture. See Sting. See U2. See anyone who's made it to the coveted "established" stage. The money they make now is on the order of a coporation because they have access to every demographic. I mean think about it. Who doesn't own a U2 album. Early in their careers they had access to youth rock market, now every one reading this has a mom who likes listening to U2 and Madonna on the radio. Madonna has a fiduciary obligation to watch what she says that might seem "anit-bush" since her demographic now is 'everyone', and like it or not, 'everyone' is "pro-bush". Of course it was approriate for her to not give a damn back when she was doing "like a virgin" but now, seeming counterculture would risk the huge new demographic that she has access to and by extension, the share prices of Warner Bros., her owner.

Posted by: gene at April 2, 2003 10:11 AM

Note : Warner Brothers = AOL Time Warner, the Number 1 media corporation in the world.

Posted by: gene at April 2, 2003 10:16 AM

I'm glad someone is talking about that goddamn fakey British accent. She's from Detroit!

Posted by: sean at April 2, 2003 11:05 AM

Once again, Gene Wood disappoints me. Nurse V has written a very appropriate, perfectly directed damning of Madonna (or maybe just her sad-ass current persona) and you make excuses for her! For the record, I'd like to say that I don't own anything by U2 so I don't give a fuck what they (Bono) do or don't do. I do, however, own a lot of Madonna and, being a female child of the 80's, I grew up listening to her music, admiring each of her daring and tantalizing moves and taking a certain pride in her ability to cause controversy and piss off the conservatives of the world. I think she does need a swift kick in the ass, if not just for pussing out over the Iraq situation and getting all soft after having 2 kids, but for betraying her REAL, life-long fans, a group to which Kati and I definitely belong. She's supposed to be our bad-girl role model, not yet another spineless, politically correct, career-over-truth has-been American icon. Madonna and her fake-ass accent make me sad, but only because I love her so and can't bear to see her fall so low. Man, oh man, Madonna, why you gotsta go out like that!?

Posted by: Kristina at April 2, 2003 01:28 PM

P.S. Gene, I hope my criticism of your criticism doesn't dissuade you from allowing me to have my own blog... oh, mighty Gate-Keeper.

Posted by: Kristina at April 2, 2003 01:50 PM

Word, Kris. Word.

I think it's just that I find the "maturing" of Sting, U2, and others far less irritating than that of Madonna. She used to stand for something, and now she has just fallen off, hugely. It is a sad, sad letdown for us 80's children. I would only feel a connection to her these days if I was silly enough to believe that a fake British accent was a good idea. I mean, for crying out loud - we all *know* she isn't British, and we have all heard her speak before she started using it. And, also, that accent is SO BAD! She can't even pull it off. Need I even bring up "The Next Best Thing"?... "Swept Away"? I mean, come on. Bad, bad, bad.

New Madonna = Bad

Posted by: kati at April 2, 2003 02:09 PM

I object. I'm not making excuses, I agree that it sucks, I'm just saying ,

"This isn't something to be up in arms about, unless you're going to widen the complaint to all of contemporary western culture."

I just think madonna is a symptom, not the problem.

Posted by: gene at April 2, 2003 02:24 PM

Oh, BTW pimp job on uploading the pictures Nurse V. You rule.

Posted by: gene at April 2, 2003 02:25 PM

I guess I do really have the same complaint about all of Western culture. Perhaps Madonna is just a throbbing fever-blister on the lip of my pop-culture sensibilities. But my God, so very annoying - she is.

Hey, thanks Gene. Sadly, my scanner at home is a piece of shi-i-iiit.

Posted by: kati at April 2, 2003 02:32 PM

I'm not up in arms about Madonna, really. I was just commenting on your comment on Kati's expressed views about Madonna. Man, that was a great time out last night... we should all do that again real soon. Peace, y'all.

Posted by: Kristina at April 3, 2003 08:32 AM

I'd fuck Madonna.
Screw that - Bono too.

Posted by: Teddy at April 3, 2003 12:44 PM

"a throbbing fever-blister on the lip of my pop-culture sensibilites."
Love it. Never appreciated metaphors like I do now. Thanks KV.

Posted by: Teddy at April 3, 2003 12:46 PM

Yeah, last night was bitchin' and it was so fun to hang out with everyone. I, however, have not been this hungover in recent memory. Yahhhhh......

...and I feel you on Bono. Madonna - no. Bono - definetly.

Posted by: kati at April 3, 2003 01:41 PM

Ugh, not Bono! He's too old and definitely too religious for my tastes. He's all yours, hon. I am sure that Madonna would do Bono... one of the few men in entertainment who she hasn't had, or at least, as far as we know.

Posted by: Kristina at April 3, 2003 04:42 PM

Just reading over some of this stuff and I find it great that people can agree to disagree. I frankly love Madonna and don't think she owes anything to anyone. She has proven herself on a creative level for years and is dealing with great changes in her personal life now. I do however miss that raw sexual appeal she seems to be hidding from a little. Just wondering where you guys are located, I'd like to shoot the shit sometime.

Posted by: Jason at July 8, 2003 06:58 PM

i still like madonna and lllike her new album.. i am a club dj here in detroit and we are going to have a madonna party on november 23, 2003 it is at menjos..where madonna first hung out at anyone is welcome to come...if you need directions to the club call.1-313-863-3934

Posted by: jim at October 11, 2003 08:47 AM

As a right wing conservative, I have to say that Madonna has _always_ been lame. I do think that she is a piece of trash and her raunchy, sexually explicit acts of the past should not be applauded, as you are doing in your article.

One thing I've always found a bit more offensive than Madonna promoting deviancy (e.g., homosexuality, fornication etc) is that she does it as a cheap publicity gimmick. Madonna stands for nothing but lining her own pocket book with more money, and she loves fame. That she thinks nobody could see right through her on this point is an insult to everybody's intelligence.

There's nothing deeper to her, yet feminists and people on the left such as yourself for year held Madonna up as some kind of great female role model and what all.

And, BTW, the more you try to "offend" certain groups of conservatives the more lame you will be. What I mean is this: I've come to *expect* Madonna to engage in sex acts on stage and so forth, so that when she DOES do so, I'm not taken aback.

She has based a career on shocking people; it's worn thin, and it's old hat. She's essentially a "one trick pony" incapable of sustaining a career on talent or anything of substance.
Flea Dip the Anti Madonna site:

Posted by: Flea Dip at April 28, 2004 04:32 PM

hey, now your blog has become an article. you are a reporter, a hardnosed journalist devoted to the pursuit of truth and the big scoop.

Posted by: didofoot at April 28, 2004 05:52 PM

>>hey, now your blog has become an article. you are a reporter, a hardnosed journalist devoted to the pursuit of truth and the big scoop. <<

How about his "opinion piece?"

Posted by: Flea Dip at April 28, 2004 09:19 PM

That's right, dammit. I am a hardnosed journalist in hot persuit of the big scoop. Apparently, this is the big scoop of the moment.

But I'd like to be clear that just because I think Madonna is at the height of lameness these days, I used to sing along and dance around with glee while she simulated fornication on 80's MTV. I used to bask joyfully in the glory of her raunch and sin.
Also, I prefer on principle to share as few opinions as possible with right wing conservatives, as I believe they are twits.

Posted by: kati at April 28, 2004 09:44 PM

Right wing conservatives are twits and Flea Dip seems to be no exception. Why, if s/he doesn't like Madonna or condone her past actions, s/he would spend the time to write opinions on poor Kati's blog and devote an entire site to anti-Madonna propaganda is totally beyond me and one of the lamest things I can think of. The misguided, reactionary useless moral posturing of the conservatives never ceases to amaze, confuse and even sicken me. You might think that Madonna's not a good role model, but neither are you, Flea Dip, with your know-it-all, holier-than-thou attitude. You can't come in here and insult a woman we respect. Suck my...

Posted by: Kristina at April 28, 2004 10:10 PM

Well? You can't leave us in suspense like that! What should Flea Dip, right-wing conservative (as opposed to all of those left-wing conservatives, or right-wing liberals out there) suck? Surely, there's a whole host of articles, if not an entire website's worth, to be written on the subject!

Support of Madonna and her clear, unflinching commitment to feminism has been the foundation of the Democratic Party for the entirety of her twenty-year, unsustainable, one-trick career. And now that Flea Dip has exposed her transparent, deviant career, I for one don't see how the left can recover. Cancel the sex on-stage sex acts for your inauguration, Mr. Kerry, because Madonna's time is up!

Posted by: sean at April 29, 2004 01:31 AM

I hadn't thought about that Sean... I guess I was thinking of either "dick" or "balls", since I don't have either and that amuses me. There are moderate and "independent" conservatives out there, who are somehow more frightening since their conservative views aren't nearly as likely to *totally* piss people off and discredit them right away. I consider most Democratic politicians to fit into this category for various reasons, but mostly because they don't have the balls to be true liberals in our current conservative-dominanted nation. If I were running for President, I'd totally have Madonna come speak at my rally because then I'd get to meet her and hang out with her. Madonna is cool because she doesn't let people push her around and define sin and virtue for her in absolute terms (except for the waaaaay above mentioned incident with her American Life video), which is why she's a real inspiration to other women, not just because we've all seen her tits a bijillion times. America is one of the most sexually-backwards, repressed nations in the world, so the popularity of such a strong, sexual woman should really say something about the need for our women to be in control of and comfortable with their sexuality. The shame and forced modesty that hard-core conservatives insist women have is bad for women, so I salute Madonna's breasts... well, maybe her old ones, before she had two kids and discovered a new sense of personal responsibility...

Posted by: Kristina at April 29, 2004 09:03 AM

i just don't understand why conservatives are so afraid of sex. it's a natural thing that should be enjoyed (albeit judiciously). more sex! less war!
and in any case, who are they to judge others? most conservatives are religious. did they not learn "let he who has not sinned cast the first stone"?

Posted by: jade at April 29, 2004 04:21 PM

p.s. i love how "Flea Dip" asserts that there is nothing deeper to Madonna, as if s/he knows Madonna personally (instead of basing this assertion on media imagery). so judgemental.

Posted by: jade at April 29, 2004 04:25 PM

If you want to understand how conservatives (and liberals) think, you should read Moral Politics by George Lakoff. Kristina has read this and she knows very well why conservatives are afraid of the "moral taintedness" of overtly sexual art. It's not all that confusing once you understand the underlying conceptual structure of conservative thought and rhetoric.

Posted by: dr v at April 30, 2004 10:36 AM

I happened to see this ridiculous assumption from someone who was bashing Flea dip: "America is one of the most sexually-backwards, repressed nations in the world". If someone is trying to say that Americans are prudish about sex, then perhaps they don't ever watch TV, especially late-night TV. Hmmm, last time I checked, there was plenty of slow-motion footage of women jiggling their butts very explicitly on BET, an infomercial for some penile enlargement product, heavily-made up model/actresses with big fingernails pouting at the camera to plug some phone sex hotline, etc. Anyways, I agree with Flea Dip on alot of Flea's views and guess what? I have had sex more than once and am comfortable with my sexuality, but I don't have to strut around bra-less and/or with my navel hanging out to prove it to anyone!
P.S. Have you noticed that everyone is quick to condemn Flea for being "judgemental", and then they turn around and ASSUME that she is a religious freak who is deathly afraid of even vague sexual imagery? Interesting....

Posted by: Friend of Flea Dip at May 1, 2004 06:06 PM

I'm the one that said America is sexually-backwards and repressed because it is, compared to other civilized nations. Although you may be able to see plenty of cleavage and sexually-charged images on TV, there is by far less nudity and fewer sex scenes (where you actually see the sex) in American entertainment than in Europe. This is because you can't possibly have entertainment without sex because it's such a part of human life, but American's are out there making sure no one sees anything they find offensive on network TV and trying to reduce what is shown. What toned-down, stylized sex Americans are exposed to is relegated to late-night TV and R rated movies, to ensure that teens will continue to be shocked by and ignorant about the realities of sex. In this way I think the stylized sex, rather than a more candid presentation of it, misleads teens about it rather than shielding them.

Also, I didn't assume Flea Dip was a relgious freak, deathly afraid of sexual imagery. Firstly, I figured Flea Dip was a man (but that just says something about my opinion of men being more judgmental of women than women) and I didn't assume his conservative view of Madonna's work and image were religiously motivated. Not all conservatives are religious, although a great portion of their moral philosophy is rooted in judeo-christian values and theories about human behavior.

I agree with Aaron, everyone should read Lakoff's Moral Politics because it's a fabulous, well-written book that doesn't require any background in cognitive science to get the full benefit from it, since it's about how Americans intuitively conceptualize their political beliefs and make decisions based on those conceptualizations. I doubt any conservatives would actually read it though, since they tend to read less material with divergent views than liberals (the book gives an excellent analysis of the reason for this and conservative anti-intellectualism in general), but also since it would require a good deal of self-reflection and a slight willingness to admit that maybe your moral philosphy is actually arbitrary and harmful to the nation, the world and even your children. I read this at a time when I wasn't sure if I was a conservative or a liberal (since it's often hard to side with one political camp or the other based on "the issues") and it not only helped me to understand my (classically conservative) father for the first time (and gain a respect for his beliefs, which he holds with an honest and well-meaning heart), but also helped me to see where my own political values lie. Anyway, it's really good. Read it.

Posted by: Kristina at May 1, 2004 07:05 PM

jade said:
>>just don't understand why conservatives are so afraid of sex.> Kristina has read this and she knows very well why conservatives are afraid of the "moral taintedness" of overtly sexual art. It's not all that confusing once you understand the underlying conceptual structure of conservative thought and rhetoric.<<

Apparently, nobody here understands conservative thought if they arrive at the odd and funny conclusion that conservatives are "afraid" of sex.

And I would encourage you to read, instead--

Posted by: Flea Dip at May 2, 2004 03:45 AM

Sorry, but my last post was mauled and mutilated; for some reason, the page did not publish all of my comments, so I will try again - and dang, I wish HTML would work in these things:
jade said:
"just don't understand why conservatives are so afraid of sex."

If conservatives were "afraid of sex" we'd die out, and there'd be no more conservatives, LOL.

I mean, where do you get your silly ideas about conservatives?

Conservatives believe certain things *about* sex (such as boundaries are needed, e.g., should 12 year olds be having sex? - we'd say, no - that kind of thing), but having certain views about or standards in place for sex does not mean that conservatives 'hate' sex, are 'afraid of it' or are anti-sex.

Sex being a part of nature does not necessarily equate to anything and everything about sex should be a free-for-all or should be seen as morally acceptable. If you want to be that fine, but I will never agree, and I have every right to express my views.

And didn't Madonna say we should "Express Ourselves?" When Madonna Expresses Herself, she gets cheered for speaking her mind -- I do so and get criticized for it.

Dr V said,
"Kristina has read this and she knows very well why conservatives are afraid of the "moral taintedness" of overtly sexual art. It's not all that confusing once you understand the underlying conceptual structure of conservative thought and rhetoric."

Apparently, nobody here understands conservative thought if they arrive at the odd and funny conclusion that conservatives are "afraid" of sex.

And I would encourage you to read, instead--

Posted by: Flea Dip at May 2, 2004 03:48 AM

Someone from this blog page e-mailed me the other night or so. I just wanted to let that person know that I replied to you, only for the e-mail to get bounced back! The first part of your e-mail address began with the word "mystery" and your first initial of your first name is "s."

Well, S, I enjoyed your message! Please consider visiting the Anti-Madonna board at...

Posted by: Flea Dip at May 2, 2004 03:50 AM

Kristina said,
"I'm the one that said America is sexually-backwards and repressed because it is, compared to other civilized nations. "

-- and yet America has a multi-million dollar a year pornography business, and the average age at which many Americans lose their virginity is 16 (a recent study just released mentioned that fact). And you're calling us repressed? C'mon, Kristina.

Having standards, values, and morals is not "repression."

Posted by: Flea Dip at May 2, 2004 03:52 AM

Friend of Flea Dip said,
"I happened to see this ridiculous assumption from someone who was bashing Flea dip: "America is one of the most sexually-backwards, repressed nations in the world". If someone is trying to say that Americans are prudish about sex, then perhaps they don't ever watch TV, especially late-night TV. [examples snipped]..."

The USA is the nation that gave the world Madonna, Christian Aguilera and Britney Spears -- as well as Marilyn Monroe (universally recognized as being the biggest female sex symbol of the 20th century), Jayne Mansfield, Pamela Lee Anderson and Paris Hilton (I'm sure all the liberal boys here caught her sex romp on the web with her ex). Ah, how they forget.

The most startling thing though, 1NF, is that you have admitted to being my friend -- and publicly! Are you *sure* you're not ashamed to be associated with me, LOL? :o)

"P.S. Have you noticed that everyone is quick to condemn Flea for being "judgemental", and then they turn around and ASSUME that she is a religious freak who is deathly afraid of even vague sexual imagery? Interesting...."

We be living in a post modern world, not a material one, contrary to Madonna of the 1980s.
Postmodernism: Intellectual Velcro Dragged Across Culture?

Deconstructing Liberal Tolerance:
Liberal tolerance is not what it appears to be, however. It is a partisan philosophical perspective with its own set of dogmas. It assumes, for instance, a relativistic view of moral and religious knowledge.

This assumption has shaped the way many people think about issues such as homosexuality, abortion rights, and religious truth claims, leading them to believe that a liberally tolerant posture concerning these issues is the correct one and that it ought to be reflected in our laws and customs.

But this posture is dogmatic, intolerant, and coercive, for it asserts that there is only one correct view on these issues, and if one does not comply with it, one will face public ridicule, demagogic tactics, and perhaps legal reprisals. Liberal Tolerance is neither liberal nor tolerant.

Posted by: Flea Dip at May 2, 2004 04:01 AM

Wow, you're one busy lady. I'm sure everyone here will read all of your comments and be really moved and enlightened by what you've written. Not that I actually think anything I say will remain with anyone for longer than it takes to read my comments.

I don't think conservatives are afraid of sex or sexuality; they just have different ideas about it than others but tend to be less willing to see not only the other side but also the shades of gray in between the anti- and pro-Madonna camps. I say that because even among us "liberals" here, there are a lot of strongly-held differences in our own beliefs and ideas about sex, sexuality and marriage. Our one common point here is that we like Madonna. Not to date ourselves (since I'm sure you'll be pulling the age card on me now), but we grew up in the 80's when Madonna was it and we were little kids dancing around our parents' living rooms to Lucky Star, Holiday and La Isla Bonita. Madonna was cool and fun and that's all there is to it. Over the years, she did crazy things, but I never actaually saw the Sex book (wasn't interested) and everything that she did just didn't seem to be *THAT* incredibly shocking or offensive. You may not think it's art, but that's because you studied it and probably didn't even like Madonna before or after her Erotica phase. I guess it's kinda like all those Elvis fans that remained devoted after he became a bloated coke-head... except Madonna didn't die of an overdose; she had a baby, got married, had another, became religious, calmed down and grew up.

Now, if you want to harp at her for things she's done in the past, that's just fine; it's your right to speak your mind. But, I say again, don't come in here and trash someone that we like b/c you won't gain any converts and you'll only be embroiled in this debate longer and be called names. That's not how liberals are, that's just how my friends are, and you're in our territory, honey.

Oh, as for your other comments directly to me: What Aaron met about "moral taintedness" was not that the erotic art is itself morally tainted but the metaphorical schema of moral taintedness. The schema goes something like this.


These matphors are extremely common to *everyone's* abstract reasoning processes.

THE MIND IS A CONTAINER is the active metaphor in phrases such as "I should be cramming for civil procedure right now" and "I can't get this song out of my head" and "what did you have in mind?"

IDEAS ARE OBJECTS is probably one of the most common metaphors out there. "what gave you that idea?" "we traded ideas at the meeting" "i'm playing with the idea of studying today" "i have a firm grasp on contract law". If you then, extend that to MORALITY IS PURITY/CLEANLINESS, this creates the idea of a mind/container, filled with objects that are pure/clean. Naturally, not all of everyone's objects are pure, everyone has bad thoughts; whether it's sexual or about playing a mean trick on your sister.

COMMUNICATION IS TRANSFER or SEEING/HEARING IS ABSORBING is the tricky part. These metaphors are active in phrases such as "i get what you're saying," "it'll take a while for the reading to sink in," "i love taking in an opera or two every month." As you can see, these are a lot like the above IDEAS ARE OBJECTS metaphors, since TRANSFER and ABSORPTION are the most common ways that we understand the effects of communication (the other common source domain for getting ideas is EATING) and mediated sensory inputs.

In this way, you can see how sexual images on TV would activate the moral taintedness schema. A kid sees Janet Jackson's breast on television. The visual signal travels across the room and the sight of it is absorbed by his mind. Once inside the dirt either taints the pure/clean environment inside or taints the pure ideas, or the dirty objects rub their dirt on the clean environment or rub off on the other objects, making them dirty.

This is an extremely central metaphorical concept in human thought and moral reasoning. We all think this way, no matter what our politics or moral values. No one even thinks about thinking like this b/c it's intuitive and although you could come up with a million different variations on this schema, you'd be hard-pressed to find one that wasn't based on the same core concepts. What's the point of this? The point is that you have to step outside of your intuitive reasoning every once in a while to see what the real-world effect is, not just your perception of the effect. What do I mean? I mean that this is not necessarily the effect that seeing such images has on a real human mind. Now, I know you'll resist this, but just go with me here... The metaphor "hides" and does not take into account a host of real-life facts, such as the facts about the way human moral reasoning actually works and the ways in which we gain, process and retain information. Not surprisingly, it's not as simple as the metaphor would have you think. To put it plainly, most often kids won't have the knowledge or experience to understand the sexual imagery the way you or I do. Also, such extraneous, unconnected information is likely to be retained for long or in any sensible fashion, unless the parent makes a big deal about it and gives the kid the idea that maybe it is something worth thinking about more and finding out about... Children are not innocent because they've been protected from everything bad so far; they're innocent because they haven't gained enough knowledge about the world and themselves yet to properly process such information even when they are exposed to it.

I don't know where I'm going with this anymore, but that was always my problem with metaphorical anaylsis... I like picking apart the concepts, but I can never come up with a conclusion. I guess it's that Aaron was pointing out that you might think that Madonna is bad b/c she will taint kids. I say she's not tainting anyone, just pissing you off.

Posted by: Kristina at May 2, 2004 09:49 AM

Also, such extraneous, unconnected information is *not* likely to be retained for long or in any sensible fashion.

Posted by: Kristina at May 2, 2004 09:51 AM

The metaphorical stuff was interesting, but I honestly don't see why Madonna even merits such deep thought. I would just like to make people aware that not all people who dislike Madonna and her silly shock-tactics are automatically some kind of sexually repressed religious freaks. I want women to know that exploiting themselves the way Madonna has (not to mention other people) is not necessary to get by in the world, nor is it universally admired. Women can be comfortable with their sexuality and their "expression" of it without being obnoxious and nasty. And I do feel Madonna is partially responsible for 12-year-olds running around wearing thongs and low-rise pants.

Posted by: Friend of Flea Dip at May 2, 2004 07:06 PM

Yeah, the metaphor stuff is interesting. You should read Moral Politics, really. I tell everyone to read it. How can you say Madonna doesn't deserve such deep thought if you have an entire site devoted to anti-Madonna rhetoric? Also, who are you to say so? You, yourself, admit that Madonna has an effect on her fans that warrants recognition and discussion. I've been a Madonna fan for as long as I can remember and I certainly am well aware that exploiting myself to that degree is not necessary to get by in the world and that a lot of people have a problem with Madonna for a variety of reasons. If you limit your recognition of her power over her fans to the fact that kids that are way to young to have ever been real Madonna fans are wearing thongs and low-rise pants, you're just seeing what you want to see. For a whole generation of us girls, Madonna was an example of someone who was brash and free that we all admired but would never dare really go that far. It was the *idea* that we were that free that mattered, not actually doing those kinds of things. Girls going that far and or dressing in the manner you describe at such a young age is not Madonna's fault, but the fault of those girls' parents for not establishing a sense of self-respect and personal responsibility in their children. Celebrities are blamed way too much for their "influence" when it is an absolute fact that parents and other adults in a child's life have a far greater impact on their actions and ideas than any one celebrity can. Your parents are there with you from the very beginning and are responsible for their child's intellectual and emotional development. To simply say you're being a good parent by shielding your child from such things is naive. Your kid knows more than you think she does and it's up to you to put that in the proper context for her. If you simply dismiss it, you're missing out on a good opportunity to teach your daughter something about life and herself that will allow her to sidestep any negative effects of media exposure.

Also, it upsets me that you seem to refuse to give Madonna any credit for the personal strides she's made since the birth of her daughter. Once again, Madonna proves to be a good role model but in an entirely new way; in leaving behind her former, wild days and settling down and focusing on her family. This shows us you can change your life around as you get older and still be happy and cool. However, the fact that hardly anyone gives her credit for growing up teaches us that once you've gotten a bad name with some, they'll never let you live it down. This kind of regulation of women's "acceptable" behavior by other women is as old as time. This unforgiving attitude toward one-time tramps deters women from doing things that could potentially tarnish their reputation, inhibiting their freedom through fear of ridicule by other women. This is exactly what Madonna doesn't care about. She doesn't care that you don't like her because she doesn't care what you think.

Posted by: Kristina at May 2, 2004 09:03 PM

fyi -- bell hooks does not capitalize her name. if you're going to appropriate a black woman's thoughts on madonna's appropriation of black culture, at least get her name right. sheesh.

Posted by: erica at May 3, 2004 08:59 PM

I'm another "right-wing conservative" who is not afraid of sex. My husband and I go at it like rabbits at times. I just don't want Madonna's version of it in my face. People say "It doesn't matter what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms." Well KEEP it there.
About the article. Her boring hypocritical insides are showing. It's not new. Wake up former fans. She has always been a boor, there was nothing to her but sex, underwear showing, humping a dress on MTV, the Sex book, Erotica crap, playing a slut in every film, it's been the same d**n thing every year since we've had to smell her back in '82. It got old, and she has to appear to change and mature. Bull. I'm not buying it. She's no different after 40+ years, no way. She is now getting sued for years of ripping off ideas and photos. Her Maverick sucks big ones, and her "people" had to buy up tickets to make it appear sold out. Check Ebay for the unwanted, un-bid-on tix for proof. She took a perfectly good English film director, knocked herself up, and put his career in the toilet with her stupid film. She claims to be anti-War while endorsing Clark by saying she likes him because he's a "decorated soldier." She likes Kabull because she "doesn't have to understand what you're reading..." In short, she's an overrated moron. Conservatives don't just hate her, apparently a lot of liberals are smart enough to see her for the waste of skin she is. I actually used to like a few of her songs. I just got sick of her preaching. She's an idiot, and she should pull a Garbo and vanish. Her opinions don't mean a thing, because when she opens her mouth it's a lie. She's no more spiritual than the man in the moon, and her spoiled brat didn't changer Madonna's life. The kid supposedly cusses like a sailor. Kabballah is doing HER no good. In short, she's a cheap slag who thinks wearing a red string will prevent bad luck. THAT sums her up. Why all the worship of a moron like that? It's not because she's sexually provocative or any of the other silly descriptions her fans dream up, that many conservatives hate her. She's just a shallow B, who has no respect for anything or anyone. She milks what she can to make money. She is more of a greedy capitalist than any conservative I know of. Like all liberal celebs, she whines about the poor, etc etc, barf, gag...then buys 10,000 dollar purses. Remember liberals criticizing Reagan for the Me Decade? This People Magazine Generation is more selfish than we were when all we wanted as youth was an Izod shirt. Gawd. Thanks, 90s. Depends on what the definition of Greed is, I guess.

Posted by: Lady Chadwick at May 4, 2004 10:19 AM

Amazing how people will call a woman a slut, a slag, a moron, a liar, and cheap, but won't spell out the word "damn".

Warms my heart to see people putting forth an effort to uphold the true spirit of their faith.

Posted by: Dianna at May 4, 2004 11:53 AM


Posted by: Kristina at May 4, 2004 02:15 PM

also: "My husband and I go at it like rabbits" contrasts nicely with "People say 'It doesn't matter what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.' Well KEEP it there." Oh, if only she had.

Posted by: didofoot at May 4, 2004 03:30 PM

hey Lady C, Madonna is hot! How else could she make a gay boy like me want "Madonna's version of it **on** my face"!??

Posted by: cody at May 4, 2004 05:57 PM

I didn't know backwoods yokels knew how to use the Internet.

Posted by: dr v at May 4, 2004 10:02 PM

cody is not a backward yokel, v.

Posted by: didofoot at May 5, 2004 08:01 AM

This format is hard to read - can we get some double-spacing in here?
Anyways, Kristina, this is what I said: And I do feel Madonna is PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE for 12-year-olds running around wearing thongs and low-rise pants. Obviously, parents are part of the problem. But these kids feel they are "exploring their sexuality" in a healthy way, and this is the same kind of attitude espoused by Madonna-influenced acts like Britney, Christina, and Pink, etc.
Madonna most certainly does care what everybody thinks, or else she would be spending more time actually, you know, RAISING her two children like she should be if she has really "grown up" so much. I don't see real evidence that she has "matured", but that rather that is another public-relations ploy. If she's no longer such a tramp, why did she do the faux-lesbian kiss with Britney? Why, in Britney's "Me Against The Music" video, is she seen - towards the end; there are video stills all over the net as proof - rubbing a cane up between her legs and briefly putting her crotch in some guy's face? The answer is because she's not just a "one-time tramp".
As for all the "deep thought" that went into Flea Dip's site, I anticipated this argument. If you actually read the essays, you will see that there is no silly philosophical mumbo-jumbo. Instead, it is an expose of how Madonna simply does things to get attention and money. The site would be unnecessary if there weren't so many naive people wasting their time reading profound "insights" from her every move.

Posted by: Friend of Flea Dip at May 5, 2004 07:56 PM

I wrote a comment, but it got so long that I had to make a separate entry. You can read it at

Posted by: Kristina at May 6, 2004 03:23 AM

Holy Christ who gives a shit? It's amazing anyone could spend so much time talking about an arbitrary pop-star.

Posted by: Renee at May 7, 2004 08:01 AM

I love Renee; she's always a voice of reason in this mad, mad world.

Posted by: Kristina at May 7, 2004 02:26 PM

You said: "P.S. Why don't you get off your ass and actually inform yourself about media effects before jumping to conclusions about the sources of our "problems" with young girls today, and spreading hatred and intolerance."
Interesting. You're telling me to get off my ass, while you're the one cranking out lengthy spiels with bits of Latin and theories and whatnot thrown in. You speak of "hatemongering" and "intolerance", but, if you go back and read my posts, I've actually made the point about women and children not needing to sexually exploit themselves. How that's "spreading hate" I have no idea. And as for "intolerance", you go on and on about liberals and conservatives and their "narrowminded" view of the world, yada, yada, yada. I've never identified myself as a liberal OR a conservative. I don't really fit 100% into one category or another - same with "right-wing" and "left-wing". I don't bother with those kind of labels, but you're particularly obsessed with them.
As for all this stuff about media effects, please tell me how it is possible for celebrities today (in an even more idol-obsessed world than when we were growing up in the eighties) cannot have any negative effect on today's youth, but Madonna has obviously had such a "positive" effect on you (or else you would not be here so viscerally defending your arguments)? Obviously, we will never agree on this topic, but at least I am not stereotyping people based on their opinions about ONE subject. And I actually think you're rather intelligent, which is partly why I'm challenging you the way I am.

Posted by: Friend of Flea Dip at May 8, 2004 03:37 PM

I live my life on my ass - I'm a student and I'm studying for finals so all I do is sit in front of my computer and write about stuff like this. No one is saying that women and children don't need to sexually exploit themselves; all I'm taking issue with is your choice to identify and vilify one particular entertainer as the cause of this when you have no proof or reliable media effects theory to back up your choice. This arbitrary singling-out of a performer is just silly and seems to stem from some either long-term hatred for Madonna or for women like Madonna. I'm sure that some of my defense of her comes from the fact that I used to really dig her and she still comes out with some super-fun dancey tracks every once in a while (i.e. the "Hollywood" remix), but what I'm really against is this kind of random bashing of figures without any real proof of their effect on others. You say it's obvious, I say it's not. Even if you don't fully identify as a conservative, in the scheme of things, you are due to the way you conceptualize effects on people, transfer of information and even morality in general. It is true that I have inherent disrespect for conservative thought processes in general since I had to live under it for years and I see it all around me in daily life and its ruinous, soul-destructing effects on me throughout the early part of my life and on the world today make me really hate it.

Posted by: Kristina at May 9, 2004 09:35 AM

As usual, you completely miss the point. I dislike Madonna because of her obnoxious attitude and behavior, and the way it is rewarded and encouraged. As I've said before, I wouldn't mind her so much if people didn't worship her and emulate that way of thinking and acting. Yeah, Cher could occasionally be a bit slutty, but have you ever heard people hold her up as some kind of role model? Have you ever heard people tell stories about Cher stomping all over people and then commend her for being "herself" and a "diva"? If Cher were to do that, everybody would be quick to criticise her, but if Madonna does it, oh, then it's okay. Why the double standard? And I don't have to take courses in communications or whatever to know what I'm talking about.
You probably will be glad to know that I don't think I'll do much more posting to this site, as I have already raised valid questions that have not yet been answered, and probably won't be, because you have me pigeon-holed as some kind of uptight conservative. Your intellectual snobbery is not going to win you many friends in the real world. (Oops! Did I use that "age card" again?)

Posted by: Friend of Flea Dip at May 9, 2004 04:23 PM

Okay, let's stop this now.
Let's all take a deep breath, and let it go.

Michele's Sugar Shoes post is definetly more interesting than this one, and far more worthy of the "Most Comments on a CH Blog" title. I don't want to upset that particular apple cart.

For further discussion, if you must, I direct you to
I don't think Kristina is an intellectual snob - at least no more than the rest of us are - and she *is* my friend.
Besides, reading these novelesque comments hurts my eyes.
So stop. Now.

Posted by: kati at May 9, 2004 05:02 PM

It was good seeing you, Kati. We must hang out this summer to do a thorough study of the SF bar/club scene. There is also a new DW game coming out soon, based in feudal japan this time! It's going to be so incrediby sweet! I have an air mattress and toothbrush with your name on it anytime you want.

Posted by: Kristina at May 9, 2004 06:43 PM

Thanks my dear. Sounds like a plan.

And we can all hope that next time I come up I'll be able to breathe and eat and pay attention when people talk. That would help make things more fun.

I'll work on it.

Posted by: kati at May 9, 2004 10:12 PM

Flea dip proud enough of his/her comment that he/she reposted it here :

Posted by: gene at May 11, 2004 02:55 PM