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What is Madge good for?(Madonna tanking badly)
National Post ^ | 05/31/04 | Aaron Wherry

Posted on 05/31/2004 9:00:48 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster

What is Madge good for?

The only thing Madonna provokes with her latest tour is sadness at how lame she's become

Aaron Wherry National Post

Monday, May 31, 2004

Madonna and her cast of muscled dancers do Kabbalah-inspired moves at the Re-invention tour launch in Los Angeles. CREDIT: Nam Y. Huh, The Associated Press

Those readers under the age of 18 may have to ask their parents about this, but, believe it or not, Madonna used to be quite shocking. Edgy even. Testing with each new album, video or tour the Western world's sexual, religious and political boundaries. Hers was an arsenal of burning crosses, simulated masturbation, virginal squeals, S & M, a black Jesus and a picture book about sex.

But this was long before jihad and Abu Ghraib became the stuff of family dinner conversations. Before the video of Nick Berg's beheading was put on the high school curriculum. Before gay marriage seemed less an outrage than an inevitability, and Michael Moore wasn't just a fat guy schlepping around Flint, but a fat guy swaggering through Cannes.

Not that Madge isn't trying.

Her latest tour, not-so-subtly- titled Re-invention, is apparently an orgy of burkas, Bush-bashing, Kabbalah and her greatest hits. Oh, and at one point she straps herself into an electric chair.

The centrepiece is her performance of American Life, the ridiculous title track to her last album, one of 2003's more dramatic disasters (Sample lyric: "I'm drinking a soy latte/ I get a double shot-ay"). It is, in all its clumsy glory (Mini Cooper is also rhymed with "super-duper"), an attack on the American ideal and the commercialism that used to define the Material Girl. On stage, though, it becomes a gaudy anti-war protest.

"American Life was a massive anti-war production piece, helicopters and firebombing on the giant screens behind her as she moved with her troupe, all clad in fatigues," explained the Hollywood Reporter of the tour's opening show in Los Angeles.

"In the creaky song ... dancers sternly march around in military fatigues as images of bloodied and terrified Iraqi children flash on the video screens," reported the New York Daily News.

Feel like you've seen that before? Well, you haven't. But a little deja vu is warranted all the same. Last year, Madonna cut a video for the song that reportedly featured much of the same content.

"Starting as a runway show of couture army fatigues, the fashion show escalates into a mad frenzy depicting the catastrophic repercussions and horror of war," Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg explained last February. "This will be a stirring and extremely controversial piece of work from the artist who created the medium of the small film set to music."

But, before it could be premiered, Matt Drudge began to leak details of the Jonas Akerland-directed clip, including word of transvestite soldiers and Madonna tossing a grenade at a George W. Bush look-alike. The resulting outcry from Drudge's core conservative constituency convinced Madonna to do what she had never done: back down.

"Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video," Madonna explained in shelving the clip in favour of a neutered flag-waving second cut.

At the time we still believed in weapons of mass destruction. Support for the President and his war was high. And Madonna had sales to worry about.

A year later, critics have turned and that album has tanked, as has the popularity of the President. More importantly, several hundred thousand concert tickets have gone on sale. So here (again) comes Madonna the anti-war agitator, seeming not so much brave as desperate. Odd all the more because her original inspiration for the military fatigues was reportedly Moore, specifically his rant at last year's Oscars.

Since using his moment at the podium to discuss America's "fictitious President," Moore has made Fahrenheit 9/11, which includes embarrassing footage of President Bush and graphic images of casualties and prisoner abuse in Iraq. Intended for distribution by Disney, Michael Eisner's Mickey Mouse regime refused to do so, only to see the resulting controversy lead to a triumphant reception in Cannes where Moore won the prestigious Palme d'Or, the first time in nearly 50 years a documentary has won.

Some of Moore's most remarkable footage, an interview with Berg, was left out of the film. Moore has subsequently refused to release the footage and sent copies to Berg's family members.

Which is where Moore differentiates himself from many an American high school social studies teacher. Approximately a dozen such educators in Texas, California, Oregon, Oklahoma and other states have been suspended or disciplined for showing their wide-eyed students the video of Berg's beheading at the hands of al-Qaeda terrorists. The video, widely available on the Internet after release by the perpetrators, has been among the most searched-for items on the World Wide Web for weeks now, besting the war in Iraq and even, speaking of gruesome video footage, Paris Hilton (high school sex-ed teachers take note).

There is little Madonna can show us that we, or our Internet-literate sons and daughters, haven't already seen. So what is left to slander?

The Catholic church? That wee little sex scandal has left little to add. Global warming? Sting tried that and we all know what happened to him. The evils of commercialism? Hard to battle when you're asking several hundred dollars a ticket. The sins of excess? Those in glass houses, etc, etc.

So while it might be easy to conclude Madonna has lost her edge, it seems reality has, in many cases, simply outpaced her. Even homoeroticism, an old Madonna stand-by, seems tired at this late date, same-sex marriages in Massachusetts dominating the headlines on the rare day Berg or Iraq does not.

Consider, for a moment, how different a conclusion we'd be making today had she gone ahead and premiered the inflammatory original video for American Life. Some sort of boycott would have ensued -- likely by Wal-mart -- and the usual conservative suspects would have raised their voices in hyperbolic protest. But months later, with the American public forced to confront the violent, inhumane and homoerotic images from Abu Ghraib, she might be basking in the same anti-war afterglow that now surrounds Moore.

Lone salvation for the Kabbalah convert might have come, oddly enough, in Israel. Tentatively scheduled to play several dates there, Madonna backed away citing security concerns. If there was a way to ensure the safety of her audience, shows there, especially in light of cancellations in the Middle East by other pop stars (most recently Missy Elliott), would have sent the sort of defiant message she now so desperately seems to be seeking.

Until then, any buttons Madonna had left to press have been hammered harder and faster by more-willing provocateurs, if not reality itself. And Madonna is a ground-breaking artist in need of new ground.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antiwar; gwbush; madonna; mattdrudge; mediocrity; michaelmoore; tramp
Madonna appears to be facing the ultimate humiliation - Her antics get people bored.
1 posted on 05/31/2004 9:00:50 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster
What's the difference between the Statue of Liberty and Madonna?

Not everyone has been up the Statue of Liberty.

2 posted on 05/31/2004 9:02:45 AM PDT by Snardius
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Oh, and at one point she straps herself into an electric chair.

Well, give the people what they want....

3 posted on 05/31/2004 9:03:50 AM PDT by atomicpossum (I give up! Entropy, you win!)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Well, MSNBC says Madonna's "hit" tour is one of the highest grossing of the summer so far.....Sounds like many will want a refund!


4 posted on 05/31/2004 9:06:07 AM PDT by Ragirl (Vote in '04 ! Those who sit on their hands end up with poop on them.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

She is a has been. Her so-called popularity depended upon how notorious could she appear to the public. She overlooked that after all the latest atrocities perpetrated and the godawful Bush bashing, her attempts at "shocking the audience" are sinking faster than quick sand. Apparently, the moronic matronly older woman of two children and two marriages with a meltdown of antics just isn't shocking enough. She has been superseded with reality.


5 posted on 05/31/2004 9:15:20 AM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: Zon

Psst. Over here, cupcake.


6 posted on 05/31/2004 9:18:43 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Current dream bike: Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1500)
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To: lilylangtree
Re #5

I agree. Compared with Jihadis' beheading, throat-cutting, and dragging charred corpses and after Lynndie English's antics, she looks so lame and infantile.

7 posted on 05/31/2004 9:21:24 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Rode hard and put away wet. Get off the stage, Madge, your day is done.


8 posted on 05/31/2004 9:21:43 AM PDT by texasbluebell
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To: TigerLikesRooster
at one point she straps herself into an electric chair.

I saw Alice Cooper do that back in '71.

9 posted on 05/31/2004 9:23:25 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: TigerLikesRooster
But months later, with the American public forced to confront the violent, inhumane and homoerotic images from Abu Ghraib,

One word, and pardon me in advance:

Crap!

10 posted on 05/31/2004 9:28:03 AM PDT by Ole Okie
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Answering the question...."What is Madge good for?".....how about taking money from liberal scum....who then have less to spend on what they might REALLY need, like a decent education, a decent pair of shoes, or maybe even some decent food.....sheesh.


11 posted on 05/31/2004 9:28:10 AM PDT by goodnesswins (Countries around the world are ALIENATING ME...an American!)
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To: goodnesswins

She's good for us who have a perverse sense of humor who find it amusing to watch an 80's has-been have to try harder and harder to be something she never was.


12 posted on 05/31/2004 9:33:11 AM PDT by FITZ
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To: martin_fierro

Just like a politician, you give a non-answer.


13 posted on 05/31/2004 9:34:17 AM PDT by Zon
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To: texasbluebell
Funny when you take away the "shock" all that is left is shlock.

She is so 80's...

14 posted on 05/31/2004 9:40:25 AM PDT by Afronaut (Press two for English.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

She's a made for Vegas act...Reno, that is.


15 posted on 05/31/2004 9:41:42 AM PDT by T. Jefferson
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To: TigerLikesRooster
I hear that on the premier night of her show, she received a squatting ovation.

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/afp/20040526/capt.sge.ttu99.260504163051.photo01.default-277x364.jpg

16 posted on 05/31/2004 9:42:19 AM PDT by Richard Axtell (To Paul Krugman: Stop talking about the economy, and you will stop being totally wrong.)
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To: FITZ
Your summation sounds like it could also describe the news from the alphabet networks...

She's good for us who have a perverse sense of humor who find it amusing to watch an 80's has-been have to try harder and harder to be something she never was.

17 posted on 05/31/2004 9:44:05 AM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS. CNN ignored torture & murder in Saddam's Iraq to keep their Baghdad Bureau.)
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To: texasbluebell

I'm trying to think of a suitable caption but...just can't. She seems so proud of her crotch, doesn't she...I guess when you don't have much else to work with, you can always go that route. Oh, well...


18 posted on 05/31/2004 9:44:51 AM PDT by hummingbird ("If it wasn't for the insomnia, I could have gotten some sleep!")
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To: TigerLikesRooster; All
This may be a stupid question, but I don't claim to be up on all the latest in "pop" music, so... why is she being called "Madge"? Is it just meant to be a short form of "Madonna"? Anyone know?
19 posted on 05/31/2004 9:50:08 AM PDT by Bear_in_RoseBear ("Swing away, Merrill!")
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To: TigerLikesRooster
the only talent Madonna had was the the talent to shock people,and to part fools from their money
20 posted on 05/31/2004 9:53:52 AM PDT by Charlespg (Civilization and freedom are only worthy of those who defend or support defending It)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

The payola at MTV has always kept this bloated carcass afloat, while the kids moved on years ago-- see also Michael (& Janet) Jackson, Aerosmith, etc.

Who exactly are the fans of these people anymore? Is there not one journalist willing to investigate why MTV continually promotes these has-beens in their 40s (even 50s) to this day, with no correlation to record sales or popularity?

But now, judging by the number of hip-hop videos one comes across while channel surfing, I wonder how many guns have been put to the heads of MTV execs by people like Suge Knight and Death Row, "requesting" their videos be played ...


21 posted on 05/31/2004 9:54:27 AM PDT by Jhensy
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To: hummingbird

The only thing Madonna has done is survive. She has no recorded performance that would put the fear of God into ANOTHER performer who had to follow her.

Elvis has many even though he did much that was down right silly. I can't stand Whitney Houston as a singer but it would be easy to put together a reel of clips of her blowing the room away. Ditto ANY performer who has been arioumd as long as Madonna and/or who might be termed "legendary"....you could find SOMETHING to support the title. In Madonna's case I can't think of one performance...not ONE.


22 posted on 05/31/2004 9:57:47 AM PDT by TalBlack ("Tal, no song means anything without someone else....")
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Those readers under the age of 18 may have to ask their parents about this, but, believe it or not, Madonna used to be quite shocking. Edgy even.

The good old days. (1984)

23 posted on 05/31/2004 10:07:10 AM PDT by primeval patriot
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Madonna is OLD. She never had the kind of talent that would last the test of time, and now the fact that she is old shows even though she desperately tries to hide it. She fools no one.

Madonna will be tossed aside like an old used condom.

24 posted on 05/31/2004 10:09:13 AM PDT by McGavin999 (If Kerry can't deal with the "Republican Attack Machine" how is he going to deal with Al Qaeda)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Her latest tour, not-so-subtly- titled Re-invention, is apparently an orgy of burkas, Bush-bashing, Kabbalah and her greatest hits. Oh, and at one point she straps herself into an electric chair.

One of the traumas that has to be contended with for the popular when they get old without an ounce of conviction, "how do I show that I am still the one when I'm no longer wanted?"

25 posted on 05/31/2004 10:22:16 AM PDT by EGPWS (Fly your flag proudly Monday in memory of the true patriots who have given their all)
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To: FITZ
She's good for us who have a perverse sense of humor who find it amusing to watch an 80's has-been have to try harder and harder to be something she never was.

But, but, but, I heard her on TV! She has a British accent!! She's refined!!!

Ya, right. Flush this annoying, no-talent, turd down the toilet of history.

26 posted on 05/31/2004 10:29:06 AM PDT by Rate_Determining_Step (US Military - Draining the Swamp of Terrorism since 2001!)
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To: texasbluebell
I think there's only one word that fully describes her... especially in this picture

SKANK!!!

27 posted on 05/31/2004 10:41:24 AM PDT by NYC Republican (How can Americans SERIOUSLY consider voting for an ADMITTED WAR CRIMINAL Scum like SKerry???)
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To: texasbluebell

erm, is she popping a squat on stage?

The things people will do to get in the news..


28 posted on 05/31/2004 10:46:53 AM PDT by TBarnett34 (Go home, Cynthia McKinney!)
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To: Bear_in_RoseBear

...Madge, a crusty, old maid selling some cleaning product on a commercial in the 60s...


29 posted on 05/31/2004 10:48:58 AM PDT by gargoyle
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To: FITZ

This aging star left America and lives in England. Not so bad but she bad mouthed the very country that gave her success and money. She is now on tour to make money from the Americans she bad mouthed? Take a hike lady and try to raise money to fund your elitist lifestyle in France. They love America bashers. They have room because they sent Ira Einhorn back.


30 posted on 05/31/2004 10:50:57 AM PDT by oldironsides
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To: McGavin999

I think I heard Drudge last night say that Madonna reminds him of Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard".


31 posted on 05/31/2004 10:51:32 AM PDT by THX 1138
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Testing with each new album, video or tour the Western world's sexual, religious and political boundaries.

OOOoooooo! Now THERE'S a talent!

Hers was an arsenal of burning crosses, simulated masturbation, virginal squeals, S & M, a black Jesus and a picture book about sex.

See above.

32 posted on 05/31/2004 10:54:37 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I'm kind of surprised that nobody else seems to notice the praise for Michael Moore thrown in to this column

I feel Moore and Madonna are very similar. They are both now just parodies of themselves, yet seem to believe they are enlightened and relevant.


33 posted on 05/31/2004 10:55:51 AM PDT by sharktrager (Insanity: To continue repeating the same act, each time expecting a different result.)
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To: hummingbird
She seems so proud of her crotch...

It's sound entertainment strategy to play to one's strengths ...

34 posted on 05/31/2004 10:56:54 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: TigerLikesRooster

She's always been an attention whore and always will be.


35 posted on 05/31/2004 11:00:16 AM PDT by Trillian
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To: TigerLikesRooster
I suggest we take a young person aside and introduce them to true female talent...Lena Horne...Billy Holiday...Ella..the list is long and wonderful. I'm sure the good freepers here can add their own favorites. Let the education begin.

Red

36 posted on 05/31/2004 11:08:36 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (watch this space for future tag line...)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

What was the name of that old Bette Davis movie about that pathetic aging "star"? Madonna is like watching it in real time.


37 posted on 05/31/2004 11:15:34 AM PDT by freeangel (freeangel)
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To: Snardius
What is the only thing to have hit more balls than Pete Rose's bat?

Madonna's chin.

38 posted on 05/31/2004 11:28:16 AM PDT by nonliberal (Bush 2004: He is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.)
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To: freeangel
Whatever happened to Baby Jane?


39 posted on 05/31/2004 11:31:52 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: TigerLikesRooster; Howlin
"In the creaky song ... dancers sternly march around in military fatigues as images of bloodied and terrified Iraqi children flash on the video screens," reported the New York Daily News.

Ole Madge seems to be our modern day version of Jane Fonda

40 posted on 05/31/2004 11:37:52 AM PDT by Mo1 (Make Michael Moore cry.... DONATE MONTHLY!!!)
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To: sharktrager

And they both look like they smell bad too.


41 posted on 05/31/2004 11:39:26 AM PDT by mindspy
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To: TrebleRebel

Thanks for the answer and the picture too. It does bear a resemblance!


42 posted on 05/31/2004 12:13:46 PM PDT by freeangel (freeangel)
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To: TalBlack

I am not a big music fan but I can't think of a single song of Madonnas. I am sure her songs are played on the radio or is she just a dancer with a no so good voice?


43 posted on 05/31/2004 12:33:37 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Jhensy
MTV? No idea what drives their programming. Actually, I have no idea what drives a lot of TV programming. But I could
never understand the appeal of a lot of shows, either.

Madonna jumped the shark with all the publicity about getting pregnant by her trainer(?)or the like.

My guess is her acting career was swepted away with that movie by one of her husbands.

She's at a loss to further her career by respectable means, so she reverts to the LCD usually reserved for younger generations.

I used to admire her business acumen, but she's lost that too.

I can't stand MTV any more. Do they (Viacom/SeeBS/etc.) buy a lot of ads in [music-oriented] print media? Maybe its
the implied payola of the ad dollar that's protecting any irregularities at MTV?

44 posted on 05/31/2004 12:51:51 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: Ditter
Madonna was never much of a singer, but she did get more tolerable after she'd been around a few years. She started singing in a lower, less chipmunky register, and I think took some voice lessons.

Unfortunately, at the same time she was finally improving her voice, she dumped earlier collaborators who created her catchy hits like "Borderline" and "Cherish" in favor of trendy hip-hop/house/trance music producers. She was probably trying to stay "hip," but the result was a series of tuneless "songs" that have flopped like carp. A critic the other day made a good point when he dared readers to hum any Madonna song cut after 1992. That's why she needs manufactured "controversy" to sell tickets: because the music is GODAWFUL.

45 posted on 05/31/2004 12:57:15 PM PDT by HHFi
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To: TigerLikesRooster

""This will be a stirring and extremely controversial piece of work from the artist who created the medium of the small film set to music."

Setting aside any number of earlier incarnations, doesn't Michael Jackson deserve this honor with Thriller?


46 posted on 05/31/2004 1:09:35 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: HHFi

My (gay male) hair dresser (nice guy/great hair cutter) was all atwitter over the fact that he was going someplace to see her in concert. I thought, but didn't say, I wouldn't go out in my front yard to see Madonna, even if it was free.


47 posted on 05/31/2004 1:41:02 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: TigerLikesRooster
She had a good run, but Madonner is now facing what every aging performer must eventually come to terms with late in their careers, and that's IRRELEVANCE.

A vanishingly small minority of pop music artists reach even a fraction of Madonner's commercial success. An even smaller number of those blessed with such success manage to keep it going all the way into and past middle age.

Compare the decades-spanning careers of the Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osbourne, or KISS to, say, 70s rockers like Styx. The former are still selling out stadiums, while the latter toil on in the county fair and bar circuit, minus an original band member of three.

Madonner needs to chill out for a few years, lay low, and enjoy the fruits of her labors. Maybe in 10 years or so, she can go back to performing, and make a ton of money when she does.

Note: Misspellings intentional! Call it an homage to my old buddies Beavis and Butthead

48 posted on 05/31/2004 2:42:23 PM PDT by FierceDraka ("Party Before Country" - The New Motto of the Democratic Party)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Madonna's epitaph:


49 posted on 05/31/2004 2:46:20 PM PDT by Petronski (And I never see the IDF 'til it's way too late! Now I'm dyin' in the Gaza Strip in the blazin' sun.)
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