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Let's Be Honest: Is Madonna Just Sad at this Point?

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrities Are Better than You | January 29, 2014 | Comments ()


1481659-madonna-golden-globes-617.jpg

I feel like it’s come-to-Jesus time. We don’t like talking about it, we don’t like saying it, but at a certain point, we all must face this one, single, tragic truth.

Madonna might be just kind of pathetic now.

That was hard to say, and it’s not just because it’s Esther. Discussing this kind of pathetic opens up a lot of really uncomfortable and unintended conversations about age. Aging out of relevancy. Aging “with grace.” Aging as a woman in the industry. And I honestly can’t decide what role, if any, age plays in this or should play.

All I know is Madonna just makes me sad.

Not sad like, aw, I feel bad for her getting picked on, buck up, Madgie-pie. But sad like, biiiiiiiiitch, you are trying way too hard and it’s giving me an uncomfortable lower clenching I don’t much care for. Her level of try is off the charts, and it has been for years. And rather than take a step back and recalculate, she just keeps at it. And I don’t know if it’s commendable or a word I hate using to describe a woman in the entertainment industry—desperate.

It seems to have hit a high (low?) recently with her Instagrammed “term of endearment” to her white son, referring to him as “#disnigga.” “Haters” were asked to “get off [her] dick” prior to her “sorry you got offended” apology, which is basically the only kind of apology people give anymore. She wears grills to the Grammys, she has arms made of veins and terror, she photographs her 13 year old with a bottle of gin, she calls Obama a “black Muslim,” she texts during 12 Years a Slave, she battles with Elton John, she gets mad at MIA for flipping the bird at the Super Bowl (she thought it was juvenile and irrelevant which is Esther code for “it’s only OK when I do it.)

And that’s been her whole career. Causing controversy is her thing. But the industry has changed. Moves are more transparent. These attention grabs used to be about something, or at least that’s what it felt like. Now, it’s not about showing that a woman can own her body or standing up to the Church. It’s just… “look at me.” And a legend should be above that.

I resent the idea that anyone should be forced to “act their age” or to “age gracefully.” But maybe there’s something to be said for remaining true to yourself and choosing art over attention.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Salieri2

    I agree with almost everything everybody has said about Madonna's appropriation, need for attention, and saddening attempts to stay relevant. But Courtney, you lose me right here: "she has arms made of veins and terror."

    Stop that.

  • Bad Superman

    If you're surrounded by people who don't tell you 'no' for most of your life (because you're a cash cow), this is what happens, e.g. Michael Jackson.

  • John W

    Wait another ten years...

  • Jezzer

    Madonna has always been awful. People are just slow to catch on.

  • kirbyjay

    A LEGEND???????
    A legend in marketing perhaps.
    Sorry for the yelling

  • TiffinyVillalon

    I do not know that why Madonna is feel sad whenever she must happy for become a win the awards?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1...

  • RichardWad2U

    Madonna is SO irrelevant. And SO old and SO passed her prime... So we're just gonna keep blogging and commenting about how irrelevant she is until she finally kicks the bucket... (Internet "journalism" 101)

  • googergieger

    Where the hell is Mr. Peabody?! Cause I've clearly accidentally taken a step into the waaaaaaayback machine.

  • I think the most telling sign of Madonna's age isn't physical; it's her inability to adapt to a world where even the most mainstream, white-bread, Top-40 suburban audience is as dialed into culture and trends and "the fab life" as she is..maybe more so. Madonna was ALWAYS a spotlight-chaser, ruthless self-promoter and co-opter of subcultures. But if you were a teen girl (or boy) in Bumfuck, Nowhere circa 1987, she was the window into a much cooler, edgier, sexier world than yours... a way in (or OUT, as it were). You didn't notice - or you forgave - the obnoxious antics because she seemed edgy, ahead of us, onto something we didn't know (but she's gonna tell us!)

    In a world where the Ibiza club remixes play in your dentist's office, celebrities are all over our Twitter/Instagram feeds, and your Grandma calls her poker club "beeyotches", Madonna no longer has the advantage. She's no cooler than we are, and she hasn't found something to be instead.

  • John G.

    Courtney, you are fast becoming one of my favorite internets people.

    you could focus your celeb news beat on any of the popular pop celeb topics in the pop news right now, but you choose to address something much more interesting. The decline and fall of a pop world empire

    Madonna basically created the thing that is now rampant in the pop world. Before Justin Bieber, before Paris Hilton, before Britney Spears, there was Madonna. Before Madonna, there was nothing.

    We had celebrities before, even gigantic, world shattering celebrities like Elvis and The Beatles, but Madonna was something that seemed to live inside of a universe made up of celebrity. She wasn't just a famous pop star and singer. She was Madonna first, a singer and performer second, or rather her life was one big performance, and she was always on.

    What happens to someone like that when they age? When they become irrelevant? It's not just that she's a woman, and in the entertainment industry, the business of commodifying people, and industry that doesn't take kindly to anyone aging, but especially any woman. The industry is littered with abandoned and forgotten people, disfigured physically and emotionally destroyed. They get the message eventually and just go away, or they die from a drug overdose, or they show up years later on a reality show these days.

    What does Madonna do? She is the celebrosphere. Does she even exist without it? Who or what is she if we're not watching her? From the catholic school virgin who discovered, then flaunted her freedom and sexuality and wanted to rule the world, to the later yoga and kabbalah mystic who was seeking some kind of spiritual truth, from the SEX book to Evita Peron to the vampiric destruction of Guy Ritchie, we've followed Madonna at every step.

    Perhaps one day, she will simply evaporate and suddenly cease to exist.

  • Chris Adams

    Yes, yes she is.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    She's turning into my generation's Ann Miller.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    What do you mean: "now"? She always was a pathetic excuse for an actress and a singer.

  • Alicia

    As an actress, based on "A League of Their Own" and "Evita", she was passable - not great, not horrible.

    As a singer, she was good in the late '80s and '90s: after she lost the baby talk affectation but before she started getting way too old and tired.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    She never was good, especially not as a singer. I'll give you dancer, but her voice is much too thin. The only thing that kept her in the spotlight was her ability to change and to shock.

  • B. Garcia

    Thank you! Madonna has always been the emperor's new clothes, singing-wise. Her shtick was mostly appropriation, musical division.

  • elirt

    Liz Lemon said this first.

  • Dumily

    I love talking about Madonna because it always reminds me of the person I'd most like to be when I get older.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I felt that way about The Madonna until I had a son.

  • Dumily

    Wait, is my picture not showing up? Because definitely I wanted everyone to know I mean Jordan from "Scrubs." Second place is Lucile Bluth.

  • Mrs. Julien

    It is now, I hadn't refreshed.

  • Dumily

    Whew. Sorry, Madonna, but you're no match for Jordan Godzilla Sullivan.

  • e jerry powell

    Yeah, well, when I grow up, you will be no match.

  • Dumily

    Well played.

  • Alberto Cox Délano

    Cindy Lauper. That's all I have to say about Madonna.

  • luthien26

    I think what might be "saddest" about Madonna is that it still feels like she's trying to figure out exactly what she's all about (I know that isn't true, but that's what it seems like). One of the most beautiful things about some "women of a certain age" is that they've gone through all the experimentation and identity crises of their youth, and have come out of it with a strong sense of self that feels easy and relaxed - and is, quite frankly, sexy. They know exactly who they are by this point, and they figure people might as well deal with it.

    Madonna still feels like she's trying on new trends to fit in with the young crowd (regardless of how much she tries to say she doesn't care). Getting older doesn't mean you still can't branch out - but it means more often when you're branching out with new ideas they are your own, not mimicing someone else.

  • Ejic

    Maybe she just likes the new trends

  • matthewrettenmund

    Not picking at the rest of what you're saying (though I think the opposite is true—Madonna is having fun and not taking herself seriously at the moment, which should be like a breath of fresh air after #secretproject), but in talking about "#disnigga," you're saying she told haters to get off her dick, which is not true; that was not in response to people criticizing her, that was the replacement title of that image, the image which originally had "#disnigga" on it. It's pretty clear, because she starts out with "Okay, let's try this again:" and then the new title. She abjectly apologized for "#disnigga." As for her Macklemore and Miley associations: It's fun, the Grammys moment was memorable, and I'm looking forward to her and Miley—good advance buzz for this performance.

  • The problem is that she was wrongly mistaken for an artist all those years ago. She didn't say "I want to move the world" she said she wanted to rule it. For all her sexual posturing, she finds no power in being a woman. It was in her youth and physicality which inevitably fades. She failed to develop the wisdom necessary to evolve beyond it.

  • brite59

    Someone down thread brought up The Rolling Stones…and I could add Sir McCartney and any number of OLD school artists with a particular mention to Cher in relation to this above article; but the question isn't are they pathetic to keep practising their art(s) that no longer grab the populist attention, or are they just artists who LIKE doing what they do and give absolutely NO fucks what the general populace thinks, as artists who have the means, tend to do?

  • e jerry powell

    That would be true if we weren't talking about Madonna, though. Paul McCartney does his business without feeling the need to parade his ass here, there, and Instagram. Cher does have her Twitter wars here and there, but she's heard from very little otherwise unless provoked or promoting, it seems. Except for that part about the three-year "retirement" tour.

  • Protoguy

    Paul's kinda riding on his laurels, enjoying reunion shows at times, but he's not out there trying to wag his tongue with Miley, pretending he's still hot and sexy. She's trying to ride someone else's fire and it really only adds to the sads.

  • brite59

    But wagging her ass and being hot and sexy is/was very much a part Madonna's artistry. And if you want to go down the "you can't be sexy if you're over 50' road, you will be digging yourself a very , very deep hole. Maybe what's pathetic is that our appreciation of sexuality is so completely tied to the culture of youth (and ya ya I know there is a biological basis to this) but if expressing yourself sexually (as an artist or individual) has a best before shelf date on it, we're all gonna be some pretty cranky old people. Now....get off my lawn.

  • There is a world of difference between "you can't be sexy at 50" and "sexy at 50 and sexy at 21 don't necessarily look the same."

    Back to the Helen Mirren discussion - how amazing did she look in the bikini picture we've all seen? Mature, confident, still dead sexy. But not the same as the 21 year old on the Sports Illustrated cover (or whatever, you get the idea.)

    Madonna is trying to be the same kind of sexy at 50 as Rihanna is at 25. Beyoncé isn't even trying to be Rihanna, and she's not that much older. (I mean, I cannot believe I just used Beyoncé as an example of reasonable aging, but there you go.)

    It's just trying too hard. Way too hard. (Even though, Sir Paul, we ALL know you have some Just for Men going on. You aren't fooling anyone.)

  • Protoguy

    Yeah, I knew that was coming.
    No, it's not "you can't be sexy at 50", it's "you're trying to hard to prove you can still be sexy at 50 and it's kinda gross".

  • e jerry powell

    She's been that way since Christina and Britney, though, at least...

  • Genevieve Burgess

    I would just like if she were nicer to her boobies. Every time I see her in a dress with a neckline like the one above, it's like she either shoved an extra cutlet underneath or had them cut it a cup-size too small and it hurts me. I know, they're probably not what they used to be and she's likely a bit unhappy about that, but don't punish them! It isn't their fault! See if you can get Helen Mirren's stylist on the phone, she always shows up with her ample bosom well and comfortably clad.

    On the rest of it, eh. She likes attention. It's nothing new. Vast swaths of the media are controlled by people old enough to have genuine fondness for her as a pop icon and consumed by people young enough to see her an elder stateswoman of pop. Eventually, those people won't be around anymore.

  • Cheetahdriver

    Yes, I suspect you are right. Let me wire Tony Bennett to that effect...

  • e jerry powell

    Well, shit, she's only nine years older than me, and not enough of my age cohort is dead enough for us to stop caring.

  • ZombieMrsSmith

    Congratulations, you just proved Betteridge's Law to be wrong. Well done.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...

  • Pants_are_a_must

    "Ray of Light" was ten years ago, and that's the last time I remember caring about Madonna. It makes me kind of sad.

  • KZoeT

    Ray of Light was 16 years ago, actually. Wasn't that the album she rapped about drinking soy lattes or some shit?

  • jennp421

    Ray of Light was very electronic and was when she had Asian inspired music videos. I think the rapping was on the album "Music." And that's when I stopped paying attention.

  • HJ

    16?! Good lord I am old. Not as old as Madonna…but damn!

  • People wouldn't write articles like this if Madonna was still producing music that entertained people. But she's a pop star and the music she made had a shelf life.

    Honestly, it's amazing she didn't lose relevance sooner - chalk that up to a successful run of re-invention in the 90's, but now there's nothing left to talk about except her boring, entitled behavior.

    I mean, Elton John kind of has a catty reputation. But he still has the capacity to entertain. What Madonna done lately? Not much.

  • mairimba

    Nothing really. Just had the highest grossing tour of 2012 with 88 sold out shows making it one of the highest grossing tours of all time. At 53 years of age.

  • Oh? Was she touring behind a new album? Funny. I don't hear her music on the radio anymore.

    The Rolling Stones make a lot of money touring, too. Doesn't mean they're anything more than a nostalgia act at this point.

  • JustOP

    She released an album 2 years ago that hit number one in many countries around the globe which has sold 1.8 million copies. Just because you believe she is irrelevant doesn't mean other people do. Get your facts right.

  • Gotcha. Because commercial success is the only arbiter of quality or relevance.

    "50 million Elvis fans can't be wrong," and all that, right?

  • JustOP

    No - but having one of the highest grossing tours of 2012, having a gold-certified number one album in multiple countries in that same year with new material, and selling 1.8 million copies of said album indicates that she IS still relevant. A quick look at wikipedia tells me that critically her album recieved around 3/4 stars, indicating that it was generally well recieved. So you're pretty much incorrect on all accounts.

  • Kate

    Bon Jovi had the highest grossing tour last year. Take That had the 10th highest grossing tour of the 2010's. Those aren't relevant bands.

    People turn out in droves to see reunited or older bands/musicians, because they feel like they'll be missing out on something if they never see them live, and because the opportunity may not come around again. The Rolling Stones tours keep getting more profitable, not because they're getting more relevant with every passing year, but because the older they get the more people are thinking 'This is probably my last chance'.

  • Bingo. Not to mention, nostalgia acts charge a premium for their ticket prices.

    For the MDNA Tour, the average ticket price was $138. Premium ticked packages were offered at $600 per person.

    So pointing to ticket sales as an indicator of relevance is a *wee* bit disingenuous.

  • opiejuankenopie

    Here's how I judge the 'relevance' of today's pop music. I don't listen to the radio. But you can't escape pop music. It's in the malls, in the chain restaurants that your mother likes, it floats at you from young punks' cars. So I know the latest Rihanna song, the latest Katy Perry song, the latest Bruno Mars song. I have no idea what the latest Madonna song is/was.

  • Well put. I had a similar thought, but couldn't phrase it quite the way I wanted to.

    That Katy Perry song, "Roar?" I hate that song, but I know about it. I couldn't tell you the name of one of Madonna's songs from her last two albums.

  • I'm having trouble following you.

    On the one hand, you agree with me that commercial success is NOT the only arbiter of quality or relevance. But then you throw a bunch of figures at me attempting to convince me otherwise.

    But, please, continue to punctuate your arguments with sanctimony. I *really* makes me want to see things from your side.

  • JustOP

    I'm sorry but what? Your entire arguement is that she is 'irrelevant' and then smart-ass comments as an aside. What is she irrelevant too? Mainstream music? Undoubtably not given the popularity of her previous album. Artistic merit? Her album recieved 3/4 stars from a range of critics.

    You can't just ignore the commercial aspect of it either. It is a large component of the 'relevance' of a popstar. It's not the ONLY arbiter; but that doesn't mean we exclude it entirely.

    Honestly, this entire argument seems more about the fact that her once irritating/controversal behaviour used to be major stories, but no longer are. That just makes her irrelvant to shitty celebrity magazines and 'pop culture' websites - not the population as a whole.

  • Protoguy

    Sales do not equal relevance. They only equal sales.

  • Some Guy

    I hate jumping into this because Madonna sucks, but If record sales and a sold-out world tour don't equal relevance to a pop star than what does?

    Approval of the masses?

    I mean, I hate Madonna as an artist, save a few songs in the 80s that were catchy and worth listening to, and the music videos that went along with them. I've never cared for her style, her looks, her acting skills or her politics.

    But I'm confused by yours and Tom's argument.

    What constitutes relevance to a pop-star other than record sales, that, are, as far as I know, not best-of albums like most rock bands release later in life, and sold out world tours? I'll even say she sucks because she came to St. Louis, where I'm from, and so many people I worked with got tickets to see her perform because, well, it's Madonna, and one day she won't be performing anymore. That didn't stop her from showing up an hour and a half late to the show then only playing for an hour.

    But can you define relevance and how it does not apply to a woman like Madonna? Seems to me the very fact that you're engaging in this conversation lends credence to the words of the guy who thinks she's still relevant.

  • Just because I'm talking about someone doesn't mean they're relevant. By that logic, my local weather person must be relevant because I was talking with a co-worker about something they said on-air this morning.

    Relevance can be measured in several different ways. When I talk about relevance, I'm talking about it's impact on the culture at large. Does it make you think? Do others try to copy it? Does it move the culture forward?

    The minute you say "Look how much money this made!" to defend relevance, what you're essentially saying that it is more valuable as a product than as art.

    There's a lot of talented people out there whose sole job it is to make you buy something you don't need. It doesn't mean the product they're selling has cultural value.

    McDonald's sells a lot of hamburgers. People generally seem to enjoy how they taste. They have relevance. But it doesn't mean what you're eating is good for you, see what I'm getting at?

    Maddona has the benefit of a 30 year career propelling her forward. That didn't happen by accident. In fact, I'm entirely willing to concede Madonna once had relevance. Her music was catchy and her performances were provocative. She behaved in a way totally unlike any other female pop star before her. She was exciting and unpredictable.

    But the key word is "HAD." Madonna HAD relevance. She no longer IS relevant.

    Look, I get it. People get defensive about the things they like. Take me, for example. I love AC/DC. They still sell a lot of albums and their tours are still popular all over the world.

    But those guys have also been milking the same riff for the last 30 years. The last thing I'm going to do is argue they're relevant.

    Same goes with Madonna. Her music used to be the START of a conversation. Now it's the END of one.

  • Some Guy

    So when Miley Cyrus got up on the VMA stage and grinded on that guy, then basically implied she did so because that what people like Madonna did/would do, and she just wanted to up the bar a bit, that's not relevance?

    Seems to me plenty of new "relevant" female pop stars use Madonna as their frame of reference and as inspiration/motivation. If that's not still relevance than again, what is?

    Is she as relevant? Nope. Is she relevant? Of course. You might not like McDonalds and it might be bad for you, but assuming a billion dollar, world wide company which employs tens of thousands and is continually expanding into foreign markets and changing is still relevant. Not as relevant, but certainly relevant.

    I'd argue that Madonna will cease to be relevant when young, current people forget about her and stop using her as inspiration for their own actions.

  • It's becoming a semantic argument at this point.

    I don't deny Madonna's impact. Artists like Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga will continue to emulate what she achieved until it's no longer viable.

    But I still maintain that Madonna relevance is centered around the things she DID, not the things she is currently DOING.

  • ed newman

    It seems that you are saying that a person must have commercial, artistic, and cultural impact upon a large mass to have the "relevance" you describe but I wonder: is it possible to have "relevance" within the music industry (as you describe it here) after age 50? For the life of me I can't think of one person/act that does/has. Dylan and Paul Simon have produced some great music after 50, but haven't had real cultural impact. The Stones and Eagles are in the nostalgia phase of their careers adding nothing artistically. The closest I can think of are Springsteen and Johnny Cash (at the end before he passed), but I suspect their "relevance" was not culturally broad enough. Does your definition preclude older acts?

  • At the risk of sounding ageist, I guess it does. But that's more a byproduct of circumstances than a hard rule in terms of defining relevance to me.

    Mostly, I bristle at the idea that because something makes money or is popular, then it's relevant.

    I'm trying to avoid being over-earnest in this discussion, but money and popularity should be ancillary to art, not the justification for art.

  • hoppergrass

    Sort of. Sales may not equal musical or artistic relevance, but they absolutely equate to commercial relevance.

  • logan

    She looks happy in the photo.

  • poopnado

    I think the more she hears this kind of stuff, the more she'll act out. I kind of respect her for that, but she's not doing herself any favors. But whatever, she's sitting on a Scrooge McDuck pile of gold and I'm about to apply for unemployment. So JOKE'S ON ME.

  • janetfaust

    I love Madonna and have for years. How is she trying too hard? She's doing the same things she's been doing for years - picking up fashion trends as she likes, making movies, doing charity, releasing great (IMO) albums, saying her opinion even if people think she's an asshole for it, and still touring, out there with great shows where she still sings live and dances her ass off (I've enjoyed all three that I've seen since 2001). How is that trying too hard? It's because she's over 50 now I guess, it seems like too much from a woman of her age with children. Tut tut.

    I just hope I have the same ability to not give a fuck what others think about me as I age.

  • Jezzer

    Yes, but those same things she's been doing for years include trying way too hard. If Madonna ever had a sincere bone in her body, she divorced the guy it belonged to.

  • You had me until the last sentence because Madonna gives a mountain of fuck what people think about her.

  • janetfaust

    I beg to differ. If she did, she would have stopped performing and making movies years ago.

  • I think not acting any more was a choice that was made for Madonna.

  • Jezzer

    And a very fine choice it was.

  • Protoguy

    It's the basis for all of this, not "being brave" or "ballsy". It's called vanity.

  • janetfaust

    I guess you can say that about all celebrities. I don't see how Madonna is different from other famous people for wanting to continue to be in the spotlight and continue her career.

  • Not so fast on the all celebrities bit. Exhibit A: Meryl Streep. Exhibit B: Helen Merrin. Both are still taking roles and giving great performances, however they are also smart enough to know they can't go for the same kind of roles that Jennifer Lawrence or Amy Adams are up for. Madonna kind of got away with being a pop "peer" when Brit Brit and Christina Aguilera were at their peaks. Madonna is looking at Katy Perry or Rihanna and sees no difference at all between herself and them.

  • Protoguy

    I didn't say "all celebrities", I said "all of this", meaning all of this Madonna crap.

    Although, if you're arguing that acting isn't about vanity...

  • It was janetfaust's statement I was responding to, not yours.

  • janetfaust

    I don't think Madonna is a peer of Britney or Christina in any way besides the fact that they all play "pop" music. She is older, so she should stop doing the same music she's been doing for years - dancey pop? Oh she's too old to be happy and dance, I see now.

  • I don't think she's a peer either, but I do think in Madonna's head she saw herself as a peer. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Srpd...
    And yes there comes a time when you have to let the pop aesthetic go. Wouldn't Madonna be better served by laughing Miley's on stage antics off with a flip of the wrist rather than trying to one-up her?

  • janetfaust

    I love this picture - it's the Queen and the princesses in my mind. ;-) I didn't see what went on with Miley so I can't comment but if they had both their tongues sticking out together it wouldn't surprise me.

  • Protoguy

    I don't either. It's sad when they all try it. Why are we talking about Madonna being different? Because it's our nostalgia too? I've never been a fan, but I can acknowledge her contributions to pop culture, a dubious honor in my opinion anyway, but this desperate clawing at pop culture to remain relevant is, yes, sad.

  • janetfaust

    She sings with younger artists and collaborates and people see this as
    trying to stay relevant when she's still putting out her own music,
    which still sells well, so I don't really get it. I just question where the relevance line is. Who decides who is relevant and who isn't, I don't know, I just decide to like what I like. Maybe it's because I'm a dorky super fan but I still see her as relevant to my interests. I appreciate why Madonna rubs people wrong. I'm not very outspoken IRL so I love the "I don't give a fuck" attitude.

  • hoppergrass

    I don't think it's about relevance, really. I dislike a lot of so-called "relevant" artists. I think the difference between your opinion and that of the other posters all comes down to perception: you see someone who has lived her life without fear, oblivious to the judgment of others, where many see someone who is so steeped in a fear of aging that she can no longer be truly comfortable in her own skin. It's not about how old she is, it's about how she feels about her age, and without actually knowing Madonna, I don't know that any of us internet commenters can truly be "right" or "wrong." I see her as someone held back by her matriarchal status, burdened by it, where I wish to see her empowered, and if that's the case, then I'm sad for her. But I'll never know if that's actually what's behind her behavior, so I do my best not to judge.

  • Michael Murray

    As far as I know, the only people to whom Madonna has any relevance are older gay men who might see a kind of nobility and brass and her ceaseless want to "let it shine." It's almost like she's become a taboo subject for the mainstream, because criticism of her is rooted in aging. It's particularly difficult for Madonna to age as her act was so physical and dependent on insouciant sexuality, and now when we see her there is a sadness, and not so much in her trying to make a cane sexy, but in the knowledge of what has been lost, in how difficult aging will be for all of us. When I see her I think of a retired pro football player, spent and attenuated by 45, and that's what makes me sad, the visible reality of what it costs to be an alpha.

  • Orleanas

    Well said. Poetic, even, MM.

  • Michael Murray

    Well, thanks Orleanas!

  • clatie

    She has always been like this. Always, always, always. She has never done anything other than find something new-ish (from a culture that she is not a part of) - and shoe-horn herself into it and try to make it about her. But now that she is in her 50's we think she is going to shut up and be nice? She's never done anything graceful in her life.

  • NateMan

    Dear Madonna,
    You made your mark years ago. But now you're just clawing at it, struggling to make it deeper, and really all you're doing is ruining it. Stop it. Stop it now.

  • Danar the Barbarian

    She's pathetic in the same way the Rolling Stones are pathetic. At some point someone close to them has to hold their hand and have a sit-down. "You know what, Madge/Mick? You are an ICON. You have done so much for music and you made millions and are famous world-over and that's great! You can now rest on your laurels. No really, PLEASE SIT DOWN."

  • Kate

    I don't think the Rolling Stones are trying to stay relevant in the same way Madonna is though.

    Madonna wants to be mentioned in the same breath as Beyonce, Miley, Rihanna, Gaga and so on, not as their inspiration, but as their peer. Whereas the Stones aren't trying to keep up with the youngsters. They seem happy to be popular in a different way to the fresh new bands of today. When Mick decides to try his hand at rapping or the Stones release a Daft Punk inspired electro album, then they'll be like Madonna.

  • John G.

    Will the real slim shady please sit down.

  • BWeaves

    Sadly, I'm roughly the same age as Madonna, and yet I have friends who recently thought I was 35. And I'm not even trying. Then again, the lighting was low, and I was having a very good hair day.

  • googergieger

    People constantly say I look amazing for forty two Granted I'm twenty seven, and I tell people I'm forty two, but still, I'll take the compliment.

  • Yup. I'm having a birthday tomorrow, and have decided to start telling people I'm 46 instead of 36. That way I can get "wow, you look awesome!" instead of "oh, well you should try this wonderful eye cream..."

  • Michael B. Conway

    That is a cunning plan.

  • Michael B. Conway

    I'm the same age as Madonna, and people usually guess me ten years younger.

    Madonna, MILFs are in fashion these days! Throw away your razor, stay out of the gym, and do an unplugged album. You have a great voice!

    Yeah, I'd do her in a heartbeat.

  • Mrs. Julien

    #1 on my "it's her body" versus "COME THE FU*K ON, YOU'RE (insert name here)" list is this woman. She has triumphed in her autonomy and then used it in a way that disappoints me. It feels like a betrayal that someone who seemed so strong has turned into this. She looks like Baby Jane.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I will forgive every one of her dubious choices of late if she records "I've Written a Letter to Daddy"

    http://mattsko.files.wordpress...

  • Mrs. Julien

    I have that song stuck in my head now, you (redacted).

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Then my work is done here.
    http://mattsko.files.wordpress...

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