In tribute to Like a Virgin, released twenty-five years ago yesterday, we present this 2002 Nerve rumination on Madonna, by Emma Taylor of Em & Lo fame. — ed.

I'm seven months shy of thirty, and until recently I thought I was handling it pretty well. There are certain things you expect in your twenty-ninth year — you know, baby panic, breasts sagging, no longer getting ID'd for smokes — and I was well prepared. I quit smoking, joined a gym, and took an apartment in the East Village, where a white picket fence, two kids and a husband would be absurdly out of place. It's not quite what I imagined back when I was eighteen, but then again, being a stay-at-home mom with a position of responsibility at the local church doesn't exactly mesh with my schedule right now. Besides, I've managed to make something of a career out of dishing amateur sex advice, and as everyone knows, sex is one of those things that does improve with a woman's age. 

But what I was not prepared for, what really swept me away, you might say, was that Madonna would not be there for me. As I have moved from priss to prurience, nave to Nerve, she has always been a little kinkier, a little cooler, a little more interested in sex. (Okay, a lotkinkier, a lot cooler, and a lot more interested in sex.) Like a benevolent fairy godmother — albeit one who looked like a godfather in drag — she was there at every Big Moment, and she stuck with it (unlike Judy Blume, who stopped showing up right after Forever taught me that first-time sex leaves a bloody stain on a white rug). Madonna was there the day I learned the definition of "virgin" and realized that sex was an actual act with a before and after: at a co-ed sleep-out in my friend's backyard, the boys blasted "Like a Virgin" from their tent to make some kind of point, and my friend's older sister made like Webster's for us. 

(I think the boys' displeasure stemmed from our decision to spend the night choreographing a dance routine to "Material Girl" rather than visiting with the opposite sex.) Though it would be at least another decade before I understood the true meaning of "boytoy" and "bondage," I still managed to dress the part. In fact, I wore Madonna's stupid black-rubber bracelets twice: the first time in the '80s when she made them cool, and the second time a few years ago when the '80s became cool. 

Madonna taught me that girls can talk dirty, play dirty and love-'em-and-leave-'em with the worst of the men. I never cared that she shed identities faster than a jewel thief on the run, because that was what growing up felt like: every Madonna outfit you donned was a possibility, and every Madonna song you lip-synced in your bedroom was a new mantra. She wasn't a role model, exactly, but I didn't need one of those (I was already well-behaved enough for my entire grade); she was, rather, a benchmark. If the sexual universe was a finite place, then she was one of its back walls — and if it wasn't, then her constellation of sexual possibilities was as far as I wanted to see. And I liked the fact that Madonna's star status was barely tarnished by her abysmal lack of acting skills; it was proof positive that she was her own damn genre. 

Even as I moved into my twenties and started to find some of Madonna's earlier antics (like faking fellatio on an Orangina bottle) a tad juvenile, I remained a staunch evangelist. Something told me that she, too, now found those antics juvenile, and that her sexual appetite had taken a turn for the gourmet. So what if she adopted a plummy English accent — I figured it was just a side effect of her sponge-like ability to absorb what was happening around her, all the while convincing you that she thought of it first. Yeah, I know she stole "voguing" from the gay men, but it wasn't like I was ever going to take time out from studying for AP Calculus to scope the downtown clubs. She made herself the medium. 

Even when Ms. Ciccone decided to tie the knot, I didn't feel abandoned. There was nothing in her contract that said a fairy godmother couldn't wed. Besides, she flipped the bird to the biological clock by having a kid first and then marrying a guy eleven years her junior. 

No, what really pissed me off was when Madonna started to act like wifedom was cool. And not cool because she had mutated it in some way, but cool simply because She had done it. No way, the ultimate sex icon wants to be called "Mrs. Ritchie"?! How controversial! It's like watching that kind of excruciatingly annoying performance art where the "artist" sits in silence on stage for an hour to watch the audience squirm.That's deep, man. 

If you're looking for an on-screen metaphor for the demise of the Divine Miss M, then look no further than Swept Away. I watched the entire ninety-three minutes (it felt like days) through laced fingers as if it were a horror movie, blushing with second-hand embarrassment. (And trust me, I'm easily entertained: I shed a tear during the "mother scene" inCrossroads and the "hospital scene" in Coyote Ugly.Swept Away is a remake of the 1974 Italian film in which a rich American bitch is stranded on a desert island with a hunky Italian fisherman. You might have heard that the film is "controversial" and "not very PC" and "raw" — kind of like the Madonna we remember fondly. Except that in the 1974 version, the bitch falls for the fisherman when he rapes her; in the 2002 version, she falls for him when he doesn't. (Oh, right, plot spoiler — sorry. Here's another: this movie sucks balls.) You're supposed to be shocked that Madonna gets slapped around and beat up on screen, except she's so fucking buff that mostly you're just thinking, "How is he still winning?" And she's so whiny that when she received a particularly brutal right hook to the cheek, the guy sitting behind me blurted out "Yeah!" 

All the nudity and raucous sex scenes in the original have been distilled into one brief nipple shot, two bare ass scenes and some G-rated rolling around in the sand à laFrom Here to Eternity. You'd think that if you were stranded on a desert island for six weeks with a Mediterranean hottie, you'd go topless at least once, right? Unless, perhaps, hubby was spying on you from a camera six feet away and calling "That's a wrap!" whenever he felt like it. 

Madonna plays Amber, a chain-smoking, lizard-skinned, foul-mouthed capitalist in a loveless marriage (a.k.a. Material Girl suffers mid-life crisis). Adriano Giannini (in the role his father played in the original) stars as Giuseppe, a handsome (in that swarthy-hairy way), poor-but-happy Communist fisherman. It's not hard to figure out why she falls for him once they're on the deserted island: he's the ultimate alpha man, catching fish in his bare hands and making fire from two twigs. Oh yeah, and he slaps her when she gets annoying — but only 'cause he's secretly in love with her and knows she needs it, of course. What I can't figure out is what he could possibly see in her — after he's smoked all her butts and literally beaten the bitchiness out of her, all that's left is a sniveling, used-up mess of a woman who's too scared to leave their island for the real world. (And so she should be — have you heard the advance word on this movie?) Is it because she's Madonna and yet she calls him "Master" as she kisses his feet and thanks him for the chance to clean his clothes, is that why we're supposed to believe he could fall so hard? How controversial! 

When Mr. and Mrs. Ritchie discuss the making of this movie, they're like two doting parents who refuse to shut up about their "adorable" new wrinkly baby. And ultimately that's what makes this movie Madonna's worst: you can't dismiss it as a lark, and you can't pretend that she doesn't care what anyone thinks about it, because she tells you she wants so hard to make her husband proud of her acting skills. All of a sudden Madonna wants to excel in someone else's genre — and she wants someone to respect her for it. What happened to making him respect how you feel, Maddy? 

Madonna was never supposed to sit back and pretend to be "Madonna" while living the life of the ordinary — that's what the rest of us do. She was supposed to be the lord of the dirty dance into her seventies, busting taboos along the way. Why'd she have to go and get so sated at forty-four? As abruptly as Judy Blume once departed, Madonna relocated to England (because What-a-Guy Ritchie didn't want to leave old Blighty) and set up house, putting her stamp of approval on wifely obedience. She recently admitted that she hasn't learned how to drive in England and that returning to L.A. makes her feel "like a grown-up" because she can drive. You go, girl! What do you do when you reach your end-of-the-world benchmark and she's baking a cake?  

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Emma Taylor Emma Taylor is one half of Nerve legends "Em & Lo," now to be found at emandlo.com.
Yes, I Use Condoms (And Other Lies I've Told)
Are You There God? It's Me, Emma
Getting Personals
Bare Naked Editors
Tops & Bottoms
The Em & Lo Down: Advice from Near-Expert

Commentarium (48 Comments)

Oct 11 02 - 12:59am
hype

Finally women have realized what men have known for years: Madonna is long over. Haven't the ladies noticed that all men from ages 16-40 have been paying full attention to the comings and goings of Brittany Spears (and her army of clones)ever since that infamous video hers a few years back? Go ahead, ask any man about Brittany and he'll tell you the latest. Find a man who's still interested in Madonna, and he's probably gay. Just like all the great former female idols - Marilyn, Judy Garland and now Madonna, the only men interested in them anymore are gay, and they celebrate them with a cultish devotion. That, by the way, is where former female cultural icons retire: to the Pantheon of Gay Idolness. Women demand inspiration from their female idols, and are shocked to learn men just love 19 year olds with hot bodies no matter what they sing about or care about, as long as they work it as hard and as teasingly as their predecessors did. So as Madonna fades from the scene and Brittany replaces her in the fantasies of men and the hopes of women, I bid her a fond farewell and pray that Brittany turns out to be just as kinky and fun.

Oct 10 02 - 1:32pm
mean

People actually cared about Madonna? Coulda fooled me!

Oct 10 02 - 2:09pm
bb

ho hum. another madonna wanna be.

Oct 10 02 - 2:26pm
MEI

Reality sucks!

But I feel for you, Emma!

Other than 'get over it, everybody grow old' -
as a girl I think it's a great article except the author is smart enough to see the truth but not wise enough to enjoy and accept it as 'what a relief, the goddess is just one of us', in a way, us - only ourselves should be our own god that keep us going when we mature - because even Madonna does different things in different stage of life...

On the other hand, I see Madonna's strenth in dealing with aging and her own biological clock... - she is everything, and she just have to keep up with her image of being capable of it all...

She might have picked the wrong movie giving the circumstances in her life , but she said she did it for the 'her love with Richie', she doesn't need to prove herself to anybody - unless she *wants* to... she can afford mix business with pleasure at this point of her life, and that's why I am *not* goinng to waste my time go see this movie ever until it hits video store or showing on cable...

And I see strength of her in not afraid of admiting how head over heels she is for her hubie...call it mid-life crisis or whatever, she is still Madonna, she is proudly doing what her mind and body content to...

She is totally a role model in this whole bit...

Oct 10 02 - 2:54pm
JV

you're an idiot. you're complaining abut Madonna being whiny and not living up to your benchmark standards? who the fuck do you think you are to assume that she's only alive to be your fucking benchmark? sure her movie sucks, but that's her prerogative. besides, now that you're an "adult", maybe you should find a more suitable benchmark anyway, you fucking lack-wit.

Oct 10 02 - 3:12pm
CC

Egads! You took the words right out of my mouth...how I miss the controversy and open mouthed priests! I refuse to wear a shirt with "Mrs" anything. Ever. It's hard to stomach ( brings a tear to my eye ) that the material girl's given in to such convention. Maybe the old saying is true, every dog has it's day. I mean, have you seen Shawn Cassidy lately? Word.

Oct 10 02 - 3:40pm
LA

Amen! I absolutely agree. Madonna has become flaccid. I am utterly disappointed.

Oct 10 02 - 4:04pm
lm

On the other hand - she is just human, I applause for her not trying too hard to live up to public expectations - Elvis did that - look what he ended up with!

Oct 10 02 - 11:16pm
de

"What do you do when you reach your end-of-the-world benchmark and she's baking a cake?"

Well Emma,

My advise would be, go and get you brains "loved" out (alot) :)

PS
You're still hot:)

Oct 11 02 - 7:52am
AS

this is not feedback on madonna or whatever was written about her. then again, it is. after all, it's what made me write this, right? right. maybe. point is. i pride myself on being a hedonist. worse, i pride myself on being a thinking one. even though, the two seem to have no business together. then again, that's probably what makes working for the community, our community, so attractive. i live in montreal, i write and would love to move to NY. right, like anyone wouldn't want to. i was there last month. i'd like to stay there for much longer. do tell. i can be contacted, again, at s.avi@mailcity.com. a plus, avi

Oct 11 02 - 11:24am
BLU

Maybe what happens when you reach your end benchmark and she's baking a cake is to realize it could happen to anyone, including you? It wouldn't much matter what Madonna did or does. Something about her...from what infinitesimally little most of us will ever know. A Madonna cake, sounds real nice.

Oct 11 02 - 2:46pm
A.S.

While I'm sure that article will be great for all of the Madonna haters out there, to someone with a more objective view, it seemed like you were simply upset because in the end Madonna was actually a human being. Yes, she is an icon. But you really thought that she would die some 80-year old woman, alone but still maintaining her air of rebelliousness? Fine, we're all bitter in one way or another. But some people might want to avoid making it so transparent by writing an article about it for all to see.

Oct 11 02 - 2:49pm
B.J.

it's funny, from reading that article, i have the same amount of respect for madonna, but much less for you. jealous much?

Oct 11 02 - 4:01pm
CEA

what the hell is that hbo ad doing the middle of the article? it is so distracting!

Oct 11 02 - 7:54pm
BMD

Nice article Emma, but it is more to do with your surpassing Madonna than her lack of acting or how to engage the public's attention outside of music. By surpassing, I mean you have a career, you have experiences, and you now are grown up. What does Madonna really have to say to you or anyone else who has experienced life?

This movie is an attempt by her to destroy the Material Girl once and for all. Just another reinvention into the mother next door whose main concerns are just like yours: her man and kids and maybe her part time career. It's kind of sad that bad girls, like bad boys, age so badly that they have to transform themselves into the very ones they did much to aggravate.

Oh well, somewhere in England Madonna is probably reading this and smiling. She has gotten all the attention she wants for now and we play into her hands everytime.

Oct 11 02 - 11:39pm
sga

All I can say is, any writer who uses the words 'tad' and 'staunch'

Oct 11 02 - 11:51pm
MEW

A LITTLE BITTER ARE we? I think Madonna is more beautiful now than ever before. Maybe this "Guy" is just what she needed. So what if the movie sucks. She has a great body and that's what the boys want to see. You're the one who's looking in from the outside girlfriend!

Oct 11 02 - 11:57pm
dgh

Madonna's moves, good, bad or indifferent, always seemed like she dived into the new world, looked around, grabbed what looked sparkly and used it to look good. Mom/wife Madonna looked around, found a husband, found a kid . . . and then had all her vaginal juices sucked out.

Oct 12 02 - 1:17pm
RP

Just one thing, the title
The Devine Miss M is reserved for Bette Midler.
Madonna's name may begin with M
She was never 'devine'
and certainly not 'Miss' anymore

Oct 12 02 - 1:19pm
RP

Just one thing, the title:
"The Devine Miss M" is reserved for Bette Midler.
Madonna's name may begin with M,
She was never 'devine',
and certainly not 'Miss' anymore.

Oct 12 02 - 10:18pm
DAA

THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have not seen Swept Away, nor do I want to..in fact thanks for the spoiler (although I WILL go see it anyway out of the same curiosity that drives one to rubberneck at a particularly gory car accident. I just moved to Engladn, and the way they call Madonna, Madge and her daughter wears Burberry's...well, let's justsay I always thought acting would be her downfall. I mean psychologically we all know that madonna has spent her life trying to find herself and have people INSIST they love her. She has conquered thw world but not acting. because sh ewill NEVER conquer it, she will forever be whiny and pleading.....a young director does not a good actor make. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not let her g the way of Michael Jackson..it is so hard to see a pop icon become pathetic. My true opinion is that the fake British accent, living here etc, gave madonna the classiess she seemed to think she needed..poor deluded woman..doesn't she realize more young girls wanted to be her than they ever wanted to be Diana Princess of Wales!? Again, thank you I thought I was the only one who was cringing at more than her lack of acting skills...

I live and watch and wait..she surprised us with Evita, maybe it can be done again..her play here was AWFUL by the way...

Oct 13 02 - 10:24am
BLU

Thanks Emma for establishing Madonna as your benchmark, at least at one time. She is quite a woman all in all. Wish she'd bake some cake for me someday, or that you would...either would be fine. I liked Williamstown too, pretty steamy little piece of New England, No?

Oct 14 02 - 10:54am

just one thing, RP: divine is spelled with two "i"s.

Oct 14 02 - 10:27pm
ap

that was a great article Emma, thank you for writing it. maybe her music will really surprise me, Ray of Light was the last thing I really liked. i don't know if she has a soul, she's all about attracting attention and making herself look good. I loved her earliest music and i actually have one of those big silver cross earrings. Desperately Seeking Susan was a great movie and she should be proud of it, of course she played herself but it looks like she is now living the life of a wealthy, cute, dentist's wife, whose life she appropriated in the film. I don't understand how she can be so blind as to accept that she doesn't have innate acting talent. I think it's funny to watch the media pander to her. Someone on Entertainment Tonight, which promoed the same clip for at least 7 days said "drama critics have been extremeley cruel to you, do you think it's because they're jealous?" ...

Oct 15 02 - 11:47am
jb

Hi, I read your review of Swept Away and here is what I thought of it.
You are using the film as an excuse to fess up to the fact that you have moved on and dont have time to follow madonna or her career as you used to.
You do not want to admit to the fact that you are not a fan anymore period.
Instead you see the opportunity to both slam and humilate her work due to the fact that she did a film that has not been accepted by the critics. If anyone else were to star in the movie, it would not be getting this bad a review. And to make matters worse, they, like you, love to see her go down and go down bad so they make it all into a headline.

I saw the film 3 times (film festival on Sept 19th, NY Screening and once with my mom to support it at the box office), and I loved it. I saw the original version of Swept Away a few months prior and putting into consideration all the news that I heard about how they would tone down the violence; I knew exactly what to expect. I took it for what it was, and I thought madonna played her role very convinsingly. She was funny and showed off her comedic talents. She also showed off her amazing body and star quality in her dance number.

Fans look at her work and try to point out the best parts of it not the worst. To put into perspective, madonna will find better roles, this isnt one of them. She hasnt lost any credibility in my eyes because I know that she will continue to work hard and succeed in the end. In the meantime, I am so feeling DIE ANOTHER DAY and the video. What a goddess. :) Jeannie www.madonnasworld.com

Oct 15 02 - 8:56pm
rpc

emma,
there are about 25 guys in madonna's high-school and her 1 year at college that feel the same way you do. they are saying, "that is my ex-girlfrield who never calls anymore!!"
and i bet they, to this day, expect a nice check, or something, in the mail for knowing her while she was growing up, and making a name for her-self.
i feel you pain, and if there is something i can do for you in the NY area, the non-bombed section (prayer for the fallen........praying...........) i am there for you.
xoxo,
ralphie

Oct 17 02 - 12:00pm
bw

I feel better knowing I am not the only once that feels sick by Madonna's changed demeanor. It made me ill to watch her in a TV interview sitting there with timid body language worried about what Guy thinks of her and afraid he will be angry towards her. It reminded me of battered women. I grew up using Madonna's strength as an example by which to strengthen myself in all aspects of life, especially the sexual. I am forever thankful for those lessons. However, her purpose on earth is not anymore so to be our idol than it is to be Guy's obedient wife. So while I mourn for the Madonna of old, I respect she has a right to live her life as she please. I am just saddened her life is now lived to please Guy, rather than to please herself.

Oct 17 02 - 12:09pm
TEB

From my viewpoint as a boomer who has raised two kids well and is now on the far side of the biology clock, done with all that, and happily regressing, taking bellydancing lessons and wilder with my lover than I ever dreamed I could be when I was in my 20s: I like your line that Madonna's pretending to be Madonna while she becomes staid wifey... but my guess is she's just playing at being wifey and making sure that she doesn't wield her 11 extra years and world fame over her husband in a dominating way.
My guess: Soon she'll stop getting off on the sexiness of being submissively cared for and bonded. She'll get back to leading her generation as well as yours and mine into the sensuality of power aging. And her husband will have to learn to deal with her power joyfully and undefensively or watch her head off into the horizon without looking back.

Oct 17 02 - 5:49am
el-m

I wonder what Camille Paglia thinks of Swept Away.

Oct 17 02 - 2:59pm
SD

from the new york post's page six today: "IN the wake of The Post

Oct 17 02 - 6:08pm
M.T.

You know, my goal here is not to wax intellectual like some of you pride yourselves on doing so often. But, this is getting out of hand. Emma, Emma. I am in disbelief at reading many of the responses to your article. It seems many of the readers are so blatantly negative and/or jealous of you, yourself. Your voice, insight and vocabulary are refreshing and apparent, throughout the site. For the short-sighted readers, many of whom cannot get through a sentence with proper grammar or spelling themselves, to attack you in those ways is evidence of immature traits that must make many of their lives difficult. Disagreeing is one thing, but please people. To accuse Emma of being jealous of Madonna because Madonna has contradicted herself in many ways recently is such an excuse to stop thinking. Madonna for so many years stood for exactly what Emma just did. Standing up for yourself and holding those close to you (or media, the public, your fans) accountable is total Madonna. Whether it's Madonna singing wake-up call messages to the world to hold them accountable for the discrimination and hate they are spreading or Emma writing her article holding Madonna for her misleading ways--it's the same thing.
No one is saying that marriage and 3 kids makes her a bad person. It's largely the way she is handling it. I've seen pictures of her wearing clothing that says, "Richie's Property" or some shit like that. Go get married, have kids, continue to perpetuate your bad acting--we never held it against you, Madonna. But, be yourself in the midst of it all, or come clean and let it be known that it was all a gimmick in the first place. Either way, it's equally disappointing. Emma--great job, great article and thanks being the first one to "Express Yourself" publicly on a topic that my Madonna loving friends and I have been mourning for a while.

Oct 17 02 - 10:43pm
bg

Who the hell are you to judge her so sharply?! I really love Madonna and accept her for all of her not just the fancy roles and hip clothes she wears! How dare you judge her married life? Live and let live!

Oct 19 02 - 12:54am
mt

I love Madonna either way. I don't think anyone means to judge her necessarily. We just miss the activism. She was her own genre, and now it's obsolete. It's like she gave us all the power and now she's receeded. We have no benchmark but ourselves now.

Oct 18 02 - 6:57pm
HM

Madonna basically lost her cool after "Ray of Light". She has really no clue where to morph to next. I remember her Jiratting on top of a car that Li'l Bow Bow was driving at some award show wearing a Material Girl shirt, she is so over that she was out of breath. I'm just hoping she doesn't keep doing things that will really throw 10 good years in the garbage.

Oct 22 02 - 7:04am
MLM

I have to defend Madonna for this reason: Think of how much she has accomplished, how many countries she has travelled to, how many songs she has written and movies she has made. In this life, a woman has a right to forgo personal relationships and marriages that bind her success. She has a right to puruit happiness period. I think after so much material success it is completely understandable for her to turn inwardly and search for spirtual and emotional success in what she chooses to: marriage and children. At least she waited till she had attained as much material success as she wanted to instead of fucking the first cowboy in line and getting pregnant and ending up working at a grocery store as a cashier, truly wasting her particular talents, not that I would negate anyone's right to do that.

I think the author here is being a TAD selfish and perhaps ought to seek our her OWN success instead of wanting to vicariously own someone else's successes. Madonna is NO SELL-OUT for wanting a good marriage and to be a mother. There is no denying her undying talent but she is a person who needs to do what she is doing right now, even if people don't understand it - and THAT IS WHY WE LOVE HER.

Oct 22 02 - 10:34pm
999

Sorry...this chick doesn't care for Madonna (she's been done for years now)...but Emma, mm-mmm! You look good, sweetie!

Oct 25 02 - 1:54am
MWJ

Grow up. Madonna is fiction. Most people learn to differentiate by your age.

Oct 25 02 - 6:36am
PS

Hi Emma - thanks for your piece. thought you might be amused by the following funfax from popbitch website:

>> Guy Ritchie's weird mum thing <<
This man needs counselling

In Swept Away Madonna plays a character called
Amber Leighton - a shrewish posh woman who is
humiliated, spanked and almost raped, but then
subjugated by a macho, uncultured man.

Amber Leighton is the real-life name of Guy
Ritchie's mother (she remarried).

(of course you'll ascribe my interest in the following to an off-the-peg Brit veneer of cultured disdain masking inner life of roiling fetid class-ridden conflicts and perversions, and wouldn't be far wrong, but it tickles me that guy ritchie's mum/mom is the leader of kensington and chelsea borough council and so couldn't be further from the gangster (not gangsta) chic of lock stock and two smoking barrels.) of course they've got a massive place in st john's wood but at her income level you don't really have to 'live' anywhere, like us mere mortals, do you? i think she's totally a one-dimensional parody of her former multi-faceted self these days, but a couple of points in her mitigation: you don't need to drive in London, as you'll know, and if you've any sense and can afford it you get driven, if you need the privacy of a car. so her lack of licence is oddly more a sign of empoweredness than apron-donning wifeliness (although she's probably scared of the traffic, too). Secondly, whatever your income level, if you want to spend any significant amount of time with someone from another country/continent/economic alliance, it helps to marry them - the only good reason for marriage. never thought i'd marry but it happened to me. so, a couple of points in her defence then, aside from the fact that an interest in guy ritchie is itself indefensible.

Paul

Oct 26 02 - 3:26pm
PK

I'm sure many people have allready noted you don't find her appealing anymore simply because she used to repreent the justification for your inability to bond in a pleasurable relationship with men, and now she is able to do it and makes it seem as a good thing, but that's only because it's true.

Oct 28 02 - 4:48pm
LET

Emma,
While I think you had some very good points, Madonna has always been like a chameleon, changing her mood and her look to go with it. I don't think there's anything wrong with that; it's not like she's saying people should be like her. She's just being the way she is, right now, and she's getting a crapload of media attention from it... like she will, with everything she does, until the day she dies (and, like Marilyn and Elvis, probably even after that). It sounds to me like she's just fallen head over heels in love with a guy, the same way she fell in love with Sean Penn and instantly went through her first "wifey phase." She seems to take her feelings and just run with them, which I think is great. It's fun to go through new phases, like trying on a new costume every Halloween. Madonna has always confessed that she had thought of being a nun, and I think she is intrigued by self-control, obedience and certain kinds of repression in the same way she enjoys being outspoken and noticed. I know how Madonna is. I know she's a bit of a freak, I can never completely trust her, she doesn't always bend her style to what I want to see, and I never know what to expect. But that's exactly what I love about her.

Oct 29 02 - 6:29pm
FA

Consider this, when you've "done everything", or are the poster girl for "been there, done that", maybe M is finding out that there is joy, for joy's sake, in things traditional...maybe. There's something about a powerful being "allowing" itself to serve another, knowing it doesn't have to. The fact that it is her "choice" to do this, still makes her the same Madonna she's always been.

Nov 30 02 - 4:19pm
SMV

EMMA, EXCUSE ME IF I WRITE ALL IN CAPITALS BUT I HAVE TO BE REALLY HONEST AND SAY THAT I DON'T LIKE MESSING AROUND WITH THE KEYBOARD. ANYWAY I AGREE WITH YOU ON THE MADONNA SUBJECT, I REMEMBER WELL WHEN I FIRST HEARD MADONNAS' BOARDERLINE IT WAS MY FAVORITE SONG THAT YEAR AND SHE BECAME
MY IDOL I ADORED HER BECAUSE OF WHO SHE WAS. TO ME SHE WAS A VERY STRONG WOMAN,NOT AFRAID OF SAYING WHAT SHE FELT AND THOUGHT, SHE WAS VERY OUT SPOKEN VERY REAL AND I ADMIRED HER FOR THAT. IN SOME WAY SHE GAVE ME THE BALLS TO SPEAK MY MIND, AND NOW IT'S NOT THE SAME.~~~~~SOCHITH@YAHOO.COM~~~THANKS.

Nov 30 02 - 4:22pm
SMV

EMMA, EXCUSE ME IF I WRITE ALL IN CAPITALS BUT I HAVE TO BE REALLY HONEST AND SAY THAT I DON'T LIKE MESSING AROUND WITH THE KEYBOARD. ANYWAY I AGREE WITH YOU ON THE MADONNA SUBJECT, I REMEMBER WELL WHEN I FIRST HEARD MADONNAS' BOARDERLINE IT WAS MY FAVORITE SONG THAT YEAR AND SHE BECAME
MY IDOL I ADORED HER BECAUSE OF WHO SHE WAS. TO ME SHE WAS A VERY STRONG WOMAN,NOT AFRAID OF SAYING WHAT SHE FELT AND THOUGHT, SHE WAS VERY OUT SPOKEN VERY REAL AND I ADMIRED HER FOR THAT. IN SOME WAY SHE GAVE ME THE BALLS TO SPEAK MY MIND, AND NOW IT'S NOT THE SAME.~~~~~

Nov 13 09 - 12:28pm
yo

PS on 10/25 killed it!! Brilliant.

Nov 13 09 - 4:26pm
BR

Did no one notice that this article is 'republished' from 2002? Since then, I believe that quite a lot has changed - Madge is divorced and back on the scene being crazy, no?

Also, ironic, the number of people who post "I can't believe Madonna still matters" after reading a long article on her and then reading through all the comments. Silly, silly

Nov 13 09 - 4:28pm
GD

This is right on. I've been struggling with this for a while (since '03) but Madonna is lame.

Nov 15 09 - 2:08pm
JCF

Just a note to the editor to say thanks for putting the original year of publication on this article! Though it's particularly important in this case, considering everything that's happened since 2002, I think every article from the archives would benefit if the intro-with-year became a standard policy. Or just the year, if nothing else.

Oct 01 10 - 2:23pm
keymaker

Your writing is simple great, Especially for beginners!