To say I don’t maintain bleeding edge awareness of pop culture proclivities would be to extend credit where undue. Periodically the name of some current songstress or tele-vision program will percolate to the surface of a conversation, often leaving me mute in ignorance.
A poignant example of this failing occurred recently as I was scouring youtube for lifestyle tutoring videos from the guy with a Lamborghini in his garage (he likes to drive it in the Hollywood hills). I couldn’t find his material anywhere, as google has permeated the site with annoying ads. And since my time is valuable, the search was called off.
Though before moving on to more weightless pap, like Tanehisicoates’ latest gibsusdat column, I did notice a video entry for a song by Madonna. Ahh, I remember that name. A christian girl who flounced about on her wedding night caterwauling on the virtues of young ladies maintaining their virginity…if I recall correctly. She’s got to be what now, 60? How cute. The old gal probably recorded a whimsical tot diddy encircled by a gaggle of grandchildren. Or maybe she’s extended her adult career into Vegasy ball-gown ballads. There’s a real market for legacy Americans to maintain some sentimental attachment with the iconography of their youth. I hope she’s still crooning a positive message of chastity and temperance for young impressionable girls.
So I played this thing.
Well that wasn’t quite what I had in mind.
The film is a riot of overexposed video–and underexposed wrinkles–featuring our stately matron tossing arthritic joints through a mariel boatlift of foreign roadies, toadies, and hangerson. It’s telling that she couldn’t convince a single party of note to participate in this geriatric screech of the damned. By the time the epileptic seizures had begun to abate I was actually LOLing at the zipper-rap coda. The entire enterprise is an aptly macabre representation of contemporary America. And one I hope Chinese curators will consider displaying prominently. Though for our friends reading presently at the NSA, I’ll give up my entire hate-network to avoid being thrown into one of those videos as an interrogation technique.
But there’s some insight in this beyond how to break hardened jihadis in three minutes or less. “Madonna” is a mature woman presumably wealthy beyond reckoning. And yet she dons a Forever 21 ensemble and proceeds to gambol through a crucible of contrived exercises that would humiliate the most credulous teenager. That it has no less spritually crippling effect on her is a fact not concealed by the faux-diamond mouthguard. The eyes are the windows of the soul–and hers ain’t smiling.
That she is eager–at lofty age and wealth–to so thoroughly abase herself says much about the source of our own sorrows. Because nearly all of us bear financial responsibilities, we can not speak openly for the certainty of career ruination. Those of independent means are not similarly shackled. And yet none of the plutocracy ever tug on their chains. And that is because the demands of fame and adoration can be more confining than even fear.
For people like Madonna–and Rush Limbaugh–absolutely nothing else warrants concern but maintaining real estate under the limelight. And no word will ever be spoken that risks relinquishing it. Thus old wealthy women dance like marionettes in feathers and fishnets–their strings the zeitgeist.
There is a deep human yearning to remain well within the herd’s periphery. And those who confuse fashion with rebellion are the most comically susceptible. Not one in a hundred liberals realize they are not actually plucky upstarts, but rather the most tedious regime conformists. Every one of them loping along the Overton trajectory. While those of us chewing cud from an ever receding vantage point don’t even try to keep pace.
Bitch I’m Porter.