"I’m Bettie Page. How do you think I feel?"
I don’t quite know why I find myself defending Madonna except that Munz sent over the following from Rickie Lee Jones...
"We live in a time where people allow marketing devises to take the place of real events, of real spirits. We allow vacant pop stars to harm the credibility of concepts, to reap the rewards of deeper, more meaningful artists, simply because some publicist evoked images that we identify with greatness. I saw this really flourish with Madonna, and spread like Ebola through the jungle land. I am still stunned, I don't understand why the pretender is just as meaningful to the consumer now and the citizen as the real thing. Is it because the real thing is so hard to come by, we want to feel like we're part of a real thing, too? Finally Madonna's real meaning is the virtue of being the one who forged the way for all pretenders. I am confused in these times. I am glad I stand outside looking in. George Bush, Madonna, the whole show of second best."– Rickie Lee Jones
Okay, so the woman is 47 pretending to be 25, she’s really fucking irritating, and redefines narcissism in the worst way since Norma Desmond, but she actually did invent herself, fully formed like Venus on the half-shell, and should be given whatever credit that deserves. Back in Lower Manhattan in the early eighties, in a world of 12" dance mixes, and with Karen Finley just down the block , pushing produce into her orifices, Ms. Ciccone labored long and hard in some pretty grubby salt mines to make herself a pop-goddess. At the time, she provided a freestanding role model for a lot of young women, and cannot be wholly blamed for the corporate annexation of her act as a marking plan for all the wholly depressing Britneys and Jessicas and multi-national pretteen nymphet-pop that would follow. Back in the day, although I didn’t buy the act (except maybe for her cover of "Love Don’t Live Here Any More") I did feel that she and Patti Smith bookended a weird liberation in the pop culture when all else was Stevie Nicks.
The secret word is Virgin