Ma'donn! Madonna crucifies self!

9599__madonna_lJockeying for a top slot on the Fox News Outrage Hour, Madonna crucified herself in L.A. yesterday. It probably wasn’t the only crucifixion in L.A. this weekend, but it certainly grabbed the most headlines. The stunt was the centerpiece of a performance that was, by most accounts, very athletic and satisfying, featuring strong vocals and dance by The Great Blasphemadge. (I’m tired of "The Material Mom" and its cognates.) Oh yeah, and there were video images of BushandBlair juxtaposed with Osama and Hitler and (to prove she reads The New Yorker) Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. (What, no Kim Jong Il? After he was nice enough to immolate all the Pyongyang critics who hated Swept Away?)

So… big weekend for the culture wars, huh? Da Vinci makes its preordained mint; The Passion of the Madonna makes waves… If you subscribe to specious dichotomies, then it looks like this round goes to the degenerate secular humanists, while the God-ocracy smolders and regroups. But the real winners here are bloggers and cable news commentators. Imagine all the yapping this will generate! Unless, of course, it doesn’t. Tom Hanks in a wan religious thriller and Madonna, the Western world’s senior provocatrix, executing vaguely yogic anti-establishment monkeyshines on a plastic cross  really doesn’t consitutute much of a firestorm.

Which is why I propose we design our own controversy, a real corker. Personally, I’d like to see Jack Bauer buttonhole God for his part in the Sentox gas terror plot on tonight’s 24. President, schmesident — Jack should go right to the top of this thing and shake down the big man himself. ("You have 10 seconds to explain the human condition in the moral vacuum of an apparently meaningless universe… 10! 9!") Yeah, that’d light up the boards, from Falwell to Franken.

Seriously, though: Does Madonna still retain the power to shock? Is that even what we want from her anymore? And what could she possibly do at this point that would really shock you? Take communion? Move to Omaha? Patch things up with Sean Penn?

addCredit(“Madonna: Kevin Mazur/”)


Comments (53 total) Add your comment
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  • Paul U.

    She dosen’t have to shock us anymore to get our attention. Just as long as she puts on a good show, but it sounds like I saw the better tour when I saw Re-Invention. The whole crucific thing seems a bit cheesy to me.

  • Nick

    I really don’t find it that shocking Madonna is on a cross singing “Live To Tell” from what I have read -it is rather thought provoking. But very smart because the media this morning is only talking about that moment of the show. The show sounds fantastic, I will be seeing it in Las Vegas on Saturday night and it will be my first Madonna live show, so I am rather excited. Madonna can do what she wants, she’s Madonna!

  • donner

    Madonna should just do a show and not try to shock…20 years ago, the MTV wedding dress was a big – not so much…just go sing and dance and take everyone’s money, Madonna, and leave the shocking to folks who know how to do it better…

  • Robbie

    I saw the show and Madonna was NOT trying to shock. It was actually very moving. What she DID do was put on one hell of a great show. Don’t try and dismiss her by saying she is just trying to shock. I’d like to see anyone else do a show this spectacular.

  • djm

    I am seeing her Wednesday night (for the first time) and I can hardly wait! I don’t think Madonna will ever be as “shocking” as she was in the beginning, but I do love that she can still cause a stir from time to time. Good for her!

  • mike

    You want to shock us, Madonna? Make a good movie.

  • Mario

    Ah…. I see the Madonna-haters are out in droves.. again. Coming from Mr. Brown, not surprised as he makes a point to try and play down anything Madonna does. Madonna doesn’t have to shock nor does she really intends to. Her shows after The Girlie Show are not meant to shock but rather provoke thought and get people talking. It’s interesting that someone who makes their money addressing pop culture, etc fails to “get” what was behind the cross or posting pictures of Bush, Hitler AND Osama.. what’s that Mr. Brown? You’ve been hiding under a rock this whole time that the Bush administration strips away your freedoms, spies on you and taps your phone?
    At least she’s not afraid to touch on issues that do make people think and talk instead of just serving up mindless, useless, pointless performance shows to which you would probably give an undeserved A+.
    I’m a catholic, devout one at that and I didn’t find the crucifixion as insulting as I find supposed “Christians” using Christ’s name to spread hatred, violence and bigotry.
    I can’t wait to see this show!

  • Martin

    OK, first of all: I don’t think the point is or ever was to shock people.
    I think Madonna, whether she really knew it back then when she was more egocentric, has always been more interested in pushing people’s buttons…in getting them to talk (about her, of course, but also about everything else).
    Do you remember how the Church was so besides itself when she had a black Jesus in the “Like a Prayer” video? Why was she so harshly judged? Wasn’t she only moving along with the theory that we are all God’s children, and so why wouldn’t there be a black godly figure? At least, that’s what I think.
    donner, you say she ought to “leave the shocking to folks who know how to do it better.” Madonna is one of the few who wrote entire chapters on “shocking” people on stage in the book – why should she stop now?
    I have to say, mike, at this point, a good movie from Madonna would, indeed, be rather shocking. She’s always been much more maligned for her acting chops than truly necessary, though.
    In any case, I cannot wait for her tour. Now, won’t you let me know what you think about what I wrote before Confessions kicked off yesterday? Pretty please!

  • Martin

    Also, EW, Madonna has earned her right to a cover story, already. Enough with the summer blockbuster stuff – we get it: they’re big and loud moneymakers and a lot is riding on them. Why not throw us a curveball and write about a still intriguing artist and her tour for a change?

  • roxie

    LOL, Mike.
    You want to shock us, Madonna? Make a good movie.
    mike | May 22, 2006 2:52:06 PM
    Seriously $300 clams for lyrics like, “I don’t like cities but I like New York. Other cities make me feel like a dork.”

  • dma69

    The only thing Madonna can do to shock is not doing or saying anything controversial.

  • Martin

    But if she didn’t do or didn’t say anything controversial, everyone would say she’s gone soft, that’s she boring.

  • chardonna

    No matter what Madonna does, she’ll always be a media target. I’m not sure why the expectations placed on her have always been so high (and hard for anyone to achieve), but it’s a shame that after all she’s done for music, people can’t give her a break.

  • ELI


  • Tom

    I want to know what people think of the show.
    So far it looks interesting but the set list looks a little disappointing. I mean, TEN songs from Confessions on a Dancefloor? It’s a great album, but does it need any more promotion? There’s no Borderline, Where’s the Party, Who’s That Girl which were rumored to be on the set list. There’s no Holiday, but after singing it in every tour, I’m sure Madonna was happy to let that go.
    Who’s seen it? I hear the middle drags. Is that true? Should she have sang more classics? Is there too much Confessions?

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