Tuesday, March 11, 2008

She's Madgically Delicious!


Normally I spout my batshit crazy Madonna love on my other blog (because it can get messy at times) but with my girlfriend being inducted into the Rock & Roll all of fame yesterday, I'm making an exception today.
Today, like a good little Madonna disciple, I'm rejoicing (and defending) the Queen's induction.

Of course, as with everything Madonna does and says, even THIS honor - which was well deserved - was met with controversy over Madonna being "pop" and not "rock and roll."
First of all, let me just add that after 25 YEARS of churning out hit after hit, brilliant video after brilliant video and sold out, record breaking concert tours (that I contributed to HEAVILY last year thank youverymuch), holding the record for the highest grossing concert tour by a female artist. According to both the 2007 Guinness Book of Records and Forbes, she IS the top earning female singer in the world with an estimated net worth of over $325 million. What the fuck a girl gots to do to be legit???!!! The the fact that this woman is even being questioned proves the damn record industry is run by men. Because quite frankly, if Madonna had a penis, no one would question this induction let alone have two page articles in the New York Times criticizing and disregarding 25 years of Madonna's work.

I'm not one to pull the "feminist" card believe me, especially because when I hear "feminist" I automatically think of sideburns and flannel shirts, but for this, I had to call foul. Why? Because from the very beginning Madonna always had bigger balls than they ever did. Leaving a dance scholarship in Michigan in 1977, flying to New York, and asking the cabbie to drop you off "in the middle of everything" is pretty ballsy to begin with (he dropped her off at Time's Square with only 35 dollars in her pocket, a couple years later she was performing "in the middle of everything."). But this would continue after she got successful, refusing to let her record execs "mold" her into the next "Pat Benatar" or the next "anything." She's one of the first female artists who had complete control of her image and had the final creative say in her music and videos. Madonna was also one of the few artists at the time that owned stock in her record label AND demanded that she get a percentage of her record sales. They hated her for it. She was also extremely sexual but in a way that again, the record executives couldn't control or use to demean her. Her sexuality wasn't molded and prepackaged by the record label for profit as in most female pop stars. Her sexuality was natural, controversial, uncontrollable and instead of the woman being reduced to a "sexual object," she owned her sexuality as part of her power and turned men into "objects." (half naked male mermaids in the "Cherish" video, half naked male workers in "Express Yourself," - seriously, a woman after my own heart).

Despite their contempt for Madonna, in the end they couldn't really say anything because she was successful. They were Madonna's bitch and for 25 years, like a bunch of spiteful little boys, they've tried with all their might through the media to bring her down a notch so they could regain control. Ask me how many "pop stars" today would have survived the onslaught of media criticism she endured when her controversial SEX book came out in the 90s. She was called everything in the book, including a tramp on the front page of the paper. With female pop stars of today, there would have been breakdowns, public apologies, and most likely their career would never be the same. Then again, it would have never happened to another pop star because there is no way their record label would allow it. As a matter a fact, Warner Brothers "forbade" Madonna to release the book, so what did Madonna do to remind the record executives who was the boss? She created her own record label (Maverick) to which she had total artistic control over any of the work released by Maverick and released her book through her own multi-media label. You think I'm a tramp? Let me show you how much of a tramp I can really be and yet still be in control and still be successful.

If that isn't rock n' roll. I don't know what is.

Madonna deserves it because she got to where she is by hard work and by being better and smarter than everyone else around her. There's so much more I could say but if you just look at a CLIP at her body of work, I just don't see why there was a question that she shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. To say her music is "pop" and not "rock and roll" is ridiculous. Pop stemmed from rock and roll. Shit, if you listen to Elvis' music, most of that sounds "pop" does it not? It's a ridiculous argument and I guess it all comes down to how you define rock and roll. I define it as creating music that evokes emotion, good or bad, non-conformity, "expressing yourself" (sorry for the pun), not compromising your music for other people's benefit, and more importantly, helping my 12 year old self realize that yes indeedy you can be a woman, be strong, be feminine and grab your crotch with absolutely no apologies.

That's rock and roll.
Viva La Madge.


"If knowing what I want and going after it means I'm a bitch...then okay."
-Madonna

4 comments:

Joseph said...

THANK YOU, GIRL! SPEAK ON IT.

kitty said...

Madonna was great. I only truly started to appreciate her when she starred in Evita and her versatility just shone out, as did her talent.

In recent years I've been slightly less appreciative because her physical appearance (all those icky string bean arm muscles) put me off a lot. I am very shallow.

Nevertheless, she was part of my defining moments list as a teen, and she still is.

Yo Momma said...

Joey: Amen brotha. All hail the Queen.

Kitty: WAS great? I'll take that as a typo. hehe! You know Madonna is a little muscular but I don't blame her for working out as much as she does. You think she gets flack now? Imagine if Madonna got fat...she'd never hear the end of it.

Madonna said...

The issue here isn't that Madonna doesn't have a penis, but that she is Madonna in the first place. She has pushed a lot of people's buttons over the years, and broken a lot of rules, and some people will NEVER forgive her for doing so.

Of course, if she were a man, and had pushed those buttons and broken those rules, some people wouldn't resent her so much, so maybe that is hitting the nail on the head.

The big excuse that the haters are using to bitch about this is that "she isn't rock". Guess what? Guess what all of these names have in common:

Ray Charles, Fats Domino, James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, Hank Williams Sr., Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Simon & Garfunkel, Louis Armstrong, The Four Tops, Wilson Pickett, Ike & Tina Turner, Johnny Cash, The Isley Brothers, Etta James, Martha & The Vandellas, Al Green, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Parliament-Funkadelic, The Jackson Five, Nat King Cole, James Taylor, Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Isaac Hayes, Brenda Lee, Miles Davis, Blondie (among even more similiar names).

Well, two things in common...

1. Most people do not consider them to be "rock".

2. They are ALL in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

I don't hear anything throwing a temper tantrum over the presence of Satchmo, or Hank Sr., or The Man In Black, or any of the long list of Motown/R&B artists who have been immortalized in the Hall. I don't see anything leading a campaign to have them kicked out the Hall. But, Madonna (with her influence, and impact, and 250 million records sold) gets in, and suddenly it's time to bitch about "non-rock" artists going in?

Bullshit. Kick all the non-Zeppelin, non-Beatles, non-Elvis sounding artists out first, then you'll have room to talk. But, it's too late for that. There is precedent for "non-rock" artists to go in (dating back to the inaugeral class of 1986, no less!). Madonna didn't "ruin" the Hall by going in for not being a "rock artist".

And for those whining because it's unfair that Madonna is in, while we're still waiting for (among others) Styx, The Guess Who, Alice Cooper and other deserving artists? Blame the voters for inducting Blondie, The Pretenders and other artists who honestly didn't earn it.

My only issue with Madge's induction (I've said it before, and I'll say it again) was being inducted by Justin Tool-lake. How about Cyndi Lauper? Or any of the countless Madonna wannabes from the 80's (hell, how about ALL of them?!)? I'd have rather seen one of her contemporaries, or someone truly influenced by her, and not just some doofus who has hitched a ride on the Madonna Gravy Train.

Lastly, and I've also said this before, and will say it yet again: Drop the "Rock & Roll" bullshit. Make it the MUSIC Hall Of Fame. Open your damned minds, and doors, to other artists who have had incredible influence upon music over the years. Induct Sinatra, and hell, even Beethoven and Mozart. Quit being close-minded fools who try to cubbyhole music.

Besides, who are you guys going to be inducting in a few years, when you have nothing but one-hit wonders and pathetic jokes (Stacey Q, anyone?) hitting their 25 year mark? With their current rules of inducting five artists every year, no matter what, they're going to find themselves inducting crap (Debbie Gibson?) very soon, just to fill their quota.

And THAT will do far more to disgrace the sacred cow Hall Of Fame than Madonna EVER could do.