Lyrics from song Burning up by Madonna, song about physical attraction and lust for someone, for love and sex and probably for sex only. Typical topic for pop, sexual attraction which cannot be hindered or stopped and is burning, uncontrollable and should be held down in the eyes of society. Is that a light topic one wonders. No, it is universal and human, maker of many contradictions, troubles and conflicts. Unrestricted pleasure-seeking and fulfilling one’s sexual desires, intercourse outside marriage just for fucks, a taboo to have such thoughts, do such deeds and have feelings which are sinful and dirty especially for women and girls, makings of the devil, making out, fucking in strange places and weird positions, being queer, or a prostitute selling her body is idea to which pop stardom and wild women are referred to as were artists before, maybe they still are. Gossip magazines live for the topic of doing the wrong thing as does pop. Woman wanting to have sex is different from man who wants the same thing, randomly or for the burning for one person. Woman feeling desire which cannot be quenched and the yearning should not be even tried to extinguish because she feels alive and well. It is normal and permitted in a song but yet burning like fire and living it is dubious and dangerously interesting.
This familiar and exhilarating burning follows through out all Madonna’s work and she is full on, as she says herself she is pushing the buttons all of them at the same time. Serious in her message, body image, performance, innovative, stirring, radical and playful at the same time. It is still almost as she was not as serious enough a topic to discuss elsewhere other than in glossy magazines for women, to write about her work more fully in feminist, scientific or art contexts should already be a sure thing. She is not that serious, or is she, her work… What is that? How to begin to evaluate when she is all over and we have our conception about it all made up. How is pop serious is how it changes society and people and how it is allover. What does it do? What kind of impact music and its makers have on people on many levels, high and low. We can object to it and close our ears and eyes to it but why should we, because it is light and nonsense, uncontrollable and easy, intolerable gibberish, naive bs?
If she were a man this would not be an issue, possibly, her easiness, her edginess and raciness, but pop men are also light when they are idolised by young girls, aren’t they. It is their audience who make the stars in the end.
It is to like her music which makes you dance. It is one of her goals, to move people physically and make them go wild. Music which attracts women, girls and gay men mostly is seen light because it makes them dance? To have an interest in her is to follow what she does, how she does it and what she has to say, things in her work that inspire people are those which disturb and shake the common role of feminine: what is allowed and what is not. She divides opinions and has confronted the Pope and other authorities more than once for her art. I wonder did the secret service pay her a visit after Women’s March controversy. In dozens of interviews there are the same questions which appear and she answers kindly in her own way repeating all we have already read in the glossy magazines. It can make one yawn but there is some appeal to seeing her and listening to her explain her work (it would be more interesting if journalists did their work and invent themselves again. Journalists for some reason like to stick to the repetition of the old whether it is the old truths and lies). One may wonder why answer in repeat the same as if the only thing changing was her looks and the setting of the interview. Journalists who do not seem to find new points of views to pop artistry or to making popular journalism than what they think interest the readers over and over again (how do you maintain your figure and what do you eat). It obviously is so that the audience is endlessly curious about the same things as they reflect their own lives to pop stars and wish to look as their idols do. Is the audience reinventing itself when the idol reinvents herself or do they just follow the reinvention of their idol who represents something radical and exiting the audience do not dare, can’t realise in their lives or are not able to come up with? Not quite and something like that, example and the dream is there as are the bits and pieces to collect and hold on to.
Pop artists remain there floating in their light existence making hundreds of millions in sales which makes the light kind of heavy. Money and luxury get exposure and is interesting to viewers. Money entertainment business has an impact which other arts can dream about. Singing sexy women and men and supposedly light content of theirs, right. The contradiction is interesting between weights and what is measured. Meaning and influence is seriously heavy weight and stretches out its arms all over. Warmth and hugs, love and lust all in wrapping. Such as Madonna who has millions of fans and a career that outshines most, almost every other pop artist there is, has truly had to work her way up there where artist’s work means something other than just material wealth. In this case her message is more than just about a fling and a woman having hot feelings for a guy. It is astonishing how grim the shadow of sexism and how devastating the effect of minimising is. The reason she has not been taken seriously as an artist. She writes much of her music herself and is hands in on work. She is a popular artist, a woman who does not shy away from objectifying herself. This is her question: why is she an object, why her asset is sex and why should not she think for herself. For a female artist to objectify herself willingly is a red flag for feminists as it is to those who think music comes first, appearance does not matter. When woman is an object of desire and makes her money that way, what could she have to say for other women and men that has value musically and culturally?
Objectifying is her tool and a gun which maybe some people have already noticed. She uses the system built for men by men, where women are those who follow how to, desperate for attention, smile, do anything to make it, look sexy because sex sells and do not make the rules new or break them. To work in an environment where something that is targeting large audiences is seen light, as most of it is, in content is to be passed on easily as wide as possible in a manner of next, next and next, to understand fully how to control this machine is via sexuality, to show fantasies is the business, become a fantasy as well and to say you can do this, you can have this, is to sell. She says it is cheap, a shadow and a weight. Anything worth having is in you, so don’t chase shadows but be the best you. To last as an artist is to be innovative and energetic in becoming something new all the time, be an engine and the fuel which means to have something to say with your whole being.