I have no shame. I am on fire.

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.

 

Madonna – Like A Virgin – The MDNA Tour

I have been thinking of how to write about someone of whom there is so much public written text, video footage and images, who is an icon and idol for many and has been since the eighties having made an impact on all culture, impact which is lasting and profound even though she is seen as an artist shallow and her art commercial fluff. I have been wondering the monotonous ways of journalists who ask the same questions about diet, workout and relationships. Wondering how does she, Madonna, deal with these walls of public figures which are magazine covers, walls for celebrities to answer and stand for and in front year after year for them, those curtains, charades and masks never to change because that is what the public supposedly wants: images of perfection, success and how to get there, information and instructions to achieve the same. To be like Madonna, to look like her, own her, her composure and grit, way of life.

For your information: you will not find the same, she is unique as are you. You have to be you not her, the unique you. This is too what magazines and pop culture tell, in their own way, but still it does not appear to be the wanted result, reality what is happening but something homogeneous which mass is keeping pop alive, choosing the pop as background noise and inspiration. This desire and need for uniqueness I understand is also one of Madonna’s messages, to find your true self despite the mass, stand behind that creation which is you and your nature, find it via exploration and expression against intolerant mass and society. Non-intellectual ways of magazines, the repetitiveness and glossiness, hiding something everyday gray perhaps, entertainment industry as a whole have constantly minimized women into bodies who achieve, look like and reach out for perfect womanhood, a repetition from which it is extremely difficult to break away, womanhood and life which are defined and kept alive as long as no one wants it to change because something is ready and good in that picture, womanhood truly and for good to alter into something else is an infinite task. What else could it be? Celebrities who without wanting to decline to answer questions like what do they eat, how do they marry and date, questions about what and who are they wearing, how they live keep such culture of frivolous contents alive, contents that have tremendous effect on all culture around. Celebrities and entertainment very much tell what people shall want, defining trends, what people shall become interested in buying and dreaming about. This sounds like people would be an automaton that follow those with means, looks, charisma and PR to create a tale of wealth, success and beauty for our eyes, create needs via trends and stories. Big stars as Madonna have an important role in making commercial space as culture, culture as commercial space and it has been astounding how easily her work is diminished into only that sellable object, how much provocation is part of her work and what are the things that provoke. How does she do it, is it her who is doing it all, pushing buttons because they are there to be pushed? What is her secret other than knowing the soft spots in our consciousness and Western culture? Did I already say it, her, is she visible, her power there to be taken and exploited? She is not that easy, though her music is thought to be something light and nothing to consider as art and her way of using media for her benefit is out-of-order. For a woman to take benefit financially and be a business woman is still almost a taboo, could she be admired for that? She is not on the same level with guys when it comes to thinking what kind of business mind and maker she is in making money.

She uses her looks and body to promote her career. That is what women have to do to make it big in pop and in music, that is what they are expected to do and talk about. Women are their sex and their bodies that define them, give them leverage and a place to stand on. To be as provocative and outspoken as Madonna is a different matter although she persistently is placed in this worn out box of pop singers who deal with publicity in the same way, telling certain things of themselves. Themselves being the centerpieces who want to be adored. Most of them stick to that mode not knowing how to leave, change that pattern of theirs or wanting to change it because it is lucrative. Some do it for the fame and money. Some use their position to change the world as it is sexist, misogynist, conservative and hateful in many ways and against many minorities and ethnic groups. To play the game which is there with certain rules for women and men is still not doing what it takes to be famous. One has to have something that makes one stick out and be able to use that characteristic to one’s benefit, such as large derriere, beautiful face and figure. It is quite enough as photography is one of the most successful techniques in use. Lure of images especially images of ourselves is what keeps us fascinated, need to show oneself to the world and be adored as such. To be adored by many for one’s appearance can be one dream. Is it enough to be adored as a beauty icon? Could that icon say something irregular and out of context? Do something that would cause a scandal for the sake of changing the game of what we are supposed to be and see?

How could commercial place, which is the world, be a place for provocation, art and female emancipation? To ask it means it is not self-evident, not allowed because fear of losing money is real. By irritating customers, causing appall and shame would be bad for business and fear of not making profit is great. It is the greatest fear, losing. Such fear is hindering progress on many levels. Madonna was the progress in the eighties when she emerged at MTV music awards gala and performed Like a virgin with highly sexual meaningful way doing a choreography that was unheard of and unseen for a massive audience in the US making sexually explicit performance that rose the bar of what musical performance in pop could be. The question of what is she doing was at right place. Female singer showing a clear scene of having sex to the stage, her veil and rolling on stage with pleasure.

What is Like a virgin now after many version Madonna has given us? Shameless ode to female sexual pleasure still. It has been strange how she has had to fight also with feminists when her work has been testing and braking boundaries of what is proper and what kinds of issues and themes female singer can use in her art and how say and show the unspoken shameful damaging truth and desire there is, how she can be a sex object and subject of her own making, personification of a stereotypical sex object playing with the idea and how much she herself is in charge of her highly sexual image?

Just wondering the amount of stimulation and noise needed to have an impact and get noticed. What is interesting and why.

Yes it is cacophony the media presents before us and why wouldn’t it (should it continue to make it more over the top with stimulus that in the end result is numbing for us to truly understand the insignificance of information today). Interesting is what is left untold, what is marketing and what is abuse of space for selling things, selling lifestyles and junk, what is pushed to our faces for us to adopt the already exploded package. There is no limit because we have to make a living, we have to do something, we have to stay connected and interested in what we are given as well as interesting, we have to stay up to date, know what is going on, what we should be and look like. And still we don’t know what is going on.
How do we define what is good, what is stimulating and interesting content seems to be extremely shallow straight forward line and have a body of well toned entertainer whom all wish to look like, so we work for it at Times Square (vomit freely, this is the place to do it). Thank you. Time well spent.
Madonna’s Trainer Reveals Her Workout Secrets, tick tock time goes by