05 January 2007

Madonna and the gays

Our love/hate relationship began in the early 1980s when I was starting out in life as a young and innocent gay man, while Madonna was starting out in her career.

Even then, La Cicada was exactly what she still is; an untalented woman who ‘sings’ (in a whiney squeaky voice) melodies best described as bland adolescent pop, blessed with an ability to manipulate those around her into believing that she is entertaining: over the years, she has demonstrated that she will sink to any depths to attract attention to her tawdry self.

My adolescence ( I’m not talking about gay adolescence which in some cases lasts into the 40s) was a time of experimentation, so I often found myself alone in my bedroom, feeling down at heel, listening to… certainly not Madonna; one listened to Prince, because supposedly if you played his albums backward there were subliminal messages from Satan (it seemed only fair, since God had written all of the books, to hear the other side of the story) However, one afternoon my brother slipped a copy of ‘True Blue’ into the sleeve for ‘Purple Rain’ one afternoon, and it was spinning backwards before I knew it. After a few flimsy bars, I realised this was not The Artist formerly known as a Genius. Suddenly, I heard a voice that said “Hello, gay.”

Given I was still in the closet, this was very distressing; “Aslan?” I replied. Before I had a chance to turn around, I heard that voice again; there was something familiar about that whiney nasal quality…

“Yes, I’m talking to you,” it continued. “I think it’s time we had a little talk about our favourite subject; ourselves. That should get your complete attention, which is exactly what I want in future, now and forever.

“You see, gay, I want lots of attention, just like you want lots of attention: isn’t that so? Why, we’ve got so much in common! But trouble is, I don’t have any talent or quality worthy of attention; people have started to notice that I am nothing but surface, and that I don’t care about anything except getting attention: maybe I’ve used a few too many of the people around me without any respect for their feelings… that’s probably why word is getting out. See, I told you we had lots in common!

“So here’s what we’re going to do, gay; you’re going to give me lots of attention, and in return I will give you lots and lots of nice shiny things to play with: a book with a nice shiny cover, a t-shirt with my name printed in diamante, lots of matching accessories and of course plenty of nice shiny cds with pictures of me in front of mirrored balls and rays of light, that kind of thing, so you can dance to my music, attracting lots more attention to yourselves; and just in case you run out of ideas about how to do that, I will provide hints and tips at my live concerts or in my music videos, which you can also buy on nice shiny DVDs.

“And I’m telling you this once and once only: you’d better damn well buy those nice shiny things. I mean all of them; after all, sometimes I will need to test your devotion- that’s perfectly normal in a long term relationship- by releasing a challenging record that does not look quite so shiny, with a picture of me wearing a black beret… but you still have to buy it and adore.

“Always remember, you’re just like me, little gay, so if word gets out that I’m a shallow worthless two-bit performer, just think what might happen; people might think exactly the same thing about you. We’re not shallow, are we? Why, I’ll even attend a few charity events from time to time, where there’ll be a lot of camera attention, so we can all believe that I do something worthwhile. And to put an end to this nonsense about how I’m meaningless and shallow, here’s what I suggest we do: lets think about life in terms no more complex than my lyrics. Don’t worry, I won’t ever say anything meaningful or use big words: after all, I wouldn’t want to distract you from having a good time. On your Gaydar profile, remember to use quotes like ‘Where’s the party? I want to free my soul’ and ‘Poor is the man whose pleasure depends on the permission of another’… and no, that’s not intended to justify date rape or paedophilia; stop that right now, you’re thinking too much!

“See, from now on, you’ll always have something to add to the conversation, and if you find yourself without anything interesting to discuss, why not talk about me? If ever you hear anyone say that all I do is keep changing my image, reply ‘So what? What’s wrong with that?’ After all, you like playing with your image as much as I do; that’s all we ever need to do… why, there’s no need to do anything except look fabulous and get lots and lots of attention! Don’t let anyone criticise what I do, because if they think what I do is boring, they might think you’re boring too!

“You see, gay, we have so much in common that I feel as if we already know each other. This is going to be the beginning of the kind of relationship we both get off on; anonymous, one sided and all about pleasure. I’ve got such a good feeling about this. Why, in years to come, when we’re all far too old to be doing this, we’ll still be doing it: I’ll release another album, and you’ll convince yourself that you’re forever young, and we can go on pretending together… until one of us dies.

“Because we’re never going to get bored of all this attention, are we? Look, we’re all dancing together and having a good time right now, aren’t we? Isn’t this fun? That’s right, gay; just keep buying those nice shiny things … after all, it’s all going to fall to pieces if the music stops.”

It had gone on and on for so long – it must’ve been a Shep Pettibone remix- that I feared the nightmare would never end. But at last, picking myself off the floor of the closet where I lay face down in a pool of sick, I wrenched this accursed album from the turnstile and flung it out the window, vowing never to listen to another.

Why, the arrogance of that evil demented woman, I declared! To imagine that gay men were so easily brainwashed, and that without making any acknowledgement of their support or putting any effort into her own lyrics, she might count on us buying her albums for decade after decade just because she keeps changing her image...

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