Madonna, now almost 50, really is the celebrity act that keeps on going, and still has lots of cred for some reason.
History has established two fates for pop icons:. Kurt Cobain chose the first fate, while Britney Spears is embracing the second. Since Madonna never seemed like the found-dead-in-a-hotel-room type, a reasonable person might have assumed that, by now, she’d be well into her quaaludes-and-peanut-butter stage. But no. She has, through the potent voodoo of fierce will and unlimited resources, kept herself exceptionally well preserved, albeit in an asexual-android kind of way. And she continues to understand she’s only as good as her collaborators, whether on her records (Stephen Bray, William Orbit) or in her latest “scandal,” which, despite hobbling two real-life marriages, still has the whiff of a publicity coup.So if her creative output has diminished, her true skills remain world-class. Remember when she kissed Britney at the MTV Video Music Awards? The calculated “shocker” that left you both slightly embarrassed and truly impressed? All you could do was sit back and mutter, “Well played, Madonna. Well played.” Now, in A-Rod, she’s claimed another victim with her hyperbaric cougar charms. She’s proved not to be a publicity whore so much as publicity’s madam. And there’s always another ingenue to tongue, another orphan to champion, another athlete to bed. Flash forward a thousand years, and there Madonna will be, among the rubble, immortal, and shtupping Wall-E. And whatever’s left of humanity will no doubt still be watching and thinking, Well played, Madonna. Again.
I remember Madonna’s emergence in the mid-1980s and thought at the time that she would be over with quickly; her shtick wouldn’t last. Well, it didn’t but rather kept evolving –successfully. And I have a feeling it was all her doing. Say what you will about her, she’s always been smart about her career.