Yes, Officer, I am under the influence.
Of the following:
Two cups, Bigelow's peppermint tea, probably four full teaspoons white sugar.
Two fat Stauf's porcelain cups, moka java coffee, ten packets (at least) brown raw sugar.
One 12-oz.can Mountain Dew.
Two king-size Reese's Cups.
Madonna's 1989 hit, 'Express Yourself" which she performed at the Women's March last Saturday.
Becalmed, I am ready to start my column.
Having finished consuming caffeine, chocolate and sugar only a few minutes ago, Express Yourself has been mentally greeting me every morning since last Saturday. And why not? It's a really good, maybe even great '80s Madonna pop song, catchy as a cold on a rainy day and way more enjoyable. The chorus flows, the messages are good. Hey, I was an '80s feminist once upon a time!
Do you believe in love?
Come on, girls!
I've got something to sing about
and it goes something like this...
Girls didn't just wanna have fun. Oh they used to. But by 1989 Madonna the cunning pagan pop-monger knew biddies were growing up. They wanted love. Top flight love. No second-best romance and none of the horseshit that comes along with it. As teens they were material girls.
But that was sooo mid-'80s.
As young women, materialism was a poor substitute for a man who spoke his heart for real and made you feel. Madonna, to her credit, wrote a pretty damn good little manifesto in mostly mono-syllabic form anyone with or without a weiner or a garage to park it in could understand.
Lord, where have all the good Madonna songs gone--and the fleshy, voluptuous, unashamedly ethnic and hot thang that wrote and sang 'em?
Dressed like a buccaneer root beer float--red pants tucked into black boots, her icy waxen face framed by the huge fur collar of her black winter coat, she lacking only a skull-and-crossbones black eye-patch--the 58-year-old Madonna inaugurated a new yet very old Madonna.
A pathetic one--stylistically, culturally, politically, visually.
She woodenly read a few cliched lines about the new Trump Dark Age For Chicks, dropping f-bombs like pigeons letting go over Washington Park. She spoke of how marginalized groovy people born penis-less and minus traditional Scots-Irish pedigreed pigmentation would essentially be fodder for the new “tyranny,” victimhood bar code for “sold like so many hamsters at Petco for a handful of filthy lucre.”
A few f-bombs later and a verbalized revenge fantasy of bomb violence perpetrated on the White House presumably cleared of the non-angry-white-male-staff, she and her amplified acoustic guitarist strummed an un-scandalized live version of Express Yourself.
Don't go for second best, baby
put your love to the test
(you know you know)
make him express how he feels
and maybe then you'll know
your love is real
It worked--for the most part. Oh of course the public discourse on how bad the most privileged female group in the world has it--middle-class American white women who predominated the march--was a calculated Madonna career move. Hey, I was born woman, hear me bitch: I'm oppressed because I have second-best genitalia--a vagina. That shit sells and the public is buying.
Still, the song's so well-written it rescued her 14 minutes onstage and one realized--she was a great pop star. The tune after all is a classic of gender equality and female empowerment, perfectly written with a perfectly timed release in her career, hailing Madonna Real Woman, or so one could be forgiven for thinking.
I did think her dancing looked a little out of place Saturday. Reminded me of my ex's daughters putting on their own dance show to the Spice Girls when they were nine-years-old--adorable and hilarious they were. Madonna at 58 years and ageing gracelessly classless? Not so much.
She said a few more stupid things and by pre-arrangement no doubt, a small sea of pink placards of female pop star portraits sprang up like a George Soros-orchestrated pep rally which of course the march clearly was. About as spontaneous as a Hillary debate script.
Looking at her was hard--botox, botox everywhere. In trying to stop time, she has preserved her face as it never was in an unnatural modern amber. Subtly, inexorably you realize how slightly weird and ultimately grotesque she now looks. An AARP lifelessness exudes.
Insult to injury, somehow she's ended up with a Soros schnozz, her skin preternaturally unwrinkled, her balloon face a mask about to explode like an over-inflated Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade float. As an amateur astronomer, I liken her career to the intriguing yet puzzling gas giants in the solar system. She started out pop life so different and original only to end up grotesque, horrifying even. This gas giant is imploding as she ages.
I'm not the only one who thinks so. Maverick feminist Camile Paglia recently wrote of Madonna's idiotic speech in December at the Billboard Women In Music event ("I stand before you a doormat....having survived blatant misogyny, sexism, constant bullying and relentless abuse") where she won Woman of the Year Award. Paglia, who championed Madonna early on ("Madonna broke the power of the Stalinist puritans of old-guard feminism"), took her former idol to task:
"It is truly tragic to see Madonna descend into embarrassing displays of maudlin self-pity and irrational accusations against others. She is turning into a horrifying combination of delusional, vampiric Norma Desmond and bitter Joan Crawford on the bottle."
Her fabulously weird appearance and performance the day after Trump's inauguration was predictable judging by her fashion state at the Museum of Modern Art's Gala in 2015. She wore a breast and buttock-baring Givenchy outfit with black duct tape on her boobs. Frightening? Si, da, oui, jawhol--she could've been the twin sister to Blackie Lawless of '80s cliche-stocked Texas loser shock rock band, W.A.S.P.
But that's how far we've fallen as a culture: Bush begat Obama who begat Trump who begat pussyhats, civil war by meme and a Left trying to out-crude our new president. I really don't think Trump and Madonna are on very dissimilar levels: would a no-holds-barred mud wrestling match between them be that unthinkable. We're already there figuratively.
Still, her song is in my head and it will obviously outlive us all (btw, I did take a Snicker's break while writing this). At least she didn't pull a Mariah Carey and blow it lip-synching-wise at the march. Hey, Maybe Mariah can referee the mudfight? As long as she doesn't somehow blow blowing a ref's whistle.