Thursday, April 03, 2003

LIKE A [PUBLIC SPEAKING] VIRGIN: Madonna gave an interview to Launch about the whole American Life video and record before she pulled it. We suspect you can see the realisation she's painted herself into a corner dawning across the meaningless babble Launch have struggled to turn into some sort of coherent sentences:
"Well, I think the war that's going on in Iraq right now is affecting everything. I think everyone is glued to their television, nobody knows what's going on, everybody's scared. I don't think that people are as concerned as they usually are consumed as they are being entertained or distracted, you know what I mean? And that's kind of what the video is about, 'cause it starts out with the ultimate distraction, a fashion show, catwalk, beautiful people, perfect male, female six-foot Amazon Uber people. As a society we've become obsessed with obtaining that image or aspiring to it. But I needed that as juxtaposition to what's really happening in the world... If it's not the war in Iraq, it's any number of wars that are going on at any given time. And that dichotomy the paradox that's going on in our lives right now, 'cause on the one hand life has become so convenient for everyone. The technological advances that we've made have made everything, time, space, and motion collapse and disappear. But on the other hand there's never been more chaos in the world, and the video is like, 'Oh, ok, this is happening, what are we going to do about it?' And the video is question that I pose to everyone. And, do I think, I think in a way everything is happening perfectly? And it's synonymous, there's a poetry to it, I mean I was planning this video and the concept last November and I didn't know we were going to where we are right now at the time of the release of my album."
Right... I mean, where do you start? Motion has disappeared forever? Time and space has collapsed? Surely that would have been on the news, wouldn't it? Although maybe it was on the Six O'clock and six just never arrived. And you have to feel sorry for poor ole Madge - who could have predicted back in November 2002 that we'd be at war with Iraq now? And we just don't know what "I don't think that people are as concerned as they usually are consumed as they are being entertained" means, much less how people can be simultaneously scared and affected and unconcerned, which is what she seems to be saying. And you could argue that a fashion catwalk isn't in any way an ironic juxtaposition with War in Iraq - both are about people putting on a front and having someone dictate what the ideal of beauty/government/democracy should be, usually a person who doesn't live up to those ideals themselves - but I think that would be to suggest that some thought may have been put into the idea rather than just "Wouldn't it be funny if..."
I suspect the video was withdrawn because Madonna feared she might be asked to explain what the thinking was behind it, and she doesn't actually have an answer.She's not worried about upsetting the troops; she's worried about exposing her lame creative impulse.

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