Monday, April 07, 2008

Madonna: Don't you wish she was fighting for your continent, too?

It would be one thing if Madonna had simply used her Vanity Fair interview to suggest that there was some sort of parity between Britney Spears' personal life and the lives of Africans.

Instead, Madonna also gave us a glimpse of how she views the continent:

“When you think about the way people treat each other in Africa, about witchcraft and people inflicting cruelty and pain on each other, then come back here and, you know, people taking pictures of people when they’re in their homes, being taken to hospitals, or suffering, and selling them, getting energy from them, that’s a terrible infliction of cruelty. So who’s worse off? You know what I mean?”

Madonna, did you just say that "people treat each other in Africa" with "witchcraft" and "inflict[ing] pain on each other"? Do you really picture the continent in those terms?

A continent of withcraft and cruelty. It makes you a little nervous that someone who can paint such a view of a place is involved in trying to push her religion into one of the nations there.


5 comments:

Olive said...

A woman who puts her faith in magic string has some gall to talk about witchcraft.

Gerald said...

Whomever said the Kabbalah strings were 'magical'? As a matter of fact, there is widespread witchcraft and cruelty found in many parts of Africa, mostly more rural areas. Google it. The author of this article and 'olive' both seem rather hypocritical and clearly don't get the comparison Madonna made between Britney, cruelty and chaos; Madonna is throwing a spot light on this chaos - and by introducing Kabbalah she is providing people with a different point of view of their own world - a view that may herald better solutions to problems for those living within that part of the world.
How much can any of us say we do to help any of those people live a better life?

duckie said...

@gerald
The Kabbalah Centre describes it thus: "The Red String protects us from the influences of the Evil Eye. Evil eye is a very powerful negative force. It refers to the unfriendly stare and unkind glances we sometimes get from people around us."

Funnily enough, in witchcraft, witches are often thought to possess an 'evil eye'. I hope that makes the comparison a bit clearer for you.

simon h b said...

@gerald
The strings - and, indeed, the overpriced water - are claimed to have mystical properties. Of course, the strings aren't magical at all, unless of course you count their wonderful ability to part people from their money in large sums.

Yes, there are terrible things that happen in Africa - but that is not the only story to be told about Africa; the presentation of an entire continent as a basket-case full of violence and "witchdoctors" has long been a convenient myth used by those in the West to excuse enforced conversions of people to their religion, the taking of land, the taking of people, the blind eye turned to poverty. There are 888 million people living in Africa. To dismiss them all as living lives of "witchcraft and cruelty" is deeply insulting. You might want to "Google it" yourself.

I don't know exactly what your charge of hypocrisy was meant to refer to - and, yes, I did understand the hideously patronising and assumptive suggestion that Britney's terrible personal life was, perhaps, similar to some of the suffering that has been caused in the worst excesses in some parts of Africa in recent years. I thought it probably best not to look too closely at it because if you really think that a brief period of attention from TMZ is every bit as bad as, say, the people who have endured life in Darfur, you really need to start lecturing a little less, and reading a little more.

Laura Brown said...

“When you think about the way people treat each other in Africa, about witchcraft and people inflicting cruelty and pain on each other, then come back here and, you know, people taking pictures of people when they’re in their homes, being taken to hospitals, or suffering, and selling them, getting energy from them, that’s a terrible infliction of cruelty. So who’s worse off? You know what I mean?”

Wow. I bet René Girard wishes he'd never bothered to pick up a pen now.

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