Madonna, The Spectacle, Part I: shock and … er …

 So Husband and I went to see Madonna at her first-ever performance in the Gulf region.  She played Abu Dhabi for two nights; the second stop on her world tour. Her first stop? Tel Aviv.

And yes, the Israeli-Arabic connection was deliberate on her part: she told her Israeli audience that they can’t be her fans if they don’t work for peace, in the Middle East and in the world.  She didn’t say that in Abu Dhabi, maybe because she realized there were very few Arabs in the audience. Or maybe there were Emiratis in the audience, secreted up in the skyboxes behind smoked glass, where they were shielded from the beer-drinking, skin-baring expat audience “sitting” (read: standing) in the general admission sections.

When Husband and I stopped at the t-shirt stall, I was looking for a shirt that said “I am here ironically,” but can you believe it, they didn’t have one.

The booth was sold out of the only shirt that was specific to Abu Dhabi, which a person might want for the curiosity factor.  A person probably wouldn’t want the shirt in this picture because one might not want Madonna’s perfect face stretched across one’s less-than-perfect torso. Spreading her mug across one’s muffintop seems wrong, somehow, like wearing Louboutins to pick up the kids at school.

But here’s the thing about the t-shirt: Madge, god bless her, is about 53 years old. She’s almost eligible for those early enrollment AARP cards. At 53, she can totally pull off the powerful, beautiful, Dietrich-esque look of the face in this image. But the ingenue-ish finger crooked in the corner of her mouth, as if to say “who me, sexy?” And the bed-head hair, tousled just so? Does she (or whomever took this picture) really think her faux-sexy-innocence is pushing some kind of envelope?  (And…er…did no one dare suggest to Her Madgesty that her pose here seems way more reminiscent of Mike Myers doing Dr. Evil than it is of Innocent Schoolgirl?)

I’ve never been to a Madonna concert before – or rather, a Madonna show, a Madonna spectacle. So much to look at: Catholic iconography, half-naked men, ginormous video screens that frequently featured Madonna’s ginormous face, guns, drums, cheerleaders, choirboys, men in gas masks…And while I appreciated the spectacular-ness of the spectacle, I got spectacled-out. Too much to look at, too much happening, and none of it adding up to much more than: Madonna wants us to know that she still kicks ass.

And she does kick ass, I guess, or kind of. I mean, good lord, the woman could snap me in two like a twig; she’s strong as hell and can dance like a sumbitch. She takes Gloria Steinem’s comment about Ginger Rogers – that she did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards and in high heels – and raises the bar about eight inches, the height of her heels through most of her numbers.  Sixty seconds of one of her routines would leave most of us ordinary mortals on the floor screaming for mercy.

So okay, Madge, we get it. You’re one tough cookie. But does that mean you have to stride out after your opening number – in which the video screens show stained glass windows shattering, crosses crumbling, and so forth – and say “Hellooooo Abu Dhabi!” while toting a submachine jauntily over one shoulder?  Didn’t you do all that anti-Catholic stuff with “Like a Prayer” and the gun stuff in “American Life?” Plus that, it seems pretty clear that really the opening line was “Hellooo insert city name here” – we could’ve been in any sweaty outdoor performance venue, really. Inside the arena Madonna and her crew had created an entirely secular space: I saw more exposed flesh last night in the audience of the show than I’ve seen in ten months of living in Abu Dhabi.

But.

But we are in the Middle East, which as Madge herself said at the show in Tel Aviv, has been the site of bloody conflicts for generations. So the spectacle that accompanied her new song “Gang Bang” became really disturbing – but not disturbing in an “oh wow that’s really edgy and daring” sort of way but in an “oh good lord woman really?” sort of way. The chorus of the song is “bang bang shot you dead shot my lover in the head bang bang shot you dead now i have no regret.”  Accompanying these lines were scenes of Madge being attacked by masked intruders and shooting them in the head with a revolver while blood splattered and drooled across the video screens behind her. Over and over and over.  She shot her lovers very athletically; there was lots of dancing and writhing, but then: bang bang, and bang bang, and bang bang. And blood, blood, blood.

Okay so, yeah, transgressive violence, yeah yeah, women taking power into their own hands, hooray hooray, but really? Empowerment in the shape of a rifle? Especially in this part of the world where armed violence has caused such profound damage…that is the opening she chose for a concert that is supposed to promote peace?  Madonna-philes would say that contradictions like these (Dietrich & ingenue; peace & violence) are the source of Madonna’s continued attraction, and maybe that’s right.

Or you could say that once you’ve done “Vogue,” and “Express Yourself,” and “Truth or Dare,” and on and on…you’ve used up your shock value; you’ve used up the power of disconcerting juxtapositions. The entire show felt a bit like watching a live-action music video and left me with perhaps the most disconcerting Madonna emotion of all:

I was bored.

For Part II about the Madonna show – Madge, Gaga, and… Dolly? – click here

yeah write #61 challenge grid is open! click through and read what other opinionated writers have to say about life and the world, then come back on Thursday and vote for your favorites!

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72 Responses to Madonna, The Spectacle, Part I: shock and … er …

  1. Husband June 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Correction: she is eligible for one of the early AARP cards.

    I know, because I keep getting mailings from them, and I’m younger than she is.

    • Deborah Quinn June 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      You are indeed the proverbial spring chicken, at least until your next birthday. Madge on the other hand is starting to look like a rather bony hen.

  2. Matty June 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Is there a (populated) part of the world where armed violence hasn’t caused profound damage?

    • Deborah Quinn June 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      well, true. what I *meant* to say is something about the level of ongoing violence in this section of the world – Syria, Libya, Israel, Palestine, all of it – making her decision to fling guns around like party toys rather tasteless. Not that Madge has ever been worried about “taste.” But to call for “world peace” as she did in Tel Aviv and then immediately go into a number that features gunpoint executions and bubbling puddles of blood? Meh.

      • Emily June 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

        Yes! That’s the thing that gets me, saying you can’t be her fan unless you’re working toward peace and then glorifying violence as a conduit to female empowerment. It’s just — icky-feeling.

        • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 9:00 am #

          That’s always been a problem I have with Madge – and others, too – female empowerment does NOT mean that you get to smash heads just like the boys. Or maybe it does, but it shouldn’t. I wonder if she sees the disconnect between what she’s saying and what she’s doing. I doubt it.

  3. Ado June 6, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    What an interesting show to see in Abu Dhabi, wow. I’ve never been to a Madge concert either. I loved your description of it, felt like I was there.
    Re. her trying to maintain her youth and shout from the rooftops that she kicks ass – I’m totally in the peanut gallery here but despite everyone tsk’ing about her clamoring after her youth etc. – I’m kind of happy she can still get out there and kick some ass. Reminds me that age is just a number. I know it’s a bit in-your-face (esp. that machine gun toting number) but since I grew up listening to her, I’m kind of paying attention to when she throws in the towel. I kind of hope it’s never. Is that terrible?! (-;

    • Deborah Quinn June 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      It was a strange experience on every possible level, actually, and I’m glad to have seen it/her – here. I know what you mean about wanting her to continue to work it up there on stage – but now it looks so self-conscious, the “working it” – and I’m wondering if there are other ways she can challenge boundaries, push envelopes, without such self-consciousness: “woohoo look at ME i’m being all taboo-breaking” So I don’t want her to throw in the towel; I’d like her to think about a different towel to throw. Does that make sense? maybe it’s not possible. I dunno. I’m sure Madge has people to help her think it through!

      • Ado June 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

        Here’s my question: are we reacting to Madonna overtly “working it” or…has she always been herself and “working it” and are we now responding to her differently via our own biased lenses of what it means to be 50, and now judging her differently because she is aging? It is such an interesting topic.

        • Deborah Quinn June 8, 2012 at 9:57 am #

          SUCH a good question. I do think she’s always been working it, selling “it” (whatever “it” is: sex, taboo-breaking…) and yes, probably I am seeing her now through my own aging eyes (need bifocals to read the fine print on my concert ticket!) … but there’s also this sense that she’s still selling the same product and I wonder if maybe she could find another thing to sell. Like Dolly…who is still all with the spangles, but has moved to bluegrass & etc. But yes, I do definitely think that reactions to Madge have shifted because of people’s ideas about what a fifty-plus woman “should” do…and I do in part admire her refusal to go gently into the good night, as it were.

          • Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms June 14, 2012 at 7:29 am #

            Oh, loved this discussion because I was basically thinking the same thing, Is it us or is it her? Ellen

  4. Dick Horwich June 7, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    Simply the best thing I’ve ever read about Madonna. (And actually, not so simple.)

    btw, am I the only person reading this blog who’s older than she is?

    • Deborah Quinn June 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      no, because you’re only 49. there are lurkers out there (I know who you are, people!) who are older than Madonna (OTM) and even (gasp) older than YOU.

      • Alexandra June 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

        Holy cow, what a review, woman.

        Can you send this in somewhere? Seriously.

        There has to be an online music site…b/c this right here is serious

        Absolutely punch to the gut yeah I said it words.

        • Deborah Quinn June 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

          well gosh. thanks. i’ve been struck by the relative LACK of press that Ms M is getting for this show – and she’s trying so hard to shock-and-awe us. I wonder sometimes what it’s like to be inside Madonna, to live in that world. Wild. If you have any online music site advice (or those teenagers of yours have any ideas), I’m all ears : )

        • Shosh M June 14, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

          You must send this out! I agree. She has become a joke of a joke of a joke…lest we not forget, she also played Evita and never really understood why some people didn’t particularly like her. She is another example of a celebrity that spews their “intelligent ideas about the world” but really has no ideas what she’s talking about. It’s almost like Jane Fonda with the Vietcong…almost

          • Deborah Quinn June 15, 2012 at 11:35 am #

            Celebs speaking out – it’s tricky, I think. Because on the one hand, if they use their spotlight to bring out some problem in the world (like Lady Diana w/landmines, or Matt Damon and clean water, or even freaking Angelina Jolie and refugees)…is that bad? No, they might not be terribly knowledgeable, but isn’t saying SOMETHING better than, say, creating another tacky clothes line, ala the Kardashians? And then on the other hand, of course, is the fact that so often celebs get things wrong, shine the light in the wrong direction, or are so wrapped in their own cocoons that they don’t really experience or understand what they’re talking about.

  5. Alison@Mama Wants This June 12, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    I’m kinda over Madge.

    Which is sad, because I used to think she was real kick ass. Sigh.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      I know. I loved “Vogue” and all that stuff…and while I want any woman to have the right to march around in short skirts and high heels and whatever whatever, I think that Madge is gonna have to figure out how to move into another phase…because she’s starting to just look silly, frankly. I wonder if she knows that?

  6. Mayor Gia June 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Hmm…interesting. I mean, she can still kick ass, but at a certain point its like…I get it. You want attention. Got it. The cheerleading thing last year was just too much for me.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      I know. Cheerleaders? And those poor drummers who are literally suspended from the rafters playing their damn drum for almost a half hour. That’s just gotta chafe.

  7. Carrie June 12, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Oh Wow. My best friend right now is living in Lebanon and the battle is spilling over the border from Syria. Her and the family are looking to get out and come back here if they can scrape the money together. (My friend is Canadian and married into her Lebanon family. She moved down there a few months ago to help her ailing father-in-law while her husband remained in Canada to send money to them. She has two boys under the age of three with her) So I’m a little worried for her to say the least.

    So I guess this Madonna spectacle just kind of pisses me off. What a stupid way to promote peace (really a concert) and a ironically bloody one at that…

    Comeon!

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:49 am #

      Good luck to your friend. Syria is a scary place right now and threatens to unsettle places that have been precariously “all right” for a while…I want to believe that Madge means well, and that her heart is in the right place. But the show seems so canned, so ready-made, that it’s hard to see her good message among the videos of violence. There’s something deeply cynical, I think, in using violence for shock value – and even more cynical, in a sense, because it WASN’T shock – more of “oh there goes Madonna again…”

  8. Kim at Mama Mzungu June 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    This might be cynical, but I think willfully playing wtih Dietrich & ingenue; peace & violence contradictions might be giving her too much credit – though I remember college courses being taught about her in the 80s/90s, so maybe there is something deep behind all this. Anyway, spectacle and shock will always sell tickets, and, hell, for the price they go for, I might just be expecting something at least worthy of blog fodder. But this was a terrific post!! Felt like I was there laughing and mocking along with you. Love your observations!!

    Final point – I’m going to get tomatoes thrown at me for this, but i kind of hate it when women “of a certain age” (which I am rapidly becoming myself) fashion themselves into 20 year old sex bombs. Doesn’t that just feed into the over-celebration of youth and beauty? Can’t an aging pop star own their age gracefully? I know, good for her for “kicking some on stage ass” but that t-shirt is just plain wrong!

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:56 am #

      Madge is complicated and has given me a lot to think about, even if her show was dull. I want to be able to be a sexy momma into my old age (which is rapidly approaching, hello fifty!) but then again, I’ve never really BEEN a sexy mamma, so gonna have to work on that. But even as I admire her fitness and her athleticism, it’s NOT sexy (was it ever? that’s another question). But that’s precisely the question facing her, isn’t it? Where do you go when what you’ve “sold” all your life is your taboo-busting image…and then there aren’t really any taboos left to break? Maybe she would say that by not hiding the number of her age, she is challenging youth & beauty conventions, but I dunno…she seems pretty invested in being a hottie and competing with the young hotties on their own turf. Hmm.

  9. Kenja Purkey June 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Wow, great post. I am disappointed. I guess I thought that Madge would be a bit beyond that by now? And here she has this great venue to say something that could be thought-provoking and she just wastes it? Grow up, Madonna.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

      You raise an interesting question: how does someone like Madonna go “beyond,” given that she’s spent her entire career going beyond? Can you go beyonder than beyond?

  10. Delilah June 12, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    I used to be a huge Madge fan but she’s kind of lost her sparkly, shiny appeal for me in recent years.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

      She does really really want to be sparkly and shiny…It’s almost as if, even as she’s being all in-your-face she’s also saying “please like me?” It’s kind of sad, if someone that rich & that indulged can be sad…?

  11. Vivian June 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Lovely post and great critique. I have always been impressed with Madonna’s ability to recreate herself through the decades. I went to a show a while back (not a music concert), and it was way to busy I could not keep up with everything that was happening, I also got a bit bored. It seems that too much is too much.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

      there is a LOT going on, isn’t there? dancing! music! sex! video! costumes! kind of overwhelming. I admire the ambition and her ability to call her own shots but ultimately…doesn’t seem like anyone is having any fun.

  12. Your Doctor's Wife June 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    I stood in line for days to get tickets to her “Vogue” concert back in the late eighties/early nineties…I can’t even remember the year anymore. It was a production! However, I think she’s lost her appeal over the last several years.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      Loved that Vogue, I have to say. Still does make me want to dance when I hear it…as do some of the other tunes. It’s definitely the music of my youth, so I can’t hate it – but then again…it seems like she’s still making the same music.

  13. julie gardner June 13, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    You had me at “shock and…er.”

    So now of course I have to read Part II.

    Which I’m imagining will be even better than being at the concert if Part I is any indication.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      well…part II has Dolly in it, and anything with Dolly is usually pretty good : )

  14. Kristin June 13, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    I was too cool to go to a Madonna concert in high school – but I secretly wanted to. Which goes to show how uncool I really was since I let peer pressure dictate my concert schedule!

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      ah, you should’ve gone! Madge was totally designed for the teen-age girl!

  15. Vanessa June 13, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    I’ve always wondered why I found Madonna a tad boring. Reading your post I have to agree it’s probably because everything she does appears to be in the name of publicity.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      What’s that old saying, that it doesn’t matter what they say about you as long as they spell your name right? Something like that – she wants us to NOTICE! But oy, it’s always for the same thing…

  16. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd June 13, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    I loved Madonna when I was a kid. I was even a member of her fan club. I’m still a big fan but I agree that she’s crossed into this realm of trying to prove something, or trying to be too much at once. I thought she did a great job at the Super Bowl, but when that incredibly cheesy “World Peace” lit up on the field after a nice self-indulgent set, it set my eyes rolling.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      I think probably she means it – that she wants to be a Force For Good in the world (adoption, kabbalah, starting the tour in israel) – but somehow b/c of her whole persona, it all comes across as vaguely shallow. I can’t figure out how “world peace” goes with “bang bang shot my lover in the head.” Am I missing something??

  17. Christie Tate June 13, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    Holy schmoly, how did she get to be 53? I went to a tour of hers in 1989 and it was totally bitchin, but that was a long time ago. I love your analysis. And this is why I love blogs: How the ef would I ever know zip about madonna in the arab world without you? I wouldn’t. This is so cool.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

      See? that’s the interwebs for you! we’re all bringing the world to one another’s fingertips/mouseclicks. IN 1989 I bet Madge’s concert rocked it…I just wish that her concert here & now hadn’t felt quite so much like she was trying to recapture that moment however long ago it was… I still love some of those tunes but I’ve changed. I guess the question is whether she should’ve changed. I mean, is anyone telling MIck Jagger to stop prancing the eff around the stage? I doubt it.

  18. Write Rinse Repeat June 13, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    “did no one dare suggest to Her Madgesty that her pose here seems way more reminiscent of Mike Myers doing Dr. Evil than it is of Innocent Schoolgirl?”

    Ahhh! Thank you for this!!

  19. Adrienne June 13, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    The irony of her performance to too much. Loved your writing, as always!

    • Adrienne June 13, 2012 at 7:48 am #

      *is too much

      I should really go to bed!

  20. Susie Newday June 13, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    I live in Israel, so I do appreciate the fact that she made it a point to start her tour in Tel Aviv. I do believe you need to show sensitivity to the country you are in. And as a mother to two soldiers, I wish all weapons would just be rendered useless and obsolete.

    I do want some of her stamina though.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

      I appreciate that she started in Israel too, and I believe that she really does want to be a good energy in the world – the logistics of going from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi must have been daunting, to say the least. And yet, then there’s that whole “bang bang shot my lover in the head” imagery. How does that square with her “vision?” That’s my question.
      But yeah, I’d like some of her stamina…not to mention some of her abs, her bicebs, her quads…holy crap that woman is in good shape. Her discipline must be ferocious. Sheesh. Why shoot your lover in the head when you could just pick him up in your bare hands and shake him till he cries? She totally could, too. : )

  21. thedoseofreality June 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    I was pretty much done with her after the Super Bowl. Just because you technically can does not mean you should. This is so well written.

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      EXACTLY. She can do it, and she does do it, and she’s pretty damn good at it. But really? Of course, what the hell else is she going to do? I mean, what should be Madonna’s second act? Or third act? How do you follow up from being “Madonna?”

  22. erin margolin June 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Ah, this makes me sad because I love Madonna. I don’t love everything about her, but I do have tickets to her concert here in October…and I read her book, The English Roses, to my daughters last night. I don’t love the t-shirt and I didn’t like her cheerleader Superbowl gig, either…but I guess there’s a part of me that grew up with her and I love her music…

    But I agree sometimes she’s just…too much. Trying too much. Trying too hard…

    • Deborah Quinn June 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

      Yep. She’s the music of my youth, absolutely. And her music still makes me dance around … but yes, exactly. She’s just trying too damn hard for us all to LIKE HER. Or admire her, or something… I’ll be interested to know how you like the show in October – and whether she’s changed anything…

      • Salle December 2, 2012 at 1:33 am #

        OMG – I stumbled over her from Shell’s place – Things I Can’t Say. What the bdoloy h$% is this? When did Madonna start looking like a corpse? This makes me sad because I remember her being my first “she-crush” ever and wanting to be like her with her cool ass moves after “borderline.”damn she looks like crap.Kiran

        • Deborah Quinn December 5, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

          Thanks for stopping by! Madonna…corpse in a cheerleader’s outfit, yes, ‘fraid so. She was so cool & it does seem like she can’t figure out a way to be cool in any other way…sort of sad, actually.

  23. heidi June 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    I was at a Madonna concert, show, spectacle a few years ago and I loved it. There were no guns, no cheerleader uniforms or pom-pom shaking. Just some jump-rope craziness and serious dancing…and a few crosses, but you expect the crosses. The cross is as much a part of Madge as the church now. I’ve never cared for them. I always felt like she was trying to hard with that stuff. Like, I get it, I get it….you’re trying to make a STATEMENT.
    You’re right – it can all be too much.
    I think sometimes her statements have become a cliche. I wonder if that’s what she’s done here with this particular show.
    Great, great post.

    • Deborah Quinn June 15, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      Right – I expected the crosses, no problem, but it was the other stuff – and then the slowly dawning realization that I’d seen it all before, in videos and so forth. I wonder what she’s going to do next…I bet she’s worried about that same question, too.

  24. Cindy ~ The Reedster Speaks June 13, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Oh Madge, I will always love you so, but most of your fans still love you from the rubber braceleted “Borderline” era anyway, so maybe just, you know, getting back into the groove would be enough? Even if you did it ironically? I do believe she hath jumped the shark. Great post.

    • Deborah Quinn June 15, 2012 at 11:27 am #

      My sister had those bracelets right up to her elbows. I wonder if her concerts will become like the Rolling Stones concerts: greatest hits, everyone sings and dances…I know it’s not “cutting edge” but on the other hand, what she’s doing now ain’t so much cutting edge either. Jumped the shark, indeed. In a mini-skirt and high heels.

  25. Shannon June 14, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    I enjoyed reading this. I guess the key to “aging gracefully” is that you actually have to age. You don’t have to go grey or wear polyester pants, but you have to be open to maturing. Madonna seems to be one of those people who believe that if they refuse to mature, they won’t get old. I’ve always suspected that behind her relentless ambition and drive lies a feeling of unworthiness. Still, I do think she is a genius and I’ll always be a fan. Lucky you for getting to see her in Abu Dhabi – what a unique experience.

    • Deborah Quinn June 15, 2012 at 11:30 am #

      It seems possible she’s a genius – she’s certainly really, really good at knowing how to position herself at the front edge of taboo-breaking behaviors. And she opened the doors for all these other younger singers (although I wish sometimes she hadn’t!) … but she totally owes it to Dolly P., regardless. I’m thinking yes, there’s a sense in Madge that she’s NOT worthy, so she must always be in the limelight, in order to avoid having to spend time gazing internally and being introspective… I’m really glad we went, actually; her show has given me a lot to think about, even if I didn’t necessarily think it was the best show I’ve ever seen…

  26. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms June 14, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    I was hoping you would write about the concert when I read your comment on our blog. So just to share with your readers, THEY HAD FROZEN TOWELS to beat the heat.

    I loved your t-shirt wish “I’m here ironically.” And I loved your kick ass review. You can get to the pith of anything. But I think y’all were slighted, she showed her nipple in Turkey. Ellen

    • Deborah Quinn June 15, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      when I saw that Turks got Madge boob, I thought about asking the concert promoters here for my money back. A boobless show? phtooey.

  27. Jay- The Dude of the House June 14, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    “she told her Israeli audience that they can’t be her fans if they don’t work for peace, in the Middle East and in the world. ”

    …or unless they cough up a couple hundred bucks to see her wrinkled face belt out a few hits.

    She could have joined AARP 3 years ago, except for one small issue. AARP is the American Association of Retired People and despite the fact that she is from Detroit, she poses as a Brit most of the time now.

    • Deborah Quinn June 15, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      Funny! To join AARP would be to concede that A) she’s american; B) she’s aging …and then I’m also thinking that probably she doesn’t need that whole discount thing that goes along with the membership, does she?

  28. Michelle Longo June 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    I’ve often said (and twice in Yeah Write comments this week!) that just because you *can* doesn’t mean you *should* do XYZ. Madonna was an icon – she set the stage, so to speak, for many artists. It’s time for her to hang up her point bra or rifle or whatever it is she uses to stand out. I don’t really know, I don’t pay attention to her anymore. I enjoyed your perspective on this concert!

  29. anna June 15, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    madonna can do no wrong. no matter what you say i wish i was there to see it, whatever it is or may have aged (not so gracefully) into.

    • Deborah Quinn June 15, 2012 at 11:36 am #

      AHA! You’re a madge-ophile! funny funny funny. I’m glad we went to the show; it’s given me a lot to think about – not just about celebrity culture but also my own thinking about aging (gracefully or not)…I mean, when *I* look in the mirror I’m still 29. I have NO IDEA who that woman is in the mirror looking back at me.

  30. Jackie June 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    I personally would like to see that audience for this spectacle. What was going on in those little mirrored booths?
    I find Madge to be a be question mark, and frankly if we aren’t digging what she’s doing now, she’ll change it up in a year or two.

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    • Deborah Quinn January 17, 2013 at 8:37 am #

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