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?) Continue Reading →