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segunda-feira, fevereiro 13, 2012

"Nietzschean creative woman"...!

"Having had the chance to interview her, I get from the start why one's fallback position can so easily be "hating Madonna". By 10am, the day of our meeting, my daughter had suggested that I change out of my boring trousers into something trendier; my partner, once I was in a dress, suggested film people were more casual; and my mom, who hadn't worried about this stuff since I was 14, called to remind me to brush the back of my hair.

Before I had even left the house, I looked hopelessly uncool.
Since Madonna is positioned as always "cooler than thou", we all are primed for schadenfreude if something in her fabulous life goes amiss. But I found when I met her that I respected her – and I respect her film.

Is Madonna a self-absorbed megalomaniac with a touch of the arriviste? Probably; but so are dozens of equally brilliant male artists in other mediums, whose imperfect but worthwhile new efforts are treated with hushed awe (see the reverence accorded the solemn and often tedious Tom Ford film, A Single Man). The reliable media theme of "Hating Madonna", whenever she steps out of her pretty-girl-pop-music bandwidth, is so consistent that it deserves scrutiny in its own right.

Why can the press just not wait to hate Madonna at these moments?
Because she must be punished, for the same reason that every woman who steps out of line must be punished. Madonna is infuriating to the mainstream commentariat when she dares to extend her range because she is acting in the same way a serious, important male artist acts. (And seizing the director's chair, that icon of phallic assertiveness, is provocative as hell.) She is taking for granted that she is allowed to stretch. This is intolerable, because Madonna has not done the sorts of things that allow women of immense talent to get "permission" or "to be liked".
What is so maddening? She does what every serious male artists does. That is: she doesn't apologize for her talent or for her influence. What comes across quite profoundly when one interviews her is that she is preoccupied with her work and her gifts – just as serious male artists are, who often seem self-absorbed. She has the egoless honesty of the serious artist that reads like ego, especially in women.

Madonna is that forbidden thing, the Nietzschean creative woman.
Last night, at half-time during the Super Bowl – that military-industrial complex factory of western masculinity, in which beefed-up men were pounding the stuffing out of each other, in between shots of the troops in Afghanistan – Madonna was marched on stage by a glistening gladiator muscle-troupe and flipped the flowing cape of LMFAO's RedFoo. Madonna was invited to perform at the Super Bowl — and ended up satirizing the Super Bowl. The girl can't help herself, and thank God for that.

So Madonna's refusal to be less powerful, less entitled, less desiring and less not-ordinary, is always going to bring out the haters, whether she is playing with sacred iconography or just pissing people off. But I would say that this ongoing hostility is just the proof she should need that she is doing her proper job in the collective female psyche."

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