May 11, 2016

Sunset Boulevard Part II

Madge looks sensational here.

A follow-up to this post that got near record high page views. The comments got rather spirited too. Recent developments require an update.  My tone was quite harsh and it wasn't until I was responding to Stephen Andrew in the comments section when I remembered what had soured me on Madonna. I couldn't find it during a YouTube search but back in 2011 (or possibly 2012) she was premiering either a video or entire concert tour live on YouTube on a Saturday Night around 7pm Chicago time....obviously timed to get maximum viewership. I had someplace to go but waited around to watch the live performance YouTube so heavily promoted. I remember thinking of how millions of mothers were likely introducing their pre-teen daughters or sons to the pop idol Mom loved when she was their age.

I remember her.

Madonna marches onstage and in the very first sentence (or so it seemed) dropped what clearly was a pre-planned and gratuitous M-F bomb. I was disgusted and so disappointed and thought of those mothers with that needlessly awkward moment they shouldn't have had to deal with during family hour.


I read of Madonna's erratic behavior on her recent tour...especially the Australian leg of that tour. In one instance, she pulled a random 17 year old girl onstage and then pulled down her shirt exposing her breast.  It turned out the 17 year old girl loved being in the International spotlight for a couple of days. Enough has been said about that already and Madonna has had some family issues to deal with in the public spotlight which can't be easy.  Geniuses like Madonna are wired differently and are genetically predisposed to erratic behavior. She is too talented and had astonishing Artistic output as a performer to have her career be most remembered for a tragic ending.  Whatever missteps she's made are far outweighed by her positive contributions. I hope she can get people around her that are helpful.

Sean & Madonna. Two enormously talented and volatile performers.
Let's hope they both continue to share their great gifts for many years to come

During the comments section of that previous post, there was a spirited exchange along with a rumored allegation regarding Sean Penn physically abusing Madonna and it lowered my then very high opinion of him. Just a few days ago, Sean Penn won a settlement from Empire Creator/Director Lee Daniels who also made those false allegations only during an interview.  Lee Daniels issued a formal apology and in the settlement donated an undisclosed amount to Haiti for ongoing support of those 2010 earthquake victims.  Madonna provided a sworn affidavit stating that Sean Penn never abused her. As I stated in this post, I was with Sean Penn when he worked tirelessly for months on his own dime in Haiti back in early 2010.

Here is Sean Penn after the devastating Haitian earthquake in early 2010. I had an unfavorable opinion of him prior to watching how hard he worked over several months when no cameras or press were around. My high respect now restored after learning he never abused his ex-wife.


  1. My dear GSL, if it makes you feel any better, when I saw Madge at the 2001 'Drowned World' tour in NYC, she came right out on that stage and did the same thing to all of us with the f-bomb. In fact, I do believe her exact words were, "F*** you, motherf***er!" We all laughed and cheered wildly but maybe we New Yorkers are just dirty-mouthed (and minded) like that (and you just know everyone was either high or lit, let's be realistic).

    I despised what Madonna wore to the Met Gala last week and yet I can forgive her that, and pretty much anything else, because of what her music and songwriting skills have meant to me since I was 15. She's a fighter and a survivor and I have always admired her sense of self-empowerment. I think she is in the middle of tough times because of the custody battle with her ex, but I hope they can work it all out. I wish she and Sean would give their relationship another go, I think they still love each other on some level, and I bet they are both very difficult people to live with! As far as introducing her music to my kids, honestly, they will never feel the kind of connection to her that I feel, the times are different, and the music scene is different, so if they learn to love her I will let them make that discovery on their own. xx

    1. Well it doesn't make me feel better Jill but you stopping by does. As I mentioned in previous post, I quit following Madge early/mid 90s when spectacle became too big part of her act for my taste. If this is standard operating procedure for her since then I wasn't aware. The one image of her that figures most prominently in my mind is the Dress You Up vid with the prelude showing those thousands of mostly pre-teen/early teen girls piling out of station wagons in Madge period costume but with many parents chaperoning like nowadays at T-Swizzle.
      Since I don't have TV and only YouTube, I was thinking it would be similar with adult content/language warnings so I was startled when she blurted out in no other context other than thinking dropping M-F bombs equals edgy.
      I'm certainly not the least bit bashful about using coarse language but make a point of never using bad language around young children, older ladies, or any women I don't know for that matter.
      Madge & Sean a very combustible combo and I don't think she necessarily needs a romantic interest to help her if she wants help or support. Maybe just a friend who doesn't need her money, fame, or anything from her other than to encourage her to go places she'll later be glad she reached for.

      I really hate seeing talented people's lives unravel and especially when kids are involved.

  2. Comparing those photos of now and then, she doesn't look anything like she used to. Well good on her, who needs to?
    I've never liked her music, too tinny, and she was nothing in concert compared to say Lady Gaga who is stupendously talented.
    though I think good on Madge, woman's power, though lately she's made some really yuk comments about her 16 year old son that are incredibly inappropriate.
    I remember seeing her son when he was very young (recognisable from pap pictures) and his nanny in a sand pit in London (where I spent about five years of my time) and the nanny was like a model in wide legged elegant crepe white pallazo pants which for some reason I though was very odd. The grandparents were there too but obviously were not allowed to look after him by themselves.
    I've never warmed to Sean, can't see the attraction, and he's going out with someone in her twenties which puts me off. though he plays a good role.

    1. Hi Jody,
      I have heard Lady Gaga puts on a good show. I think Sean Penn does well in charecter parts, not Romantic leads...he was poorly cast opposite Kristin Scott Thomas in Up at the Villa.

  3. Hi GSl, nothing much to say about Madonna - saw her years ago (around 1993) at an outdoor concert in Sydney. This was the last outdoor concert I have attended and have no intention of attending another. Madonna's antics particularly arriving up to two hours late a concerts and exposing a seventeen year old's breast were widely reported and not favourably. However, not only did the seventeen year old enjoy all the attention but inexcusably also her mother. I arrived in Washington on the Memorial weekend and your website has solved a mystery for me. My husband and I went to the Memorial Day parade and I was curious about seeing a member of one of the entrant bands intently showing the crowd what I thought from my viewing point was a cut out of a map of the US with the left hand corner excised. I thought it was some sort of political statement. Anyway the mystery is solved as whilst browsing your website I realised that what he was holding up was a cut of the state of Texas. On Saturday made my first visit to a Smithsonian, one of the art galleries of course (American Art Museum), and got to see for the very first time an Edward Hopper. Extremely excited - made sure I only saw two as need to keep another couple for next time. The Whistler in the second floor gallery The Harbour at Valparaiso is magnificent and so very modern. Looking forward to a very arts packed couple years.

    1. Hi Yvonne,
      If you are in DC, do make a special visit to The Phillips Collection to stand in awe bedore Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party. It's my fave painting. For an enticing preview, read my Paris Street post (need to be viewing web version and click link of Caillbotte self portrait in right margin).
      You'll be thanking me later.