Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Confused about controversy

Just so we're clear, America. It's okay for a dancer dressed like a teenage girl to strike multiple provocative poses on national television during a family-friendly program. But it's NOT okay for a singer to stick her middle finger up.
This can't be right.
For as long as I've been alive, and for centuries before, sex has been more taboo than attitude. Suddenly, sex has become a dinner-table discussion topic and the focus of entertainment. Superbowl XLVI was no exception. Madonna's elaborate halftime show showcased a gallery of Roman (or vaguely Egyptian?) inspired costumes and props, infused with a contrasting high school sports/cheerleader theme. The 53 year-old blonde, perpetually attractive singer had her own celebrity pep-squad in Nicki Minaj and rapper M.I.A, both notorious for their own unique styles of music and fashion. It could be because M.I.A. was disgruntled at having to be Madonna's back-up dancer, or she was merely seeking press before the release of her upcoming album, but the singer with a history of naughty behavior flashed cameras her middle finger, before censors could catch it. Indeed, before many viewers could catch it, distracted by the glitz and gold of Madonna's Skyrim cos play-like outfit and her bedazzled dancers.
So M.I.A. probably should have kept her cool and turned her "swag" down a little. But the gesture is far from national uproar-worthy. What I'm more concerned about is the conduct of the other dancers surrounding Madonna. In tiny red skirts and waving gold pom-poms more seductively than I ever thought imaginable, these girls seriously demoralized themselves and the image of teenage cheerleaders everywhere. Pretty, popular and showy= trashy? Sure, Madonna is no stranger to controversy. But there is a point when an attempt to "make a show" looks downright foolish.
The entire halftime show was a huge publicity stunt and nothing more. Madonna's new album, MDNA, M.I.A.'s single Bad Girls is out, and now the two are all headlines. There was never a more opportune moment in business. These artists have lost sight of the music, clearly. And all of America is falling for it.

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