American Life’: Madonna’s political scandal the media wants you to forget

What’s Madonna’s biggest ‘scandal’ to date? I trust that if I asked this question to the average Joe on the street, the answers you would get may include her Sex book, the album Erotica, or her now (in)famous rolling about on the floor during her performance of ‘Like a Virgin’ at the MTV Awards in 1984. Few may even remember that the video of ‘Like a Prayer’ was a much bigger scandal than any of these, for presenting a Black Jesus and a Black character wrongly arrested for the crimes of a White one. Few, however – and maybe only die-hard Madonna fans – would get the answer right.

George W. Bush and “American Life”

Wind back to 2003, and you’ll find that US radios suddenly stopped playing Madonna when she dared to state the unspeakable: in the video of ‘American Life,’ Madonna showed George W. Bush in cahoots with the very world leaders he was so hell-bent on destroying. Of course, her Reinvention Toursaw her in no mood of giving up denouncing the former President. Ever since, she has been under attack, especially by right wing gossip papers and websites. This yearRadar Online (4th October 2015) stooped so low as to report that Madonna’s dancers were allegedly caught with drugs on the border with Canada. Pity that on the night, they were nowhere near the border, in fact, they were on stage in front of cameras and thousands of fans in Atlantic City!

In the meantime, we have seen her image being more and more linked to hersexuality, and her political views hidden from the public, the promotion of an epidemic of collective amnesia which is almost all-pervasive in the gutter press. Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes! They are trying to hide the ‘inconvenient’ scandal by pointing the finger in the wrong direction.

No signs of slowing down

Yet, her biggest ‘sin’ is that she has not shut her mouth; in a decade when, if you want to be on the radio, you have the choice between heartbreak songs or breakup songs, Madonna has stuck to her principles, and the right wing press just cannot forgive her. Her MDNA Tour was politically charged, as is her latest album, Rebel Heart. When talking about her ‘Revolution of Love,’ Madonna makes it clear, as she did on stage in Stockholm with her impassioned speech: she is not giving in to fear. In a world where you’re told by the radio, by the press, and by the media in general to feel sorry for yourself and bargain your freedom for protection through the currency of fear, Madonna, once again, is bucking the trend and offering us an alternative. Maybe it sounds old-fashioned to believe that music can change the world; in the 70’s and 80’s, we all believed in it, now, only a few remember the real power of music, and the media are out to get them and hell-bent on making us forget it.

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