Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Madonna Falls Down Flight of Stairs [Insert Broken Hip Joke HERE]

Fitting fumble on the day Madonna's comments about ageism came out in Rolling Stone.
"It's still the one area where you can totally discriminate against somebody and talk shit. Because of their age. Only females, though. Not males. So in that respect we still live in a very sexist society. 'No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black or dare to say a degrading remark on Instagram about someone being gay, my age – anybody and everybody would say something degrading to me. And I always think to myself, ''why is that accepted?'' 

Her (overall) point is well-taken, although I do think what she said is a bit out of touch, a bit hypocritical and greatly in need of context. For starters, age is not the one area where you can "totally discriminate" against somebody. There are laws on the books against it, just as there are for racial discrimination. However in many places, discriminating against someone for being LGBT is still completely legal. If she meant in the broader sense of social media, fine. But it does seem a bit tone deaf coming from a gay icon -- like somehow someone's livelihood is on par with her having her feelings hurt in an Instagram comment. Next, her words would have far more weight if she would use promotional photos of herself that aren't Photoshopped to make her look 26 instead of 56. There's no shame in exercising and having work done to look younger as you age. But to aggressively manipulate images to the point of erasing any sign of age only fuels the idea that there's something inherently wrong with getting older. That's not helping here.

More importantly, though, young people have been distancing themselves from aging since the beginning of time, and Madonna's no exception. Go back and watch old clips and you will find her rolling her eyes at the suggestion that she would still be "parading around" in sexy outfits when she's "Mick Jagger's age" -- Mick Jagger, who is 15 years her senior and is A MALE! -- or listen to her say that you should "just shoot" her if she continues to sing "Like a Virgin" or "Material Girl" when she's 50. (I believe she's done both.) When she was younger, she viewed getting older the same way people criticizing her now did. Even she didn't seem to think she'd be showing her ass off at 56 -- she told Rupert Everett that she would be "making movies" at this stage in her life. Things don't always turn out the way you think they will in your head, and that's OK. But as she has demonstrated, it's perfectly normal for young people to think this way. Now that she's on the other end of things, I also think it's perfectly reasonable for her to evolve and realize she was wrong now that she's older -- and to share her thoughts on the topic. But I find it disreputable when she and her most-myopic followers act like she's the only person who's ever been a victim of it -- and waste their time trying to demonize people for acting just like she once did. She's a (healthy) billionaire who doesn't need her fans to defend her every move -- she'll be just fine. Why not save the effort for someone who really needs it?


Matthew Rettenmund said...

I do think it's hyperbolic to say it's the same as racism, but ageism is an issue and it affects her so it makes sense she would talk about it. Like most stuff related to Madonna, though, it's more interesting as a reflection of regular people than just as a part of the Madonna story. When ugly old men and women are commenting on the Internet how ugly and old SHE is, there is a lot to unpack there. Her fall was unfortunate in that it wasn't a "fall" like oops, granny stumbled; bitch was dragged down. But it was fortunate in that it revealed her mettle (and her live vocals, the backing track was pretty damn low) and allowed her to carry on without throwing a fit, cursing or tearing up. I was shocked she continued. But I shouldn't have been.

Yasuri Yamileth said...

Ageism affects us all. And I'm glad someone is talking about it. I'm in my 30s and all these 20 something assholes refer to me as old. Which I'm sure happens to both of you as well. It's not as bad as racism, but it's still bad. It's hurtful and shameful that people try to use your age to somehow discredit you as a person.

Anyway, it wasn't a fall. She didn't trip or stumble, she was in fact dragged down as Matthew mentioned. And she's fine - unlike other singers who are half her age and have already had hip surgery.

So let's cut the shade already - please.

sandy said...

@Yasuri: I think you need to look up the definition of fall.

verb (used without object), fell, fallen, falling.
to drop or descend under the force of gravity, as to a lower place through loss or lack of support.
to come or drop down suddenly to a lower position, especially to leave a standing or erect position suddenly, whether voluntarily or not:
to fall on one's knees.

B said...

As already stated she got dragged about ten feet back down 3 stairs. Then without ANY help got up ripped the 15 foot cape off and danced/sang completely live for 5 minutes with more choreo than ANY other performer does these days or really ever has. Drop the age comments, drop the irrelevant comments, she stiill does it better than most and that doesn't seem to be changing ANYTIME soon. The rest of the Brits filled with people almost a 3rd her age was a snore. Bring on the tour and what is one of the best albums this yr.

Lady Rahrah said...

Now it's "shade" to call out someone for being tone-deaf and hypocritical? Typical Madonna fanboy.

Dennis said...

@B: Drop the AGE comments? She's the one who brought them up and Ken is responding to them. And what is irrelevant about bringing up ageist remarks she has made in the past when she is calling people out for being ageist? That's completely germane. (Do you know what "irrelevant" means?)

Also find it intersting that almost every commenter has bent over backwards to make sure you know that the fall was caused by something "out of her control," which is exactly the "defending someone who doesn't need defending" point you seemed to be making/mocking in the first place.

Anonymous said...

You do not want to open this can of worms with these kind of people.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...


Blobby said...

"No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black or dare to say a degrading remark on Instagram about someone being gay"

So, then all those 'nigger' and 'fag' comments people post are a figment of my imagination?

Once again, it's all about her.

JimmyD said...

My favorite quote from above, "...with more choreo than ANY other performer does these days or really ever has."
Ever. EVER! In the entirety of all recorded human history! Neat!
Maybe everyone needs to chill.
The worst was how most of the media handled it. Initially, most reported that she fell. Few reported that she got up and finished.
As for age: The young will always condemn the old(er). Tale as old as time. The next time some young guy calls you old just respond (in a creepy tone), "You're looking at your future." The results are fun!
I will suggest to Madge: Next time... LISTEN to Edna Mode!!!

Madonna HERSELF said...

“I didn’t feel anything when it happened. I just remember FALLING backward, and I hit the back of my head.”