Madonna has never been one to rest on her laurels, per se, but she also isn’t one to ignore those laurels, either. Fair enough! Few, if any, stars have had the impact on pop music that she has, and pop fans with short memories and/or a lack of historical knowledge need a little reminding from time to time. And so, that’s exactly what Madonna does. This weekend, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Sex, a photo book she published as a companion to her Erotica album, Madonna posted on her Instagram stories a petition to collect her flowers.
Her assessment seems mostly fair. Madonna certainly took a lot of shit in the Erotica era and was slut-shamed for self-expression. That said, the Erotica and Sex projects were intentionally provocative and boundary-defying, and one of the potential hazards of defying boundaries is going too far for some people. The risk was calculated, but it was decidedly a risk.
Overall, Madonna’s time in pop did expand the possibilities of the presentation of women’s sexuality (though I’d argue something like the “Express Yourself” video penetrated much more deeply than Erotica, which while great, did not enjoy the mass adulation that her previous work did). And that expansion is something Madonna took credit for in the sign off of her song to herself: “Now Cardi B can sing about her WAP. Kim Kardashian can grace the cover of any magazine with her naked ass and Miley Cyrus can come in like a wrecking ball. You’re welcome bitches ....... 🤡”
I included the clown emoji in that because it’s crucial to what happened next. In a now-deleted tweet, Cardi acknowledged her debt to Madonna, but complained about the tone of Madonna’s post. “I literally paid this woman homage so many times cause I grew up listening to her ...she can make her point without putting clown emojis and getting slick out the mouth ..These icons really become disappointments once u make it in the industry that’s why I keep to myself.” In another tweet, Cardi co-signed a bystander’s assessment that Madonna’s post’s conclusion was “rude.”
But at least it was Madonna’s trademark trailblazing rudeness, as it forged a path for understanding. On Sunday afternoon, Cardi tweeted that she had a “beautiful” conversation with Madonna:
Disappointed no more, then!
Soon after, Madonna tweeted her affection for Cardi:
Prior to that, though, the man best known for being wrong about Queen Elizabeth’s death, Hollywood Unlocked’s Jason Lee, proudly announced that he was involved in all this:
And then he, like Madonna, insisted on getting his flowers for coordinating what in retrospect feels like a pretty limp professional wrestling interstitial skit:
- A dog rescue group suggests that claims that Olivia Wilde abandoned her Golden Retriever Gordon have been highly exaggerated. (But she did get rid of the dog.) [E! Online]
- Sophia Grace, whose claim to fame was being a child who could rap “Superbass” in its entirety, is pregnant at 19. [People]
- Beyoncé “inadvertently” revealed upcoming tour, supposedly (as if anything in her finely crafted career has been “inadvertent”). [Variety]
- Marlon Wayans says movies like White Chicks are “needed” to fight cancel culture. That’s not the strong argument he thinks it is. [Buzzfeed]
- Following an August attack, author Salman Rushdie lost sight in one eye and the use of a hand. [Hollywood Reporter]
- Matthew Perry estimates he spent $9 million on sobriety. I want to see the receipts! [New York Times]