Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Madge-isterial Fidelity

No, that's not a typo. The new Madonna CD, "Confessions on a Dance Floor," is out today and, while I'm not usually one to jump on the Material Girl's latest releases, the advance buzz was so hyperbolically good that I decided to get it. (By the by, it doesn't seem that the title has anything to do with some new kind of sacramental theology....)

So I've made my donation to the LA Kaballah Center and the world has not, of yet, ended. The album is quite good; seems like it'll take some growing as disco, again, is not usually my thing. (Remember, my listening tastes veer more toward whiny, white-boy singer-songwriters by nature.... Can't you tell?)

More than anything else, my inner sociologist remains ever intrigued by the figure of Madonna as cultural bellwether. I mean, c'mon, you never know what to expect from her -- e.g. dropping the F-bomb on Letterman 13 times on Good Friday, as she did in 1995 -- and she's gone from sacrilege to sanctimonious, seemingly without skipping a beat. What's more, the Kaballah thing -- red string bracelets, no performing on Shabbat, giving interviews about immortality, taking the name "Esther" as Hebrew characters stream across the video screen -- is just downright fascinating as a religious phenomenon so powerful it attracts even Madonna, who for so long was seen as the anti-religion.

"Time goes by so slowly for those who wait," eh? Sounds right to me.