Happy Aug 16, everybody
. Just another midsummer day spent mitigating back-sweat for most, but a day of reverence for some. Because, you see, today is the
1,003rd 62nd 54th
whatever-th birthday of one Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone.
Fact: one of my earliest memories is, as a toddler, fingering (ha) my way through the Royal Family Pop-Up Book
while the synthesized redefinition of teen-pop, "Lucky Star,
" played in the background (if you’re keeping score, yes, I was eight years not
-old). In fact, a lot of my pre- and post-adolescent memories involve Madonna. From asking my First Choice haircutter to give me the “Papa Don’t Preach,
” to the Breathless Mahoney poster I hung in my bedroom, to watching the world premiere of Erotica
with my convalescent grandmother. Her take: “God love her.”
Madonna singlehandedly material[girl]-ized what we now know as the dance-pop star. There was nothing before her and everything after her. New York street-style became mall-wear. Ballroom moves became wedding dances. And exposed roots became a statement. The mother of reinvention, her greatest mixed blessing is introducing the term “branding” into the lexicon.
Has she aged gracefully? Debatable. Do I think that the whole American Life
debacle was akin to the rapping granny from The Wedding Singer
? Maybe. Was the whole side-eyed tea-cup-sip calling Lady Gaga “reductive
” reminiscent of a Disney villainess? Probably. Are there more financial resources backing Madonna’s war on age than there are behind the United States’ war on terror? Absolutely.
Here’s what I do know: I can’t depend on tomorrow happening; but I CAN depend on Madonna happening.
Just like a prayer
, happy birthday, goddess.
Andrew Johnston’s favourite Madonna video is 1) "Rain" and 2) all of them.