"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Material Girl does a 180

In theory anyhow. Madonna, now a middle-aged if still-glamorous matron, has taken to breathing fire and brimstone. She warns her fans that "people are going to go to hell if they don't turn from their wicked behavior.'' The behavior she has in mind is the heedless pursuit of material things. Indeed. But I wonder what this ex-Catholic, baptized as Louise Ciccone, would say about priests who say similar things—the ones who still dare to do so, that is. After all, Louise also claims that "most priests are gay," which now seems to be the conventional wisdom among people who take her seriously. Not that she would know by experience, of course.

Still, I take her more seriously now that she's a mom with spiritual interests. They aren't all phony. Her marriage to Guy Ritchie initially struck as one more material acquisition of hers, this time of a boy toy; after all, she had made no secret of her penchant for picking up attractive young men almost at random and giving them the night of their lives at her own considerable expense. But now Guy seems quite the real man, raising their children and making the new category of "├╝bersexual." A man doesn't improve like that if he's married to a slut and a harridan.

So, in a way it's good that somebody like Louise is preachin' up a storm. (I won't use the name 'Madonna' unless I have to; I consider it borderline blasphemy, like her wearing rosaries while singing odes to fornication half-naked in front of bedazzled audiences.) Some people who won't heed priests will heed her. And at any rate, we may be thankful that the fashionable version of Kabbalism now favored by this icon of materialism has caused her to see through materialism when her Catholicism apparently did not. Now if only she moves forward to see through herself, her message would gain even more credibility.

I mean that I'd find her fully credible as a preacher against materialism if she gave up her millions and her celebrity lifestyle herself, instead of just urging us poor slobs to stop pursuing what most of us will never have. It's just too easy to preach against materialism when you're fabulously wealthy. Maybe the needed prod would come if she also started railing against lust, which is just as deadly to the soul as greed. Now that she no longer indulges her own lusts and approaches the age when the sex-symbol act gets equally old, we may hope that her spiritual growth will become all-encompassing. I actually found myself praying for that.
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