Madonna's ability to shock is matched only by Madonna's ability to star in films that make us want to kill ourselves and Madonna's ability to freak everyone out with her minuscule leotards.
Remember ages ago, when Madonna decided that hopping up on an enormous mirrored cross to crucify herself while singing a song on her latest tour? Remember that all kinds of religious leaders went bananas at Madonna for doing it, and then everyone sort of forgot about it? Well, now Madonna is plying her wares around Europe and the Pope has got wind of this mirrory crucifixion malarkey. And he's reportedly not very happy about it, which he finds somewhat disappointing since was a big fan of Hanky Panky era Madonna.
We're assuming that The Pope doesn't read hecklerspray all that much. That's a shame, because we're certain he'd have come up with a brilliant Mel Gibson Haiku, and because he wouldn't be getting his knickers in a twist so much about Madonna larking about on a cross.
Back in May, Madonna kicked off her new world tour in America. Knowing full well that she'd already done the graphic gynotard thing and the kissing girls thing to death, she needed to to think up a new way to drum up publicity. And what better than her old friend religious outrage. In the past, Madonna has annoyed religious types by getting off with Black Jesus in the Like A Prayer video and writing a song which will officially stop her getting into heaven so – to continue the theme – Madonna hopped onto a giant crucifix and sang a song in the face of exactly the type of moral outrage she was expecting, even though Jesus himself didn't really mind.
Now, though, Madonna is touring Europe in a whirlwind of claw-dipping and Swedish clothes-wearing. And the Vatican is responding to the crucifixion stunt as if it's only just heard about it. Cardinal Ersilio Tonini told an Italian newspaper on Wednesday:
“To crucify yourself in the city of the pope and the martyrs is an act of open hostility. It’s a scandal created on purpose by astute merchants to attract publicity.”
Whew, good job Christians are legally obliged to be forgiving isn't it? At least Madonna hasn't upset the Jews and the Muslims? What's that? She has? Jewish spokesman Riccardo Pacifici says:
“We express solidarity with the Catholic world. It’s a disrespectful act, and to do it in Rome is even worse.”
While Muslim bigwig Mario Scialoja says:
“It’s not the first time Madonna stages such an act. We deplore it, we feel it is an act of bad taste.”
But, hey, let's look on the bright side. Madonna's dead-eyed cynicism and opportunistic publicity-seeking seems to have forced the Jews and the Muslims into common agreement, and could possibly be the catalyst for world peace for ever and ever. Maybe Madonna actually is Jesus after all…
No, that's a stupid thing to think. Jesus could stay on a horse, for one.
[story by Stuart Heritage]