“If Britney manages to have as long and successful of a career as Madonna, I will renounce Ms. Ciccone as my Supreme Woman and no longer think about her when I masturbate. Yeah, that would be harder than quitting smoking”— Jeff Sabatini, “Britney vs. Madonna,” Glorious Noise, February 8, 2001
Back in the early days when this site was somewhat younger, there used to be observations on the main page like that quoted here. Perhaps we were somewhat less circumspect.
I thought about that last night when I saw the Madonna/Missy (Misdemeanor) Elliott commercial for the Gap. And although Britney has faded into irrelevance such that her visibility is marked with a certain desperation, a need to get in the public eye, almost as though her doing damn near anything to get some time on “Entertainment Tonight” would not be in the least bit surprising (e.g., dangling herself off of an eighth-floor balcony), Madonna, heretofore, a film career that she ought to abandon, notwithstanding, has—or had—maintained a certain allure.
The Gap ad is probably more habit-kicking than a crate of Nicorette. Madonna has transformed herself into Morgan Fairchild. (Yes, Old Navy and the Gap have the same ownership, so there is a certain resonance here.) “Everybody comes to Hollywood/You’re gonna make it in the neighborhood”—how, by having a scripted “M” on your ass? Oh, that’s right: the Gap is allowing customization. You can get your own initial.
Madonna hasn’t just jumped the proverbial shark. She’s humped it. It’s beyond pathetic. Oh, I’m sure there will be some sort of ironic PoMo arguments that can be put forth about the Material Girl always being about consumption, how she’s able to push the buttons of mass cult corporations for her own benefit. Which is a convenient justification, or rationalization. Don’t kid yourself: The first rule in the music industry is: Make money.
And as the aforementioned Ms. Fairchild as well Wayne Newton, Ben Vereen, and others have learned: You can make more money by being in commercials.