Madonna’s Foreign Policy

soundtrack

madonna fo po

Madonna is a global cultural ambassador – a hyperreal diplomat – providing a quasi-American voice to dance-floor citizens all over the lycra-clad world.

She is vital and complete, the product and producer of a perfect uber-culture.

Je suis désolé …[French]
Lo siento …[Spanish]
Ik ben droevig …[Dutch]
Sono spiacente …[Italian]
Perdóname …[Spanish]

Madonna first chooses French,  Spanish,  Dutch,  and Italian to apologize to the outside world on behalf of America.

The text is pretty vague as to what Madonna/America is apologizing for.  The vagueness,  a regular feature of mass-market blandness,  gives the lyrics their polysemic versatility, which is of great value to my lazy and self-indulgent interpretation of them as political signifiers.

What pray-tell is Madonna/America guilty of?  As she carefuly explains in the lyrics,  Madonna/America “doesn’t wanna know.”

She is apologizing for the sake of good form rather than out of remorse, and she is apologizing without really considering the harm that she has done or how to make amends.

Anyway, after quickly and condescendingly apologizing to France for whatever, Madonna/America says she’s sorry to Spain for – maybe – involving its citizens in a virtual war against a virtual enemy,  or something.  The vagueness is anti-intellectual and stunningly incomplete – this is a manifesto for not thinking about stuff too much. It is instinctive and cosmocentric – the clarion call of a new age of pyramid building and sore feet. I mean, just look at those slave-like abs.

As a further sign of Madonna/America’s global hegemony,  the Dutch translation of “I’m sorry”  is a poor one that actually means “I am sad” rather than “I am sorry.”  Not that Madonna/America can’t afford to hire a real translator, but why would she bother?  She’s Madonna/America.  She can do whatever she wants and just try to stop her. Bad translations – like bad intelligence – is a sign of her power, not of her weakness.

This Dutch-in-lieu-of-German snub,  like so many other linguistic themes,  is merely implied in this dance song, and never explored or explained. The depoliticizing effect of this omission is symptomatic of the general depoliticization of America’s Madonnafied imperial culture.

The political amnesia in the song says: “Madonna’s sorry for whatever, now get back to your cubicle.”

If Madonna were to post a sign at the entrance to Abu Ghraib, it would read: “Work makes you free to buy Madonna/America’s CDs.”

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4 Responses to “Madonna’s Foreign Policy”

  1. dgun Says:

    Qatzel, she is a material girl, living in a material world. We can hardly expect from her insightfulness on the human condition.

    * sips cola from a straw *

    • qatzelok Says:

      That her texts lack an aura of contrived political correctness is a positive. She is not running for office or trying to buy off our water supply, so there is no need to pad her hegemony with Norman Rockwell and Disney.

  2. qatzelok Says:

    As layered and complex as the outfit she’s wearing.

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