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Isn't it strange that the mere mention of Madonna's name often seems to draw an extreme reaction from people; some love her to bits and many vilify her and paint her out to be some sort of demonic monster, a tool of Satan etc.
Let's face it, with all the opinions, news stories, facts and fiction floating around out there it is almost impossible to really get a firm read on this iconic woman.
I asked myself, 'Do I really like Madonna?' Taking into account all her different guises, phases, and a myriad of artistic projects which she has produced over the years, and I decided that I didn't really know how to answer the question.
The confusion arose because it is probably accurate to say that I don't really know the real Madonna as I haven't spent time getting to know her on a personal, human-relating level. The 'real' Madonna is not really the Vogue icon or the feted pop-star of world tours, or the sometimes Hollywood actress, yet these are all part of what makes her who she is!
Realistically, I think it's fair to state that I spend more time than the average person thinking about this American Icon and entertainer, largely because I add content to her site. Without this fact I suspect that I would rarely give her much thought-time at all. Life is complex and there are way too many other issues to be concerned with. M. would no doubt be way down the list.
Through reading, I've come to the conclusion that Madonna is probably not the full-time, over-demanding, petulant Miss World that some claim she is. If she did match this description then it would be unlikely that she would have achieved the impressive heights that she has. Why do I say this? Think about it, if you offend and marginalize people, especially those who work for and with you, then it wouldn't take that long for your team to disband. Money and prestige can only make up for so much after all. Would someone like the extremely competent Liz Rosenberg have stayed around for so long if Madonna had treated her poorly over a course of years? I doubt it!
You would also have to think that the sheer weight of 'bad karma' generated from upsetting others would have ground M.'s career to a halt a long time ago. But this hasn't happened either.
Maybe its fair to say that despite the volume (at times) of bad press and criticisms concerning Madonna and the way she leads her life, most of those reporting are not really 100% rock solid sure of what they are saying, e.g. Madonna is apparently a voracious 'materialist' yet how do the tabloids really know the details of her financial portfolios? Maybe she gives vast sums to charity secretly? Who knows?
Madonna is reported to be 'extremely self-centered and self-seeking' by some reporters yet (publicity aside) the project in Malawi and her Live Earth contribution don't seem to miter in with this assessment of her. Yes sure, one can be seen to be charitable yet also be doing it for ulterior motives but at the end of the day, if those less fortunate are being aided by someone who has 'the lot', then it can't be argued that there is no goodness in their charitable gesture/s.
Giving in secret is supposed to be the only 'holy' charity yet in someone like Madonna's case, surely 'giving in secret' is much harder when one considers who she is. Madonna gets watched, Madonna gets followed, Madonna gets analyzed and scrutinized, so how can that many areas of her day-to-day life go unnoticed?
In some ways she seems every bit a normal person as 'the rest of us'. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if she was quite an overweening bossy type, at least some of the time, and painfully opinionated at others. But you can tell that she cares about others (by watching footage) because her body language and voice level often seem authentic and balanced.
Madonna is very much a human being and I'm sure that she would agree with that statement too. Yet one thing that sets her apart from maybe the rest of us is her sense of consistency. By that, I mean that she gets up and produces at an impressively high standard time-after-time. Maybe perfectionism is her achilles heel (weak spot) yet it is a quality that is very hard not to admire when sustained for this length of time.
Long live the Queen.