I was reading NPR this morning. (I’m not a good listener, so I have to get my NPR fix online.) I was surprised to learn that the Twitter world was alight last night with snarky sayings about how old Madonna looked during the halftime show. I had to wonder if the Twitter world lit up the same way when Mick Jagger appeared at the Grammys. (Love him or hate him, let’s face it, he does resemble a reanimated mummy these days. ) I also wondered if half those Tweeting folks could last half a dance-off with her. No, I didn’t wonder; they couldn’t.
I’ve always been something of a Madonna fan. This is not something that nerds usually admit in public. Once I mentioned how much her voice has improved over the years, and one of my friends retorted, “Not her voice. The technology.” And to be honest, it’s not Madonna’s public persona that I find admirable. Out of all her songs, there are only a handful that have made it to my iPod. I don’t care for her acting at all. And in interviews, she often comes across as smug.
But there is something about Madonna that appeals to me. There is the idea of the girl from Michigan wanting to become the world’s biggest star and actually doing it. Despite the missteps she’s made, she’s out there, unapologetic, setting more goals and achieving them. She is the poster child for re-creation, for making herself over and becoming someone else.
Most of us probably wouldn’t want to be Madonna. (I certainly don’t have the self-esteem to withstand thousands of Tweeters commenting on my wrinkles.) But most of us could do with channeling a little of her attitude occasionally. When someone indicates that we might be too old, young, stupid, uncoordinated, etc. to take on a new challenge, just channel your inner Madonna and do it anyway. Sure, it might be a spectacular failure, but then channel your inner Madonna again and pick yourself and take off in a new direction.