I have been pathetically useless today. I did cook a tiny bit of bacon and an egg and served it to Buster who is languishing. He ate it with great enthusiasm, perking up for at least that bit of time. I don't know if that dog is going to make it. He's getting a lot of good attention in the here and now though and maybe he's in the Make A Wish stage of his life.
I feel fairly certain that if he could vocalize his wishes, one of them would definitely be bacon and eggs.
I watched a new Madonna video. Yes. That is how useless I have been.
She looks amazing. In the video. She looks amazing and fresh and hardly the fifty-something-year-old woman she is and you gotta give her some props, even though the video really isn't very interesting and the song even less so although you know, it's Madonna, not Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan and it pretty much sounds like what all of her songs have sounded like for the last thirty years or whatever.
While I was watching it, it occurred to me to wonder what it would be like if instead of trying to just constantly recapture her youth, she moved on to write songs about what it's like to be a mother, a divorced woman, a woman in love at an older age- in short, the whys and wheres of her life now instead of pop-hits that pop-tarts can dance to.
Don't ask me what a pop-tart is. I don't know. I just said that. (Yes, I know what a toaster pastry is.)
The truth of it is, no matter how much working out she does and how much surgery she gets (and I don't know if she's gotten any at all) and how good her nutritionists are and her make-up artists and hair-stylists are and how kind her videographers and photographers are, the woman is going to get older and she's going to start showing that eventually.
And shouldn't that be okay?
Our culture is so damn youth-oriented that for some reason we think that the only things worth writing songs about are what it feels like to be young. Speaking as someone who HAS been young, I can verify that those can be heady and interesting times but dammit, aging has some interesting aspects to it as well. Plus, if we're lucky enough- it's inevitable.
I think of Cher and how she has clung to her sex-goddess image for so long that she's become a caricature of her former self and it's not a good look and it's just sad. I mean, wouldn't it be better to just go ahead and be who she is at this age which I feel certain is still a pretty damn kick-ass bitch goddess and probably one who, if she let herself be, is gorgeous in another, older way?
It's not like her audience is remaining the age of 23 either, you know.
I think some of the men do better at this. I think of Dylan, I think of Springteen, who do write about what it's like to get older, to face mortality head-on, to explore that part of life too. I remember back in 1980 when John Lennon and Yoko Ono came out with Double Fantasy and how it was so poignant the way they sang about what a relationship feels like after it's been tested by some years, by many fears, by temptations and partings and resentments and then a coming-together, a reuniting, a new child.
I looked to John (and Yoko too) for instructions on how to negotiate life as the problems changed, as the challenges and rewards did too.
So much for that.
But of course, most male performers don't rely on the sexuality of their visual image as much as women do. I mean sure, it's important, but as we all know, men, as they age, are allowed to still be perceived as sexy, as desirable. Perhaps even more so. But for women, it's always a she looks great! FOR HER AGE thing, isn't it?
And we women perpetrate it. We buy into the whole myth that we can remain youthful our entire lives with the right cosmetics and exercise and surgeries and supplements. I mean, look at Madonna!
But why do we want to? Where are the role models for what a real actual live woman looks like as she ages? Where are the women with the beautiful faces they own and have earned?
Oh, they are out there. Just not so much in the light of the media. If you do a google-image search for "beautiful older women" you will find pictures of Susan Serandon and Helen Mirren and Sophia Loren but even those pictures are tarted up and there is the definite whiff of "for her age" about them.
It would be so brave for Madonna to do a video showing what she looks like without the make-up, without the hair styling, without the lens-blurring. But she, who purports to be so brave in her sexuality, her fearlessness in the face of society, just doesn't allow them to happen. Surely her half-her-age boyfriend sees her in the morning light without all of the spackling and blow-drying and leg-blemish-hiding-stockings. And yet, he seems to love her anyway.
Isn't THAT interesting? I think it is. I would like to hear a song about that. I believe it would be infinitely more interesting than a song about turning up the radio.
Well. This is what comes of a day of being useless. A lot of damn useless thoughts.
See you tomorrow.