Thursday, October 26, 2006

Madonna On Oprah

I've always liked Madonna because she's a great songwriter, delivering one clasisc pop tune after another for more than 20 years. All the other stuff -- the attention, the controversy -- is just noise. And of course she's always portrayed as one tough cookie. So why aren't I surprised that she came across as so confused and hurt by the attention brought to her adoption of a little boy from Africa. Despite her clear emotional feelings on the topic, Madonna was typically thoughtful and intelligent in discussing her actions. Yes, she could have adopted a little black baby right here. But since her participation in Live 8 led Madonna to set up charitable works in Malawi, she had paid several visits to the country and was obviously familiar with the many sick and dying kids there. So she adopted one. Makes sense to me. If she'd done charitable work in China, maybe it would have been a Chinese baby. If she'd done charitable work in New Orleans, it might have been a child from there. Shouldn't we be happy any wealthy person who has had kids on their own would choose to adopt a child from anywhere in the world? Abandoned and neglected children will never run out, unfortunately. If it becomes "trendy" to adopt a kid from Africa, why then there will be a few less children in that country without a home. Where's the harm? And for someone so savvy, Madonna sure was surprised her actions caused a worldwide sensation. I could have told her that would happen -- maybe she knew that and just wasn't expecting the attention to be so negative. Whether she produces a book of erotica or adopts a baby, Madonna can't help stirring the media into a frenzy.


Anonymous said...

1) She had never been to Malawi before Oct 2006.
2) She didn't set up her own charity or organization for Malawi, she is on the committee of an exisiting one. Furthermore, she's not donating 3 mil of her own , but rather soliciting donations. The press has been very kind in this respect.

Michael in New York said...

I was just repeating what she said on Oprah and I may have been confused by her reference to present and future visits -- she said she intends to visit at least once year, if not more. If she lied, of course that would be sad. I never mentioned any dollar figure and of course the orphanage/child care center she's supporting included the unnecessary/crass string-attached of insisting kids be instructed in "non-denominational" but Kaballah-like instruction in spirituality. Obviously all the kids need from school is reading, writing and arithmetic and anything beyond that is unfeasible and unnecessary. Also, as I posted earlier in a piece criticizing madonna for those strings, attaching a rider that the hungry/starving/desperately poor must listen to your faith/religion is they want to eat/get shelter has always struck me as pretty abominable. I did refer to her "charitable works" which I think is vague enough to encompass the things she has encouraged, as opposed to implying she had set up her own charity. I would be very surprised indeed if she didn't donate SOME money. And the press has never been terribly kind towards Madonna in any respect. But again, I did criticize her charitable work for having religious strings attached (I think people would be drawn to your faith much more if you do good works, rather than insisting those good works come with a price -- but of course this has a long tradition via Christian soup kitchens where you had to hear the hymns and sermons if you wanted to eat, so Madonna is hardly the first to sin in this regard). But none of this changes the fact that if she chooses to adopt a child in a world filled with abandoned kids then I think that -- barring any shocking revelation -- should only be construed as a positive thing. If every millionaire in the world felt obliged to adopt a child from an impoverished part of the world or our own back yard, surely that would be a positive? They won't all make good parents, of course, but that's another problem. At least the kids won't be neglected and die.

NOTE: watching the tape again, she never claimed to have been to malawi before nor did she claim to have set up her own charity. I don't know where the $3 mil ref you talk about came from. I didn't hear it on Oprah. If the press claimed otherwise (and this was her first public interview beyond a press release) then it probably came from heated press speculation rather than any insidious misinformation from her.