Everyone is allowed a level of eccentricity. Idiosyncratic behavior is a staple of human DNA, the thing that keeps us weird, and away from the norm of solely watching network television medical programs and eating fast food. It’s good for you to be eccentric. It keeps your life amusing and your friends, lovers, employers and employees guessing as long as you’re not actually endangering anyone.
For example, Ezra Miller was eccentric until he kidnapped people. Nic Cage was eccentric until the mid-2000s and that slate of dozens of independent films – those were just bad acting choices.
When it comes to ecocentrism’s big brother, artistic temperament, living life capriciously can range from oddball hobbies (i.e. owning the skeleton of the Elephant Man) to the mean extremes of criminality too often confused (and unfortunately overlooked and allowed) with quirks of personality.
Then there is Madonna, who, on January 17, announced the thing that she has been hinting at for over a year: that the “best-selling female solo touring artist of all time” would go on The Celebration Tour this season, a set of global gigs “highlighting her unmatched catalog of music from the past 40 plus years.”
Produced by Live Nation, the 35-city global tour kicks off in North America on Saturday, July 15th at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC with stops in Detroit, Chicago, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and more before making its way to Europe where she will hit 11 cities throughout the fall, including London, Barcelona, Paris, and Stockholm, among others. The Celebration Tour will wrap in Amsterdam, NL on Friday, December 1st at Ziggo Dome. Tickets go on sale for The Celebration Tour on Friday, January 20.
“I’m just looking for interesting, fun ways to rerelease my catalog and introduce my music to a new generation,” Madonna told Variety last year. “I’m focused on that… I want to go on tour again, I’m a creature of the stage. That is my happy place.”
The not-so-eccentric manner in which Madge announced The Celebration Tour this morning came with a YouTube video that featured Judd Apatow, Diplo, Jack Black, Lil Wayne, Bob The Drag Queen, Eric Andre and, ultimately, stand-up comedian and actor Amy Schumer daring the global superstar to go on tour and perform her four decades of mega hits. “In this room, all bets are off,” says Madonna at the top of the “Truth or Dare” stylized black and white video. To the assembled mob, she asks questions – starting with a ‘dare’ – like prodding Schumer to show off how she would like her husband’s asshole. “Sad and gross is very popular right now” says Madonna, pushing her usual agenda of cultural provocateur to its extreme. “Tongue kissing” Jack Black as Madonna does during this video is an extreme, right?
However, beyond the eccentricity of hearing Madonna discuss eating out assholes – and so what – it is the manner in which she has become a social media creature (a habitue of Instagram and TikTok) that has seemed, well, slightly off in the last several years.
The faux British accent doesn’t bother me. Johnny Depp uses one all the time now, even when speaking to British people which is really fucked up. Revealing outfits and nipple slips? So? It’s not as if she is Iggy Azelea announcing an OnlyFans site. Besides. Did you see her Sex book which is now 30+ years old, and featured a completely nude Madonna, often, by herself and with varied partners? Facial surgery, Botox and plumping? Never a problem. Cher has had eight different heads in the last 10 years, looks pretty great (albeit unable to cry convincingly) and it is nunya – none of your business or mine.
Bravo to all that, Madge.
What is, perhaps, eccentric, is how all of those things occur all at once via Madonna’s Instagram and TikTok, and that – in the opinion of many – may not be all together symmetrical for people her age.
A recent Womenio feature titled “What Happened to Madonna” moves quickly into the theory that: “due to her recent actions, people are starting to wonder what happened to Madonna and where the direction of her career is headed. Not because she isn’t as talented as she’s always been, but because she seems to be against “acting her age”. This after a 2022 of Madonna’s Instagram posts such as here Christmas Day snaps in black lingerie alongside those of her hanging with her children. There was the Halloween time posts where she twerked in lingerie, rapped about punching people in their “motherfucking king face,” came out as gay according to a ring toss, and then said that she was not circumcised. Don’t forget the naked bathtub photos. All that, and that’s not counting all of her TikToks where she is just staring into the camera without eyebrows, and leaning closer and closer into the lens, while wearing a see-through top, and what seemed like a face full of fillers.
The New York Post asked (so-called) friends of Madonna’s why the singer may be concerned with plastic surgery. “She works hard on staying younger looking because she likes to feel younger,” said an anonymously sourced dancer friend of the 63-year-old star. “She hangs around with younger people because she finds people her age stuffy and boring.”
Another commenter, a Madonna impersonator, put it another way. “Just shut the fuck up” as a response to a comment about plastic surgery.
Beyond surgery, in 2021, the Daily Mail went after Madonna when she allowed her photo to be taken by Steven Klein while he held a knife to her throat (therefore facing charges of domestic violence glorification), wearing brads (cultural appropriation) and unpaid worker admission (exploiting workers). That same year, Nikki Finke and Page Six gave Madonna grief for editing her head onto TikTok influencer Amelia M. Goldie’s body while the latter wore a Joy Division t-shirt (in an apparent Ian Curtis dead rock star appropriation).
At the heart of all of Madonna’s decade worth of controversy is the question of how it is – or should – a 65-year-old woman act? And to that, I say, “act naturally.” If Madonna wants to shave her eyebrows, fill her face, and talk about eating assholes, have at it. As long as The Celebration Tour is great.