Paglia on Madonna: A horse is a horse is a horse, of course

class=img_thumbleft>Madonna's back. Camille Paglia's back. There's nothing we can do about that, but Paglia's overwrought Salon


of Madonna's underwrought record is a fine summation of why it's probably best to ignore both of them:

At a recent party in New York celebrating Salon's 10th anniversary, the formidable Cintra Wilson said mordantly to me (I scribbled all this down on a cocktail napkin at the bar), "Madonna is the Robo-Celebrity, calcified with discipline--religiously saintly, physically superhuman, in all ways faultless. She represents the unspoken desires of America--to be good at everything!"

Even allowing for the fact that she must strenuously maintain her hipness for a busy husband 10 years her junior, Madonna is starting to morph into the mature Joan Crawford of "Torch Song," still ferociously dancing but with her fascist willpower signaled by brute, staring eyes and fixed jawline. In cannibalizing her disco diva days, Madonna runs the risk of turning into a pasty powdered crumpet like the aging Bette Davis in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" Will she become a whooping Charo shaking her geriatric hoochie-coochie hips on TV talk shows? Or should we expect a sudden, grisly collapse from glowing beauty to dust, like Ursula Andress as the 2000-year-old femme fatale in "She"?

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