I have been considering what to write about for my very first blog entry for The Huffington Post, going about my days waiting for a moment of inspiration that compels me to write about it. That moment hit this morning as I watched Madonna's halftime performance at Sunday's Super Bowl, featuring Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green and LMFAO.
I must admit that the Super Bowl and who is performing at halftime is not something that I would normally pay attention to, but Madonna's performance may change all of that. I did not love every minute of it. The nearly 13 minute show was so over the top, camp and decadent that it felt like a very gay mega disco landed from above, smack dab in the middle of The Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. There is definitely some level of personal satisfaction to be had for someone like me who grew up loving Madonna's character and celebration of gay culture in the 80s and early 90s. I definitely took some heat for it. She was too mainstream for my supposed punk and goth friends, and then too gay and camp for my straight friends. I finally talked my then best friend Chris to come with me to her Blond Ambition World tour in 1990 and we had the best time ever. She inspired me to be an artist and to pursue the realization your personal vision no matter what anyone else had to say about it. I remember in Alek Keshishian's documentary, Madonna: Truth or Dare, when the Canadian police were threatening to arrest her for performing "Like a Virgin" on stage and rubbing her herself provocatively. She comes back with:
"Yeah! I'm not changing my fucking show."
... and then walks past the police toward the stage, hand in hand with her girls, singing "Holiday! Celebration! Come together in every nation!"
I still find myself watching that movie when I need a little Madonna brand boost of determination to move forward. Now let's get back to Sunday's performance. I must admit that I am not without criticism of Madonna or the performance, but her decision to feature Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green and LMAO is a great one. In particular Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. are, for me, incredibly talented and smart ladies who were making music and successfully performing mega personas long before they hit mainstream success. Both of them continue to define who they are in a commercially driven and packaged world. There will definitely be some compromises to be made along the way and I will most often prefer them before they "made it big" and things risk getting canned and watered down for the masses, but if either of them have as long of careers and as huge of impacts as Ms. Ciccone, then I'm all for it. Imagine the halftime show that Nicki Minaj would put together, or better yet M.I.A.?! I imagine that "the children" out in the world would be gagging and might actually even attend the Super Bowl. I know I would.
Watch for yourself.