October 17, 2005

A Grand Theological Discovery

AS A PERSON OF FAITH, I have always felt it important to treat the views of religious believers with respect, particularly if I myself don't agree with them. I have always had confidence in my own outlook on life, and I realize that in most cases, such believers are just well-meaning folks who "walk the walk."

However, there's got to be a special exemption for Madonna, if only because she thinks she's all that and a bag of chips, and even worse, apparently thinks the rest of the world believes she's all that and a bag of chips. Dig this item from the Drudge Report, which has quotes from her upcoming -- God help us -- documentary:

"The material world. The physical world. The world of illusion, that we think is real. We live for it, we're enslaved by it. And it will ultimately be our undoing," Madonna explains in her new documentary film, I'M GOING TO TELL YOU A SECRET.

In the movie, which will premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on Tuesday, Madonna warns how people "are going to go to hell, if they don't turn from their wicked behavior."

"I refer to an entity called 'The Beast'. I feel I am describing the world that we live in right now. To me 'The Beast' is the modern world that we live in."


You know, it boggles the mind just to think of it. How amazing is it that -- a mere nineteen centuries since The Revelation to John was written -- Madonna would come up with such a grand theological discovery? Gee, just imagine what other spiritual truths the Material Girl might reveal. Maybe she'll rediscover the events in Exodus 15:25 next. I can imagine that:

... and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. And behold! the LORD said, "Dude, if you bottle this stuff, you can sell it to people for an amazing price, because it contains some ... ah ... you know, some mystical healing properties, or something. Yeah. Mystical healing properties." And the man said, "Dude, let us bottle this stuff, so we can sell it to people for an amazing price, because it contains some mystical healing properties. Besides, He is a jealous God, and this is the Old Testament, so He'll get really angry with us if we don't."

Anyway, I'm not annoyed with Madonna because she's getting preachy. I could care less about that, because no one is going to take her "material world bad" approach seriously until she fires her household staff, moves to a two-bedroom apartment and starts using public transport. Oh, and lets people download all her new music for free.

What really annoys me is that, in attacking capitalism, Madonna -- a very successful creative-type person -- is insulting and embarrassing less-successful creative-type people. Plus, she's making it harder for those folks to get ahead, albeit in a very small way.

Well, I think so, anyway.

Remember when Jonathan Franzen, whom I hope rots in perdition, turned down an Oprah's Book Club selection because Franzen, the wretched cur, thought the Oprah sticker reeked of "corporate ownership?" That was insulting and embarrassing to all the authors who would have given their right arm to get an OK from Oprah. A few months later, Oprah ended her book club featuring contemporary authors, and Franzen got on the short list of people whom I hope come down with typhus.

Well, I think Madonna is acting similarly to Franzen with this type of silliness. Brazen hypocrisy is one thing, but being so public about it is aggravating. Plus, there are many writers and artists and actors and poets who do need support from the buying public.

I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm a writer, and writers have looked for success since Dua-Khety wrote his instruction four thousand years ago, and told his son to become a writer. ("See, there is no scribe lacking sustenance, (or) the provisions of the royal house.")

But I can't help think about the difference between Madonna's silly attack on the system which enriched her and Cervantes' dedication to his patron when he published the second part of Don Quixote. In part, Cervantes wrote:

But the personage who has manifested the greatest longing for (Don Quixote) is the Emperor of China, who dispatched to me a month ago a letter by express messenger, begging, or rather imploring, me to send the knight to him, for he wanted to found a college for the teaching of Castilian, and intended The History of Don Quixote to be used there. Furthermore, he informed me that I was to be the rector of the college. I asked the bearer whether His Majesty had given him any money to defray my expenses. He replied that His Majesty had not given a thought to it.

"Then, brother," I answered, "you may return to your China at ten o'clock, or twenty o'clock, or at whatever hour you can start, for my health is not good enough to undertake so long a journey. Besides, in addition to being unwell I am confoundedly short of money, and emperor for emperor and monarch for monarch I stand by the great Count of Lemos in Naples. Without all such paltry college appointments and rectorships he protects me and confers upon me more favors than I can desire."

Hey, it may be that our society is overly concerned with making money. But there's something to be said for not dying broke.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at October 17, 2005 08:47 PM | TrackBack

If you look closely you will note that this is the 666th entry you have made on this blog.

Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

Posted by: Dean Esmay at October 21, 2005 01:00 AM

It's real easy to get down on capitalism after you've already made your money.

Posted by: Farmer Joe at October 21, 2005 09:06 AM


Gee, that's actually somewhat creepy.

Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at October 21, 2005 09:52 AM