Friday, October 10, 2014


American Life came out right when we were about to go to war in Iraq. The video that Madonna created for this song involved Madonna and group of tough looking female dancers dressed in fatigues dancing while on a runway, models dressed as soldiers, some of whom have amputations, and middle-eastern children parade in front of cameras and a President Bush look-alike. Madonna and the dancers drive a car onto the runway and throw a grenade at Bush, who catches it and it turns out to be a lighter with which he lights a cigar. Well people lost their FREAKIN' minds!!!! Madonna was accused of being un-American and pro-Iraq. She was labeled a traitor. With all the political heat going on in the country, Madonna decided to withdraw the video before it aired in the U.S. and replaced it with a tamer, (frankly) boring video. It's a shame because her REAL statement was about peace and how the war was being paraded out as if you were un-American if you were for peace! The video and the song are both brilliant. Very Euro-pop and ahead of their time. And don't jump on the "Madonna shouldn't rap" train because she's done it before. Remember Vogue? Anyway, the song all but died in the U.S. due to mass hysteria over nothing, peaking at #37, but everywhere else in the world it was a huge success. The song reached #1 in five countries and top 10 in thirteen more, including #2 in the UK. Madonna later released the following statement about the song and video, "I feel lucky to be an American citizen for many reasons - one of which is the right to express myself freely, especially in my work. I understand that there have been reports about my upcoming video "American Life" in the media - much of which is inaccurate. I am not Anti-Bush. I am not pro-Iraq. I am pro Peace. I have written a song and created a video which expresses my feelings about our culture and values and the illusions of what many people believe is the American dream - the perfect life. As an artist, I hope that this provokes thought and dialogue. I don't expect everyone to agree with my point of view. I am grateful to have the freedom to express these feelings and that's how I honor my country." Watching the video now, nothing about Iraq even springs to mind. It's actually just a very cool song and video that deserves it's place in the lexicon of her music. Enjoy the controversial video for American Life.

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