Her last effort, 2003's "American Life," trumpeted the star's opposition to the Iraq war, complete with a violent video that included a spoof of President Bush. It drew the usual cries of outrage from her detractors, but for the first time in her two-decade career, sales were lackluster.Right, that was the problem. Madonna was being punished for going "against the grain." The formerly uncontroversial pop star got pummelled for daring to step out of line.
"Of course I was disappointed," she says, the bitterness still present in her voice and her eyes. "I sort of knew it already, but if you're an entertainer, you're not allowed to have an opinion. ... if you go against the grain, you will be punished. I thought there would be a lot of people who agreed with me."
It's the same anti-war stance that crushed the careers of Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Michael Moore (whose anti-war film was the hightest-grossing documentary of all time), Jennifer Aniston (on the cover of every magazine in Christendom), Al Franken (#4 on the New York Times Bestseller list this week), Jimmy Carter (#1 on the NYT list), and dozens of others.
Could it be that Madonna's album simply...er....um....bit? Nah, couldn't be that. If there's one thing the people have always demanded from Madonna, it's that she stay in line.