By Phin Wong

April 25, Channel News Asia

The world is sick. And Madonna will save us all. The virus? Stupidity. The signs are myopia, loss of peripheral vision and grotesque bigotry. The side effects include the inability to think before you proclaim, the disposal of perspective and societal retardation. The consequences are devastating: Ugly children.

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone Ritchie turns a grand old 50 in August. This week, she releases her 11th studio album in her 26-year career, the urban-inflected Hard Candy. Months before its release, the good people of cyberspace had begun shouting their displeasure from their anonymous rooftops.

Comments littered on message boards, not unlike the irresponsible droppings of miniature Schnauzers, decreed that Madonna, still gleefully clad in corsets and short shorts should put her "cobwebbed fanny" away.

In this increasingly-ageist and sexist world, Madonna is, once again, at the receiving end of our displeasure. It seems we never wanted her around: She's been slammed for "stealing" from the underground for commercial gain in the mainstream, for not wearing clothes, for wearing too much clothes, for having her own children, for adopting other people's children, for venturing into fashion and film, for staying in the music business, and now for being 50.

So, if we don't like her all that much, why is Madonna still around? Because she works her booty off.

We live in a bizarre Paris-Hilton-ised time where young people feel a bizarre sense of self-importance. Perhaps it's because we place so much emphasis on staying young (if older people want to look young, doesn't that make young people "better"?).

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photo by NCA