There’s a phenomenon you experience every now and then as a progressive: hating the thing the mainstream is currently telling you to hate, only for different reasons.
Reasons you have to keep explaining to people because you find yourself agreeing with them, but have to let them know that you’re not agreeing with their racist/sexist/classist/ageist/ableist ideas.
Today’s case in point: Madonna.
News with Nipples has a great post about a shite article which basically says “Ew, Madonna is old and gross and should stop being old and gross in public.”
The intro to the Madonna article is full of age-shaming:
“ON WHICH SIDE DO YOU SIT IN THE GREAT MADONNA DEBATE? SHOULD SHE KEEP REINVENTING HERSELF OR RETIRE GRACEFULLY?”
I’m sitting on the side with the third option: MADONNA SHOULD DO WHATEVER THE HELL SHE WANTS TO DO.
Besides, we all know that “retire gracefully” means “become invisible so we don’t have to see old people enjoying themselves in public and WORSE, have to look at their bodies”.
And it immediately made me think of a (fairly) recent Madonna music video which I, in face-value accordance with the mainstream and that article, utterly hate.
Here’s the bit I find myself always explaining to people, on the oddly-common occasions this comes up.
The mainstream hates it because: Madonna is acting like she’s still fit, fuckable, and entitled to wear spandex, but ew gross she isn’t because she’s old, ew.
I hate it because: the song ripped the core out of ABBA’s Gimme Gimme Gimme and that’s the only reason it’s memorable. In fact, it makes it so damn memorable I find myself singing it aloud in the shower. But the song is cack! It’s boring! It’s utterly mundane and unchallenging and ARGH I HATE IT.
Also, THAT’S NOT HOW YOU PLAY DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION.
But you can’t just get away with saying things like “God, I hate Madonna’s music video for Hung Up” because the immediate assumption is that you agree with the social narrative. And as soon as you start ranting about DDR and ABBA it’s glazed looks and “why do you take this so seriously” for all … then there’s nothing for it but slamming your head against a brick wall.