Friday, September 03, 2004

First Lady Madonna

In this political season we are inundated with campaign ads. Stuck in a cabin on a rainy day in Wisconsin, I was exposed to the pitches of this state's senate contenders. Watching with the sound off, the ads were dream-like in their presentation - no political content - only iconography. One aspirant was pictured with his sleeves rolled up, with an attendant prepared to accept a blood donation - ...the blood of Christ shed for you... while the other candidate had a brief head shot and then a much longer shot of what I presume was his family (you have to realize that this is the state whose previous governor had a wife and TWO mistresses during his terms and was STILL reelected) in repose on the deck of their suburban home.

What intrigued me the most was that the mother was “nursing” the baby in her lap (bottle, not breast) in the classic Madonna ...all hail Mary, mother of God...pose. Who could vote against this? It is becoming more and more obvious that any issues are the furthest thing from a candidates’ mind when he or she prepare their ads. But, I mused, this IS Wisconsin, maybe that would explain it.

Until last week. The junior senator from my state has a wife who is a model/actress. The Washington Post featured her in a Vanity Fair type photo spread. OK, I thought. She has been a model all her life, that is her job. But then it dawned on me. She wasn't selling lingerie (she wasn't selling anything - it was a feature piece) - she was selling an image. Madonna had been taken. So she took the Whore role. The next day I heard her husband, the senator on a local sports talk radio show, sniggering about the whole incident. Sex still sells. I guess we will get the government we deserve. Is it not inconceivable that someday we will get a “First Lady Madonna”, baby at her breast? When the Catholic church made the Blessed Virgin Mary an icon it became much easier for them to convert the heathen.

Easier to win hearts than minds.

By Professor Batty


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