Madonna thought she saw a chance to become relevant again. She decided to leap into the gun debate with a video—and sort of a song—so gruesome it could be compared to Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece the “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” But she ended up making a very bad parody of the mainstream media’s attacks on our right to bear arms.
Madonna’s song is called “God Control,” which is confusing as the video is mostly about a fictitious mass-murder in a nightclub. The fictitious murderer is a man in a leather jacket who has long hair, a droopy mustache and glasses, and, oh yes, a machinegun—right, he doesn’t have a semi-automatic rifle; he has a machinegun. There are scenes in the video of coffins lined up in an empty church, all with bouquets of flowers on them, and of Jesus crying blood, and of a choir in red robes and white cassocks singing grave notes. Still, how “gun control” became “God control” is disturbingly unclear.
The eight-minute monstrosity of a video montage begins with a warning to viewers and then the statement: “Gun control. Now.”
Madonna is shown systematically throughout the video wearing black-lace gloves as she types hard-to-read statements on an old manual typewriter. In the scenes with the typewriter, she looks very serious as she reflects on what a mass-murderer did to her fans earlier that night. Alternately, we see and hear the steady beat of her typing and then see and hear her fans in a nightclub being mowed down by that murderer with a machine gun. We see bullet holes in people and a lot of bright, red blood. Next we are shown the dance club’s patrons bloody and dead on the dance floor and hung over the bar.
There is a weird split-second where it sounds like the killer is chambering a round from a new magazine into his machinegun, but he grabs the trigger guard or something. It’s all very confusing.
Meanwhile, last weekend, Madonna performed the song live in New York City flanked by background dancers dressed as police officers. Variety reported that Madonna told the crowd that the biggest problem facing America today is “gun safety and gun control, which is disproportionately affecting marginalized communities.”
Madonna, who is 60-years-old now, closed out the concert with her song “I Rise,” as images of the Parkland students appeared on screens.
Her confusing juxtaposition of dancers in police outfits and images of Parkland students—this, remember, is the school where a school-resource officer stayed outside with his gun even as he heard shots inside—pushed a muddled message at best.
To explain the weird video, the verbiage with the video on YouTube reads: “This is your wake up call. Gun violence disproportionately affects children, teenagers and the marginalized in our communities. Honor the victims and demand GUN CONTROL. NOW. Volunteer, stand up, donate, reach out.”
Madonna doesn’t even attempt to answer how pushing more gun-control laws on law-abiding gun owners would stop a sociopath. Other parts of the video, however, do attempt to give some answers.
Later in the video, Madonna leaves the club strutting and dancing with her entourage out onto a street. Finally, she is alone but still on a well-lighted and crowded street when two thugs grab her and push her against a wall. One pulls out a large revolver and they proceed to rob her before running off. During this scene, it’s hard not to think where the police are. It’s hard not to ponder how she thinks an individual is supposed to behave—are they supposed to be victims of anyone stronger than them? Questions keep coming: What if she had a gun? What if she refused to be a victim? Isn’t she supposed to be a big proponent of female empowerment?
It is also strange that throughout the video, Madonna is shown lighting and smoking a large green cigarette (tobacco?). And then Madonna is shown on a dance floor as she makes a pistol shape with her fingers and points it at her own head as she sings, “People think that I’m insane, the only gun is in my brain, each new birthday brings me hope, that’s why I don’t smoke that dope.” Huh?
Finally, the music video gives us images of gun-control activists holding anti-NRA signs and more. I watched this video again and again, trying to make sense of it, but it defies reason. It doesn’t even make sense as an emotional outcry, as its themes are too muddled. The only way it makes sense is as a clever parody of the gun-control movement. As a parody, it has the cheap feel of something from Hollywood’s “Scary Movie” franchise; it seems confusing by design; it never offers any answers; it is filled with overt propaganda; and it is hyperbolic in its effort to shock with choreography that looks very 1980s.
Madonna will almost certainly continue to be irrelevant in both the music and political worlds. Even some gun control activists have critisized the video. One thing this misguided propaganda once again shows is just how bereft the anti-gun movement is of real solutions.
Most-Revealing Anti-Freedom Quote of the Week
“We should have smart guns. No gun should be able to be sold unless your biometric measure could pull the trigger …. It’s within our right to do that. We can do that. Our enemy is the gun manufacturers, not the National Rifle Association.” –Presidential candidate Joe Biden said this during the second of the first two Democratic presidential-primary debates.
Pro-Freedom Quote of the Week
“It would have been great if one of the debate moderators had asked a tough question on guns. For example, could background checks on private gun transfers have stopped Parkland or any other mass public shooting? The answer, unfortunately, is that such a law wouldn’t have prevented a single attack in this century.” –John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, said this after the Democrat’s first two debates.
(Frank Miniter is the author of Spies in Congress—Inside the Democrats’ Covered-Up Cyber Scandal. His latest book, The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide to the Workplace, will be out this summer.)