Madonna won't be reading this. "I don't read newspapers. We don't read magazines . . . and no television. At the end of the day, they're all noise," Her Madgesty told Vogue, a magazine, which put her on the cover for the thousandth time in August, and which I just got around to reading, because at the end of the day, I'm a trashy, vapid lover of noise. (How else would I be a not-so-secret owner of most of Madonna's CDs?) The singer, who is now more or less British ("Her Madgesty" is the Brit press claiming her for their own), invited Vogue onto her castle grounds for a big photo session with her husband and two children. (This was before she fell off a horse and broke a few bones on her 47th -- not a typo -- birthday, August 16.)
Madonna has for years made the media her bitch, using whatever form (print, music, fashion, movies, documentaries) suits her needs, but she has for many years consistently bragged about not reading or watching it. Like President Bush, whom she predictably professes to loathe, Madonna prefers to receive her news from her agreeable and trusted staff of lieutenants and spinmeisters. Publicists and assistants clip and save only what the star needs to see, lessening the chance that she'll fly off the handle and say something ditzy about current events.
Her children, Lourdes, 8, and Rocco, 5, have "never watched television," Madonna told Vogue. "They're fine. I don't think they miss it . . . my daughter is a voracious reader, and I'm very pleased about that." So long, one presumes, as Lourdes can content herself with Lemony Snicket and Rocco has a thing for Mommy's own line of children's books, but surely there will come a day when they might like a peek at the Daily Mirror or the Times of London. Madonna should hope someday to catch Lola (Lourdes's nickname, ready-made for pop stardom, Liza-style) with an illicit copy of Us Weekly, or even Vogue. (My faith is restored when any child self-starts her or his way into grown-up information.) Maybe Madonna's real fear is that Lola and Rocco are somehow, some way going to find out about "Shanghai Surprise" or "Who's That Girl?" But trust me, that won't happen. Just as Mama never made a blockbuster, the kids are never going to see the inside of a Blockbuster Video. Or, sadly, a newsstand or library.