Child Catcher Madonna has graduated through all the levels of super-celebrity status that seems necessary to become a global brand:
- advocated an obsure religion to all aspiring international super-celebrities
- provided well-documented slavish progress through some sort of extreme sport that normal people can only fantasise about achieving
- has acquired a picturesque and charming brown baby from an impoverished developing country
She now also has the ultimate marker of an international, emotionally stirring, globally recognised brand: poor old Esther now bears the mark of suffering at the hands of the public to seal her martyrdom as the misunderstood matriarch of pop music. Madonna was, basically, caught in a scrum of paparrazzi at Heathrow airport last weekend and has been wearing a bruise on her cheek as a result.
Hardly news as any old celebrity who wants some sympathy during a scandal can approach a camera-touting bystander and initiate a scuffle to gain a scrap of "oh, pity poor me and my endless persecution" attention. Madonna is usually above harvesting this kind of sympathy - but with the recent uproar about her adoption of Malawian boy David, she needs as many indicators of genuine physical hurt and distress as she can manage in order to cool the fury about her botched attempt to heal Africa.
The fact she was actually carrying the child in question while being roughed-up by the paparrazzi helps remind us that though it is fair to criticise such a public figure for her dubious adoption process and her intentions in bringing David to London, it's not exactly fair to have a go at her while she is holding the child in question in her arms. The kid has got Guy Richie as his adoptive father - he's got enough strife ahead of him already and really doesn't need to be beaten up the UK press too.
While we are in a mildly pitying frame of mind regarding Madonna and family, have a look at the comments to the news item posted here and see if your heart doesn't fill with compassion. Her hands do indeed look as if they need some tender, loving care as "it does appear that Madge's hands have become crippled from carrying that cross of hers."
Image shows Leonardo da Vinci's Madonna and Child (The Benois Madonna)