There's a track on Madonna's upcoming (read: twice leaked) album Rebel Heart wherein her 'Madgesty' (that awful nickname UK rags bestowed upon her that time she decided to possess the body of an unsuspecting, posh British lady that rode horses, lived in a countryside manor and spoke with a befuddled accent that no SNL comedian has ever been able to master) proclaims that "the Queen's been slain." Madonna is, of course, singing here about *her favorite subject: Madonna. And she's right. No self-respecting "Queen" would ever be so thirsty (that's kid lingo for "desperate") as to premiere a video for her new single on Snapchat, the ephemeral messaging-cum-streaming-video app(?) now valued at $10 billion that millennials adore. Which is what's happening at some point today for her single "Living for Love." I know, right? So thirsty.
First off, can we all just agree to stop trying to make Snapchat "the content app" happen? It's like Jessie J. It's not gonna happen. Maybe you haven't even been made aware that Snapchat has a new Discover section -- where videos (long-form ones, at that) and, soon, web series from notable media outlets like Vice, CNN and ESPN are stashed away, because why bother going to YouTube or Netflix or Hulu or Amazon for streaming video when you can use an app made for dick pics? This is what we in the biz call a pivot.
Let's be real, Snapchat has one real use: It's for sending dick pics and boob shots and other assorted mortifying things you've done while drunk or high to your friends, lovers, potential lovers, classmates and colleagues through a third-party network because you've given up on privacy as a thing and, hey, look it's my dick. Snapchat as a content app is like using Grindr for friendships. Everyone involved is just kidding themselves.
But back to Madonna.
See, the old provocatrice is pushing 60. And she's still prancing around with her tits and ass out, high-kicking her thigh-laced boots and screaming, nay, bellowing "I'm fifty!" in the sad way Molly Shannon's SNL character once did. I mean, she can high-kick -- probably better than I can -- but that's not the point. Madonna's braying for the adoration of a generation that's been weaned on the crotch slap of Rihanna's "Birthday Cake." By premiering her new video for "Living for Love" on Snapchat, she 's telling that audience to consume her much the way they do when they get a 10-second glimpse of a wang. (I apologize for the amount of man meat mentions in this piece. It is, however, unavoidable.) The problem with that logic is, well, it's not really M's style. "Here today and gone a fraction of a minute later" isn't how I'd quantify the staying power of a pop career that's spanned and, more often than not, dominated the past three decades.
I could be wrong. Maybe it makes sense for Madonna to be on Snapchat. She can be unbearable to withstand for any prolonged period of time -- her 1991 documentary Truth or Dare is magnificent evidence of that. That's why we loved her in music videos. She was tightly scripted: There was a time constraint (usually no longer than four to five minutes), choreography, genius music production and enough "SEX" in all caps to help us forget how self-indulgent the woman is without a filter.
Now, the filter for Madonna the artist is Snapchat. But rather than obscure her narcissism to the point of brilliance, I fear it's only exposed her for who she's always been right down to the fatty tissue layer: someone who just wants to be "liked."
*Madonna used to be my favorite subject, too.
[Image credits: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty (lead photo); Getty Images (SEX book party); Associated Press (Truth or Dare premiere)]