Caught in the Act: 3 Insights from Madonna’s epic fall


So was it just me or did you also interpret with alarm, the dancing “bulls” as a troupe of devils when Madonna the matador appeared at The Brit Awards?

The climax last night stirred a certain nervousness in me as I witnessed the sinister robed figure gliding down the catwalk for the final act. It was her first stage appearance at the awards in twenty years!

I caught my breath incredulously as one of the cast of masked, horned characters yanked the superstar Madonna backward off the steps she was ascending with a horrible crack.  Her cape had failed to come apart on cue.

I gasped at the knowledge that an epically viral moment was unfolding live on air  I simultaneously felt for the mortified dancer and stylist who would be wishing the very fires of Hell now being projected on set would swallow them up.

As would be expected of a true professional, Madonna was back in the flow within seconds however much pain she was postponing. The irony was only too clear as she picked up the lyrics bravely.

“Took me to heaven and let me fall down
Now that it’s over
I’m gonna carry on
Lifted me up, and watched me stumble
After the heartache, I’m gonna carry on”

What happened next nearly took me down with her and I will share three insights to challenge how I unguardedly became caught up with the frenzy of commentary

1.  Beware of the need to impress!

I felt the need to engage and immediately remarked in a friend’s facebook thread.  (Responses were already inflamed by the earlier spectacle of Kayne West’s muted obscenity punctuated performance).

This was my first thought. “That’s what you get for dancing with devils!”

This was just out and out gossip.

2.  Compassion conquers carelessness

I was genuinely horrified for her and her team.

Was she naively courting disaster?

Was she brazenly flouting?

Was she a victim of her own inflated hype?

After intentional controversy on controversy, could the impression of celebrity status infallibility have instilled within her a dangerous pride?

So what? In all of this she was a fragile human being whose moment had been spoiled and who might even have suffered a serious fracture.

3. Leave some things unsaid whether they are true or not

Still I thought to add something in Twitter today along the lines of “Pride comes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”  Then I realised I was taking the very same haughty stance this proverb warns of. By standing in judgement of a motive only God and Madonna between them know the truth of, I am similarly being yanked backward in my own inelegant and dangerous insecurity.

So the enigmatic Madonna played again with fire and possibly even intended to burn. It is another enduring controversy that will twist on for years to come. And I was caught out.

In the words of another proverb, I again choose to remember to guard MY heart for out of it flow (or are tangled) the issues of life.

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