Madonna, more than an icon

Brenna McNamara

Courtesy Warner Records

Credit: Ron Soltys

I don’t remember my first Madonna experience.

I do remember, however, sitting in the far left corner chair of Kids Kutz, being angry at my mother for forcing me to get a haircut like one of the boys next door and listening to my mother and haircutter discuss Madonna’s relationship scandals.

I stopped getting my haircut like that in kindergarten. That day, before I was five, I understood that Madonna was kind of a big deal.

My point: She’s a prime example of a household name. She defines household name. She is ingrained in the vocabulary of our generation.

Madonna has an odd power. I hardly know anything about her music. I hardly know anything about her. I honestly don’t care, though I am sure there are those who take a stand to despise her. Still, the name “Madonna” is thunderous, almost intimidating.

Is this enough to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday?

That’s debatable.

Musically, she had numerous No. 1 songs and albums. However, none of her music dug deep into societal issues. The Beatles and plenty of other rock ‘n’ roll artists started out semi-petty and poppy, eventually evolving into social commentators. She was a reflection of her generation, no doubt, but didn’t use her medium for intelligent, important thought, which should be an important criterion for induction.

Justin Timberlake being the person to induct her proves that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t care about taking a stand for something bigger than being an icon. Maybe that’s OK. Maybe rock ‘n’ roll shouldn’t be so deep. Perhaps it’s all right to just be a star, nothing more.

Madonna’s influence cannot be denied. Her antics play a huge part in the politics of pop of today — the unison of sex and music. She may be distasteful or unlikable, but she is there in all her one-name glory.

If the Hall of Fame inducts based on fame, not profundity: Welcome, Madonna. You’ve been around the required 25 years; you’ve had numerous No. 1 hits and records; you’ve pushed norms and made hairdressers and mothers alike pissed at your frolics.

For some reason, though, I get the feeling that not many care either way.

Brenna McNamara is a sophomore journalism major and an all reporter. Contact her at [email protected].