Monday, November 10, 2008

Shallow Siblings

"Life with My Sister Madonna" by Christopher Ciccone with Wendy Leigh Simon Spotlight Entertainment 342 pages $26

Let me go on record: I have never admired or even liked Madonna; don't believe I've ever heard any of her music, seen any of her movies or video appearances. Her recurring photo spreads in W magazine have been more than enough. The last series suggested that she'd had (enjoyable) sex with a stallion (yes, as in 'horse.') When I finally stopped laughing, I was appalled at the vulgarity, but then vulgarity has always been a Madonna trademark.

Why then, you ask, would I read this? To further fuel my hatred of her! What other possible reason could there be?

Ciccone starts his account in London during "The Girlie Show" 1993 appearances. We learn that she tries to run her life according to a strict timetable, makes incessant lists, is an insomniac and rarely sleeps more than three hours a night, wears size 7 shoes and that her favorite books are the diaries of Anais Nin (an earlier Madonna?) the poetry of Anne Sexton.

She doesn't allow the air conditioning to be used, claims she's always cold and that it's bad for her voice. Her contract riders spell out that her dressing room must be painted white; only white flowers are allowed - gardenias, tuberoses, lilies. No meat or alcohol admitted. Four boxes of her favorite candy -- Hot Tamales.

And that was just in Chapter One.

Ciccone professes love and admiration for her and then gets nasty. It was an engrossing read because underneath all the "I love my sister!" runs a deep river of resentment and loathing. Ciccone says she doesn't sing that well and is certainly not an actress; he's walked out on various of her movies, they were that bad. Not surprisingly "Uncle Christopher" has rarely been around her daughter Lourdes and never her son Rocco. "They're always with their nannies" he whines. He, I believe, is always with his mirror -- very much like his older sister. It's definitely a coin flip about which sibling is the most self-serving, spoiled or shallow.

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