London, Oct. 14: It happens to all pop superstars. First you’re the rebel, out to shock the world; and then, after the second platinum album, a fully paid-up member of the musical establishment.
A year or two down the line and you are kidding yourself (but not the world) that you can act, followed a decade later by the realisation that public adulation, a multi-million-pound fortune and homes in London, New York and Los Angeles simply aren’t enough.
From there, it’s a short step to a new “belief system”, a new husband or wife, children with daft names and magazine interviews expounding the joys of domestic life.
Madonna, once the naughtiest girl on the block, reached the last stage some time back, so it was only a matter of time before the world was treated to her wisdom in some glossy or other.
The result is an interview in the November edition of Harpers & Queen in which Mrs Guy Ritchie waffles on at length about her inner self, while explaining why it is necessary to deprive her children, Lourdes and Rocco, of television and, sometimes, their clothes.
The 47-year-old singer, whose desire to shock was manifested in sometimes graphic sexual poses, explained to her simpering interviewer how she had attained all the things everyone wanted to attain “and it doesn’t mean shit”. Luckily, the ancient belief system Kabbalah had come to the rescue, with its injunction to learn humility.
It has obviously worked ' the first person singular featuring only a couple of hundred times in her answers. After explaining how her dislike of London had turned to affection after the demands of her marriage to Ritchie, a film director, forced her to live in the capital, Madge, as he calls her, moved on to motherhood.
“I’m the disciplinarian, Guy’s the spoiler,” she said. “When daddy gets home, they’re going to get chocolate. I’m more practical; I worry about their teeth and make sure they’re taking care of themselves and getting school work done. That’s not my husband’s area of expertise. He’s the fun guy.”
Not picking up your clothes is a capital offence in the Ritchie household. When Lourdes leaves her clothes on the floor, they go in a bin bag and are hidden away.
“She has to earn all of her clothes back by being tidy, picking things up in her room, making her bed in the morning, hanging up her clothes, stuff like that,” said Madonna, who has suffered from clothes shortages herself.
As for the box, forget it. “My kids don’t watch TV,” she said. “We have televisions but they’re not hooked up to anything but movies. TV is trash. I was raised without it, I didn’t miss anything. TV is poison.
“We don’t have magazines or newspapers either.”
To the evils of carelessly discarded jumpers, newspapers and the telly is added that of milk. You eat fish in the Ritchie house, and whole-grain and veg. “We’re a TV and dairy-free house.”
Of herself, she says: “I’m coming from a point of view now, from experience, so I can help people, share what I know. I think of everything I do, ‘How is this going to affect people' What will they get out of this' Am I adding to the chaos of the world' Am I part of the problem, or the solution'’”
To which the answer must be: do shut up.