to Madonna: YOU'RE NOT THE KIND OF HO THAT SANTA HAD IN MIND!:
Madonna with Child vs. Madonna
By psychologist, Dr. Bruce
L. Thiessen, aka Dr. B.L.T., aka Santa Shrink
When I was only 17, my father
wanted to find some California oranges for us at Christmastime. A prostitute
approached him, and knocked on his front door, said. “If you're lookin'
for a good time, I'll give you that, and more.
He said, "It's only oranges,
that's all I'm lookin' for, to feed my wife and family, the ones that I
adore. So leave me be, leave me alone, I'm good to go. I'm fine. You're
not the kind of ho that Santa had in mind."
If that story reads like
a song, that is because it is a song, but it's also a true story about
what happened to my dad. It's completely true, with the exception of the
last line. I tacked that on for effect. My dad couldn't have said it, because
until he actually heard the song, he didn't know what a "ho" was.
If my dad seems naïve
in the story, that's because we had just moved down from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,
Canada where hookers are rarer than hen's teeth.
The story and song have
a moral, actually more than one. My dad isn’t perfect, but in this case,
like many others, he modeled assertive consumer behavior as well as assertive
moral behavior. My father knew that what he was looking for, oranges, was
innocent, wholesome, healthy, juicy, rich in vitamin C, but in no way forbidden
fruit. When pressured to buy the forbidden fruit, something that didn't
fit his needs, something decidedly less wholesome, and something that could
threaten his health, his family, and his self-respect, he promptly turned
down the offer, tempting though it may have been. The second moral
of the story is alluded to in the chorus:
You're not the
kind of ho
Extracted from the Christmas
song, “You're Not the Kind of Ho that Santa Had In Mind” by Dr. B.L. Thiessen,
That Santa had in mind
So get up off the streets
There's better work to
Tricks were meant for
And it's almost Christmastime.
You're not the kind of
That Santa had in mind...
I intended the song to be
broad in its interpretation and application. The underlying moral is not
only directed at the "ho" in the narrow definition of the term, but to
all ladies, young and old, particularly those in the music or entertainment
industry, who would cheapen themselves, or their art, just for the sake
of selling more records.
The moral of the song is
one I'd like to expand upon, based upon the example provided by the Virgin
Mary, the original Madonna. My primary concern is the type of values (or
lack thereof) promoted in the media, particularly through the vehicle of
modern music. It has to do with the type of “rock 'n’ role models” out
there in contemporary culture (or lack thereof) for young women to emulate,
specifically on the modern, musical Madonna (the anti-Madonna) and to all
those who would follow in her spiked-heeled, misguided footsteps.
Madonna Gone Wild: an Impostor
and an Anti-Madonna
The word Madonna means "my
lady" in Italian. It is the name associated with countless artistic renderings
of Mary, mother of Jesus, most often depicted holding an infant Jesus.
The modern day singer/actress known as Madonna, is actually an anti-Madonna
and an anti-virgin. Everything she has ever represented goes against the
grain of what the original Madonna, mother of Jesus, stood for. 'Modern'
Madonna is undoubtedly gifted with talent and has had her artistic moments.
Furthermore, I don't want to make modern Madonna the scapegoat for all
that has gone wrong with pop music, but in my opinion, 'modern' Madonna
is more a purveyor of perverted sex and panegyric praise for pagan hedonism
than a purveyor of art.
Pardon the Pun, but I’m not
Knockin’ the Booty
If you've ever read the
Old Testament book entitled Song of Solomon, you'll understand that God
made the body as a reflection of ultimate beauty, something awesome to
behold. The body is indeed cause for celebration. Likewise, he did not
intend sex to be bereft of pleasure. It was God, and a holy God at that,
who created the body and that same holy God created sex. Thus, it behooves
those who live in that body, and who are filled with sexual urges, to read
and follow the manual of Emmanuel. If the message underlying her music
is any indication, pop star Madonna, has very little regard or respect
for that manual and would prefer to write her own, but it's time we all
read between the lines. Check the small print in the linear notes.
The devil is in the details.
Like a Virgin?
Though she had a few benign
dance ditties on the charts prior to “Like a Virgin,” “Like a Virgin” was
her first defining hit. With that smash under her fat, 80s styled belt,
pop star Madonna made her grand entrance into a stunningly successful musical
career. But in the song, the singer irreverently mocked virginity
as an antediluvian, Victorian virtue. She has been mocking it, and the
virtues of Madonna, the mother of Jesus, ever since. That is tragic, because
she has taken center stage for decades, and has had multiple opportunities
to be a “rock 'n’ role model” for young women around the world. To be fair,
there is some modicum of redeeming value in her long, commercially successful
career. Who can knock her performance in Evita, for example? Over
the decades of her decadence, Madonna would even through a few scraps of
virtue to the moral watchdogs of the day. “Papa Don't Preach,” for example,
contains a clear moral, and though the girl in the story will never be
“Like a Virgin” again, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to experience
the song as a pro-life anthem.
Madonna has squandered her
inheritance apart from a string of prosaic, but otherwise benign, bouncy
love songs, and the odd morally redeemable ballad. She has catered to the
lowest common denominator and shamelessly defiled the name of the original
Madonna. I realize that she may have suffered from religious abuse as a
child. Her father prohibited television and apparently regularly shoved
the Roman Catholic religion down her throat, but did she really have to
throw baby Jesus out with the bathwater? Think of what a powerful influence
on children and teens she could have had. Think of how many young minds
she could have illuminated and shaped for the betterment of society. In
a recent melancholy melody, Madonna proclaimed that there was nothing greater
than the power of good-bye. Hello? What about the power of holding a worldwide
audience in your hands? What about the power that comes with drawing upon
the same divine power the original Madonna drew from, and using it to infuse
countless fans with core human values and virtues?
There would be a steady
string of hits to follow “Like a Virgin,” but sandwiched between every
set of harmless hits would be Madonna's display of her true colors, in
songs and 'artistic' sentiments designed to perpetuate her anti-Madonna
belief system. It would be quite a stretch for a music critic to label
Madonna's Material Girl as a satirical indictment of the worship of material
things. It is my opinion that the song clearly glorified materialism as
the sole (as opposed to soul) reason for living. The original Madonna,
the mother of Christ, lived a meager existence but left a legacy rich in
purity, humility, and spirital devotion.
Madonna hit her nadir in
the early nineties when she released Erotica and its concomitant
book, Sex. The CD, videos and book pushed the limits of sexual expression
to perverse, vile and twisted levels. She regarded it as art. I regarded
it as carnal vomiting. That side of her has not retired. All that is carnal
in the new millennium made a huge comeback with music video “Music” in
which she glorified the pimp and ho life while wildly winking at bisexual
The vapid video presaged
the return of 'Madonna Gone Wild' in 2003 at the MTV Video Music Awards
(aka The Pimp
and Ho Show). I'm referring to the kiss of death between Britney Spears
and Madonna. It was more than the kiss that I reacted against. It was what
it symbolized and projected to young men and women with curious and vulnerable
minds. Like the Judas kiss, it was a betrayal--in this case, a betrayal
of good taste, artistic integrity and basic values. History may reflect
on it not as future footnote in the pages of contemporary cultural history
but a contributing factor and defining moment on the road to the eventual
death of values-based music.
Madonna spent decades designing
a luxurious, deceptively shallow pool and Britney jumped in head first.
Britney wannabes are likely to follow this female Pied Piper of perversity
to that same pool and dive in after her. Parents, ministers, youth directors
and Christ-centered psychologists like myself can expect a lot of bruised,
bloodied heads to bandage.
As we try to undo the damage
of pop music's master mogul, Madonna--the Madonna imposter, the anti-Madonna,
the Madonna Gone Wild--we will need to offer an alternative. We need to
point to the original Madonna-Madonna with Child, to the baby savior that
she delivered, and to the deliverance that this baby king offers to material
girls living in a material world.
The Bible says that believers
will be known by their fruits. Can we compare Madonna Gone Wild with Madonna
with Child? It's like comparing forbidden fruit with ripe, salubrious oranges.
My dad made his choice. It was oranges. He just said no to the ho. No,
she was not the kind of ho that Santa had in mind, and neither is the anti-Madonna.
So, Madonna, I'm no saint,
but I would urge you to reconsider the type of message you want to deliver.
Just like your song title “Like a Prayer” suggests, redemption is, a prayer
away. Give your heart to the Christ child that Madonna delivered and you
will have something worth delivering. To those young ladies who lost their
virginity ho-style, it's not too late for you either. Turn from those Madonna
and Britney Spears records, follow the music of Jaci Velasquez or Rebecca
St. James. If you prefer things a little more rockin', then get on board
with the likes of the frontwomen from Sixpence None the Richer and Evanescence.
Or check out rock 'n’ role model bands like Chevelle, Threefold7, Creed,
Jitow, Dashboard Confessional, P.O.D., and Switchfoot. You may never be
"like a virgin..." again, but you can be "touched for the very first time,"
or the second, or the third, in a spiritual place by a spiritual hand from
above. As for your redeeming your relationships here on earth with mortal
are meant to share with someone that you love
Merry Christmas from Santa Shrink,
aka Dr. BLT, aka, Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen!
Someone who will fit
you, just like hand in glove
So find that man, hold
him tight and never let him go
And maybe he'll forget
about the days you were a ho!