The time? 1996. The Place? Most likely my backyard. Me and my portable cassette player were spending some much needed R & R in the California sun. I had been given a cassette tape with two songs, one on each side. Primitive doesn’t even begin to cover it. On one side was Madonna’s song “Hanky Panky” from the film Dick Tracy. On the other side, a new song Madonna had written for the film: it was called “Vogue.”
I stopped dead in my tracks, and couldn’t help but move. Now, because I was wearing headphones, I must have looked like I was eye-deep in an exorcism. Uncontrollably moving, jumping around as though my Underoos had caught fire. Something about the words spoke to me in a way only Madonna could. At the ripe age of 6, I had no idea who “Garbo” or “Dietrich” was, but I was aching to find out. (I would later come to find out that this was a full day’s lesson at Gay Man’s Orientation.) From that day on, Madonna stood on a pedestal-in my mind at least.
From her on again-off again British accent to her obvious deal with the devil (she is 53!) Madonna has held her place in popular culture for almost three decades. From controversy to Kabbalah, the big M will forever be known as the teacher of my favorite lesson: “strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.”
(I threw in the Pop-Up video version of this song for an extra dose of nostalgia.)
-Stan Salas, Customer Service Connoisseur and Contributing Blogger