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Who Says Telecom Is In the Dumps?

from The Washington Post

February 2003

(Okay, Madonna wants us to believe that she is not really a greedy, materialistic jerk, but she bought at least one $20,000 telephone. Keep reading.)

Excerpt:

... the price of a fancy mobile phone with a $20,000 price tag, hawked by "luxury communications company" Vertu. I've mentioned this high-falutin' phone in an earlier Filter, but Filter reader Roger Yee points out an updated article in The Economist that indicates sales of the phone -- sold in stainless, gold and platinum with a sapphire-crystal screen -- are hot with the Hollywood jet set.

"Gwyneth Paltrow, an American actress, was the first customer. Madonna and Mariah Carey are said to be Vertu fans; another singer, Jennifer Lopez, is reported to own three.

Vertu is the brainchild of Frank Nuovo, a design guru at Nokia, the world's largest handset-maker, of which Vertu is a subsidiary." Still, The Economist ponders the question that keeps us all up at night: Whether there really is a big enough market to support such a high-priced gadget.
The Economist: The Origins of Vertu

The origins of Vertu ( Feb 20th 2003): From The Economist print edition:

Excerpt:

Is there really a market for a $20,000 mobile phone?

IF YOU can spend $20,000 on a watch, why not on a mobile phone? That is the idea behind Vertu, which describes itself as “the first luxury communication company”.

Its stylish handset—the company prefers to call it an “instrument”—features a sapphire-crystal screen and ruby bearings, and is available in stainless steel, gold and platinum finishes, with prices ranging from $4,900 to $19,450.

Since its launch, the phone—sorry, instrument—has become a celebrity favourite. Gwyneth Paltrow, an American actress, was the first customer. Madonna and Mariah Carey are said to be Vertu fans...

Fake Nipples, Anyone?

http://gm.tv/index.cfm?articleid=3100

Fake nipples? Hmm, why not? Everything else about Madonna is fake.

Excerpt:

We didn't believe it when we saw it on [American calbe television program] Sex and the City, but now Madonna's wearing them

With the see-thru shirt a must-have fashion item this season, nipple enhancers are destined to be in all our wardrobes this spring.

...Ollie reckons that there is no way Madonna could have achieved a certain pert effect in a recent outfit designed by her pal Stella McCartney.

So you've been warned - fake nipples are set to storm spring fashion!

Madonna and the hunger for renown

http://charleston.net/stories/022003/tho_20prbtcol.shtml

by Bill Thompson

February 20, 2003

Excerpts:

Granted, faux-feminist Madonna is a pop "phenomenon," not a serious artist, and not too many years removed from her origins as an idol of the post-pubescent set. ...

You want powerful women? Great. So do we. But how about one of substance?

. . . . As Hartford Courant critic Joe Harrington so aptly put it in his riposte to author/Madonna worshipper Gerri Hirshey ("We Gotta Get Out of This Place"), "Hirshey sees Madonna as the ultimate female liberator. As a result, Hirshey subjects us to pronouncements including: 'Let us succinctly regard her as a leather-bustiered Hale-Bopp that hurtled smack into the Information Age at an astrologically and technologically propitious moment and rendered us all slightly awe-struck.' Speak for yourself, Gerri.

Hirshey might believe Madonna's media-whore persona was a godsend for women in general, but there are just as many critics who find her facile dalliances with postmodern styles to be posturing of the worst kind.

Hirshey perpetually makes the big mistake of a lot of postmodern critics: She fails to realize that when the artist in question is doing what amounts to garbage, his or her so-called 'innovations' don't matter."

Madonna to Publish Children's Books

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/stories/news.cfm?instanceid=57191

from The National Enquirer

The following story says that these books - some of which, Madonna admitted, are based upon stories she heard from her Kabbalah cult leader - will have "universal appeal," leading me to ask:

"Universal appeal"? For whom, bi-sexual, cross dressing men who like to molest children? For strippers in bars? And are these freaks really "universal"????? Is Madonna going to market these by stapling condom packages in every copy?

March 5, 2005

According to reports, Madonna has signed a five book publishing deal with Penguin Group -- to write children's books.

According to chairman and chief executive of the publishing group, "Madonna is an artist with a universal appeal and these books will touch children of all backgrounds everywhere in the world."

Daily Dish: Tigress & Euphrates

from New York Daily News

March 6, 2003

[Iraq's former leader, Saddam Hussein, used Madonna's new album, "American Life," for Propaganda Purposes]

Tigress & Euphrates

Madonna has a new groupie: Saddam Hussein.

Reports from Iraq say the singer's anti-war stance has rehabilitated her in the eyes of the dictator.

For 10 years, the ruling Baath Party banned mention of Madonna, whose song "Like a Virgin" was seen as an admission of a woman's disgrace.

But this week, the ruling party's newspaper, Al Thawra, hailed the singer for her single "American Life" and its video, in which she "shows her opposition to an attack on Iraq."

Though Saddam has long preferred ABBA, his party organ is now saluting the "Evita" star, who "has always stood out for her interpretations."

La Iraq Bonita: Why Saddam Hussein is Madonna's new No. 1 fan

b y Emily Nussbaum, source: Slate/MSN

March 7, 2003

Madonna. Like many music critics, Saddam Hussein appears to be a fickle, fickle man, easily swayed by ego-boosting freebies. "For 10 years, the ruling Baath Party banned mention of Madonna, whose song 'Like a Virgin' was seen as an admission of a woman's disgrace," reports the New York Daily News.

"But this week, the ruling party's newspaper, Al Thawra, hailed the singer for her single 'American Life' and its video, in which she 'shows her opposition to an attack on Iraq.' Though Saddam has long preferred ABBA, his party organ is now saluting the Evita star, who 'has always stood out for her interpretations.' "

Lycos News: Madonna's Sex Phase Was a Mistake [Admits Madonna]

http://music.lycosasia.com/music_news/7000072188_C.html

March 12, 2003

Here's Madonna, telling people what she thinks they want to hear - how stupid does she think we are? The only reason she's saying any of this is due to marketing considerations: she knew people were tired of her trampy, slutty antics of the past:

Pop queen MADONNA has conceded her early-nineties SEX phase was a big mistake - blaming it on her ego running wild.

The singer and actress - who bared all in the hit art photo book of the same name - thought detailing her sexual fantasies on paper would do some good.

She says, "I was just being an ego-driven nutcase. I thought I was doing a service to mankind, being revolutionary, liberating women.I wasn't."

» Same article available from:

» http://www.rochestertoday.com/entertainment/music/story.aspx?content_id=8C82DF00-2AAA-4C2A-BF07-2F6CB98F53AE

» http://www.klrt.com/entertainment/music/story.aspx?content_id=8C82DF00-2AAA-4C2A-BF07-2F6CB98F53AE

» http://www.wixt.com/entertainment/music/story.aspx?content_id=8C82DF00-2AAA-4C2A-BF07-2F6CB98F53AE

» http://www.woai.com/living/music/story.aspx?content_id=8C82DF00-2AAA-4C2A-BF07-2F6CB98F53AE

» http://www.newschannel34.com/entertainment/music/story.aspx?content_id=8C82DF00-2AAA-4C2A-BF07-2F6CB98F53AE

» http://www.fox23.com/entertainment/music/story.aspx?content_id=8C82DF00-2AAA-4C2A-BF07-2F6CB98F53AE

Desperate Madonna Asks Fans To Promote New Single

from Pop Dirt

March 27, 2003

Excerpts:

The Scottish Daily Record reports Madonna is employing fans as salesmen to flog her new single 'American Life'. Fans are urged to join The Madonna Project to sell the digital version of the single in return for credit and prizes.

Warner Bros record company bosses say on their website: "The Madonna Project will revolutionize how music is distributed on the internet. It's also going to revolutionize the amount of cool Madonna prizes you have in your house. We're going to make it worth your while."

Desperate Madge Asks Fans to Promote New Album

from The Daily Record

March 28, 2003

The multi-millionairess [Madonna] is so desperate for American Life to be a hit, she is encouraging people to promote it for her on the internet.

. . . Fans are urged to join The Madonna Project to sell the digital version of the single in return for credit and prizes.

Warner Bros record company bosses say on their website: "The Madonna Project will revolutionise how music is distributed on the internet. It's also going to revolutionise the amount of cool Madonna prizes you have in your house. We're going to make it worth your while."

Of course, Madge benefits financially and, possibly, chartwise. But American Life has been mauled by the critics.

Madonna, Institution and Rebel, but Not Quite the Diva of Old

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00710F73E5D0C728FDDAA0894DB404482

from The New York Times (abstract version)

March 31, 2003

Excerpts:

This is how the music world is changing: Madonna, who has been a pop diva for two decades, may be looking at the final stages of a long career.

She crashed and burned last year in the movie ''Swept Away,'' a project with her husband, Guy Ritchie, who directed the film. And her most recent albums, with their underground European techno beats, have failed to capture audiences anywhere near the size of those that bought her earlier albums. She has sold about $200 million in CD's and other products throughout her 20-year career.

...But it has been so long since Madonna has had a hit that radio stations are wondering if listeners want to hear her new material.

''Radio is still searching for her relevance,'' said Robert P. Burke, vice president and managing director at Friday Morning Quarterback, a radio trade publication.