Who are the prophets of today? How does God talk to us all?
Here is Madonna as Madame X, but with both her eyes open (hmm) in a work of art that I’ve categorised as ‘experimental’, as it blends the forms of song and film and the character as observer and participant, victim and survivor. The specific subject of mass shootings and inadequate gun control is particular to the USA and Madame X speaks into that situation as loudly as anyone could. I think she is fulfilling her duty as an artist, which is to help people see something they can’t or won’t see.
I’m fascinated by the title of the song and the personal theology that might lie behind it. Is she saying “we don’t need to control guns, we need to control bad people who use them, and God must do this for us all, because we can’t?” – in other words a kind of prayer. It’s certainly a lament “We lost God control”. Surely she’s not saying that God used to generally keep things in pretty good shape, but then s/he has ‘let go’ of us all lately? Or is it just a reference to the way formal religion has historically been a means of social control?
So who will take any our sins and save us from ourselves?