Things you find when you’re looking for something else entirely (Vol. 1, No. 1)


Michael Ignatieff, passing judgment on Madonna in 1994.

‘I don’t mind that I see her face on every magazine cover. I don’t mind that she is obscene. I don’t even mind that she can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t act and is none the less the most famous person on the planet. What I can’t stand is that she thinks she’s an artist.’

Discovered as an end note to this 2005 profile of the pop star.

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Things you find when you’re looking for something else entirely (Vol. 1, No. 1)

  1. Is there anything that Iggy hasn't opined on?

    • Given that he ran a highly popular and successful cultural commentary program and has written more books than the Conservative caucus has read, probably not.

    • Says the person commenting on a blog post …

  2. 1994? Seriously. A pop-culture comment from 1994 is relevant? Entertaining- sure, but not really fair.

  3. Great find! I wish the Iggy from 1994 could give some pointers to the 2009 version.

  4. Bah. Anything controversial the Cons already have lined up and ready for mass media bombardment as soon as they smell an election.

  5. You're probably right. Iggy is a gold mine in this respect.

  6. That's what disturbs him most eh?

    That she dares think SHE's an artist.

    Gee, wherever did Iggy get the pompous academic label?

    • From ravingly partisan neocons, I'm pretty sure.

  7. I'm guessing Harper barely knows who Madonna is.

    • As long as he doesn't say it in Mexico.

  8. Apparently Macleans has a much different standard of censorship than the Guardian, but these gems of irony- now heavily edited – are taken from that same article:

    'What is it about her? She's not a great singer or dancer. She just knows how to market herself'

    'I wish I could be inside her head. I like her career, and what she's done with her family'

    'There's something about her I don't like. She's mean. Madonna could afford to be a little more magnanimous and a little less of a c#nt'
    CHER, 1995

    'One day you're in f******* gun gear, then you're in horsing gear, then you dress like a f****ing d*ke, then you dress like a hooker, then you're in a flowery dress reading kids' poetry looking like a f******g librarian – then you're back looking like an old hooker again. You can't be all things to everyone and true to yourself. I don't care who you are'

  9. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and acts like a duck, chances are it's a duck,

    unless a conservative calls it a duck, in which case its a concoction from "raving partisan neocons", appearances of duckness notwithstanding.

    • A broken clock still gives the correct time twice per day. Google " Ignatieff pompous academic", and you'll find I was right – the top list of references are almost exclusively Canadian neocon blogger types. Though I'm sure they were highly engaged in debating the relative merits of Iggy as an academic long before he became Liberal leader. And that they would have called him that even if he'd opted to run for the Conservatives when they approached him.

      • Calling Iggy "pompous" and "academic" is nothing but a cheap shot. I'm one those centre-right types who likes the idea of a cosmopolitan, sophisticated, and academic leader.

        There are so many legitimate reasons to criticize Iggy. His alleged pomposity is not one of them.

        • Well put. Whether or not he'd make a good PM is debatable. His bungling of the spring update showdown calls his judgement as opposition leader in question, for that matter. All fair game and worth debating.

          But the whole 'academic' critique is maddening because a) it ignores that Harper was essentially an academic before entering political life too, and b) smacks of anti-intellectualism, which seems to be an unfortunate trait of some vocal necons.

          Also, prolific academics all contradict themselves, say silly things, and take outlandish positions. It's part of what they do,

  10. Iggy calling out Madonna becuase he doesn't thiink she is an artist? That is just too funny – has anyone here besides me tried reading one of his books, I mean really he calls himself an Author which is a form of creative expression a form of artist if you will – hmm you would think he would have a little more humility after all if one his books sold as much as one of her albums .. well … enough said – a weird sort of hypocrisy is going on in his mind.

    • How many Governor General awards, Booker short-lists, novels turned into movies on your resume Wayne?

  11. Wanting to be the leader of all of Canada tends to invite a tad of scrutiny, notwithstanding the left and their friends in the media' proclivity towards annointing.

    As an aside, suggesting that Canadians should have had an interest in Iggy – a run-of-the-mill Ivy League academic, long before he returned to Canada to lead us all,

    tends to support, rather than counter, the grandiose aura of granduer and ego that seems to permeate any discussion of Iggy by liberals.

    • It'd be grand if you could spell grandeur.

    • Why is it that every flipping Harper groupie writes about the Liberal party and its supporters using words of the most negative context possible.

      Filibusting only works when people can hear you.

  12. I never knew so many conservatives were Madonna fans.

  13. Of course, no one has claimed that Iggy is actually WRONG, only that he may or may not be a pompous academic.

    Which is particularly ironic given the content of the quote in

  14. He cannot stand what someone entirely unrelated to him actually thinks about… herself. Uh, ok…

    How I wish we could hear more about what the man actually plans to do as PM of this country. In the absence of any such sharing on his part, we will be stuck with Aaron finding things when he is looking for something else.

  15. I suspect that this is one of those things where we can force Iggy to backtrack.

    Put Madonna beside Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan, and ask yourself who has the better singing voice.

    Put Madonna's performances in "Evita," "A League of Her Own" and "Desperately Seeking Susan" againt Jack Black in "School of Rock," and ask yourself who's the better actor.

    Not an artist? There are people with less talent who are considered perfectly legit artists.

  16. Does Iggy want her tortured as well?