The answer is Yes!

Has Madonna lost her Midas touch – and her mind?
On the heels of last year’s bomb, “Swept Away” (a starring vehicle for the 44-year-old mother of two, directed by her husband, Guy Ritchie), comes her sudden decision to yank her new video, “American Life” – in which she dances around in military gear and tosses a grenade onto the lap of an actor playing President Bush – before it ever hits American airwaves.
(It has, however, been broadcast on German TV.)
Of her decision, she said in a statement: “[The video] was filmed before the war started, and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time.”
It may be a world of shock and awe – but Madonna’s not doing her best to be a part of it.
The one-time queen of controversy is mellowing with age – and losing her grip on pop culture.
She recently slammed the bulk of today’s young chart-toppers as largely talentless, well-packaged, photogenic pop stars.
Apparently, the irony is lost on the woman who gained worldwide attention by writhing around on stage in a wedding dress, slamming the Catholic Church, and releasing a sexually explicit video (“Justify My Love”) deemed too racy for MTV.
In fact, Joni Mitchell recently attacked Madonna as a “manufactured” talent-free pop star. Elton John was quoted as saying that Madonna’s tune “Die Another Day,” for last year’s James Bond movie of the same name, was the “worst Bond tune ever.”
Even that well-known arbiter of all thing hip, the Queen of England, dissed her – she didn’t know who the longtime London resident/internationally famous pop star was when she met Madonna at the London premiere of the film last winter.
Most importantly, Madonna once posted record sales of 10 million (1984’s “Like a Virgin”). But those numbers have waned in comparision to her younger competitiors, like Britney Spears and Eminem. Her last record, 2000’s “Music,” sold 2.9 million copies. (Eminem’s last record sold over 1 million copies in its first week alone).
Her 10th record, “American Life,” is in stores April 22, and while a new Madonna album would be nothing without attendant controversy, her new video – as well as her decision to pull it and yet make it available on DVD, seems less like a typically shrewd moves and more of a massive stumble.
(She did show one flash of cleverness, however: In an effort to combat Internet piracy, she uploaded funny fake tracks of her new album onto the Web).
Still, it’s hard not to expect more from one of the savviest marketers of all time. Even her most ardent fan would have a tough time defending some of her recent behavior as cool, much less cutting edge.
Aside from suddenly worrying about offending people with her new video, the author and subject of the X-rated book “Sex” has announced plans to write five children’s books with her husband. The first, “The English Roses,” is due in September.
Then there’s her upcoming guest shot on the sitcom “Will & Grace” – a stunt that everyone from Cher to Demi Moore to Matt Damon to Harry Connick Jr. has done.
Could it be more uncool at this point? And what’s up with the tracks suits?
Madonna was never a follower of mainstream fashion – she was the one who made an armful of rubber bracelets a must-have accessory for teenage girls, made crucifix necklaces cool, and changed her look as often as most people change their underwear.
But now she’s often photographed wearing matching tracksuits – a look popularized by Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears. She’s also taken to wearing a tweed newsboy cap – a trend that’s nearly exhausted its shelf-life.
Finally, there’s the 44-page photo essay of the Michigan-raised diva in the new W magazine. The last time anyone saw this much of Madonna was in her “Sex” book, which at least had the ability to shock.
The W pictures feel like reheated, tame outakes from “Sex.” Here’s Madonna winding herself around a stripper’s poles. Here she is curled up in bed, wearing fishnets and a corset. Here she is lying on a table with one leg literally yanked behind her head.
The most shocking thing about Madonna just may be, in fact, her inability to truly shock anyone anymore.