I sit there looking at a girl I like… I’ve toggled in and out of this reality 500 times it seems like, always trying to fit molds. There she is, a tiny little beer gut, in a black, cotton long-sleeve work shirt, pouring beers, smiling genuinely, smiling falsely, and going about the duties she has as a girl, which I will never have. I think of everything and we all just seem born to die, like we’re carrying an empty basket of flowers which of course per basic laws of physics can carry no flowers since it’s empty, but Madonna’s “Don’t Tell Me” is playing over the PA. “Don’t Tell Me” by Madonna IS the point. It is what we are all hearing — it is the biting sunbeam of reality which will guide us all home tonight, point us up to our sandmen as we sleep in heavenly peace. “Don’t Tell Me” is the perfect mainstream radio song — the lyrics are universal, the music poppy and gravitational but not indulgent. It’s hard to imagine a more feministic statement — she’s literally standing up tooth and nail to detractors who would take away her freedom as a woman. Yet I like it as a man because it is great music. The first time I got laid, in June of 2001, it was playing in the girl’s car when she drove me back to my place. Even three months before that, at the dawning of spring, I remember talking to this chick I liked right when that song came out… a month prior is the only time I’d ever done acid, and suddenly, with the sun shining in through the windows that Friday afternoon in March, nothing else mattered, because I knew I had tasted life. It was Madonna, it was woman, the ever elusive object, woman the celestial object that never ends — she’s right there in front of you, you see her, and yet you don’t, not really… you do not truly see her essence, at least not with the part of you you want to see her, not by you attempting outer sight… Madonna is continually defying us, don’t do that, but she is continually teaching us, through music, and the extent to which we remain ignorant of her thrill, which she attempts to justify, we indulge in, we relish in, her “music,” which is the name of the album on which “Don’t Tell Me” originally came out.