Madonna Nirvana (Ep. 173 - Madonna)

This Week's Guest: D'Arcee Charington Neal

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Join us on tonight's episode when my guest D'Arcee recalls what may have been the worst thing anyone's ever been told by their boss.

We'll have that conversation in a minute -- but first, if you're looking for more podcasts to listen to, check out the show I just launched along with some fantastically funny drag queens. The show's called Queens of Adventure, and it's based on our live shows where drag queens play a real Dungeons & Dragons adventure. Queens of Adventure brings together larger-than-life drag shows and epic fantasy adventures, with the queens rolling the dice every other week to combat killer wigs, tame burly bears, investigate shady seamen, and misty step their way into your heart. Season One just launched -- head over to to subscribe.

And if you're in Seattle, mark your calendars for June 21! We're doing our next live Dungeons & Drag Queens show at Kremwerk just in time for Pride. Tickets are now on sale at

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And I hope you'll join us for the next Sewers of Paris live chat -- on Saturday, June 9, at 2pm Pacific. There's a link pinned to the top of the SewersOfParis twitter feed -- see you there!

This Week's Recommendation: Human Nature

Thanks again to D'Arcee for joining me. For this week's recommendation, check out the music video for Madonna's Human Nature. Surrounded by dancers in light bondage gear, her body is pried open as she chants that you should express yourself, don't repress yourself. The entire song is a non-apology for feelings and words that don't require an apology. The focus is unmistakably sexual -- no surprise, given the artist -- but there's also a winking playful shrug as the visuals shift from aggressive writhing to goofy images like a Chihuahua in leather chaps.

The conflict in the video is totally spellbinding. On one hand are the demands of the dance, which has emotional figures bound, thrown, flogged, and and tangled in rope, seemingly out of control of their own bodies, along with angry lyrics like "I'm not your bitch don't hang your shit on me." But on the other hand there's shots of laughter, and comfortable confident ease in bondage scenes.

Throughout, the lyrics repeat "I'm not sorry. It's human nature." Sex, as it's shown in the video, is relentless and uncontrollable and violent -- but also funny, if you let it. Libido grabs hold of us all with forces beyond our control, and by the end of the video we see Madonna happily going along for the ride. 

The video concludes with her staring into the camera. "You're the one with the problem," she says. "Absolutely no regrets."

Stuff We Talked About