While she’s no stranger to controversy, often Madonna’s political expressions are clouded with irony, shrouded in ambiguity. But in the video for her latest single God Control, her message is clear: America needs gun control. Now.
At the start of the eight-minute clip the pop icon is sitting at a desk, typing out the lyrics to the song as images of gun shootings flash across the screen.
“Everybody knows the damn truth / Our nation lied / We’ve lost respect,” begins the song, before moving into lyrics about the loss of innocent lives.
The clip uses the popular tactic of setting up a catastrophic scene – in this case a mass shooting in a nightclub – and then shifts back and forth to scenes before and after the tragic incident. A bit like those flashbacks and forward flashes witnessed in shows like How To Get Away With Murder and NCIS.
One thing is consistent: there is a lot of bloodshed.
Basically, the song and its clip are a “wake-up call”, as Madonna puts it, for all Americans to challenge their leaders’ stances on gun control and to realise that nobody is safe from mass shootings, be it praying in a temple or studying at a primary school.
Said Madonna, herself a mother of six: “It’s really scary to me that any public gathering, any place of worship, any school is a target, and that nobody’s safe.”
“I want to draw attention through my platform as an artist to a problem in America that is out of control and is taking the lives of innocent people.”
The pop icon added, “We know that gun violence disproportionately affects children and the disenfranchised in our society. This certainly inspires me to use my art and platform to advocate for change.”
The pop star said she would like to see changes in legislation, and to see more people getting involved and coming out to vote.
“We live in a democracy. We can change laws, but it requires organisation – and it requires consistency – and it requires people doing what they can do — at a grass roots level or on a larger scale. Which is what I’m trying to do.
“You can do it through your art, you can do it through activism in your own community. There are so many levels and ways to do it. I’m trying to stoke the fires and keep people focused on this crisis through my own statements.”
The video for God Control is directed by Jonas Åkerlund who had previously worked with Madonna on the clip for her single Ray Of Light.
View the clip for ‘God Control’ here: