Elton John is at it again, lobbing insults at Madonna. Besides the rather one-sided nature of the feud, the real loser is the public, because he's just not a clever fighter. He's that cantankerous old man who will complain to anyone who will listen and, being Elton John, he has a rather big megaphone, but most of what comes through is a big ol' yawn.
In an interview with music journalist and personality Molly Meldrum that aired Sunday, John, just as easily as he name-drops — Katy Perry, Rihanna (we get it, E.J., you're famous) -- serves up some mean dishes for Madge.
It's unclear from the way the video interview is edited exactly what starts John on his Madonna rant, but rant he does: "She's such a nightmare. Sorry. Her career's over, I can tell you that. Her tour's been a disaster and it couldn't happen to a bigger (bleep)."
John loves Lady Gaga, he assures us, saying "she's the real deal." Gaga is on Team John a) as godmother to his son Zachary and b) because Madonna criticized her for peeling from "Express Yourself" for Gaga's own "Born This Way." Madonna has "been so horrible to Gaga," John notes. This is the same Madonna he says "looks like a — fairground stripper."
What's actually horrible are John's insults. They aren't smart, or witty, they're just angry. The two used to be friends, which makes this soap operatic battle seem all the more sophmoronic. John comes across as the high school kid who got dissed by the prettier, more popular girl, and, it turns out, Madonna's also better in the composure department.
True, Madonna wasn't silent about Lady Gaga peeling from "Respect Yourself" for her "Born This Way," but she was at least clever about it. In an interview with ABC's Cynthia McFadden, Madonna calls the song "reductive," which, well, it is. (When McFadden asks if that's good, Madonna responds, "look it up." Who can't support someone who loves her dictionary?)
During the last significant round in the rather one-sided battle, Carson Daly attempted to make his mark on the 2012 Golden Globes red carpet by pitting John-Donna against one another in parallel to their respective nominees for Best Original Song, Madonna for "Masterpiece" and Elton John for his contribution to "Gnomeo and Juliet." (Which, in itself, sounds like a punch line.) Daly relays John's assessment that she didn't have a chance — actually, John said "Madonna hasn't got a — chance" -- of winning, and Madonna simply replied, "OK, well, may the best man win."
After Madonna won, John's husband David Furnish hit Facebook, and he wasn't quite so diplomatic. Like John, he was reactive and cranky.
Good fights come down to intelligent moves, and Madonna has more than a slight edge here. After Daly mentioned he was just talking to her "buddy" Elton John, Madonna (in a greenish dress) replied, "Was he wearing a green dress?"
Poor John, whatever color he wears, is left with lame duck insults such as telling Meldrum, "if Madonna had had any common sense she'd have made an album like 'Ray of Light,' stayed away from the dance stuff and just been a great pop singer." The sad truth is that if John had any smarts, he would quit quacking about Madonna and concentrate on his own career.