There was a time when the Queen of Pop used sex and religion to cause controversy.
Now Madonna feels it necessary to strike out against public transportation. Apparently London's roads and Underground system are so horrible that she has to walk everywhere. Not such a big deal when your fortune is so extensive that you can afford to purchase (yet another) slice of the capital's hyper-priced real estate - just to house a gym for you and the girls.
We know that Madge likes a moan - and with a new album out very soon she needs all the column inches that she can get. But with the green zeitgeist of the Naughties in full swing, does she really think she can get away with mixed messages?
Now hold on - Vanity Fair has chosen Madonna to grace the cover of their annual "Green Issue". And her new single "4 Minutes" informs us that we don't have much time left to save the world. It must be a nightmare for her publicists to deal with her credentials - between building schools in Malawi and her yogalates classes, can she really criticise a public transportation system that surely she has never stepped foot on?
Pop icons are losing their power. In the early decades they used their influence to inspire - from John & Yoko's bed-ins, to Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" (the UK's fastest selling single of all time). 2007's Live Earth concert, however, was heavily criticised for being irrelevant when the message of saving the planet was delivered from artists who flew in private jets to and from the event (not to mention the fact that it was sponsored by a car manufacturer).
Can self-indulgent, heavily consuming rock stars really be the ones to continue to inspire the masses?