CIPC #361: Madonna, The power of good-bye

I spotlighted Madonna once before on this blog — long, long ago, when she was still famous. Back then, I talked about the music video for Ray of light, in which an innocent chess set is badly abused and humiliated. Apparently, Madonna was quite into that sort of deviancy around that time, because The power of good-bye, which is from the same album, got an equally horrid 4 minutes music video. Today, we’re talking about that.

The text is a concatenation of strange and worrying claims, like that creation comes when I learn to say no1 or that Madonna was my fortress I had to burn — and presumably pay property tax on. Even more worrying is the chess.

Like in Ray of light, the board has been set up wrongly in two ways: h1 is a black square and the kings and queens have swapped places — or possibly the image was reflected along the vertical axis. But Madonna is always causing a commotion in novel ways: this time, she goes first with black! She has a lot more to justify than just her love.

If we undo the illicit reflection, the first moves are 1.d5 d4 2. Nc6. Sadly, the director then gets distracted by Madonna and forgets to show most of the game. We do get some views here and there including some shots from directly above the board. As a consequence, the position of the pieces in the following diagram is perfectly accurate, but the identity of the pieces might be less so.2

The black queen, being a material girl, has just taken a pawn on e4; a move of glorious, vapid stupidity, that allows the very simple Nxe4 Bxd1 Nxd6+.

Possibly, the power of good-bye refers to the fact that Madonna has to part ways with her knight. Or maybe it’s an allusion to saying goodbye to a position that’s beyond saving and how it is, perhaps, the only way to rid oneself of despair. But most likely she was just stringing random words together in the hope that some dolt would think very hard about the text and come up with an interpretation. But what kind of idiot would do that?

Realism: 2/5 None of the pieces are out of place, but the hanging queens make no sense.3

Probable winner: White. He can win a piece, then at peace.

1. [Strangely, that puts creation a year or two after my birth.]
2. [The power of good-bye is as nothing to the power of a good diagram editor.]
3. [I’m sure Robespierre would agree.]