What’s up with Madonna?: two Salon writers dissect Madonna’s mediocre new album, and by extension her current status. Interesting points are made: for British readers, none more interesting than the parts dealing with Guy Ritchie. “Why doesn’t Madonna have a cool boyfriend?” Salon asks, and one of the writers expresses her hope that Ritchie “worships” Madonna.

On this side of the pond, of course, Ritchie is significantly cooler than Madonna, and coverage of their relationship has had a worryingly triumphal edge, with papers making lip-smacking play of Ritchie’s sending his ‘bird’ out to do the shopping, calling her the “missus” etc. Two over-exposed celebrities play out their fantasies of ‘ordinary’, unreconstructed living, and the media loves it. In the eyes of some, you feel, Ritchie and Madonna’s relationship represents not only a taming of an icon, but a vindication of traditional male expectations and attitudes. It’s part of the slow, inevitable de-ironising of lad culture: post-feminism indeed, but perhaps not in the way Salon’s Madonnaphiles would wish it.