Though born as a free person with the right to express herself, express what she’s got, whether babies are ready or not, Madonna continues to find herself chained those who would laden her with garbage blossoms, or shackle her with their oppressive gazes. So naturally, she feels a kinship with the subject of 12 Years A Slave, a film she therefore didn’t actually need to pay attention to while at a New York Film Festival screening, because she was already living it in the audience. Particularly after others tried to force her to give up her freedom to text that is the right of all people, just like the right to not care about all other people, because they are not Madonna.
According to a report passed along by critic Charles Taylor on Indiewire, Madonna spent most of the first half of the film tapping away on her Blackberry—playing her vintage instrument as elegantly as Solomon Northup played his violin—when it similarly attracted the attention of some brutish taskmaster who tapped her on the shoulder and asked her to stop. “It’s for business… ENSLAVER!” Madonna cried in return, sounding the hiss of freedom, and similarly casting off the same sort of manacles that bound Northup for 12 years to servitude in which he was also unable to text anyone. And just like Northup, Madonna would struggle to overcome her own imprisonment of being briefly made to feel guilty and put her story into text. Business text.
While Madonna may have also won her freedom to tell her tale and not be touched by the mung-soiled hands of some slatternly sharecropper, her emancipation, as is often the case, was met with some resistance in the South. For it was there that Tim League, owner of the Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse chain, upheld his policy that movie theater texters are not whole people and should therefore be segregated, banning Madonna from all of his theaters until she apologizes.
League tells Entertainment Weekly he meant this as an “offhand joke” that he nevertheless now intends to enforce, even though “I don’t think it really affects her life that much”—Madonna being far too busy with business, as seen in her texting. But the ban is just another step toward the looming Civil War between texters and non-texters in which we may soon be forced to take up arms, then smash the phones in those arms, because some uncivil asshole keeps texting during a movie.