With all the recent furor over her (alleged) new face, (alleged) affair, and (alleged, we say!) marital problems, we almost forgot why Madonna became such a media target in the first place: The lady likes to push buttons. Political, sexual, spiritual, you name it; Madge has a long history of stirring the pot in her quest for artistic expression, social justice, and—let’s be honest here—plain old attention. So really, was anyone surprised by the news that her Sticky and Sweet Tour contains an incendiary video montage that links John McCain to Kim Jong Il and Hitler, while buddying Barack Obama with the Dalai Lama? The move is vintage Madge, a throwback to the feisty Italian-American girl of yore who supposedly told the Pope that if he wanted an audience with her, he could buy a ticket to her show. We loved that Madonna and we love her still, but it looks like age hasn’t made her any more eloquent. The stab at McCain (which found its way to YouTube this week) is about as clumsy as they come, and its nutty implications show a Madge who is less concerned about substance than shock value; otherwise we might be seeing something here that looks a little more like video art and a little less like a YouTube mashup made by an angsty armchair pundit.

What do you think PopWatchers? Is Madge’s video an edgy statement or just a cry for attention? And isn’t all the political junk just a smokescreen for the video’s real message that monocles are totally hot?