The New York Times is upset with Madonna or something. In an article today they moan about her increasing fashion irrelevance and demand to know what "look" the singer/actress/A-Rod diddler's new album, Hard Candy, is promoting. Is it boxer-chic? Are we really supposed to be wearing that thick belt? Answers! We need answers! Madge has been one of our most important sartorial sherpas over the past 25 years, they keen. Remember Suddenly Desperately Seeking Susan, where she was all boho ripped up plastic shit and pantyhose? That totally ruled! But now her new stylist, the cryptically-named B., has totally ruined her. Except, you know, Madonna's given us a lot and maybe it's time to let her go.

She's 50 in August! Not that 50 is some terrifically old age, but she's been kicking around in our pop culture consciouses since the early 80's. She's pioneered nouveau cowboy (regrettably), the short "Rain"-style haircut, even the Gaultier conical bra for the kinky among us. So it's a bit despairingly funny when the Times grabs her by the shoulders and shakes her and asks her what the hell is wrong with her for dressing "conservatively." It almost reads as though they're scared that they won't be able to find anything to write about. Without the trendsetter, where are the trends? Well, they're with the 22-year-olds. Go poke at them with a ruler. Leave Madonna and her hideous gymwear alone. She's done enough. She needs a disco nap. She'll be back when she's 80, wearing newspaper and strategically, if precariously, placed sparklers. And it'll be her playground all over again.