MIDWAY : Sleeping with BlackBerry

For some time now Madonna has been in the habit of presenting her personal eccentricities — her Madonna-like behaviour, if you will — as proof of her laudatory normality. In a recent interview with Elle magazine, for example, she revealed that she always sleeps with her BlackBerry wireless device.

And so does her husband Guy. “We lie right next to each other with our Black-Berrys under our pillows,” she says. Nothing weird or indefensible about that. “It’s not unromantic,” she insists.

“It’s practical. I’m sure loads of couples have their BlackBerrys in bed with them.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t have to sleep with anything under my pillow other than an anxious little fist.

The BlackBerry — a sort of upmarket, investment banker’s version of electronic tagging — is famously so addictive that it is sometimes known as the CrackBerry, but one imagines that even those high-powered couples who have allowed them to creep into the marital bed are willing to entrust them to the bedside table for the night.

Perhaps becoming aware that this attempt to portray her bedtime routine as boringly normal may not strike a familiar chord with happily married people everywhere, Madonna tries to paint her CrackBerry habit as an essential aspect of Being Madonna: “I have to sleep with my BlackBerry because I often wake up in the middle of the night and remember that I’ve forgotten something, so I jump up and make notes.”

This is a fairly typical symptom of modern device-dependency. In the old days, remembering that you had forgotten something would have been enough. If it was really important you might scribble it on a pad, only to wakeup in the morning and find that you had written “All dogs are lemons.” Nothing, however, flits across Madonna’s brain that isn’t worth committing to flash memory.

Guy, according to Madonna, uses his BlackBerry to play “Brick” in bed, by which we must assume that she means BrickBreaker, a variant of the classic Atari game Breakout. Even Madonna would be hard pressed to characterise this as either practical or romantic. But if she wants to get his attention, she can always email him.