Camille Paglia who is a modern social critic and author has never been one to hold her tongue when it comes to things she feels strongly about. Last year she had the following to say “A great promise was contained in the moment when Madonna kissed Britney at the MTV Awards. She in a sense was saying,”I’m passing the torch to you.” It was a fabulous moment. Britney looked toned, in control of her career and it was up to her to take the next step. Literally from that kiss, from that moment onward, Britney has spiraled out of control. It’s like Madonna gave her the kiss of death! Britney is throwing it away!” The kiss has been the subject of conversation for not just Camille but anyone who saw that (in)famous kiss on the evening of August 28th 2003. Madonna opened the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott. They performed Madge's 80s hit Like A Virgin as well as her most recent hit from the American Life album titled Hollywood. The show begins with two flower girls dressing the stage with flowers. Madonna's own daughter Lourdes was one of those lil' ladies. She made her stage debut that night looking adorable as ever. Britney and Christina began the show singing Like a Virgin giving it their own personal sound. Madonna then appeared atop the giant wedding cake that towered on the stage reminiscent of her 1984 VMA Like a Virgin performance. Instead of donning a wedding dress like Britney and Christina , Madonna appeared in a form fitting tuxedo-esque outfit playing the role of groom to her two brides. If you can get past Madonna's shaky first few notes (Everybody comes to Hollywood) then the rest is smooth sailing. Her routine with Britney and Christina is spot on from start to finish. During the performance Madonna gives quite a smooch to the young ladies in what has been called the "kiss heard around the world". Even though both Britney and Christina got kissed that evening, it was the kiss with Britney that made all the headlines. Also featured in the performance was Missy Elliot. Missy burst on to the stage directly following the kiss, taking the heat off the ladies for just a second, with her track Work It mixed sweetly with Madonna's Hollywood. While the marriage theme was only symbolic in regards to the performance, a marriage of talents was quite literal following the show. Madonna would later go on to work with Britney on her track Me Against The Music. She also worked with Missy on a remix for the song Hollywood as well as a new spin on an old Madonna hit which would be used in the GAP commercial the duo did together called Into the Hollywood Groove. What I love about the performance is the reaction they get from the crowd. The "Fab 5" of Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy are overjoyed with the events unfolding in front of then while Justin Timberlake and Mary J. Blige are less than thrilled. Mary J. Blige could not look any less repulsed by what she is watching. Madonna has said in interviews that she was passing the torch to the two young starlets that evening but I don't think she believed that one bit. I think if anything she was letting these ladies know who was boss. Since the kiss, Madonna has had two massive world tours and released a string of hits. While Christina has followed suit with her hit making track record, Britney has had obvious hiccups in her professional and personal life. While the lives and careers of these talented ladies have gone in various directions, it is quite amazing how the collaboration of talents created one of the most talked about pop culture events in history. Even if it caused quite the controversy, I say "Bravo ladies, bravo". xoxox.