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Published Apr. 4, 2003|Updated Sep. 1, 2005

WE'RE LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD: Credit Madonna with another savvy marketing move by announcing that she will not release the video for her new single, American Life, because now is not the appropriate time to air it.

Maybe we'd take her seriously if the video, perceived to be antiwar, hadn't already been released to TV. And posted on Web sites, including her official And, as of the day she made the announcement, still scheduled to be shown during an Australian TV interview with her Monday.

Fans posting messages on the Web site on Tuesday said that they had seen the video on MTV's networks in Germany and Latin America several times.

American Life had reported sightings on for a time before it was yanked. At least one fan site that had posted a copy took it down Wednesday after receiving a "we'll sue you if you don't" letter from Madonna's record label.

As for the Australian TV show, interviewer Richard Wilkins told Sydney's Daily Telegraph that when he talked to Madonna last week, she was intent on putting out the video.

When prodded by the Telegraph, Wilkins said that maybe he was responsible for her reversal because he made her "think again" about American Life.

And maybe he's just another marketing tool.

BRING ON THAT "ARMAGEDDON' LOVE THEME: Contrary to what anyone thinks, MTV is not censoring videos because of the Iraq war, the network's president says, thereby disappointing all the acts that thought spots might be opening up in MTV's eight-video rotation.

Van Toffler tells the New York Post that an internal memo outlining a ban of videos with explosions, war scenes, violent movie tie-ins and anything by the B-52's never became a policy.

"We would never want to leave anyone with the impression that we are censorious as opposed to being sensitive," he says.

YOU CAN CALL IT "STINKER': Less than a month into the next movie awards season, there's a hot candidate for top honors at the 2004 Razzies: the much anticipated, and much delayed, Ben Affleck- Jennifer Lopez movie first known as Gigli and now titled Tough Love.

(This is the movie that prompted Affleck a year ago to place newspaper ads saying how wonderful Lopez was, prompting Lopez to leave husband No. 2 for him when No. 2 refused to place more-effusive ads.)

Reports are that preview audiences savaged the original final product and then savaged the film with a different ending that Affleck and Lopez had to shoot a few months ago. One reviewer for the irreverent movie Web site Ain't it Cool News saw a screening last week and called Tough Love unreleaseable.

The movie's current release date _ its fifth _ is Aug. 1.

FASHIONISTA ALERT: April is Straw Hat Month, when we switch from felt and wool headgear to straw or fabric. This reminder comes from our new favorite advocacy group, the Headwear Information Bureau.

As the bureau says on the front of its envelopes:

Put a hat on your head

And a smile on your face

And your world will be a wonderful place!


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