She arouses more yawns than frowns

here in America, but it seems

Madonna

still has some taboo-bursting juice in Chile. The one-time Material Girl, who last night was scheduled to play her first show in Santiago, has raised the ire of a prominent clergyman for her "shameless" sexuality.

Roman Catholic Cardinal

Jorge Medina

yesterday took aim at Madge during his homily at a Mass held in honor of late dictator

Augusto Pinochet

- who, the Associated Press notes, oversaw the deaths of 3,200 dissidents during his 1973-1990 rule. "This woman comes here and in an incredibly shameless manner, she provokes a crazy enthusiasm, an enthusiasm of lust, lustful thoughts, impure thoughts," Medina said.

Hundreds of fans camped out for three days to get good seats for the show at the National Stadium in Santiago - the very site where Pinochet's thugs once detained, tortured and executed fellow Chileans.

A triumph for Lt. Dan

President Bush

yesterday awarded a Presidential Citizen Medal to actor

Gary Sinise

, who played the beloved Lt. Dan Taylor in the sentimental tripe

Forrest Gump

. The talented actor was recognized for his work supporting American soldiers, and not his unfortunate role in

Gump

.

The glove shall be no more!

The One-Gloved Wonder is about to become a No-Glove Wonder:

Michael Jackson

's glittery glove, which became a fetishistic object of reverence and worship for so many of M.J.'s fans, is going on the auction block. The glove, which was first seen in the 1983 video for "Billie Jean," is part of a 2,000-item cache of Jackson's personal-abilia that will be for sale during a five-day auction by Julien's Auctions (

) in Lalaland, beginning April 21. (Start saving those pennies now.) Jackson, 50, who this year suffered some financial setbacks, says he will donate a portion of the proceeds to MusiCares.

Note to Leno: Ed needs work

Johnny Carson

's sidekick,

Ed McMahon

, tells

Entertainment Tonight

he's totally stoked for

Tonight Show

host

Jay Leno

, who has signed up for a new prime-time show.

"I think it's a smart move for Jay and a smart move for NBC," Ed says. "I think his style is perfect; he's very acceptable to the audience." (

Acceptable?

Ed, don't overdo the praise.)

Ed says he'd be happy to help Jay brighten up the new show.

"Tell him I'm ready for a guest shot," he says. "If he wants me, I'm available!"

Toni's cancer scare

Missed

Toni Braxton

on the season finale of

Dancing With the Stars

? The 41-year-old entertainer tells Us Weekly she was home recovering after having a tumor removed from her breast a week earlier.

"I was worried about what they would find," she says. "But it was benign."

SAG strike vote

Will your favorite thesp be manning the picket lines in the coming months instead of whining on the set about the caterers or her body double? We'll find out soon: The Screen Actors Guild, continuing to negotiate with the studios, will send strike authorization ballots to more than 100,000 union members on Jan. 2.

Votes will be counted Jan. 23, which means if a strike is approved, it'll come just in time to disrupt the Feb. 22 Academy Awards. (Alas, Guild president

Alan Rosenberg

says a strike would be a last resort.)

L.A. critics put in their two cents

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has chosen to honor yet another taboo-breaking, artistically challenging, philosophico-cinematic indie masterpiece with its best picture prize, Variety reports. That would be

Wall-E

, the gazillion-dollar cartoon from Disney/Pixar, which has become the first animated flick in the organization's 33-year history to win the top prize. (Variety notes that the critics have never been afraid to honor "mainstream crowd-pleasers.")

Danny Boyle

wins the directing prize for

Slumdog Millionaire

, while

Heath Ledger

posthumously won supporting actor for his role as the Joker in

The Dark Knight

.

The New York critics weigh in

Meanwhile, the New York Film Critics Circle yesterday gave a best-pic gold star to

Gus Van Sant

's

Milk

, a biopic about gay San Francisco politician

Harvey Milk

. Its star,

Sean Penn

, won for best actor.

Happy-Go-Lucky

yielded two big prizes:

Mike Leigh

won best director and star

Sally Hawkins

won for best actress. Don't worry,

Wall-E

wasn't forgotten: It won in the best animated feature category.

It's not just a life, it's an adventure

So says

Brad Pitt

, who tells Rolling Stone that life isn't a burden, it's a gift. Brad, 44, who is raising six kids with his sex-symbol life partner,

Angelina Jolie

, shares his philosophy of life while promoting his Christmas Day flick,

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

.

He says he looks forward to living out his gray years. "I have this fantasy of my older days, painting or sculpting or making things," he says. "But right now, it's about getting the work done and getting home to family. I have an adventure every morning getting up."

Spears smokes the charts

We surrender. We can't repel Spears-mania. So, we'll just quote from the press release: "This week,

Britney Spears

secures her status as an iconic superstar" with her latest CD,

Circus

, which "debuts No. 1 in the U.S. according to SoundScan, selling over 505,000 albums and also enters at No.1 on the Digital Albums chart. This is the second biggest album debut of the year for a female artist."

Awesome!

(Though 2003's

In the Zone

sold way more in its first week - 609,000 units - to nab No. 1.)

Elsewhere on the Billboard charts,

Taylor Swift

stays at No. 2 for the second week with

Fearless

, selling 193,000 copies, while

Beyoncé

's

I Am . . . Sasha Fierce

moves up a rung to No. 3, with 153,000.

This column contains information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.