Pop-Ed: When performers get to be a certain age and have paid many, many dues in an unforgiving industry, they start to see themselves as transcendent. They cease to be average people and rise to the top of Mt. Olympus as godlike figures.

We've seen it happen with stars like Madonna and Elton John and now, though he has admittedly always seen himself as something apart, Prince has joined their pantheon.

It became clear that this week's Prince concert at Madison Square Garden would be one of the most self-indulgent exercises in funk and pop history when the performer took the stage wearing a shirt with his own face silk-screened upon it.

That stage was no ordinary stage, mind you. It was the "love symbol" -- you remember the one that Prince created and for a brief stint changed his name to.

So he had a shirt of his face, on a stage in the shape of his name. That would be enough, except that it wasn't.