The theory of intertextuality proposes that any one text is necessarily read in relationship to others and that a range of textual knowledges is brought to bear upon it. These relationships do not take the form of specific allusions from one text to another and there is no need for readers to be familiar with specific or the same texts to read intertextually. Intertextuality exists rather in the space between texts. Madonna’s music video Material Girl provides us with a case in point: it is a parody of Marilyn Monroe’s song and dance number “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: such an allusion to a specific text is not an example of intertextuality, for its effectiveness depends upon specific, not generalized, textual knowledge-a knowledge that, incidentally, many of Madonna’s young girl fans in 1985 were unlikely to possess. The video’s intertextuality refers rather to our culture’s image bank of the sexy blonde star who plays with men’s desire for her and turns it to her advantage. It is an elusive image, similar to Barthes’s notion of myth, to which Madonna and Marilyn Monroe contribute equally and from which they draw equally. The meanings of Material Girl depend upon its allusion to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and upon its intertextuality with all texts that contribute to and draw upon the meaning of “the blonde” in our culture. Intertextual knowledges pre-orient the reader to exploit television’s polysemy by activating the text in certain ways, that is, by making some meanings rather than others. Studying a text’s intertextual relations can provide us with valuable clues to the readings that a particular culture or subculture is likely to produce from it.