Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Do I love her outfits? No. Do I love her songs? No. Do I think she is beautiful? No, she's okay looking, but not exceptionally attractive.

Wait a minute, Gaga has how many -- nine million fans? That was the number yesterday -- it could be 10 million today. Her new album is out. She is praised and touted. She's won a pile of awards. (And she's just a twerp -- a kid -- most females her age are still fiddling around, experimenting, finding out who they really are.)

She recently appeared on Dave Letterman's show in a funky outfit -- super high platform heels, weird makeup, half-naked. And her naked parts didn't look hotsy-totsy perfect. Her bod looked okay, but didn't have the taut, toned look that a star's bod usually has.

Alright, I'm not an all-out, 100% fan, but the girl surprises me -- behind all the paraphernalia, she impresses me with her extraordinarily inventive outlandishness.

Like a 35-year-old, not a 25-year-old, her songs comment on what we say, think, do, praise, love, hate. She's seems to be a poet-philosopher, with her theme being "Us" -- the grownups, who made and defined the world that she landed in.

She doesn't attack Us, splatter Us with anger, or dismay. What she produces are theatrical, somewhat rueful, mocking, song-and-dance essays. Depicting what is acceptably normal and exaggerating it, she amplifies it into a fantastical, new dimension.

And within this dimension, she conveys that our rituals and traditions are ridiculous. It isn't satire to laugh at -- her song-poem-essays are theatrically exciting, sexual, spiced occasionally with rather shocking, gross movements.

Yes, Lady Gaga stops traffic in the way that Madonna did and still does. Gaga is at the top of the top-ten list, a super-celebrity, goddess, queen. She's got a huge fan base. True to her innovative spirit, she's built a reciprocal relationship with her acolytes, unlike that of any other pop music icon.

Gaga declares, "They are the kings, they are the queen. I am something of a devoted jester." (Imagine how weird that would sound, coming from Madonna, Kanye West, or Carrie Underwood.)

Calling them her little monsters, calling herself a little monster, (she has little monster tattooed on her left arm), she praises them and encourages them "to do stuff," tweeting, "You inspire me. Thanks to you I am what I am." Suggesting they can send her messages via You Tube, she said, 'I 'll let you know when they go [up], and remember you are all amazing, and I love you so, so much, I'll see you soon." (That is not the tone of a pop vamp flirting with her audience.)

Scanning the crowd of little monsters at a Gaga concert, you can see they aren't much younger than the Mother monster herself -- they're more like siblings. The sublime absurdity of this -- a girl in a see-through dress dispensing advice on how-to-become- who-you-are to her fans -- it's the outlandish, remarkably inventive Gaga doing her thing.

Then, every so often there's Stefani Germanotta. (her real name). When she is not performing, she talks about the world's problems -- DADT (don't-ask-don't-tell), the gay, lesbian and straight education network, immigrants, homeless people, homeless kids, sex, AIDS, Haiti, Japan, Alzheimer's, involving us and sharing her concerns in a remarkably simple, straight forward, down-to-earth way.

I have to say that I am stunned and amazed. I find myself standing back in admiration when I take a look at all of it -- all that this 25-year-old artist has done.


Samuel_Clemons said...

she appeals to the dance crowd which always has wonderful sense for the flashy, over-the-top flamboyance of a Cee Lo at the Emmy Awards, dressed as a Flamingo Plumed Blimp.

Gaga is not a statement on her, but her audience. She is living the dream they wish they could live. Vicariously, through Gaga, they admire her for being ugly, not so so as you say, but downright odd looking, and a tad below "plain" she is very unnactractive person who is making it as a pop star. This is her connection. she is the Frank Sinatra of her time, "If I can make it in New York, I can make it anywhere" genre. Gaga appeals to the average person is a way that a beauty queen with an eating disorder cannot. sure Gaga has a bit of a belly, smokes pot, has a pill problem, an identity crisis, doesn't know who she is, is living out her inner crisis on stage... but so does a certain President have an identity issue when he stated "I chose to live as a black man" when he changed his name from Barry back to Barack. or P Diddy changing his name to Fred.

it's like living out a phychologists waiting room on stage watching these people find themselves, discover themselves. what is remarkable is that with fame, money, and bully pulpits, they don't know who they are?

they are they.

that is all.

Editor/Author Sarcastic Sam Tweets @Samuel_Clemons and Follows this Blog on BlogSpot

Linda Phillips said...

I have had so little exposure to her. I like this video that you posted. I liked her on SNL a few weeks back.

I thought that her arrival in an egg at some award show was very clever, but off putting.

She actually has a good voice with a lot of range.

I applaud her for her creativity, though not my cup of tea.

Carolyn Kalmus said...

I find the wide appeal of Lady Gag's unique on-stage personna fascinating. And I've found some of her music to be actually pretty good. But what I like the most about Lady Gaga are her many charitable works. She isn't one of those celebrities who merely "talk the talk". Her national philanthropic efforts include: the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) (a nonprofit, non-partisan, organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States), Green Chimneys (a non-profit organization restoring possibilities and creating futures for children with emotional, social, behavioral, and learning challenges, including runaway and homeless youth, with specific programming for LGBT youth), and STANDUP FOR KIDS (a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to reaching out to counsel and guide homeless teens on America’s streets). Last month she also began partnering with The Robin Hood Foundation (donating $1 million to charities working to help teens living in poverty). Her international humanitarian efforts include raising over $500,000 for Haitian earthquake relief and donating $1.5 million dollars towards Japanese earthquake/tsunami relief.

Kevin Daly said...

I don't care either way. She's the latest trend. Kudos for being outrageous, but the music and message fall on a deaf ear on this front.

Paul Mendenhall said...

I'll have to take your word for it, Em. I don't connect with her at all. To me, she's just warmed-over Madonna, who was warmed-over whoever-she-was-ripping-off-this-week. Granted, she has twice as good a voice as Madonna, but she's twice as ugly too, so it's a wash, as far as I can see.