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What Culture published back in November 2011 an amazing article on why Lady Gaga doesn’t matter. It could have been written today, as just like they predicted, Lady Gaga is declining in front of our very eyes. I reproduced part of it here, but make sure you click on this link and read the full article on their page:
“Some say she’s a genius; others say she’s contrived, but generally nobody is saying much anymore. It seems that Lady Gaga’s stranglehold over pop culture news has all but evaporated.
Stefani Germanotta’s Lady Gaga persona really gained popularity in 2009 as a sort of poor man’s Gwen Stefani, neither as talented as Madonna or culturally significant as Britney Spears, but not without a modicum of entertaining ability. Most importantly, she was just average enough to feel different without it being the entire reason for her being.
At some point, around the time she performed “Paparazzi” on the MTV Video Music Awards, she really raised the stakes in terms of ridiculous attention seeking behavior. She went from dressing relatively normally (yes, the outfits were revealing, but no more than you’d expect from a woman in the pop music profession) to faking handicaps and dousing herself with artificial blood.
Lady Gaga went from musician to performance art, an easily digestible image for the public to consume without further interpretation, containing as much depth as a Facebook profile picture and the same amount of artistic merit. From then on it was a parade of pseudo inspirational sound bites and clothing made from decapitated muppets.
From her first album “Fame” to “Fame Monster”, she was still singing generic love songs, but now her music videos and public appearances provided her with opportunities to dress in provocative ways, thus making her entire catalog FEEL more complex, but without actually deserving it.
On top of that, her popularity amongst the gay club culture offered a loyal and passionate fan base to be exploited. It was after she realized this that she was suddenly an outsider, imploring her fans, whom she dubbed “Little Monsters,” to be themselves and never let the oppressive mainstream culture keep them down.
The idea that Lady Gaga could pass herself off as an outsider is laughable, especially considering that at the very beginning of her career, a pudgier, brunette Germanotta played soulful piano ballads akin to Vanessa Carlton. All of which were completely abandoned in order to become a dance music sensation.
Lady Gaga gives us the ostentatious outfits and bizarre headgear, but she no longer engages the audience. She has become a special effect, empty and meaningless, providing no nutritional value for the mind.
And just like most movies, we will move on from Lady Gaga as soon as the next shiny object catches our attention.”
Since then, the Born this Way Ball tour, which according to Gaga was going to “revolutionize live performance” failed to be among the top 5 tours of 2012. Her latest album sold less copies than the previous one, and most music and video music awards ignored her latest music and video efforts —- talk about being absolutely right What Culture!
I personally can’t wait for
ARTPOP FARTPOOP. Lady Gaga has already announced a documentary a la Madonna’s Truth or Dare, a music app llike Björk’s Biophilia, and she already promised the best album of her career (just like she did with Born This Way). So I can’t wait to start analyzing this new era. Will she survive one more over-hyped album?
The most interesting thing here is the fact that there is the possibility that 2013 will be a good year for her:
But even if FARTPOOP succeeds, there is one thing Lady Gaga will not be able to avoid: FARTPOOP will be her comeback album after only 5 years in the business. And that, like I said, IF it succeeds. katy Perry will also be releasing new music this year, by the way. And when it comes to touring, we know who is ruling 2013 as of now.
I saw this post on GagaCheat and I decided to write about it:
Adele, sweetie, I like you. Love your album. But please, do not try to talk about issues you have no idea about. Simplifying a popstar “taking her clothes off” as if it had always been all about “selling more records” is such a simplistic, superficial, and dismissive thing to say. It is very [oh, the irony], “reductive”.
While I agree that Lady Gaga does it mindlessly, in a social context that the simple act of doing it is meaningless, we cannot say the same about Madonna. When Madonna came out, there were no “other Madonnas” or other girls doing what she was doing in mainstream American culture.
In mainstream culture here in the US in the early 80s, girls were divided in two groups in the media: the good girls (“the Belinda-Carlisles”), and the crazy / kooky-goofy ones (“the Cyndi-Laupers”).
There were, of course, other archetypes in the mainstream culture, but they were not as easy to put in one single broad category (stylistically and behaviorally speaking) as those two groups above.
In other words, of all the different female representations (or groups of female representations) we had in the media at that time, none was self-empowering, focusing on the woman in control of herself, her body, and her sexuality. And let me tell you, just like today, every school had its “slut”. Every school had those girls who are “ahead of their time” when it came to their sexuality and maturity as a whole. Every school had those girls who did not want to pick between being a saint or a witch. But the media pretended they didn’t exist.
That was what Madonna brought to the table. She was the representation of a group of women the American media pretended they did not exist. Madonna’s sexually-charged presence was about being in control of one’s own identity at a time of moral oppression in America. And how do you reinforce moral values unisonously for an entire nation? Through their representations in the mainstream media.
Madonna represented the girl who did not want to be crying over the boy who stood her up at prom. She was the girl who would go after someone better. She represented the unapologetic girl who would not feel sorry for not being white enough, or pretty enough, or a “virgin” anymore. It is important to note that Madonna even kept her wild eyebrows in the 80s because it made her “ethnic roots” evident. She was proud of being who she was, the girl on the left of the white Christian Reagan American family.
When you see Lady Gaga taking her clothes off today, there is no meaning behind it. She is not being defiant, she is not breaking any rules, she is not doing what a girl shouldn’t be doing because society says so. Rihanna, Katy Perry, Shakira, Kylie Minogue, they all do it. It became a prerequisite in the post-Madonna world.
When Madonna started doing it in the 80s (unlike Cyndi Lauper, unlike Belinda Carlisle, unlike Debbie Harry), she was defying the pop cultural status quo. She was branded all the nasty names in the book: slut, whore, bimbo… to this day, people still try to denigrate her image by saying she “slept her way to the top”. But at the end, even those detractors cannot accuse Madonna of being a puppet, or a tool in the hands of a man, or a corporation. The corporation behind Madonna was her own ambition for artistic and existential independence. Always has and always will be.
Even today, when Madonna takes her clothes off, she still does it meaningfully:
While simple-minded people like Adele think “it’s to sell records”, and quickly jump to this conclusion without analyzing it deeply enough, I see a creatively active woman in her 50s, who still needs to show the world she has no intention to stop being who she is. And why does she need to tell us that? Because we, as a society, keep using our representations in the media to impose upon her what we think she should be doing at her age. Just check any current article on Madonna in the media to see what I’m talking about.
In other words, while Adele thinks Madonna is taking her clothes off to sell records just like Lady Gaga does, I see Madonna taking her clothes off at 54 as a big “fuck you, I’m 54 and I’ll do what I want with my body”.
Adele also failed to understand that Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Shakira all take their clothes off now because Madonna did it in the 80s and 90s, when it meant something in a society living during and pos a conservative Reagan era. But I guess Adele doesn’t have a clue.
Madonna is the last cultural icon of the post-modern/contemporary era. The term “icon” is often misused today, and people don’t even know what it means.
Madonna was a much needed strong female representation in the 80s. Today, the much needed representation in the media we lack is that of a strong male gay icon. The media, just like in the 80s, still pretend “the gays” don’t exist. That’s why no unapologetic strong “gay idol” has been kept in the mainstream media for too long yet. There have been huge gay representations in the media (TV shows, series, actors), but musically, we are still orphans.
In a way, I am kind of glad that at this moment, we have not found our male gay equivalent of the Madonna in the 80s: Adam Lambert and Jake Shears aren’t good enough, in my personal view, for the gay community to be associated with and represented by in the media. They are too mediocre for that.
People are desperately trying to become the “icon” for something (anything!) for this generation. Lady Gaga, for example, is like a ship lost at sea:
She is going on every direction, desperately trying to become the “icon” for anything she can. She tried to represent the club and dance scene in mainstream culture, she tried to represent the gay community in the media, she tried fashion… She also tried to become a Pop Art icon.
Now, Gaga is trying to represent the girls who are not “size-super-model” in the media. She even created a campaign in her own social network inviting people to publish pictures of themselves being proud of their not-so-perfect bodies (according to the beauty standards of our society).
Just like all her attempts at becoming the representation for those groups of people/issues in the media, Lady Gaga will fail again. And I don’t mean that because I don’t like her or anything, I am saying that because her involvement with those issues is not genuine. Especially the last one. I don’t even think Adele has what it takes to take this position - and she is extremely popular now. I’d much better see Beth Ditto taking that spot. But she is too aggressive to reach middle America.
Let’s not forget that Adele has been on the cover of Vogue magazine, and even though they kept a “bigger-than-size-0-figure”, her pictures were photoshopped into making her a lot smaller than she actually is.
I have no problem with people who don’t take their clothes off, or who think it’s not part of their business to do so. If you follow my blog, you know I am very fond of Adele. But I do have a problem when people talk about complex issues without thinking, I do have a problem when people spread their shallow view of the world and pose as intellectuals. And that’s what Adele just did.
Sorry, Adele, you sounded like a big poser here. Don’t start thinking you’re too cool for school, honey.
Unfortunately, I think fame has gone up Adele’s head too.
Even if only compared to people like Rihanna, Gaga and Katy Perry, Britney Spears - who all have a very young following but keep their “sex act” performances - Adele is not superior to any of them. Especially if the parameter here is “not taking her clothes off” and “focusing on the music”.
At the end, whether you like Gaga’s music or not (or Britney’s, or Rihanna’s, or anyone else’s), the visual representation they choose to add is a plus.
Even if it’s a “bad” plus, the kind we wished we hadn’t seen, it still is more than someone who only stands (or seats) and sings.
Adele really needs to stop posing as the crème de la crème in music. It’s going to ruin her image:
I think so many people identified themselves with her because she was a humble, not perfect girl with great heartbroken ballads.
But if she keeps acting like this diva who thinks she is above everybody else because she doesn’t “do the dirty stuff”, she is going to become out of touch.
You know, in real life, the chubby girl who is made fun of at school for being overweight will not sell 25 million copies of an album, the next day, people will still make fun of her size, and she will be constantly criticized. The singer she used to identify herself with will now be part of the “mean girls”, criticizing other people for not being as “unperfectly perfect” as herself.
Send me all the negative reviews the Born This Way Ball have encountered.
Let’s show the world how the Born Reductive High School Ball is a failure.
For those who did not understand that post, you are probably just a little monster.
Enjoy another picture of Gaga and her desperation to be part of the Royal Family of Pop Music. Pictures, that’s all you little monsters can understand.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
I saw on the related previous post that some people were confused by my post, thinking I meant Lady Gaga copied Madonna’s mouse ears. No, people, I clearly pointed out the “mouse ears” as a fashion accessory.
It is fair to say that when I want to say Gaga copied Madonna, or Gaga copied [insert name here], I say it with all those words. I do not leave room for assumptions.
The previous picture says: “Gaga, always fashionably ahead of her time”.
Madonna just happened to have worn mouse ears as a fashion accessory in the 80s. As it is obvious, Lady Gaga has built her career on copying A LOT of what Madonna has done. So adding Madonna’s pic was a logic choice in accordance with the recurrent theme of this blog. But if I wanted to say “Gaga copied Madonna’s ‘mouse ears’”, I would have said it openly.
The picture that opens this post (which was added soon after that first “mouse ears” entry) only reinforces what I just said:
You see Lady Gaga wearing the jacket Michael Jackson wore when on an “Oscar date” with Madonna. Then I added the “Madonna with mouse ears” pic. The association made (which is very clear) was:
“His jacket, her brilliance and star power” and NOT “his jacket and her mouse ears”.
As Colton pointed out:
“You’ll find lots of pictures and fashion editorials [with people wearing mouse ears]. Is Gaga supposed to talk about pop culture, consumerism and masses? It’s been done before too, Marilyn Manson during his Golden Age of Grotesque Era.”
He also said: “I read someone saying that the Mickey Mouse ears are symbol of consumerism, brainwashing and all that shit that Gaga is trying to do about the pop culture for her FartPoop.”
And he is absolutely right.
There is an ongoing artistic theme that deconstruct the image of Mickey Mouse and turns him into an evil mouse with an agenda.
The underlying argument is that under his sweet face and voice, there is a being who just wants to get rich, expand his business, and establish media monopoly. In other words: “consumerism” and “brainwashing”.
Look at all the Walt Disney conglomerate.
Who is the mascot for the World Disney Company again?
If you can’t see how impressive the empire built by the Walt Disney Company is (consumerism) and how they have influenced entire generations worldwide through media monopoly (brainwashing), you need to wake up.
But hey, in no way I am stating the business model by Disney is evil. I am talking about the rationale of some artists that work with counter-culture approaching its own icons from a different perspective.
Besides that, not every time “mouse ears” are used as a reference, they are applied with the same iconic approach. Sometimes they represent innocence, silliness, ingenuity. You will have to do your own research to understand what an artist is talking about.
So is Lady Gaga talking about “consumerism” and “brainwashing” during the FARTPOOP era?
Considering the recurrent theme on Gaga’s career (fame, obsession with fame, fame is a monster, bla bla bla), her recent performance art piece regarding, what a shocker, (!): “fame”, the notion of “15 minutes of fame”… It seems safe to say that that is the direction she is going.
If that truly is her intention, she needs to stop posing as a real artist, or as an intelligent woman with critical thinking — she is neither.
Using the imagery of Mickey Mouse to discuss fame, consumerism, brainwashing is another example of a complete lack of self-awareness.
She doesn’t need to use the Mickey Mouse imagery to discuss those issues in pop culture because she is him:
Lady Gaga is the contemporary Mickey Mouse.
Well, not the real character, but the contemporary use of his image for counter-cultural expression.
She built her fame, her “kingdom” (as she states herself) through brainwashing low self-esteemed teens and older gay men by victimizing herself, by playing the nice girl who constantly reminds her public how much they need her. She reminds them how much they need her support and her strength. She will even take the blame for her fans, as the martyr she is. Talk about brainwashing. She made her fortune by stamping her name on products that have nothing to do with her music, or artistic direction her work is all about. Talk about consumerism.
If you love Gaga, you buy her perfume, her band-aids, her singing toothbrush… If you don’t, you’re not a little monster. A real monster buys any gaga-related product. That’s the mindset.
Lady Gaga, her team, or whoever came up with the brilliant (not to say already generic and contemporary) idea of referencing Mickey Mouse to those themes are simply as blind as a bat. All she had to do is keep wearing her old outfits, her old wigs, etc.
Lady Gaga is the utmost symbol of consumerism and brainwashing of this age.
Leave Mickey Mouse alone.
Or, at least, leave the Mickey Mouse references to real artists.
You're not even a creditable source of information. You probably are a 25 year old, sitting behind your computer, looking non-stop information about something you think you know everything about, when you don't know jack SHIT about the music industry. Claim to be working for the industry all you want, but you're on Tumblr. No one is going to believe a word you say about yourself. Get a real career.
Gee… you again?
My personal brainless ignorant little
monster cunt is back!
I kinda feel like Gaga now. You are watching every little thing I say just like you watch her.
What happened to the campaign you created to get me out of tumblr? Didn’t work?
Did tumblr find out that, opposed to what you were crying about, it is you who obsessively visits and sends me messages and not the other way around?
What does that do to your credit?
Does that make you a creditable source?
You see, you accused me of harassment, but it is you who come here and send me messages non-stop? I’d say you have no credit at all.
On the other hand, I don’t have to be creditable. I don’t have to prove I am telling the truth. The videos I post proving what I say do the work for me. They belong to the public, to the world wide web.
The video proving Gaga lip-syncs (like the Ellen Degeneres video) was not filmed by me. It was on national television. Don’t want to believe what you saw on national television? Don’t do so. LOL
The pictures proving Lady Gaga has copied Madonna’s wardrobe in several occasions? Don’t believe them. it’s your choice.
This is valid to everything else you see on this page. I am not here to make you believe me. I am here pointing out at several evidence that Gaga blatantly copies and rips-off a number of other musicians and artists. That’s all.
You have the Constitutional right to be a dumbass and not believe the evidence I present.
You see, there are people (hello, Republican party) who say “global warming” doesn’t exist!
So, yeah, if people have the Constitutional right to be idiots when the subject is important, you absolutely have the right to be an idiot when it comes to pop culture.