O Gaga Me!

I caught Lady Gaga's "Monster Ball" show on HBO and I became concerned, very concerned, perhaps too much too concerned about well, life in general. You know, for the future: The future prospects for human life.
It made me angry. That's because my biggest surprise about it is how angry she is.
What can she possibly be angry about?
That people forgot about Madonna?
That in seven years, another Madonna like her will turn up?
That she, like a Disney film re-distributed every seven years, will be more matronly by then, too?
Somewhat "normal," in that sorta "I study the Cabala" way by then.
She was angry like a fascist dictator gets angry. She has all of the polytechnics of Telemachus: Whoever Telemachus was.
Maybe I'm thinking of the Wizard in the "Wizard of Oz" instead, except in this case Dorothy keeps the broom for herself, kills the snake oil guy from Kansas, and starts to put on puppet shows of her own. Thus, remaining in Oz to thus, make humanity, well, mad. 
Lady Gaga is actually Tell-a-Tubbie Mock Us. She mocks us with her body. The music gets left behind.
She is a brilliant performer, a great musician.
I would be angry, too, if I had to wear all that shit to get noticed anymore.
I would be incensed.
Not censored. Nothing gets censored in the dirty little centers of overworked technology zones of decay and despair and despotism.
I can see her better behind stage in the HBO show then I can onstage.
On stage my only thought is how doomed we all are. If it has come to this.
Not that I'm really buying into the whole doomed trip anymore. I think it's a con.
I think Lady Gaga has conned everyone.
She is part Bono (if only because one of the great unspoken cultural truths about the late 20th and early 21st centuries is that, deep down, the lead singer for U2 was a sex god only women picked up on. Most guys never notice that like I just happened to).
Also this: One of her outfits, seems to me, was originally worn by Peter Gabriel, when he was wearing costumes for Genesis shows in 1972.
She is also part David Bowie. However, I doubt she is really very cognizant of this fact.
There is a lot of Patti Smith in her, too. But only when she was on "Larry King." I liked that Lady Gaga. She was wearing "normal" stuff (whatever that means), as well as cool shades. She looked back at Larry King and said, "Queen moves" to such and such a square: "Check."
I like that Lady Gaga better than the one I saw on stage, so angry. She was cool. detached. I want to take that person to a museum, or, maybe, to go visit the library. We would "get along."
I don't want to see any more concerts where the latest, greatest singer sex-elite has to get so caught up in the pop process, to get noticed, leaving the music behind, making me angry, that I have to wear all of that shit.
Looks uncomfortable.
Looks like the results of a madcap shopping trip to Wal Mart turned into a sort of madcap media melting pot for the even more maddening masses who need additional madness to, you know, get mad.
I guess that would make me mad.
At this point, I should tell you something. About myself. As a critic. I'm sorta Lutheran about this. I'm funny that way. I don't get dirty jokes.
I think Lady Gaga is a dirty joke and she puts on the mask of the clown for us because she has to be a dirty joke, basically a pole dance in a titty bar that sings, to get noticed anymore.
I'm sure, as a critic, if I wanted to get noticed, this would make me angry (er), too.
Who knows? Maybe she liked "dress up" too much as a child?
I have a hard time tying my shoes, and so, I try to find Velcro things and as few shoes as possible.
When I fell asleep after I saw the HBO show by Lady Gaga, I had the beat of one of her songs in my head. I like that beat. I want more of that beat.
Someday, like after I saw Elton John in the duck suit at Central Park, New York, and I disliked Elton John for a long time after that, I hope to someday see a "stripped-down" Lady Gaga show.
Get your mind out of the gutter.
I'm serious. As a critic, probably too serious. If only because I took, for a moment, Lady Gaga seriously when she was on "Larry King," being smart and herself like a literary Patti Smith and I wanted to give her a tour of the library.
Now she, like a lot of women, makes me kind of mad.

1 comment:

ewormwood said...

I have been a fan of Elton John since seeing him in concert in l972. I took my then five-year old daughter with me. He was talented and rebellious and so is Lady Gaga, in my opinion. Since she is so young, I think the hurts of childhood still resonate and this is her conversational theme. I like her bravado and admire her love for her family and openness. We need artists who put us on edge, keep us off balance, and have us wonder how much of ourselves we see in them.

I read "Just Kids" a few months ago and (since I am about a month older than Patti), all I could think of was I had a baby too, Patti, she's 44 and lives in Seattle, and she changed my life from one of figuring out who I was to being a responsible mother at 19. I am what you become if you keep your child, always wondering a little how you could have rocked out if you had had more time. It's one reason I am so rebellious still, it's the eternally rebellious teenager in me that Lady Gaga titillates.

So having said these things, what I admire about Lady Gaga is that she seems to do it all the way she wants to do it. To be so famous so young and still be able to create shows an enormous strength. She had Anderson Cooper on pins and needles when he interviewed her. I enjoy people who can nonplus me in a good way. And then we see the vulnerability, too. She's a human being, and it's complicated.

If Lady Gaga was being the anti-Dorothy well, hello. I'm angry a lot at realizing the endupement of us all before the rich, the greedy, the immoral. Lady Gaga gives me some kind of hope and for now, at least, I find her enormously interesting to watch. So I'm glad you watched and I'll think more about your musings.

The other night on Jeopardy (see how old I am) they played Born This Way and the only contestant who buzzed in guessed the singer was Madonna. I felt happy to know it was the unique for now Lady Gaga.

My daughter will be visiting from Seattle to attend the college graduation of her little sister this coming Thursday. I know we will have a least one Born This Way dance.