That’s Like So Totally Fascist, OMFG.

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Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Cascadian says:

    I didn’t think it was that bad. I quite liked the aesthetic. Militaristic leather? I thought you were familiar with the PumpJack. Still, it didn’t come close to some of Madonna’s videos.Report

  2. Avatar Aaron says:

    I don’t know if it was SO bad, but it definitely was one of the weaker showings of Lady Gaga. It doesn’t help that Alejandro is probably one of the weakest songs off of the Fame Monster (IMO of course). It’s been kind of hard for her to top the Bad Romance or Paparazzi video. Telephone was pretty good, but it lacked a connection with the actual song.

    Speaking of, Beyonce’s “Why Don’t You Love Me?” has an AMAZING video. Holy crap.Report

  3. Avatar typo says:

    She did an interview with the Times of London that helped explain it some (unfortunately it is now behind a paywall):

    “It’s a celebration and an admiration of gay love – it confesses my envy of the courage and bravery they require to be together. In the video I’m pining for the love of my gay friends – but they just don’t want me.”

    One way of interpreting the video is that Gaga’s use of gay men is deliberately reprehensible; gay men today are undergoing a metaphorical holocaust (the destruction of their identities) due to heteronormative objectification by (in this case) straight women.

    But this is ultimately pop music, so it’s not going to maintain a coherent message.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    If the gay people would just get the hell out of Nazi Germany and move back to Greenwich Village and San Francisco, maybe we wouldn’t be having all of these problems.Report

  5. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    There is a bit of a tradition of mixing S/M and fascist imagery although I don’t know that it ever works out well- I still don’t get what others saw in the Night Porter, for instance. My take on the video, however, was that she was redoing a lot of Madonna imagery as fascist, which I’ve no idea what to make of.

    Overall, my big problem with Lady Gaga is this- her music is terrible. I get that the imagery is eye-popping and creative and she’s got an interesting take on making art. But I can’t get past the fact that the music is so totally uninspired: basically the same chord progressions in every song, cookie-cutter chorus-verse-chorus structures, fairly idiotic lyrics.

    As someone who obsesses over pop music a bit too much, I really did want her to be a female Ziggy Stardust; but I should’ve known from the fact that she used to write for Brittney Spears and the Black Eyed Peas- i.e. some of the worst music of the last decade- that the songwriting wasn’t going to be great. Nevertheless, I was shocked by the montage of her four or five hit songs that Larry King presented- it was the same crappy song with somewhat different lyrics. She’s a bit like KISS- lots of striking theatrics and mediocre bar band songwriting.Report

  6. Avatar Dave says:

    Rufus,

    I tend to view Lady Gaga as a Dale Bozzio retread that lacks all of the good qualities of a Dale Bozzio or Missing Persons for that matter (I do very much like Warren Cuccurullo’s guitar work).Report

  7. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Dave,
    Yeah I can totally see that. I also thought of Wendy O Williams, although I actually like the Plasmatics songs more.

    I mention Bowie cause I keep hearing the comparison made, but I don’t think anyone gets that Bowie could write a song like ‘God knows I’m Good’ when he was still just a kid really, and so far Lady Gaga has not. Now that might all change with her next album. Pop artists sometimes get more interesting after they’ve established themselves. But, if they’re going to last, they need to record some great songs. After all, you don’t leave the show whistling the costumes.Report

  8. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    Also what’s with the cross on your crotch? What does that mean? Having sex with her is like getting crucified? It will kill you.

    As a former Roman Catholic I still have great appreciation for the Martin de Porres imagery in Like a Prayer and Madonna’s general use of her Italian Catholic heritage. But Gaga, she should have it in her–in the great tradition of many Italian Roman Catholic Americans (Scorsese, Coppola, et. al)–but boy she just can’t make it work imo. Disappointing really.Report

  9. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    oops, that’s her crotch.Report

  10. Avatar Aaron says:

    I like to think the cross on my crotch is done in a very tasteful fashion.Report

  11. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Aaron,
    I think the cross on your crotch is… never mind!

    Chris,
    I think I do like Lady Gaga’s artistic promiscuity- taking all sorts of different aesthetics and throwing them into a blender- which reminds me of Madonna. But, you’re right- the difference with Madonna was that she had a deeper understanding of those aesthetic traditions and love for them that made the cross-breeding much more stimulating. In recent years, I think she’s lost that, but at her height, it was much more interesting than Lady Gaga’s seeming confusion about what she’s doing.Report

  12. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    @rufus. indeed. I suppose one could try to argue Gaga is more postmodern than Madonna: the name recursive from Radio Gaga, as well as a reference to Madonna (“Our Lady”, “Lady” Gaga), the mixing and matching a kind of bricolage, the fragmentation and incoherence and raunch sexuality, as well as the inability to do much but surf and re-use the traditions instead of diving into them.Report

  13. Avatar John David Galt says:

    One of the reasons Hitler massacred Rohm and the SA in the Night of the Long Knives was that those people — the original Nazi leadership — were gay, at least in private.Report

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