Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Rev Gaga, Transubtantiatrix?

At age 11, she was set to join Juilliard School in Manhattan,[8] but instead attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private Roman Catholic school.[9]...At age 17, she gained early admission to the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. There, she studied music and improved her songwriting skills by composing essays and analytical papers focusing on topics such as art, religion and socio-political order.[10][1

I knew nothing about the subject of the above Wikipedia article until recently; hadn't even heard of her, the one who says she is "so blessed, I thank God every day.." (see video interview below), one Lady Gaga (Who did you think the bio was about, having read the above excerpt?)

Well, like her stuff or not (not my cup of tea, but kind of like watching the Gaithers on crack, which eventually be the point here) she is now (for a year or so in the sun) a pop culture icon, and an image to be wrestled with. She may come off as a Madonna Domiatrix-era wanna-be, but something else is also afoot. And since God has in some sense allowed her platform, what would be her redemptive gift? What is her method/message? Some of her theatrics remind of early Alice Cooper, and you know what a brilliant and prophetic Kingdom person he was and became (no, I'm not kidding, read up on him). I even get the sense she may be trying to (or eventually be called to) subvert simulacra (and or/subvert such subversion...Mind you, this is no ZOO TV, but it is TV)or, in the phrase coined for a classic article about Andy Warhol, transubstantiate the culture (a little trick she may have learned in the convent).

Funny, when i first saw the title of the interview below, I thought, "No way! She was on TEDS?
Then I realized the other TEDs was The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But could it be that she'll eventually be the first one to speak on both. A stretch? Sure..but she is a cultural thermometer, and maybe even thermostat. Funkier things have happened in church and culture.

ANYWAY...all this to say:

Leave it to the amazing David Sessions, editor of Patrol Magazine, which started out as CCM Patrol (a response and alternative to cheesy CCM), but now is (also) something else (link)
to write the first an insightful piece on the Lady (Did you expect it to appear on Focus on the Family?), an column entitled:

"GaGa, Ooh-La-La:
Why we can’t stop watching Lady Gaga’s brilliant, disturbing 'Bad Romance' video."

Here are the first and last paragraphs, but you'll want to read the article before watching (or even deciding if you want to watch the video included here..it's not fit for the early service at most churches).:

IT IS SOMETIMES difficult to tell whether Lady Gaga rose from her humble beginnings on the Lower East Side intending to be a pop star or an elaborately plotted piece of performance art. If she was afraid of becoming too much of the former, her recently-released video for “Bad Romance” has ostensibly solved the problem: she now has the full attention of upper middlebrow culture critics who see the full measure of the Gaga phenomenon played out in a five-minute smorgasbord of freakish costumes, stomach-turning exploitation, and eventual sexual domination. All set to a sugar-sweet dance track that people the world overwho probably loved Michael Jackson but have never heard of Michel Foucaltare swallowing at a frantic pace....

,,,,Gaga seems to have noticed that being a celebrity in the United States is, more often than not, a story of meteoric rise followed by a calamitous fall, as capitalist culture sweeps away the fading to make room for the more profitable, and adoring audience turns TMZ-briefed, gavel-banging judge. Still in her early twenties, she rejected that prospect and took Machiavelli’s advice about the superiority of fear over love. For the moment, that is what has made her queen in an entertainment industry that more closely resembles a state of nature every day. The seductive tracks and eye-opening videos are merely channels for the promulgation of Gaga’s explicit philosophy of fame: she will make you love her, and then she will eat you alive. link


Bonus: David Sessions is even Christian enough to admit liking Taylor Swift

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