Suppose one is over twenty-five and able to switch wave-lengths, if only for five minutes, and suppose one wants to tune into the Zeitgeist, it is hard to resist Lady Gaga, age 23, whose civilian name is Stephani Germanotta. (By the way, apparently there is not yet a single pop-group called Zeitgeist, but Zeitgeist the Movie does exist. You may Google it.)
The world of pop is a universe alien to this author and perhaps to some of his readers, but on the rare occasions when he visits it – such as this occasion – he is amazed. (He wouldn’t have entered it if a nephew of his, also no longer in the first flush of youth, had not pushed him.) A short inspection of Lady Gaga’s videos conveyed to him that she is a work of art and that her creations, once one becomes acculturalized to the idiom, are, as her crowd would say, “awesome.”
However you define humour – let us not try – she is full of it. Not only that, she is a moralist with a high I.Q. This is a quote from a profile of her (New York Magazine, March 28): “What I’ve discovered,” said robo-Gaga, with a photo-ready tilt of her head, “is that in art, as in music, there’s a lot of truth – and then there’s a lie. The artist is essentially creating his work to make this lie a truth, but he slides it in amongst all the others. The tiny little lie is the moment I live for, my moment. It’s the moment that the audience falls in love…. I went through a great deal of creative and artistic revelation, learning, and marination to become who I am,” she explains. “I wanted to become the artist I am today, and it took years.”
Please note that when she talks about the artist, he is a he. Politically very incorrect. But this slip was probably unintentional, unlike the hilariously provocative gender-games she plays. She is as adventurous in blurring the line between the sexes as was Marlene Dietrich in her day, or, if you want to go even further back, George Sand, Chopin’s friend, who wore trousers and smoked cigars. A public person wants to be interesting.
Here is another quote from the profile in New York Magazine.
“Gaga says she’s a girl who likes boys who look like girls, but she’s also a girl who likes to look like a boy herself – or, rather, a drag queen, a boy pretending to be a girl. There’s little that gives her more pleasure than the persistent rumor that she is a hermaphrodite, an Internet rumour based on scrutinizing a grainy video. That’s not Madonna. Madonna wouldn’t pretend she has a penis.”
Who are we to argue with that?