Did Lady Gaga steal the show? She certainly has a knack for liturgy, and the most ostentatious liturgies of pop culture media entertainment industry america are these awards shows. Lady Gaga seems to excel at it… But for what purpose?
There were a lot of terrible love songs at the Grammy’s that I thought warranted some analysis or reflection, because in all honesty if love is what the Grammy awards ceremony claims it to be, then Love is useless.
Lady Gaga arrived at the show in procession, being carried in what looked like an egg. She emerged from the egg, like a scene from Aliens, as Ripley emerges from cryogenic stasis or something. Her song was called “Born This Way.”
The Good: Lady Gaga’s ostentatious performances indicate our own need for ostentatious worship and liturgy, as strange as it may seem. Her song had the theme of self-acceptance, which is an important theme, and I think the very key to her success. She even admitted that she imagined Whitney Houston singing the song, because she did not have enough confidence in herself to sing it. This strikes a chord with her fans, I mean every adolescent struggles with the issue of acceptance.
The Bad: Sometimes I have a hard time believing that Lady Gaga still has so much low self esteem if she is so assertive with her highly stylized performances. I also have a hard time with all the glam and focus on externals, if she is really trying to say that what matters most is who we are, not what we look like. There are some flat out ironies to the way she expresses her own ideals.
The Ugly: This song is not a love song per se, and I cannot do justice to the song by limiting to it at that. Yet, since Love and Acceptance are connected in some way I will give it a try. I was born unable to speak English, or with the knowledge of how to illustrate human figures. These were disciplines that I learned after several years of labor and practice. Best case scenario, admitting that there are things about yourself that you cannot change, you need to be able to accept yourself to grow. Worst case scenario, this could also be an excuse from some people to protect their own mediocrity and laziness. Sometimes it is as if we, in our politically correct culture assume these should be rights, but it cheapens love if there is not free will. Love is equally liberating for the Beloved as well as the Lover, and that is the problem with mandating acceptance, it only liberates the Beloved.
Kudos to Lady Gaga for attempting to include something substantial and positive in the midst of a maddeningly egocentric affair as artists have their personal venue to push their expression in our lives. I could go on with Lady Gaga, she is, after all, one of the strangest contradictions of positive message and negative image (or vice versa) of anybody in our pop culture media industry. I think she fascinates me precisely because of how much she embodies the very contradictions and absurdities of our culture to the extreme.