Monday, 13 September 2010
"The diva of déjà vu": A harsh criticism of Lady Gaga
"Despite showing acres of pallid flesh in the fetish-bondage garb of urban prostitution, Gaga isn’t sexy at all – she’s like a gangly marionette or plasticised android. How could a figure so calculated and artificial, so clinical and strangely antiseptic, so stripped of genuine eroticism have become the icon of her generation? Can it be that Gaga represents the exhausted end of the sexual revolution? In Gaga’s manic miming of persona after persona, over-conceptualised and claustrophobic, we may have reached the limit of an era…"
American cultural critic and sociologist, Camille Paglia, launched a harsh and devastatingly intelligent criticism of Lady Gaga in this week's Sunday Times in London - taking apart everything from Gaga's position as "the clarion voice of all the freaks and misfits of life" to her reputation for originality, which Paglia feels is particularly ill-deserved given that Gaga is "a ruthless recycler of other people’s work" and has produced nothing but "insipid songs, with their nursery-rhyme nonsense syllable". Paglia then goes on to wonder what (if anything) the Gaga phenomenon tells us about sexuality in the modern world and our concept of celebrity.
I don't know if I agree entirely with everything Paglia says, but her article is so brilliantly written and so remorseless in its critical skill, that I thought it merited commenting on.
I happen to like much of Lady Gaga's music; I love some of it. And although I agree that there is a massive disconnect between the type of music she produces and the uniqueness or weirdness she aspires to in her public persona, I can't help but feel that suggesting she is not phenomenally talented is disingenuous. Many of Lady Gaga's musical performances have been excellent. Her vocal work on the VMA performance of Paparazzi and her rendition of Bad Romance on both The Ellen Degeneres Show and The X Factor were superb.
However, Paglia does make some valid points - and any points, right or wrong, are made excellently.
For the full on-line article, click here.