Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lady GaGa will Not Save You from the Religious Right

In October of 2009, Stephanie Germanotta (better known by her stage name - Lady GaGa) stood at a podium in front of our nation’s capitol and vowed that she would "refuse to accept any homophobic or misogynistic actions in the music industry". For this largely vague and unenforceable promise, she recieved standing ovation and cheering from more than 200,000 people at a rally that was supposed to be focused on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. To make matters worse, she broke that little promise a few months later by standing idly by as Adam Lambert was castigated and censored for his performance on the American Music Awards. She went on to do business as usual with Dick Clark Productions and ABC as they cancelled Adam's appearances and edited a "gay kiss" out of his performance, all the while keeping his simulated oral sex and other raunchy bits intact.

This solemn oath on her part was given at the National Equality March. There were, as I figure it (from my perch to the left of the capitol steps), 3 types of people who came together for that event. The first type of people were a small collection of rag-tag activists (such as myself) who were frustrated that gay rights were being put on the back burner once again, despite our efforts to get Obama into office and our constant campaigning for socially liberal candidates and causes. The next, slightly larger, group of people who were in attendance were the garden variety "MoveOn" Democrats who are motivated by their support of astroturf human rights campaigns and other sorts of organizational shuffleboarding. But the largest group of people who attended the National Equality March was Lady GaGa's "little monsters" as she likes to call them.

Who are these "little monsters" and what do they mean to a political movement?

Statistically speaking, they are gay boys between the ages of 16 and 25 who have a lot of expendable income in the form of allowance money from their parents. Their hobbies include Lady GaGa, Lady GaGa and Lady GaGa. They range from slightly materialistic to downright vapid and their political prowess is best expressed in their capacity to choose Fox's next American Idol via their iPhones.

Do you think I'm being harsh? Talk to them.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't hate this diva or her fans. But at the end of the day, she's a distraction from what's really important. Therefore, I would suggest that gay men leave her to be a distraction for the right-wingers as opposed to themselves. Take that $50 you would spend on her show and instead, spend it on condoms and a nice wallet to hold your new voters registration card. Instead of downloading her latest MP3, download a podcast of NPR's Teri Gross interviewing Jeff Sharlet about the Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. Educate yourself. Motivate yourself... and as Madonna once said, "Express yourself".

As a product of Reagan/Clinton era politics, I saw Madonna Rock The Vote but then subsequently, I saw her become a parody of herself. This always happens to pop stars who venture into politics and GaGa will be no exception. This we know because she has already done everything she can to mimic Madonna's shtick.

There is an important distinction to be made also between Madonna and GaGa... Madonna's loyal and dedicated gay following was largely an accidental byproduct of what she aimed for. It was Madonna's honesty and fierce advocacy of her personal beliefs that inspired gay men to draw to her like moths to the flame. But with GaGa, it's manufactured. There are marketing techniques in place to re-create the Madonna effect but she has not walked through the fire or done anything that landed her in jail or caused international controversy.

GaGa has got Madonna's bag down to a science but we already have a Madonna (and a Sean Penn) and these celebrities, as much as they care, have yet to pass any legislation in our favor. We just have too many cheerleaders and not enough linebackers in the gay community.

If we are going to achieve long-lasting and meaningful equality in American society, we're going to need more than a good poker face. We need to know, for starters, the three branches of American government and the differences between them. We need to know how to stage a successful protest and how to determine what we should get all up in arms about and what we shouldn't. Furthermore, we need to know who our enemies are before we go to battle. A serious overhaul in our psychology is in order. For instance, in Florida, why do we stand around clapping for silly little half-measures like anti-bullying legislation when we are the only state in the USA that outlaws gay adoptions and civil unions?

Our Gay Agenda as per YouTube:
The Proposition 8 trial - 1,986 views
Lady GaGa's Bad Romance Video - 134,209,139 views
(Is she really Sixty Eight Thousand Times more important than our civil rights?)

I'm aware that these gay kids get their feelings hurt so easily when you attack their idols, but that's exactly the point. Your feelings should be hurt by what the religious right is doing to our country and to you personally. Lady GaGa can defend herself... but she doesn't even know who you are. She'll never really have your back because she's too busy doing commercials for Wal-Mart and re-making "Truth or Dare".

Now, before you start flaming me in the comments section, I want you to consider this question:

Who would you rather idolize? Someone who wears Halloween costumes and sings about not being able to find her keys when she's drunk? Or a gay black socialist who organized 500,000 people in one of the most important civil rights movements in American history and stayed devoted to his life partner until the day he died?

1 comment:

  1. This is a thorough, yet tragic analysis of what is happening AGAIN. While I admire Gaga for her stance, youre 100% right. Gaga nor any celebrity can save the gay rights movement from the blistering attacks it has endured for the last 40 years. She isnt a politician. She isnt a civil rights leader. We can certainly thank her or whoever, them, but its up to all of us to do the right thing and take action. THANK YOU.


Florida Squeezed would love to hear your take on it...