Join 3,561 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Being Gay is OK - New World Order, Too
February 28, 2011 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Talented musician Lady Gaga releases music video (1st of 2) for her single Born This Way.

WARNING: long intro (music starts at 2:45), may sound like Madonna's "Express Yourself", freaky imagery, previously, previously.
posted by rodmandirect (218 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Let us take a moment before we experience this new pop artifact.

There now.

UNICORN 5 SECONDS IN I'M SOLD
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 AM on February 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


I know that Gaga posts tend to get deleted, but we haven't had one in a long time and it opens with a unicorn. It's marvelous!
posted by stoneweaver at 9:59 AM on February 28, 2011


Man, I'm usually a fan of Gaga, but this is way too prog-rock-concept-album for me.
posted by nasreddin at 10:00 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do you have links to other marketing materials? That woman put a lot of effort into this and it's a shame that she's languishing in obscurity.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:01 AM on February 28, 2011 [73 favorites]


Okay remember when I called Gaga a "disco fairy princess" who lived in a "floating mirror ball bubble" ?

I'm just saying I called it or she's secretly one of my contacts.
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mayor Curley: "Do you have links to other marketing materials? "

Here you go.
posted by zarq at 10:03 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not available in your country. The VEVO video library is currently only licensed for streaming within the United States and Canada... awesome, tnx internets...
posted by Omon Ra at 10:03 AM on February 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh goodness that is quite hideous. I can't look away.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:04 AM on February 28, 2011


LG aping MC?

Hard to imagine.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:04 AM on February 28, 2011


Metafilter: And that is when the beginning began.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:04 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


This opening is like if Alan Moore did the X-Men.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


That intro looks like HR Giger directing Superman 2...
posted by Catblack at 10:05 AM on February 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


It seems a little unfair to lead off the post by calling GaGa a "talented musician" and then not even mention Jeppe Laursen, Fernando Garibay, and DJ White Shadow.
posted by The World Famous at 10:05 AM on February 28, 2011


At 0:32 she turns into a uterus madde of stars.

Which is cool.
posted by SPUTNIK at 10:06 AM on February 28, 2011


I love lady gaga, but this song is atrocious.
posted by empath at 10:06 AM on February 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


oh, c'mon! she is now fucking with all those Illuminati conspiracy theorists.
it's like her negative marketing is ingrained in the fucking video.
brilliant ... and evil.
like the illuminati.
posted by liza at 10:06 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The opening is like if Jodorowsky directed Iron Man 3.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:07 AM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lady Gaga and Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors : separated at birth?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:07 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm still choking on "talented musician" and in the wrong country to boot


what? why am I in this thread? cos its GRAR... oh wait, that's GAGA
posted by infini at 10:07 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, after the crazy intro it's just that boring song set to a Fame-style dance workout with a few skull makeup faces.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:08 AM on February 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


How much artistic input does Gaga herself have over her videos? I often think she just dashes off slightly meaningless lyrics simply to have a vehicle for the videos, which never have anything to do with the song. They also usually feature hordes of people pawing all together at her nearly naked body, which I'm sure says something psychologically, but I don't know what.

Also, this song is awful and reminds me of the "True Colors/Love Yourself" program we had to do in middle school. Do another Bad Romance, dammit. That at least had kind of an interesting story.
posted by frobozz at 10:08 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


For a song that is so obviously targeted towards being an anthem in the gay community - it's weird that the only overtly sexual interaction is between a woman and a man. Granted, they're both wearing skull makeup, but I came in expecting something more.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:09 AM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


NSFW? Maybe?
posted by schmod at 10:09 AM on February 28, 2011


I don't know Lady Gaga, but 10 year old Maria posted a cover of 'Born this way' on YouTube 12 days ago, and she had 16,220,960 views of it since...
posted by growabrain at 10:10 AM on February 28, 2011


I like the skeleton makeup/airbrushing, and the unicorn, and the 80sish triangle graphic...

but this is no "Telephone".
posted by Leta at 10:11 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


No YouTube at work, but I already know I will prefer the Pomplamoose version.
posted by emelenjr at 10:11 AM on February 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Any link that works outside the US?
posted by jeffburdges at 10:11 AM on February 28, 2011


> Any link that works outside the US?

Count your blessings this time.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:12 AM on February 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


You know ..if you asked me what images came to mind listening to the bouncy disco-anthem Born This Way I would not have said "Lady Gaga giving birth to all the evil in the world in the form of the Xenomorph from Alien" but here we are.
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 AM on February 28, 2011 [17 favorites]


Pros: She wears clothes designed by students at my college

Cons: Completely awful song which, as mentioned, shamelessly rips off Madonna.
She recently arrived at the Grammys in an egg. And probably didn't intend to rip off Spinal Tap which is even funnier in it's unfortunateness...

All the kids are getting into Salamander Rape Manifesto now...
posted by i_cola at 10:13 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked this. Over the last year or so I've gone from "Lady who? Off my lawn blahblahblah" to "Oh hey, she's pretty great, like her a lot!"

Thanks for the post.
posted by rtha at 10:14 AM on February 28, 2011


One of my friends commented that the thing he responds to about Gaga is that she does her thing looking like she's having a blast, without cynicism and irony. That was after the obligatory "wtf?" that we all said after watching it.
posted by immlass at 10:15 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


It just seems odd to me, the phrase "I was born this way!" as an anthem of self-acceptance and empowerment. It seems more like a resignation, like something that someone with serious abnormalities would insist. No matter how much I consider the potential shame-destroying potential of the sentiment, it continues to strike me as bizarre and sort of embarrassing to say "I was born this way!" to mean that you're wonderful and are exactly the way you're meant to be.
posted by clockzero at 10:15 AM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


> It just seems odd to me, the phrase "I was born this way!"

Not wishing to impugn Ms. Gaga's motives too much, I can't help but think there is a bit of intentional pandering going on here to ensure heavy rotation. Maybe the lyrics weren't written from a place of deep sincerity.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:17 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see a breakdown of all of the imagery in this video.
posted by zarq at 10:17 AM on February 28, 2011


That video is something else, though. Wow.
posted by empath at 10:18 AM on February 28, 2011


I've always felt that toeing a strict choice or strict biological line is dangerous to all involved. It certainly glosses over substantial sexual heterogeneity.
posted by proj at 10:18 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I kept waiting for a mini-Gaga to burst out of her chest and go "HISSSSSSS!" right before it scuttled across the floor, leaving a trail of bloody slime.
posted by katillathehun at 10:19 AM on February 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


That's in Part 2
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like how it's sort of a meta-parody of all those Beyonce/Britney "dance till you drop" vids.

The song, however, is crap and Ms. Ciccone should consider suing her for everything she's got.

It seems more like a resignation, like something that someone with serious abnormalities would insist.

I'm not sure I buy this. Defiance, yes, but resignation? That's the last emotional response I'd expect out of this woman.
posted by blucevalo at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't a cover of 1977's disco anthem I Was Born This Way.
posted by hippybear at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


It certainly glosses over substantial sexual heterogeneity.

In a funny coincidence, that is the title of the B-side.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2011


After rewatching the Grammys performance, I'm even more disappointed with this video. I'm a huge Lady Gaga lover. I mean, really huge. But this video just doesn't feel cohesive. It starts out with the promise of a story, and then we just get dancing. (OK, that's sort of how music videos go. But she's been a great story teller in the past!) This just feels so run of the mill compared to what we've seen in the past. I would love to be convinced otherwise.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Adding: Ms. Ciccone and Stephen Bray should consider suing her for everything she's got.

sorry
posted by blucevalo at 10:21 AM on February 28, 2011


Any link that works outside the US?

Be careful what you wish for...
posted by robself at 10:22 AM on February 28, 2011


>
Maybe the lyrics weren't written from a place of deep sincerity.

Well, yes, that's to be expected, right? I'm thinking that they're not so great at the pandering they're trying to accomplish because it's such a clumsy and awkward way to express good self-esteem.
posted by clockzero at 10:24 AM on February 28, 2011


I'm glad the video is disturbing enough to even out the cloying cheerfulness of the song; the disturbing stuff is why I like Gaga, so I was disappointed when the song came out.
posted by Nattie at 10:25 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to say, I think Ke$ha's new video featuring unicorns was way more entertaining than Gaga's.
posted by elsewhen at 10:26 AM on February 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Burhanistan sums the video up perfectly. The intro was such a trippy mindfuck, I was hoping it would lead into something more interesting than watching her dance around in a leather bikini. I lost interest quickly.

Re: the song itself, maybe it'll be improved in a remix. But I can't help but think that I would have liked it better if it was sung by Madonna in 1992, with production done by Shep Pettibone.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 10:26 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I keep thinking the first person to cover the song with a gospel choir is gonna have a hit.
posted by The Whelk at 10:27 AM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


The whole birth / people split in two thing recalls Aristophanes' Speech in the Symposium, a poetic and ancient explanation of homosexuality as a natural human variation. Which in turn reminds me of the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the great song / video Origin of Love. Come to think of it, Gaga kind of bites Hedwig's style a bit.
posted by Nelson at 10:27 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Talented musician Lady Gaga..."

Editorializing much? =)
posted by andreaazure at 10:27 AM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not thrilled with the video or song, but I do appreciative how totally blatant she is about emulating Express Yourself era Madonna. I don't think the black stripe between her two front teeth at 6:53 is just meant to continue the black electrical tape theme from those bodysuit shots.

(A little earlier, she's walking down the alley with blindingly white gloves, so maybe that was a double barrelled homage to Michael Jackson. I'm not sure what was up with the Laurie Anderson hair, though. But maybe her next video features her playing an electric cello on a mountain of ice cubes.)
posted by maudlin at 10:29 AM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have to say, her makeup in the scene where she's dancing with (NWS) Zombie Boy (that ain't makeup on him) is incredibly well-done.
posted by angerbot at 10:29 AM on February 28, 2011


appreciative = appreciate. *sigh*
posted by maudlin at 10:30 AM on February 28, 2011


The song, however, is crap and Ms. Ciccone should consider suing her for everything she's got.


Gaga conceded on Leno that Madonna was a huge influence on this song, and that she'd already received a note from the Blonde One's camp praising the song. So, it's frustrating from the point of craving more original-sounding stuff from Gaga, but there's really nothing wrong with making a "hey, that sounds like..." song if you do so respectfully.
posted by hermitosis at 10:30 AM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


That was awesome. I can't wait for the mash-up with Express Yourself.

How completely awesome would it be if Gaga and Madonna performed said mash-up in some completely effed up (visually speaking) Grammy performance?

I'd tune in to the broadcast just for that.
posted by oddman at 10:31 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Madonna is probably grateful that there's a new, popular song that DJs can easily use to mix Express Yourself into a set.
posted by The World Famous at 10:32 AM on February 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


How completely awesome would it be if Gaga and Madonna performed said mash-up in some completely effed up (visually speaking) Grammy performance?

Whatever you do, do not let Madonna kiss you. It drove Britney MAD.
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 AM on February 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


I blame opposable thumbs.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:32 AM on February 28, 2011


It wouldn't surprise me if sales of "Express Yourself" have jumped as a result of the success of "Born This Way".
posted by josher71 at 10:33 AM on February 28, 2011


Yeah, but Madonna also kissed Christina Aguilera, and she turned out OK.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 10:34 AM on February 28, 2011


This opening is like if Antonin Artaud did "The Brave Little Toaster."
posted by steambadger at 10:34 AM on February 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, but Madonna also kissed Christina Aguilera, and she turned out OK.

I submit Burlesque and your argument is invalid.
posted by The Whelk at 10:36 AM on February 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


I'm really not a huge fan of the "born gay" argument for it being okay to be gay. Homosexuality and heterosexuality are too socially constructed for me to be comfortable saying that they're entirely biologically dictated, and I think that in the long run it's gonna do the gays (and the bis and the queers and whoever else) a lot more good for it to be okay to love whoever you want for whatever reasons you want.

That said, the lingerie set with the chains is awesome and I would totally wear it.
posted by NoraReed at 10:38 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to say, I think Ke$ha's new video yt featuring unicorns was way more entertaining than Gaga's.

I came to the thread to say the same thing. Although Ke$ha's video had less Matthew Barney references, it has a better sense of humor.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:39 AM on February 28, 2011


It's like ARTSY_CULT_FIGURE did POP_CULTURE_STAPLE! LOLORIGINALITY!
posted by nasreddin at 10:39 AM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Meh, I'll take Janelle Monae thank you very much.
posted by Fizz at 10:43 AM on February 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


It's like ARTSY_CULT_FIGURE did POP_CULTURE_STAPLE! LOLORIGINALITY!

Wait, what artsy cult figure?
posted by The World Famous at 10:45 AM on February 28, 2011


Cause my brain is wired this way, I spent an entire afternoon at the gym conceptualizing Pop music figures as Sandman-esque power-struggle-of-the-Gods with Gaga (known as The Lady) trying to lure the Material Queen into a trap by capturing the Thin White Duke after the fall of the King Of Pop. She had Katy Perry as her loopy child-like assassin.

What? How do you spend your treadmill time?
posted by The Whelk at 10:45 AM on February 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


Meh, I'll take Janelle Monae thank you very much.

Janelle Monae is the Dues Ex Machinae.
posted by The Whelk at 10:46 AM on February 28, 2011


Ehhhh.

The problem with Gaga and the problem with Glee arent that they are too gay/not gay enough.

The problem with Gaga and Glee is that they are both so awful-by-design that no amount or lack of gayness could save them.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:57 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, I'm usually a fan of Gaga, but this is way too prog-rock-concept-album for me.

(ears perk up) Really? How's the music?
posted by kurumi at 10:57 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe the lyrics weren't written from a place of deep sincerity.

Eh, I don't like the song much at all despite being a HUGE Gaga fan, but I had more the opposite impression: she's completely sincere, and her drive to deliver the message kind of took precedence over the usual artistic considerations and skewed her judgment. I don't think it was pandering or had any other motive. Gaga cared about gay rights from the very the beginning, before she was famous, and has too many close gay friends to be insincere about this; I think once you see over and over the shit gay people have to go through, and then you become famous and people tell you even more stories, you just get angrier about it and want to preach against it, for lack of a better word. I would bet when Gaga wrote the song, she was emotionally drawing on a lot of things she'd seen her friends go through; I wouldn't underestimate how upsetting that can be for someone. I've gotten viciously angry and saddened over some of the stuff my gay male friends have gone through, and we live in relatively liberal environments. (I'm bisexual, but I haven't had to deal with much myself. The only time I've ever been the victim of a homophobic slur was when someone called me a "fucking dyke" in San Francisco, of all places, during pride weekend, when I was standing next to my husband. Go figure.) There's really no telling what outrageous stuff Gaga's been close to, or have had fans tell her about, not to mention all the homophobia she's personally experienced. I think it can be difficult to remember that there are still a lot of people who need to hear what the song says, in as relentlessly cheerful a way as it says it. The idea that she's pandering or insincere is incredibly unlikely to me.

The song reminds me a bit of Margaret Cho's trajectory, at least in my opinion; I really liked her early stand-up, but then when she got more and more into gay rights -- which is great -- her stand-up got more consumed with talking about that until it wasn't really funny anymore, and it didn't seem like she noticed that she'd go a half hour without really making a joke or anything. I don't think she's doing it to pander or that she's insincere at all, either; she's speaking for herself and the people she's close to. When people get something like that on their mind and it really bothers them, I think it's difficult for them to self-reflect on their work and see anything other than the message, so the medium for the message isn't utilized as well as it is when the medium itself is their top priority.

It's only one song off Gaga's upcoming album, though, so I'm not too worried about the rest of it; hopefully "Born This Way" just needed to be let out of her system. I don't mean that I don't want her to ignore pride issues or anything in the future, just that she'll be able to make them good songs in their own right.
posted by Nattie at 10:58 AM on February 28, 2011 [20 favorites]


I liked how bouncy and disco-anthem-y it was, but I was concerned with the lack of a solid hook. It doesn't have a Rah Rah Ga Ga or Kinda-Bus-E catch to it.
posted by The Whelk at 11:01 AM on February 28, 2011


Not wishing to impugn Ms. Gaga's motives too much, I can't help but think there is a bit of intentional pandering going on here to ensure heavy rotation.

Well... yeah. Fame and celebrity, having people talk about her and even worship her, seem to be her main goals. She did an interview with 60 Minutes recently where she pretty much came out and said that.
posted by wondermouse at 11:02 AM on February 28, 2011


If this was a spoof video from a Christopher Guest flick or Get Him to the Greek or some other parody, you would not be able to tell the difference at all.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:02 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


faze was that you?
posted by litleozy at 11:02 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


MeTa.
posted by weston at 11:03 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


even worship her, seem to be her main goals

Belief is the food of the gods.
posted by The Whelk at 11:03 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really hate the fact that I love this song. I was fully prepared to say "the video was awesome until the music started". She's stolen classic EBM and Electroclash elements and successfully woven them into pop.

Also, musically, I can't help but think this is a modern interpretation of Madonna's Express Yourself.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 11:04 AM on February 28, 2011


I did like her using the power of her undeniable market force to leverage Target into changing the way they do political donations (no more anti-gay politican funding!) and to start giving money to GLBT causes directly, all by telling them that she would give them an exclusive release of her music.

Oh, and putting teeth in the new contract that says basically she'll be keeping an eye on them and will pull out of the contract if she finds them giving money like they have been again.
posted by hippybear at 11:04 AM on February 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


and the 80sish triangle graphic

Which is so overused now as to be cliche to even call it overused.
Besides, Little Boots already did the Unicorn/Triangle thing way better and as a bonus her music isnt terrible.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:07 AM on February 28, 2011


She's on the right track baby, she was born this way.
posted by New England Cultist at 11:08 AM on February 28, 2011


There's a sort of genius to this. The song is very light, radio-friendly dance music with a generalized pro-gay message. And the video is bonkers. At points its genuinely disturbing -- the bisexual orgy in the swirling paint is reminiscent of the climax to the horror satire "Class." The the images of childbirth cleverly use that mirrored lens effect to create a series of vulvas, and childbirth is accompanied by spraying liquids and weird egg things popping out. And then, out of the blue, she turns into a skeleton.

Just describing it makes me like it more and more.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:09 AM on February 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


it's alright, i guess - having something to say helps - but i'm afraid she's too in love with spectacle for its own sake
posted by pyramid termite at 11:09 AM on February 28, 2011


This track, Tevo Howard's "The Age Of Compassion," was also released recently. And for some reason the background image on Youtube features a unicorn as well. This is neither here nor there, but I guess if you're looking for unicorns, I happen to think Tevo Howard is a nice way to go.
posted by koeselitz at 11:16 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Listens of "Express Yourself" as tracked by last.fm more than doubled immediately after the release of "Born This Way" (see "Recent Listening Trend" at top right).
posted by drew3d at 11:23 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


what is this i don't even
posted by Mayor West at 11:27 AM on February 28, 2011


Love it or hate it, that is one holy shit video right there.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:28 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zipper nipples.
posted by zephyr_words at 11:30 AM on February 28, 2011


"i'm afraid she's too in love with spectacle for its own sake"

What? I mean, the spectacle is what makes it awesome. This is like blaming Van Halen for being too in love with the guitar.
posted by oddman at 11:30 AM on February 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


I don't understand what's so surprising, unusual, or awe-inspiring about the video. Did nobody watch the pop music videos of the '80s?
posted by The World Famous at 11:31 AM on February 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


What? I mean, the spectacle is what makes it awesome. This is like blaming Van Halen for being too in love with the guitar.

Psh. Compared to Roth-era Van Halen, Lady GaGa doesn't even know what spectacle is.
posted by The World Famous at 11:32 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I might be one of the few people in America who believes Lady Gaga simply is just not enough of an insane visual spectacle. I want more more more, give me a firehose of insanity.
posted by naju at 11:32 AM on February 28, 2011 [17 favorites]


faze was that you?
posted by litleozy


Hahaha omg that's EXACTLY what I was thinking.
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:46 AM on February 28, 2011


and the 80sish triangle graphic

Which is so overused now as to be cliche to even call it overused.


I don't really understand what you mean. Can you explain? I mean, this is clearly a pink triangle in the sense of gay iconography. What's overused about that?
posted by hermitosis at 11:49 AM on February 28, 2011


That Ke$ha video was like Goldfrapp's sad leftovers.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:55 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The song is an anthem. I'm sorry if you think that Lady Gaga is trying to write deeply personal songs, like the sort I have to suffer through every time I make the mistake of attending an open mic night. She's not. She's writing pop songs with catchy hooks and words that are memorable because they're so simple, rather than because they're brilliant poetry.

I'm sorry also if some of you are upset that a 24-year-old girl hasn't figured out yet how to transcend pop boundaries and change the world forever. I think she's maturing her writing/production technique; the shifts between sections of Born This Way are a lot subtler than the shifts in Bad Romance, which in turn were subtler than Just Dance. For a 24-year-old producer I think she's doing alright.

And, last but not least, I'm sorry if you're mad that some of us think that this music video is cool at the same time that a hundred million other people think it's cool. I don't like that sometimes people focus way too much on what's viscerally entertaining at the expense of what's more emotionally or intellectually powerful. But I feel like this is visceral enough to at least be worth a single post on the blue.

Meh, I'll take Janelle Monae thank you very much.

Sometimes I can tolerate Janelle Monae, sometimes I can't fucking stand her. Her lyrics are better-"crafted" than Gaga's, and her music self-consciously draws from more styles and musicians, and if music is just a game where you show off how better "influenced" you are than other musicians then Monae beats Gaga hands-down. But that's just it: she sounds self-conscious. Her music is too deliberately constructed. It lacks fun. Its production is strangely clean and cold, considering how in interviews she goes on and on about how funk music is the best music ever. She mimics what makes funk enjoyable but without the heart, only the thing is that funk's only enjoyable for its heart.

I've been told that she's amazing live, and I have no reason to disbelieve that. (I saw Gaga live last September. She was pretty good; the sound system was great, since we were standing right up front against it; the crowd was the shittiest crowd of cell phone photographers, none of whom danced and I've since written a poem fantasizing about their grisly murders.) From her two studio releases alone, though, I feel more irked than anything; she's clearly talented and bright and she likes things that I like, like melodrama, but it doesn't speak to my soul. Gaga, on the other hand, is either clearly having a fun-ass time in the studio, or else she's good enough at faking it that I can delude myself too.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:03 PM on February 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't a cover of 1977's disco anthem I Was Born This Way.

Ditto, but I had the Valentino original (rather than Carl Bean's cover) in mind.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:11 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry if you think that Lady Gaga is trying to write deeply personal songs, like the sort I have to suffer through every time I make the mistake of attending an open mic night.

Why you gotta put down every single obscure singer-songwriter while complimenting the Gaga?
posted by wondermouse at 12:12 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


and the 80sish triangle graphic

Which is so overused now as to be cliche to even call it overused.

I don't really understand what you mean. Can you explain? I mean, this is clearly a pink triangle in the sense of gay iconography. What's overused about that?


Not sure about over-, but it's not exactly underused these days...
posted by progosk at 12:18 PM on February 28, 2011


Why you gotta put down every single obscure singer-songwriter while complimenting the Gaga?

I like many obscure singer-songwriters. I write deeply personal songs and I'd like to think they're appropriately vulnerable. (Well, vulnerable AND catchy.) But I dislike the theory that there are "right" and "wrong" reasons to write music, and a lot of the people who spit this theory at me do so because they write very shitty coffee house songs and they don't want to think that maybe there's more of a reason only five people listen to them than that they're being too vulnerable for the world to tolerate.

(I had a roommate a year ago who was attractive enough to be cocky about it who had this fantastic pattern of dating and songwriting. He'd pick up a girl, take her home, play her a song about how girls are confusing and can't be trusted, hook up with her, dump her, and then write a song about how confusing/untrustworthy she was to play for the next girl. I told him to let me record him, because I was convinced that a good photograph of him would sell enough copies of a record to buy me beer or chili or some shit, and he turned me down because he felt like his art wasn't unique or sincere enough yet, and I was like, uh, duh, that's why it'll do so well.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:19 PM on February 28, 2011


I have to say, I think Ke$ha's new video featuring unicorns was way more entertaining than Gaga's.

I'm eagerly awaiting the new Rubberbandits single, 'Fuck your Honda Civic, I've a unicorn outside.'
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:21 PM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Talented musician? I thought we weren't supposed to editorialize here.
posted by ReeMonster at 12:22 PM on February 28, 2011


Gaga cared about gay rights from the very the beginning, before she was famous, and has too many close gay friends to be insincere about this; I think once you see over and over the shit gay people have to go through, and then you become famous and people tell you even more stories, you just get angrier about it and want to preach against it, for lack of a better word.

Not just that, she is queer. Gaga is openly bisexual.
posted by sonika at 12:27 PM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I want so very badly to see some earnest young academic try to analyse this video frame by frame. Only when the nipple zippers have been deconstructed will this properly have meaning.
posted by cmyk at 12:28 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


From her two studio releases alone, though, I feel more irked than anything; she's clearly talented and bright and she likes things that I like, like melodrama, but it doesn't speak to my soul. Gaga, on the other hand, is either clearly having a fun-ass time in the studio, or else she's good enough at faking it that I can delude myself too.

The world is truly filled with a staggering diversity of opinions. I find Gaga's work confusing because I can't get my mind around the combination of bombastic, self-consciuosly crazy performances and soul-crushingly bland music that sounds like it was written by a committee of robots in suits. Monae, on the other hand, was electrifying live, and her album is one of the most creative, fun, soulful pop albums I've heard in years.

There's just no predicting how people will respond to music, I guess.
posted by IjonTichy at 12:30 PM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's just no predicting how people will respond to music, I guess.

Music gets you in your innermost wiring, and we're all wired differently.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:31 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


but don't you know all popular things are bad and my loud and repeated rejection of them highlights my individuality because i'm not drawing my identity from pop culture so my identity is that guy who rejects pop culture

don't you see how that's better
posted by shakespeherian at 12:32 PM on February 28, 2011


And the video is bonkers. At points its genuinely disturbing -- the bisexual orgy in the swirling paint is reminiscent of the climax to the horror satire "Class." The the images of childbirth cleverly use that mirrored lens effect to create a series of vulvas, and childbirth is accompanied by spraying liquids and weird egg things popping out. And then, out of the blue, she turns into a skeleton.
Just describing it makes me like it more and more.
posted by Astro Zombie


I love her, but the weird thing is, I was sort of underwhelmed. From anyone else this video would have broken my mind, but from her it just makes me think, "hmm, maybe I shouldn't be watching this at work."

I think she's broken my weird-o-meter.
posted by you're a kitty! at 12:42 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I think she's broken my weird-o-meter.

No, no, you've just discovered that the OEM meter was only set to 85. The aftermarket meter has a needle that travels the same distance, but the range is much, much higher so the gradations are closer together. Welcome to enhanced instrumentation!
posted by Burhanistan at 12:44 PM on February 28, 2011


I don't buy it. This is not a heart-felt anthem. Or at least video establishes it as not being straightforward.

Everyone in the video has undergone extensive body modification. Skull guy (who is really tattooed like that), Gaga and dancers with disturbing shoulder, cheek, jaw, and chin implants...nobody in the video was 'born that way' - instead, they've all altered themselves to the point of grotesqueness.

The point (from the video, at least) isn't, "I'm okay the way I am because I was created like this," which is what the lyrics suggest, it's the antithesis. The video says, "Fuck you, I'll do whatever the fuck I want, change what I was naturally born with however I want, and screw you if you don't like it." So to me, it seems self-aware. Everyone arguing that being 'born gay' isn't such a great or proud stance to take on gay rights...I think the video is aware of that, and is winking at you.

Also, zipper nipples.
posted by zylocomotion at 12:45 PM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh also, did she do ballet growing up or has she just been training lately? It's a lot more noticeable in this video than before, and I like it.
posted by you're a kitty! at 12:45 PM on February 28, 2011


But I dislike the theory that there are "right" and "wrong" reasons to write music

I do agree there. I just didn't like the generalization against people who play at open mic nights. Some of them are actually pretty good, confessional or otherwise. Actually I think Lady Gaga used to be one of those open mic playing people.

In general, clearly the music of Lady Gaga serves a different purpose from that of someone writing deeply personal confessional-type music. I don't understand why people have to put one down while propping up the other when they aren't similar at all and aren't really in competition with each other. I don't even get the Janelle Monae comparisons. Their music is totally different.
posted by wondermouse at 12:46 PM on February 28, 2011


If she wants the mantle of avant garde boundary pushing artiste then she has to take her lumps when she delivers yet another boring pop pap-track that could have been made by any other pop tart.

If Bjork was imaged by Matthew Barney but written/produced by the Matrix I'd be giving her shit too. But she actually walks that walk.

(and yes I know Gaga writes her own music so don't bother steering in that direction.)


I can delude myself too

Lol. Ya don't say!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:48 PM on February 28, 2011


The point (from the video, at least) isn't, "I'm okay the way I am because I was created like this," which is what the lyrics suggest, it's the antithesis. The video says, "Fuck you, I'll do whatever the fuck I want, change what I was naturally born with however I want, and screw you if you don't like it."

No. I think it's actually supposed to be about making your outsides match your insides, to reflect your inner difference. The trappings -- the tattoos and prosthetics -- aren't held up as examples of things you were born to, but desires, expressions, and projections of the parts of you that are typically forced to remain hidden.
posted by hermitosis at 12:52 PM on February 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


No. I think it's actually supposed to be about making your outsides match your insides, to reflect your inner difference. The trappings -- the tattoos and prosthetics -- aren't held up as examples of things you were born to, but desires, expressions, and projections of the parts of you that are typically forced to remain hidden.

Yeah, this. The message of 'Born This Way' is that you don't need to do anything to fit in with society, because there's nothing wrong with you. Whether that applies to sexuality or body modification, be proud of who you are and such.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:57 PM on February 28, 2011


It's only recently dawned on me that no matter how "quirky" Lady Gaga gets, she's still basically just a throwaway background drawing in a Judge Dredd strip from the 80s.
posted by tumid dahlia at 1:04 PM on February 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Batman Villain.

We've been over this.
posted by The Whelk at 1:09 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


90s version of this truth.
posted by squalor at 1:31 PM on February 28, 2011


this video is bad ass. gaga is awesome. haters stay pressed.
posted by nadawi at 1:51 PM on February 28, 2011


zylocomotion: "Also, zipper nipples"

Zipples.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:15 PM on February 28, 2011


Thanks, zipples.

Thipples.
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:16 PM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow. I'm an idiot. I completely missed the "more inside" when I posted my thing about the similarities to "Express Yourself". I was distracted by the unicorn, I swear!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:17 PM on February 28, 2011


That's what she said.

TWSSipples.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:17 PM on February 28, 2011


That's what it says, Tim.

TWISTipples.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:20 PM on February 28, 2011


"Get the plan a twist!"

Ouch.
posted by The Whelk at 2:22 PM on February 28, 2011


Know then that it is the year two-thousand-and-eleven. The known universe is ruled by the Lady Gaga...
posted by luvcraft at 2:22 PM on February 28, 2011


What? No mention of the irony of arguably racist lyrics in the anthem to acceptance?

(also, I am immensely proud of myself that it only took me about thirty seconds to figure out that the trippy music at the start is from Vertigo.)
posted by norm at 2:24 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


there's a good academic paper tracing the use of Horror and Thriller genre imagery in Gaga's videos waiting to be written.
posted by The Whelk at 2:27 PM on February 28, 2011


Lady Blah Blah.

Bleh.
posted by tspae at 2:30 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


When the song hit the radio, I was so surprised at "Oriental" being thrown around that it killed any enjoyment I could've had for the song. It's not a word I'd like reintroduced back to common usage.

The video itself isn't as great as her previous ones but she does manage to make things somewhat visually interesting.
posted by zix at 2:43 PM on February 28, 2011


Lady Gaga : MetaFilter :: Mento : Diet Coke
posted by everichon at 2:44 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


In case anyone outside of the US and Canada are having trouble viewing the video, here's a link to YouTube that is only restricted in Germany.
posted by zarq at 2:49 PM on February 28, 2011


I've since written a poem fantasizing about their grisly murders

Which, according to the Laws of the Internets, you must now share with the class.
posted by elizardbits at 2:51 PM on February 28, 2011


The "orient" (not "oriental") reference is bad enough, although there is a decent argument that it could be meaning something entirely different ("your orient" could mean one's sexual persuasion, not "you're Orient[al]", although an official lyric could put this theory to rest). But the "chola descent", as pointed out in the link, sure does seem to not be cool. I would love to hear what the thinking was there.

I like Gaga, and so does my four year old (and so does my six year old nephew, who famously asked me 'Uncle [Norm], what's a disco stick?'), but this song didn't really do it for me, and the apparently careless use of lyrics makes me a little embarrassed for her. I credit her for being really smart and this doesn't make it seem so.
posted by norm at 2:55 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Considering that her co-producer for the track is Mexican, I don't think that "arguably racist" ought to be the final verdict on this one. Also, she doesn't refer to anyone being "oriental," though she does use the word "orient" and "orient-made" which seems to be a) a reference to the East, and b) a play on the phrase "sexual orientation" which is the main thrust of her agenda.

Not moves I've had made as a songwriter, but I don't know if they are really very arguably racist.
posted by hermitosis at 3:01 PM on February 28, 2011


I attribute the lyrics to ignorance and desperation for rhyme rather than malice. I don't know if that's much better, though.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:03 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


How much of the song did she write? I mean, obviously she ultimately approved the lyrics and the music and participated in some sense in the production of the song, including probably singing the lead vocal line. But I don't think there's any reason to believe that she was the one who came up with the lyrics, is there?
posted by The World Famous at 3:06 PM on February 28, 2011


"The message of 'Born This Way' is that you don't need to do anything to fit in with society, because there's nothing wrong with you. Whether that applies to sexuality or body modification, be proud of who you are and such."

I haven't watched the video or listened to the song, though I've read all of the comments up to shakespeherian's (17 more posted since I started writing this, sorry. I'll follow links soon, when I'm not at work). I confess I'm a bit confused about the back-and-forth regarding whether there's a tension or an echo between the body modification and the lyrics. I've been trying to figure out where that confusion comes from, and I realized that part of it comes from a tension in my own head regarding the "there's nothing wrong with you" message and body modification in general. I confess I've never thought much about the idea of body modification as a way of making your physical appearance express your internal attributes - to me it's always been as simple as decoration. That's an interesting idea I want to spend more time with.

But the other thing I realized I've been getting hung up on is a slightly different kind of tension. See, for all the time I spent growing up and getting the whole "you're OK just how you are" and "you don't need to do anything to fit in" messages -- which I really did internalize, I should stress; I was always very happy to be the weird kid, and just kinda did what I wanted to and didn't care much what other folks thought -- it never occurred to me until pretty much the last couple comments here, and shakespeherian's in particular, that those messages might be talking about people's physical attributes. It was always a social and mental thing for me, an affirmation that I didn't have to pretend to enjoy things I didn't, or not enjoy things I did -- it was a matter of there being nothing wrong with who I was, because there was perfectly obviously something wrong with me physically.

I have Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome, which in my particular case ends up meaning that my right leg has a whole lot of hemangeomas and lymphedemas - or as I like to say in layman's terms, the vascular system is put together all wrong. It's purple, it's lumpy, it bleeds if you whack one of the lumps, my right ankle is more than twice the size of my left, and since I was in my early twenties, it periodically gets pretty nasty cellulitis infections. I've been hospitalized for them twice in the last year alone, they're really remarkably painful experiences. I've had surgery several times of various types on various parts of my leg (it's this total crazy quilt of venous formations, I'll show you pictures sometime) with various degrees of success. And the thing of it is, as I've learned, I have a really pretty minor instance of this syndrome - for the most part my life is pretty normal and I can even exercise with some reasonable precautions; these days most people I meet have no idea about the K-T since I just wear pants. There are cases where babies are born with major limb discrepancies, or where they're constantly getting infected, and really all you can do is amputate (there's a body modification for you!)

So I'm really remarkably lucky, and consider myself to be so. I'm not trying to tell a sob story about what a tough childhood I had, because I didn't; I'm trying to give some background to the nature of my surprise on thinking about a couple of these comments, the degree of revelation I had reading this thread. The earliest messages I remember getting about how "you're OK how you are" were about the same time I remember learning about how my leg was different from other folks' and how to handle it when it started bleeding. I learned my left and right really early on because it was easy - my right leg was the purple one. When you're seeing doctors and getting fitted for compression stockings and all that, it's pretty obvious that there's something wrong with you, and anybody telling you there's nothing wrong with you is obviously not talking about your physical appearance, they're talking about who you are as a person.

It's funny, for me "I was born like this" has never been an affirmation, it was how I brushed off people asking "what happened to your leg?" at the swimming pool. People I liked, who bothered to interact with me before asking instead of just staring until they got up the nerve to ask (and then asking in a really accusing way), generally got a more friendly and detailed explanation. Grown-ups were the worst, since they usually didn't even ask - they'd just stare, usually disapprovingly, and sometimes mutter "what's wrong with him?" when they thought I was out of earshot.

Some of my friends in grade school used to call me "Blueberry Leg" - it wasn't a put-down, it was an insiders' nickname, and we (mostly they, actually) would police who was allowed to call me that. Still, I got really tired of explaining my leg, especially since we moved around a lot starting when I was in junior high so there weren't many kids around who knew the deal and had known me since kindergarten. I started wearing pants pretty exclusively around the age of twelve or thirteen, and never went back to shorts until sometime after college, even on the hottest days of summer. Shorts are still pretty rare for me, and yeah, there's some lingering self-consciousness even now. I guess maybe we never really get over junior high.

But still, I'll tell you, there's nothing like having a physical abnormality like that for driving home some of the other messages we try to teach our kids - the ones about not judging a book by its cover and how appearances don't matter and all that stuff. I don't know if my parents ever explicitly drew the connection between my leg and judging others on how they appear, but I doubt it -- I don't think they would have needed to. But like I said, it never occurred to me in a conscious way until reading this thread that for a whole lot of folks (maybe most!), "there's nothing wrong with you" is as much as message about their bodies as their personalities; for me it was always self-evidently about personality because there obviously was something wrong with my body (and there still is!). The physical side of that message is something I'm really glad to have come brought home to me, because I suspect it's going to be pretty important for me to be able to have both sides of it in mind as I raise my kids. So thanks for this conversation.
posted by nickmark at 3:07 PM on February 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


Sorry if that came across as overly-dismissive - GaGa does have a writing credit on the song, and I have no doubt that she was one of the writers, both in terms of music and lyrics. But I don't think there's any way of finding out just what lyrics were her idea and which ones were written first by others and then approved by the Artist.
posted by The World Famous at 3:08 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe her use of those words may be a stab at describing people in the terms of labels typically used to dismiss or marginalize people. Like, taking pride in your origins, regardless of what they are. Also, I am very surprised that she did not use the word "faggot" in this song.

Not saying it ended up coming across the way she wanted, but I think she very consciously chose to push those buttons.
posted by hermitosis at 3:12 PM on February 28, 2011


Ugh. "to have brought home."
posted by nickmark at 3:15 PM on February 28, 2011


You're black, white, beige, chola descent
You're Lebanese, you're orient


"Lebanese", "black", and "white" are not labels typically used to dismiss or marginalize people. Seems like she was just fishing for a thematically similar rhyme with "descent", with unfortunate results.
posted by casarkos at 3:18 PM on February 28, 2011


The World Famous - without being in the room, we'll never get those answers - but lady gaga was hired as a songwriter before they realized they could make bank on her and she's presented these lyrics as her own.

i can understand the cynicism with the way the pop machine is usually run, but unless you have any evidence to disagree with what she's said, it seems mean spirited to assume she's lying.
posted by nadawi at 3:19 PM on February 28, 2011


I often hear "Lebanese" used as a joke to describe someone who is lesbian, however. And you have to admit that otherwise it is a pretty random inclusion.
posted by hermitosis at 3:21 PM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


i can understand the cynicism with the way the pop machine is usually run, but unless you have any evidence to disagree with what she's said, it seems mean spirited to assume she's lying.

I'm not assuming anything. If she says she wrote it, she wrote it.
posted by The World Famous at 3:23 PM on February 28, 2011


You're black, white, beige, chola descent
You're Lebanese, you're orient


There's no way a professional song-writer wrote those lyrics. Only a pampered celebrity could get away with a clunker like that.
posted by empath at 3:28 PM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


But I don't think there's any way of finding out just what lyrics were her idea and which ones were written first by others and then approved by the Artist.

Actually, I recently read or watched an interview with one of the producers who implied that the songs were all written by Lady Gaga and presented as a group to the rest of the producers.

Sadly, my google-fu is failing me right now, and I can't see if that's really what he said, or whether that's just what my brain mushed it all into.
posted by hippybear at 3:30 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's no way a professional song-writer wrote those lyrics. Only a pampered celebrity could get away with a clunker like that.

I don't like cities, but I like New York
Other places make me feel like a dork

Maybe Lady GaGa really is turning into Madonna.

Actually, I recently read or watched an interview with one of the producers who implied that the songs were all written by Lady Gaga and presented as a group to the rest of the producers.

That's actually very cool. I'd love to read/watch the interview. I'm sort of a geek for learning about various artists' process for writing and production.
posted by The World Famous at 3:32 PM on February 28, 2011


Okay, not the interview I was looking for, but here's a short Q&A which supports what I think I heard.
posted by hippybear at 3:33 PM on February 28, 2011


Flagged as yet another Lady GaGa post.
posted by idiomatika at 3:44 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Two thoughts about it:
This is what I thought Nin's House of Incest would look like.
Also - In the beat I hear Madonna, but there is really something like TLC's Waterfalls to my ear - especially in the beginning when she starts "My momma told me..." Then I hear it off and on to the end.
posted by Tchad at 3:44 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


idiomatika - it looks like you accidentally posted in the wrong thread! surely you meant to post in this one.
posted by nadawi at 3:48 PM on February 28, 2011


Dammit, now I've got "Express Yourself" in my head.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:52 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be honest, this song does for me with 80s Madonna-esque pop that Lenny Kravitz's entire career has done for me with late 60s funk/rock.
posted by hippybear at 3:54 PM on February 28, 2011


No kidding, I'm telepathic. Wait a minute; I'm getting a strong sense of the beat...

OONTZ ... oontz ... OONTZ ... oontz ...

Am I right?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:55 PM on February 28, 2011


There's no way a professional song-writer wrote those lyrics. Only a pampered celebrity could get away with a clunker like that.

But if this ever-changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry
Say live and let die
posted by shakespeherian at 4:21 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


But if this ever-changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry
Say live and let die


Two points:

1. I'm pretty sure Paul McCartney circa 1973 qualified as "pampered celebrity."

2. The lyric is in which we're livin', not in which we live in.
posted by The World Famous at 4:25 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Say live and let die

I know, what was Axl Rose thinking?
posted by empath at 4:25 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Our only hope now is that this is Gaga's "African Child"
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:26 PM on February 28, 2011


I'm ashamed to say the skull-tattooed Zombie Boy was the part that resonated the most with me, because I read about him on a sociology blog a long time ago and thought it was cool that he was getting more exposure, as a strange consequence of his attempt to alienate himself from society.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:34 PM on February 28, 2011


I am a bit concerned that the quality of the song and the abstractness of the video mean that Lady Gaga's no longer being challenged as much as she used to be. I mean, at first, nobody knew who she was and labels didn't know what to think of her. Remember, she signed on with Def Jam and then was suddenly dropped. In 2008, people thought she was crazy to act famous when she only had one hit single (so far), before they understood that she was making metacommentary about fame, even before she had actual fame.

It's like how George Lucas had to try really hard to make the original three Star Wars movies work, because of special effects technology at the time and the fact that things went wrong all the time and people didn't really agree with him on a lot of elements of the movies. He had to fight and compromise with other people to get his ideas realized, and work against the current to turn out some iconic movies. Then, in the three prequels, he was rich and prestigious enough that he was unchallenged by the other people working on the movie and able to get things to work really easily thanks to CGI.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:47 PM on February 28, 2011


i love gaga, and there's a lot i like about the video; it reads madonna all over the place (and my guy pointed out that the 'mama' gaga mentions in the song might refer to madonna, her ancestor in pro-gay pop stardom). i think the song is a bit on the clunky side, but i think it's because she approached the song with an agenda, and that does often happen when pop stars try to do 'message' songs--sincere but self-conscious. i'd never fault her for it, though; she's stirring it up, trying stuff; i'd rather she miss it a bit sometimes than see her hold back. i buy that her intentions were the best; she wanted to do an anthem, something to inspire; and i think a lot of people are inspired by the message and her attempt to get it across. (my take on the 'alejandro' video was that it had to do with a relationship she developed with her gay fans that she hadn't expected, and this song is kind of a tribute to the connection she has with her fans--most of whom take the song in the spirit she intends anyway.)
posted by fallacy of the beard at 4:57 PM on February 28, 2011


You're black, white, beige, chola descent
You're Lebanese, you're orient

You're from the same hereditary as our president.

I have many more badass rhymes. This one is a double-up but what did you expect for free?
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:43 PM on February 28, 2011


[not Obama-ist...many of my closest friends are leaders of nations]
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:44 PM on February 28, 2011


They also usually feature hordes of people pawing all together at her nearly naked body

Which is why I laugh at all those people who used to claim that she wasn't like other pop stars that use their bodies to sell music.

This video is pretentious dreck in the beginning, and boring in the second half.
posted by cmgonzalez at 5:44 PM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]



Not moves I've had made as a songwriter, but I don't know if they are really very arguably racist.


Yeah, take out the arguably. Having a producer who is Latino and putting that forth as an excuse is like saying "I"m not racist, I have a black friend!"
posted by cmgonzalez at 5:50 PM on February 28, 2011


I caught the MTV premiere of this at the gym, while I had headphones on listening to my usual workout music.

Lady Gaga makes one hell of a Tool video.
posted by anthom at 6:04 PM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


It feels forced.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:11 PM on February 28, 2011


I always knew she was an alien.
posted by jnaps at 6:25 PM on February 28, 2011


I understand that she has a lot of fans and appreciate her talent but it would be a wonderful experiment if the next time Gaga released something or did something wacky no one talked about it . No blog posts, no linking, no photos - nothing. She rocks up in an oversized Nike shoe full of jelly snakes? So what, not a single mention is made of it.

I realise that its nearly impossible to do but this thing clearly feeds on attention and it would be great to see what happens when we take its food source away. A kind of reverse art experiment to fuck with her head for a change.

I would love that.

posted by AzzaMcKazza at 6:32 PM on February 28, 2011


This thread just proves the point: haters gonna hate.
posted by oddman at 6:42 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gaga is Madonna with diarrhea. HA!
posted by Daddy-O at 6:44 PM on February 28, 2011


The link is borked and it's CNN's fault. Sorry folks.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:54 PM on February 28, 2011


..wait how would you know if someone did a crazy thing and no one noticed? Cause, no one would notice. No one talked about it, no one said "hey look at this". No one even walked past it. HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT'S NOT GOING ON ALL THE TIME?
posted by The Whelk at 7:00 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


HEY I HAVE NOW SEEN THE GOD-DAMNED VIDEO.

Kind of a mixed bag, with some interesting bits. I liked the postlude the mostlude.
posted by everichon at 7:13 PM on February 28, 2011


The song is catchy enough, and I congratulate her on doing all those sit-ups, but there's something about Lady Gaga that always seems so cold and distant to me . . . she dances and sings, but there's no passion or joy in any of it. I mean, everybody compares her to Madonna, but there's no comparison; Madonna BELIEVED in those songs and she sold the hell out of them in her videos. She wasn't a great dancer, but at least she had a knack for it; I keep waiting for Gaga to trip or something, she's so awkward. Maybe that's why she comes across as so soulless: she's counting the beats or trying to remember the steps or something.

I've listened to a lot of crap music and enjoyed it, but what I enjoy is the passion in it. There's no passion here, not even sex appeal. I think Lady Gaga is one of the least sexy women I've ever seen on the screen.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 8:08 PM on February 28, 2011


This is awful. Everything is awful. I fear for our future. (Oh, and she wasn't born that way. She was born this way.)
posted by Surinam Toad at 8:35 PM on February 28, 2011


One of these days its going to come out that Gaga is just Andrea Martin and this whole thing has been a classic study in Lulz.

Then and only then will I pretend to have been on-board since Day One.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:09 PM on February 28, 2011


Question: All the OMG GAG IS JUST MADONNA EXPRESS YOURSELF BLARG stuff.

Doesn't that mean Madonna won? Like she totally got what she wanted back in the Like A Virgin days when it was assumed Cyndi Lauper would be the big star and she was a pop tart of the month. Madonna gets to be the big juicy cultural icon kids call back to and imitate and riff on. LG skimming MC means Mads wins.
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 PM on February 28, 2011


The song is catchy enough, and I congratulate her on doing all those sit-ups, but there's something about Lady Gaga that always seems so cold and distant to me . . . she dances and sings, but there's no passion or joy in any of it.

This is the thing for me. I enjoy her music, but her constant weird for weird's sake and pretentious self-appointed savior/crusader leave my feelings toward her, the performer, rather cold. There's some old footage of her performing in a college show, just Stefani at the piano, and you feel it. She doesn't need these trappings. There's talent there, and personally, I like the singers I listen to to be relatable in some way. All this Mother Monster stuff, no pun intended, is just alienating.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:52 PM on February 28, 2011


I am hoping to both live long enough and not pay attention long enough that I don't "get" anything that needs to refer to some other pop-enculturated thing, not out of snobbery, just to be able to see things with eyes that are neither too knowing & jaded, nor completely fresh & uncorrupted. It's always been Shakti femme-dollies for whatever the current zeitgeist might be. Apparently we're leaning a bit Kali with the Gaga doll, but that's to be expected. Don't sacrifice too much to it, cos it won't ever be enough to satisfy.
posted by eegphalanges at 10:27 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was an above comment on how Gaga makes great Tool videos, there is something about all this horror imagery is now being done by a big mainstream pop dance figure.

Lady Gaga is a monster and she is turning you all into monsters.
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Watching it on a big screen, all I can think of is....

Maude Lebowski: Does the female form make you uncomfortable, Mr. Lebowski?
The Dude: Uh, is that what this is a picture of?
Maude Lebowski: In a sense, yes. My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal which bothers some men. The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina.
The Dude: Oh yeah?
Maude Lebowski: Yes, they don't like hearing it and find it difficult to say whereas without batting an eye a man will refer to his dick or his rod or his Johnson.
The Dude: Johnson?
posted by The Whelk at 10:51 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


and this is still the fullstop at all gaga threads.
posted by The Whelk at 11:36 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Talented" bah. "Catchy" eh.

I approve of everything about Lady Gaga except her music. Nothing wrong with it, per se, it's simply regular and derivative and completely unmemorable.

I should add that I have a trick brain for music - for example, the first time I saw the Butthole Surfers I was under the influence of a huge quantity of drugs and was still able to later not only reproduce their songs that were on albums, but even two unreleased songs.

I've heard some Lady Gaga songs multiple times, and not only can I never remember them on demand, I can barely recognize them when I hear them again. Part of it is that she has a rather regular voice - again, she's not off-key, she's perfectly competent, but no better, and her voice is completely undistinguished.

She's really clever and smart, her costuming fantastic, her politics right on target, why, oh, why can't she write interesting music, or put some spice into her voice when she sings?? I really want to like her, I've tried, but it's all Doritos and Pepsi to me.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:53 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, take out the arguably. Having a producer who is Latino and putting that forth as an excuse is like saying "I"m not racist, I have a black friend!"

Actually, what I was trying to imply was that he, not she, may have contributed the lyric, or that it may have been a product of their working together.
posted by hermitosis at 6:03 AM on March 1, 2011


She's really clever and smart, her costuming fantastic, her politics right on target, why, oh, why can't she write interesting music, or put some spice into her voice when she sings?? I really want to like her, I've tried, but it's all Doritos and Pepsi to me.

I guess it's because she wants to be popular and not critically acclaimed.
posted by empath at 6:20 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've gotta say, for 2011 outcast-anthem + weird video I'm still voting for Pink's Raise Your Glass.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:34 AM on March 1, 2011


Yeah, no. Pink sucks.
posted by oddman at 7:09 AM on March 1, 2011


> Yeah, no. Pink sucks.

I'll let you in on a little secret: they all suck. All of pop music. It may lure you in with catchy musical hooks and haughty attitudes, but it's all really really silly and indefensible. If you like it fine, if you don't fine. But it all sucks. All of it.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:22 AM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I overheard a flea market vendor the other day telling her neighbor: "It's all shit... until it sells!"
posted by hermitosis at 7:36 AM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I'll let you in on a little secret: they all suck. All of pop music."

What? You are joking right? There is so much to like about quite a bit of pop music. Much of it is well crafted, well executed music. That it's not opera, jazz or one of the other darlings of the cognoscenti does not mean it's bad.
posted by oddman at 7:56 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love the song and enjoyed the video, especially the parts with Skullboy. Good stuff, and thanks for linking!
posted by flatluigi at 8:14 AM on March 1, 2011


> What? You are joking right?

Kind of. I like plenty of pop music but I know better than to really take any of it seriously or get het up when someone else doesn't like it. It generally needs quite a bit of charity on the part of the consumer for it not to just be gibberish.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:16 AM on March 1, 2011


I generally take this attitude about pop music myself. This enables me to be utterly dismissive of stuff I don't like while excusing my love of Ke$ha.
posted by norm at 9:23 AM on March 1, 2011


I enjoy her music, but her constant weird for weird's sake and pretentious self-appointed savior/crusader leave my feelings toward her, the performer, rather cold. There's some old footage of her performing in a college show, just Stefani at the piano, and you feel it. She doesn't need these trappings. There's talent there, and personally, I like the singers I listen to to be relatable in some way. All this Mother Monster stuff, no pun intended, is just alienating.

cmgonzalez: You have it somewhat backwards. The weird for weird's sake is the only reason you've ever heard of her. She *wanted* to be just the girl at the piano. The record labels told her she wasn't pretty enough. So, she went with weird. That gave her a marketable hook so she could make it in the business without being conventionally hot. Essentially, the stuff you dislike is exactly what others required her to be.

I don't necessarily disagree with the root of the sentiment: I think I'd rather the Stefani at the piano too (I've seen that youtube video too, and it's awesome, and the lyrics are all about how she has this sick ambition to make it in Hollywood and how she thinks she's got what it takes to succeed). But I don't begrudge her that she did what it took to make it big. I kinda love her for finding another way up.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 11:46 AM on March 1, 2011


All this Mother Monster stuff, no pun intended, is just alienating.

It's only alienating if you're not already alienated.
posted by empath at 11:47 AM on March 1, 2011


I've seen that youtube video too, and it's awesome, and the lyrics are all about how she has this sick ambition to make it in Hollywood and how she thinks she's got what it takes to succeed

That's this video
posted by empath at 11:49 AM on March 1, 2011


I like Gaga, but seriously Lady dancing on video with digitally slimmed body, airbrushed abs, and an obvious wig; you were not born this way. Also where is your body hair? If the lordade you perfect what's up with the wax job.
posted by humanfont at 2:48 PM on March 1, 2011


you were not born this way

As the father of a two-month-old, I can attest that Lady GaGa's singing voice was likely a bit more screamy at birth, as well.
posted by The World Famous at 2:56 PM on March 1, 2011


Love her or hate she sure works hard: Paris fashion week turns to Lady Gaga ; where she also debuted Government Hooker , one of her new songs.
posted by adamvasco at 11:42 PM on March 2, 2011


I think the tiny bit of Government Hooker we heard is good, or at least better than Born This Way, but I won't pass total judgement until I hear the whole song instead of one remixed down to just the hook (lol) and mashed up with Born This Way.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:04 AM on March 3, 2011


Yeah, the Bit I heard made me oh "Oh hey Gaga" more then Born This Way did.

Plus yeah, she works that runway like it's her job.
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 AM on March 3, 2011


I don't mean to raise any kind of ruckus. Am I seeing things, or is it a bunch of black women who participate in "the birth of evil" as opposed to the all-white faces involved in the birth of the new, better human race? The first time I saw this video that's what I thought, but I figured maybe it was the lighting making everyone appear African-American. But I've steeled myself to watch it again, and it really looks like the evil women are black and the good women are white. If my eyes do not deceive me, then I'm not sure I get the symbolism.
posted by Danila at 2:51 PM on March 3, 2011


i see a bunch of red people, nearly all of their races/ethnicities/skin colors non-obvious. in the rest of video there's a cornucopia of people, all joining in and dancing - very inclusive.
posted by nadawi at 3:02 PM on March 3, 2011


Right, and they're not evil, because evil hasn't been born yet. So...
posted by hermitosis at 3:13 PM on March 3, 2011


Okay. To be honest with you, they seem like obviously black people to me. Not only in the way the lighting effects their skin tones, but facial features, body features, and hair as well. As far as whether they are part of the "evil" side or not, I thought they were helpers like the first mother had helpers. The change in music, lighting, movement seemed to cue "badness" to me, but I'm not going to pretend I know exactly what is going on there. Since much of the video is nonsense to me, at this point I'll just choose to ignore the video as I had been.
posted by Danila at 7:46 PM on March 3, 2011


Okay someone on youtube is explaining the whole video right now. Whew!
posted by Danila at 7:50 PM on March 3, 2011


Oh, I finally realized no Youtube commenter would go to all that trouble. He was just copying and pasting this article from The Atlantic. They interpret that scene as "the underworld".
posted by Danila at 8:03 PM on March 3, 2011


You know you were all eagerly awaiting Vigilant Citizen's take.
posted by empath at 4:49 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Saw the Gaga last night in San Antonio, finally. She did the song twice, once in the middle of the show with solo (flaming) piano and once with backing band and dancers during the encore. I personally found the solo piano version and the song from her upcoming album done that way the highlight of the show.

(The show also finished me on the Cult of Gaga. I don't take back any of the positive things I've said about her and I certainly think she's sincere, but seeing her in concert has probably ruined her for me. I'm glad I went and saw the spectacle, but I'm over it.)
posted by immlass at 7:26 AM on March 16, 2011


Never meet your heroes!
posted by Burhanistan at 7:35 AM on March 16, 2011


Never even see your heroes' concerts. Ultimately, it's best if you have no idea who your heroes even are or what they do. Sure, have heroes. But choose them at random and learn nothing about them.
posted by The World Famous at 9:10 AM on March 16, 2011


Never even see your heroes' concerts.

Except for Patti Smith. But she's less of a hero and more of a demigod, and sometimes you just need to worship at the altar.
posted by rtha at 9:25 AM on March 16, 2011


I met Patti Smith when I was waiting for my bags at the airport in Detroit and happened to be standing next to her. She is, in fact, a demigod. The only reason I didn't take my shoes off and kneel in her presence was that I have a policy of not touching the floor at DTW any more than necessary.
posted by The World Famous at 12:25 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


« Older Adorable amigurumi toys look on as a new friend cr...  |  BRUCE ROSENBAUM and his wife, ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments