Are you a cafeteria American?
September 20, 2010 11:19 PM   Subscribe

She read from notes, stumbling occasionally, and did not so much lean on her metaphors as wrestle them to the floor and grind them underfoot; but they loved it anyway - all 15 minutes of it. She attacked everyone from the president on down, demanded stricter standards for America's service personnel, espoused an aggressive red-meat constitutionalism, and proposed a new policy which she summed up as "if you don't like it - go home." The 2,000-strong crowd cheered wildly as she literally howled her frustration before leading them, fists pumping, in an anti-incumbent chant of "Go home!" A strange mix of patriotism and petulance, it was a rough kind of stump speech that hadn't been tested in a focus group or tried out on a campaign aide, and which was delivered with complete disregard for how it might play in the media. Witness the startling political debut of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, American citizen.
posted by anigbrowl (115 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Waiting for MIA's reaction.
posted by iamck at 11:22 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ga/Ga 2012
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:24 PM on September 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is easily my favorite Lady Gaga costume ever.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:32 PM on September 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Like she wasn't irritating enough already.
posted by Wantok at 11:51 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you don't like it, Wantok -- go home.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:52 PM on September 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


Changing an insular, close knit group from the outside never goes well. Outisders aren't going, unfortunately, to change the military. If anyone is going to lead change in the military, it's going to have to be people currently serving. Celebrities raging against the way things are will just make the armed forces close ranks, giving them a useful focus to lash out at.

Still, change has got to come from somewhere. Maybe this will start something.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:53 PM on September 20, 2010


If freedom is a prime rib, what're the vegans supposed to do?
posted by Chipmazing at 11:53 PM on September 20, 2010


GO HOME.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:57 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


She is pleasantly muppet-like in her speech and mannerisms.

Well done.
posted by Skygazer at 12:01 AM on September 21, 2010


omg the metaphors are crazy, epic bad and she is so freaking annoying - and she's a literbug!

but, oh, you got me at the whole "backwards" theme

take the insane metaphors out of this and on paper, this is good.
posted by victors at 12:08 AM on September 21, 2010


Technically, the prime rib of America is the section of the country with extents at Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, and Missouri.

This would place the head at New England, the chuck at New York, brisket in Georgia, and the round cut comprising the west coast, with Seattle exporting quite a bit to Canada, America's barn.

Down here in Texas, we're just happy to be under the flank where the.. Mexican beer comes out.
posted by hanoixan at 12:15 AM on September 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


but I am already home, sitting comfortably at my armchair.
posted by Shit Parade at 12:16 AM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Woulda been better if she wore the bubble-wrap dress.
posted by incessant at 12:18 AM on September 21, 2010


and she's a literbug

Is that a new slang term for someone who is a fierce advocate of the Metric System?
posted by The World Famous at 12:34 AM on September 21, 2010 [47 favorites]


She's like the ants we find crawling under the grass in the beginning of Blue Velvet. The churning, revolting, horrifying underbelly of this strange, strange country. I wish SHE would go home.. but then she'd be HERE all the time (in NYC.)
posted by ReeMonster at 12:55 AM on September 21, 2010


"I am here today because I would like to propose a new law; a law that sends home the soldier that has the problem. Our new law is called 'if you don't like it, go home.' If you are not committed to perform with excellence as a United States soldier because you don't believe in full equality, go home. If you are not honorable enough to fight without prejudice, go home. If you are not capable of keeping your oath to the Armed Forces to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic ... then go home."
MTV

Sounds pretty good to me, it's too bad our political leaders are too chickenshit about DADT and the pop stars have to pick up their slack.
posted by autoclavicle at 1:05 AM on September 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


Her speech last year was better.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:08 AM on September 21, 2010


Kill without prejudice or go home. We need to give our homosexual brothers and sisters the same opportunity to kill innocent middle eastern and central asian peasants that the rest of us have. Having said that she's right and I agree with her 100%. To bad our pop stars are more on the ball than our president.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:22 AM on September 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


If you are not honorable enough to fight without prejudice, go home.

Well, technically, they're supposed to be prejudiced against the people that the government designates as "the enemy" and to kill them with extreme prejudice. So, maybe not "fight without prejudice" so much as fighting without prejudice within the ranks but with extreme prejudice against the "enemy." Or something.
posted by The World Famous at 1:40 AM on September 21, 2010


Outisders aren't going, unfortunately, to change the military.

Yeah, I hear presidential edicts on desegregation were greeted with a rousing fuck off and totally igno... oh, wait, what was that? They weren't?

The millitary is subordinate to civilian control. Andyone involved in the millitary who doesn't believe that should be dishonourably discharged.
posted by rodgerd at 1:46 AM on September 21, 2010 [28 favorites]


Her speech last year was better.

Is she really as tiny as she looked behind that podium?
posted by Forktine at 2:23 AM on September 21, 2010


She is pleasantly muppet-like in her speech and mannerisms.

She should totally debate Michael Steele.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 2:35 AM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I hear presidential edicts on desegregation were greeted with a rousing fuck off and totally igno... oh, wait, what was that? They weren't?

Yes, actually, they were:

"Even after Truman shocked the political, military and media establishments with a victory over the Republicans in spite of the Dixiecrats schism, the services, with one exception, the air force, balked at any substantial effort to meet the presidential order. The marines corps struck a defiant pose. Commandant Gen. Clifton D. Gates huffed, 'The problem of segregation is not the responsibility of the Armed Forces but is a problem of the nation. Changing national policy in this respect is a dangerous path to pursue in as much as it affects the ability of the National Military to fulfill its mission.... Should the time arise that non-segregation, and this term applies to white as well as negro, is accepted as a custom of the nation, this policy can be adopted without detriment by the National Military Establishment.'"

--Gerald Astor, The Right To Fight: A History of African Americans in the Military, p. 323.

Don't underestimate the ability of the senior brass to resist change from outside their ranks, even from their nominal superiors.
posted by Rangeboy at 3:09 AM on September 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


God, that speech was so irritating and I'm on her side, DADT should be repealed. But she seems to not have a clue how the military, nor even a care. The military isn't sending any able bodied soldiers home because of how they think or feel, so to even entertain that thought is naive and immature. It's smells like delicious political prime rib, not having possibility of happening, but boy does it sound like a good idea!

Still, DADT should be repealed and soon, but Gaga should go back to making catchy pop songs, because she's coming off like a different shade of Sarah Palin, saying shit that feels good but has no basis in reality.
posted by nomadicink at 4:07 AM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree with her sentiments. But her most intended audience, the US enlisted military, the conservative citizenry, and the sitting lawmakers -- are they cool with just anyone proposing laws? Shouldn't a citizen at large be suggesting laws?
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:10 AM on September 21, 2010


But her most intended audience, the US enlisted military, the conservative citizenry, and the sitting lawmakers...

I highly doubt the military or John McCain were her intended audience, that was just rhetorical flourish. This was pointed squarely at those already against DADT, which is fine, but let's not make more of this than it is, a well meant, emotional stirring speech by willfully clueless pop star.
posted by nomadicink at 4:24 AM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I hear presidential edicts on desegregation were greeted with a rousing fuck off

That's a great sentiment, but DADT was enacted by legislation, segregation was an internal policy. If simple Presidential edicts could trump legislation, we'd all be screwed.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:58 AM on September 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


i absolutely refuse to get my political motivations from lady gaga. refuse.
posted by msconduct at 5:05 AM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


and the sitting lawmakers -- are they cool with just anyone proposing laws? Shouldn't a citizen at large be suggesting laws?

Uh, what's the difference?
posted by delmoi at 5:09 AM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


the sitting lawmakers -- are they cool with just anyone proposing laws? Shouldn't a citizen at large be suggesting laws?

Why should a citizen suggest anything when any suggestion is either ignored, manipulated, or derided by those who have the power to formulate and pass legislation? Screw suggestions. Lobbyists don't suggest.
posted by blucevalo at 5:31 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


A message from Lady Gaga to the Senate Sept 16 2010
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 5:54 AM on September 21, 2010


It is sort of odd that a person who probably hates the military and everything they represent (conformity, war etc) would go around making demands of them.


To bad our pop stars are more on the ball than our president.

Too bad our pop stars have less on their plates than the president. Too bad our president has to deal with, you know, the political process of a democracy.
posted by anniecat at 6:01 AM on September 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Don't underestimate the ability of the senior brass to resist change from outside their ranks, even from their nominal superiors.

To: GEN I M AFUGHEAD, CINCCENTCOM

Sir.

You are relieved of duty and order to report to Washington Barracks and await further orders. You will turn your command over to LTG MAYGET ACLUE. You are not to talk to the press about this matter at any time.

Signed -
I. Amtheboss
President of the United States.
posted by eriko at 6:05 AM on September 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


The military isn't sending any able bodied soldiers home because of how they think or feel, so to even entertain that thought is naive and immature.

Unless the thoughts and feelings are romantically or erotically directed towards other people of the same sex...
posted by Salamandrous at 6:06 AM on September 21, 2010 [18 favorites]


The "prime rib" bit might've been a lousy idea, but I liked her style, her directness, overall. Good on her for making this speech, I say. I can't help but wish she'd say "go home" to all US soldiers. Get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Everybody. Period.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:12 AM on September 21, 2010


I once dated a girl who's sister looked a lot like L.G.G.'s alter-ego in the video. She went to UPenn and ended up working in NYC big-law. Except her hair and glasses were real. THEND.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:12 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


14:58-14:59-and we're done here.
posted by dortmunder at 6:19 AM on September 21, 2010


14:58-14:59-and we're done here.

NPR played a clip of her in a long story this morning on today's Senate vote. So the backlash is probably coming soon. If it's proportional to the hype, it will be a doozy.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:34 AM on September 21, 2010


The military rarely even sends public white supremacists home, I don't think this is going to happen. Especially not in wartime.
posted by keratacon at 6:38 AM on September 21, 2010


"If anyone is going to lead change in the military, it's going to have to be people currently serving."

Despite this sentiment and the quote by Rangeboy above the military was and is currently racially integrated to a level that far exceeds the society from which it draws its members. It is possible but it requires the President take a strong stance and time.
posted by vapidave at 6:40 AM on September 21, 2010


The military rarely even sends public white supremacists home, I don't think this is going to happen.

But isn't a good thing nonetheless to have people speaking out about it? if no one ever does, then it certainly isn't going to happen.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:43 AM on September 21, 2010


"Let's see here. I'm a pop star known as much for my outlandish costumes as my music. I care deeply about a cause, which I want to support politically. I know. I'll jump in with both feet, front and center, which will be sure to make the conversation more about me than anything else. I will alienate the frightened by my avant-garde reputation. I will give ammunition to my enemies, who can point to my style as a clear example of, not just changing tastes in art, but an abrogation of sanity. They will be able to easily point at me and say, 'See! That's what gay means! Forget about skilled professionals prevented from doing their jobs. This movement is about dresses made out of meat.'"

Lady Gaga, next time, just write a song and a fucking check to the charity of your choice.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:51 AM on September 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


But isn't a good thing nonetheless to have people speaking out about it?

Well, it certainly makes people feel good, so there's that.
posted by nomadicink at 6:51 AM on September 21, 2010


It is possible but it requires the President take a strong stance and time.

As to that:

... I learned from a very credible source that the White House isn't lobbying on the Defense Authorization bill. They're not trying to get to 60 votes. The President and Vice President aren't making calls. The White House legislative team isn't working the halls of the Senate. Nothing. People on the Hill are well aware of this. It sends a signal. Has anyone, not just Senators, anyone, heard a word about the Defense bill from Obama?

Think about it: The GOP Senators are filibustering a defense bill, which includes support for the troops, while we're engaged in two wars. Yet, we haven't heard a peep from Obama about that. If the situation were reversed, I don't think a Republican President would sit idly by and miss an opportunity to bash the other side for not supporting the troops. Bush did it every time.

posted by Joe Beese at 6:57 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


flapjax: But isn't a good thing nonetheless to have people speaking out about it?

nomadicink: Well, it certainly makes people feel good, so there's that.

I'd say your defeatist attitude was justified, if, for example, the institutionalized racism that existed in the US south (and elsewhere in America, to varying extents) hadn't seemed so deeply and immovably entrenched when the civil rights movement made its very first steps. But look what happened there. Change that could scarcely have been imagined, at that time, did indeed come to pass. The people calling for change at that time cannot be said to have simply been engaged in "making people feel good", despite the fact that the odds seemed against them and their opposition was fierce. Rabidly fierce. By the same token, modern voices of the movement for full equality under the law for homosexuals do not deserve to be written off or belittled in such a way.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:09 AM on September 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the whole "It's just like black people struggling for civil rights" thing doesn't work, as its different history.

To be clear, I don't object to gay being allowed able to do what everyone what else does, just the linked speech by Lady Gaga which I found silly, naive, poorly thought out and boring in that it's preaching to the choir. Where it not those things, there would be no belittling.
posted by nomadicink at 7:19 AM on September 21, 2010


Lady Gaga, next time, just write a song and a fucking check to the charity of your choice.

We just came out of 8 years-worth of any musician with a liberal voice being told to "Shut up and sing." I'm not climbing on that bandwagon with you. Sorry. She can say whatever the hell she wants.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:23 AM on September 21, 2010 [26 favorites]


Ok, now I want to see Patraeus reenact the "Telephone" video.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:26 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wish the constitution was as awesome as she makes it out to be. I mean, slaves and "Indians not taxed" were only counted as three-fifths of a person Artricle 1, Section 2.

LGBTs getting 60% of the rights and privileges of straight Americans? That sounds roughly accurate.
posted by andreaazure at 7:35 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Given the ridiculousness we see out of the right, really any media coverage of lunatics on the left just make me feel that we're all nuts. And I mean that in a good way.
posted by maryr at 7:36 AM on September 21, 2010


Yeah, the whole "It's just like black people struggling for civil rights" thing doesn't work, as its different history.
It's certainly close enough to serve as a useful analogy, don't you think?
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:44 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the whole "It's just like black people struggling for civil rights" thing doesn't work, as its different history.

You put quotation marks around some of that. Who were you quoting? It certainly wasn't me. I didn't say "It's just like black people struggling for civil rights". It is indeed, as you say, "different history", but you know, it ain't all that different. Anyway, my point was not to directly compare the two movements. It was to compare the fact that the goal of the civil rights movement seemed very difficult one to achieve, at the time of its inception. And the goal of equality in the military (and society at large) seems very difficult to achieve now. Your argument was that people speaking out as part of movements whose goals are difficult to achieve are doing nothing more than "making people feel good", simply because their goal is difficult. That was your argument.

Now you've stated that your belittling is justified because you perceive LGG's speech to be silly and naive, which is another point entirely. Perhaps you should've said that in the first place.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:49 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I mean, slaves and "Indians not taxed" were only counted as three-fifths of a person Artricle 1, Section 2.

Pedantic: slaves were 3/5, Indians-not-taxed weren't counted as part of the population for purposes of representation.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:52 AM on September 21, 2010


That was your argument

You are mistaken.

Now you've stated that your belittling is justified because you perceive LGG's speech to be silly and naive, which is another point entirely. Perhaps you should've said that in the first place.

I did.
posted by nomadicink at 7:56 AM on September 21, 2010


autoclavicle: "Sounds pretty good to me, it's too bad our political leaders are too chickenshit about DADT and the pop stars have to pick up their slack."

And the chickenshittery makes no sense. The support for repealing DADT is overwhelming, and has been for years:

2007: "A May 2007 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that 79 percent of Americans believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military."

2008: "A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted December 19-21 found that 81 percent of respondents believe openly gay people should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, while 17 percent said they shouldn't."

2010: "A full 78 percent of respondents said that "people who are openly gay or homosexual" should be able to serve in the armed forces."
posted by Rhaomi at 8:02 AM on September 21, 2010


The support for repealing DADT is overwhelming

I suspect the recent Presidents don't care all that much (especially Bush) and they're not interested in pissing off the military.
posted by nomadicink at 8:20 AM on September 21, 2010


I would rather live in a world where pop stars face backlash in the news for loudly endorsing progressive social causes than a world where they face backlash in the news for shoplifting, entering rehab, and touching children.
posted by Scientist at 8:26 AM on September 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I heard a clip of her speech on the radio this morning. That clip was this: "Equality is the prime rib of what we stand for as a nation. And I don't get to enjoy the greatest cut of meat that my country has to offer. Are you listening? Shouldn't everyone deserve the right to wear the same meat dress that I did?"

Then they proceeded to laugh about it and basically make fun of her. What they did not play was the rest of her speech, where she actually made some good points in an intelligent manner. That's the problem I have with her speech - the majority of people that would actually need to hear this are going to be the ones who are exposed solely to the wacky part about meat dresses and just write her off as another silly, liberal celebrity, sticking her nose where it doesn't belong and sounding ridiculous while she tries to make a point.

So I feel like she should've just left that part out, if she actually intended to inspire serious change as opposed to simply drawing more attention to herself. She knows how fame works and what the media latches onto, and being that she is Lady Gaga, I think it would've been great if she could've left out the thing about meat dresses. And I say this as someone who agrees with her completely. Well except for the part about wearing a meat dress, which is gross.
posted by wondermouse at 8:28 AM on September 21, 2010


While I have a bit of cynicism about Lady Gaga's involvement with this cause... (it feels to me a bit too much like a convenient cause being used as a front to grab for popularity within a demographic which already likes her music)... I don't really have any problem with anything she said in this speech, or the fact that she's making this speech.

She's doing a brave thing, actually, in making this speech and taking on this issue in such a public way. I mean, we've seen more than a couple of videos linked here on the Blue of soldiers making their own homebrew videos for her songs. So there's a certain demonstrated appeal for her music within the armed forces, and she's potentially alienating THAT demographic....

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out for her. Somehow I don't think it will make a lot of difference what she says, either to her career to to the political machine.

But it's always great when anyone, whomever they may be, can find a way to speak out publicly about equality. If you're famous enough to get a national stage for your comments, all the better, I think.
posted by hippybear at 8:36 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Two words that will turn our mad, mad world inside out forever, citizens. Two little words.


President GaGa.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:48 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The contemporary left wants to have its cognitively dissonant cake and eat it too by being simultaneously anti-military for straights and pro-military for gays. Lady Ga Ga is the ideal spokesperson for this sort of thing.
posted by Huplescat at 9:02 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obama Choice to Lead Marines Speaks Out Against DADT Repeal.
posted by ericb at 9:12 AM on September 21, 2010


andreaazure: I wish the constitution was as awesome as she makes it out to be.

The Constitution was not a statement of principles; it was a practical document. Consider whether the world would have been a better place had there been no U.S. Constitution, because had the moral perfectionists won, there wouldn't have been one. And there would be no United States. Given the circumstances of the Constitutional Convention, the document was pretty awesome.

The challenge of being a moral person is not choosing good over evil, but choosing among options that defy easy categorization. Unless we bring some humility and empathy to trying to understand people—all people, even people you disagree with or dislike—we're at risk of crudely painting them as automatons driven exclusively by myopic self-interest. In other words, we risk sounding like Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky.
posted by edw at 9:18 AM on September 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


More statistics:
• 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with lesbians and gays (Zogby International, 2006).

• Majorities of weekly churchgoers (60 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and Republicans (58 percent) now favor repeal of DADT (Gallup, 2009).

• 75 percent of Americans support gays serving openly - up from just 44 percent in 1993 (ABC News/Washington Post, 2008).

• In 1993, RAND Corp. concluded that openly gay people in the U.S. military do not negatively impact unit cohesion, morale, good order or military readiness. An update of this study should be completed in the next 90 days.

• Several other military-commissioned and GAO studies have concluded that open service does not undermine military readiness, troop morale or national security.

• Today, there are at least 66,000 gay Americans serving on active duty and one million gay veterans in the United States, according to the Urban Institute.
Additional research and polls.
posted by ericb at 9:25 AM on September 21, 2010


Watch LIVE: Senate Debates 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', Defense Bill.
posted by ericb at 9:26 AM on September 21, 2010


... If anyone is going to lead change in the military, it's going to have to be people currently serving.

As above, 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with lesbians and gays (Zogby International, 2006).
posted by ericb at 9:27 AM on September 21, 2010


Keith Olbermann on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and Lady Gaga.
posted by ericb at 9:32 AM on September 21, 2010


Today, there are at least 66,000 gay Americans serving on active duty and one million gay veterans in the United States, according to the Urban Institute.

I cannot help but be suspicious of what must be a purely speculative estimate like that.
posted by The World Famous at 9:34 AM on September 21, 2010


I agree with her sentiments. But her most intended audience, the US enlisted military...

Actually, her intended audience yesterday was very specific. She was in Portland, Maine to get folks there to pressure Seantors Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to vote with the Democrats for cloture this afternoon thus breaking McCain's filibuster of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which contains the DADT repeal provisions.
posted by ericb at 9:39 AM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


For the record - the world is better for the US having come into being, and for our Constitution being one of its most-resonant building blocks. I just dislike the talk that makes it a holy screed, because there are so many holes and inconsistencies that appeared only 100 years after...

oh, wait. Nevermind. Makes sense. =)
posted by andreaazure at 9:45 AM on September 21, 2010


I cannot help but be suspicious of what must be a purely speculative estimate like that.

The nonpartisan Urban Institute on 'Gay Men and Lesbians in the U.S. Military | Estimates from Census 2000.

The study (including data and methodology) [PDF].
posted by ericb at 9:46 AM on September 21, 2010


Why doesn't former Major Margaret Witt rate such media attention?
posted by Carol Anne at 9:49 AM on September 21, 2010


Also, Lady Gaga was invited last weekend to the already scheduled rally in Maine by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) when she hosted members to attend the 2010 MTV VMA’s with her.
SLDN has seen its website numbers skyrocket since Lady Gaga took soldiers discharged under the discriminatory policy as escorts to the Video Music Awards last Sunday.

During the week before the VMAs (September 5–11), for instance, SLDN.org had 6,904 visitors with 15,101 page views, according to Thomas. But in the week following her VMA appearance (September 12–18), the site had 211,940 visitors with 360,145 page views. Overall, it represented a 91.93% in new visitors to the site.

[SLDN's Trevor] Thomas said Lady Gaga made the 'last-minute decision”' to attend Monday’s rally on Saturday evening after speaking with SLDN’s staff and executive director Aubrey Sarvis. The move required some logistical rejiggering since she is currently touring to promote her newly released album, The Remix. The pop star, known for her outlandish and ever-changing costuming, was in North Carolina where she performed in Charlotte and had a show Sunday evening in Raleigh. 'This is a big commitment,' Thomas said of the impromptu detour to Maine. 'She is on tour and her team has been enormously supportive throughout this process and very responsive.'"*
posted by ericb at 9:56 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Senate cloture vote on DADT, Defense Bill is now scheduled for 2:00 PM (Eastern).
posted by ericb at 9:57 AM on September 21, 2010


Why doesn't former Major Margaret Witt rate such media attention?

Oh, she's getting plenty of media attention.
posted by ericb at 10:08 AM on September 21, 2010


Thanks for linking to the study, ericb. It is more thorough and less speculative than I expected.
posted by The World Famous at 10:24 AM on September 21, 2010


'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Prospects Look Dim Before Senate Vote.
posted by ericb at 10:34 AM on September 21, 2010


The contemporary left wants to have its cognitively dissonant cake and eat it too by being simultaneously anti-military for straights and pro-military for gays. Lady Ga Ga is the ideal spokesperson for this sort of thing.

Even if I think a restaurant's food is disgusting, I want everyone to have equal opportunity to eat there if they want.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:38 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lady Gaga, next time, just write a song and a fucking check to the charity of your choice.

except that without her involvement and its coverage, this would be something most people would be paying attention to after the vote, not before. she didn't have to use her popularity for this; it's not like she needs to win over a gay audience.

it's easy for people to make excuses to not do something; i'm not inclined to criticize someone who makes a sincere effort on this.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:44 AM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


If she manages to get even one person to realize that they ought to be laughing at Palin the same way, good on her.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:50 AM on September 21, 2010


I get the feeling someone made her a beautiful meat suit and the "prime rib" metaphor was something she came up with in the cab.
posted by ducky l'orange at 10:52 AM on September 21, 2010


Why doesn't former Major Margaret Witt rate such media attention?

But there are hundreds of news articles about her, from local media in the Seattle area to the New York Times, ABC, AP, NPR...something like 800 articles altogether, according to Google News. Just as there has been extensive media coverage of other people like Dan Choi and of the recent court decision that the law is unconstitutional.

Please tell me you're not complaining about the fact that she may have got less coverage than someone who is already world famous in her own right.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:05 AM on September 21, 2010


I get the feeling someone made her a beautiful meat suit and the "prime rib" metaphor was something she came up with in the cab.

and...? seems she simply used a gravity assist, hurling this speech around the massive jupiter-ish publicity surrounding her meat dress in order to give it more momentum. and it worked.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:06 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm behind on this one but what do we have waiting in the wings if Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed? It seems like, without it, the country has a step backwards. Are there any actual written plans, bills, what have you, to stand in place of the removed policy?
posted by adipocere at 11:12 AM on September 21, 2010


She knows how fame works and what the media latches onto, and being that she is Lady Gaga, I think it would've been great if she could've left out the thing about meat dresses.

That was my first reaction. But after I thought about it a bit, I decided it was a shrewd decision. If she had gone along and given the speech without that, it would have been reported as 'and even pop star Lady Gaga turned up to make a speech, delighting her many fans in the crowd. In other news...'

But seeing as how people are still trying to figure out what a meat dress is supposed to mean, her, er, unusual syllogism got played on the air. Which in turn, leads far more people to go listen to the full speech on the internet, even if they're just looking to find out how wacky she is. Given a choice between a pat on the head and people's full attention, I think attention wins.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:31 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm behind on this one but what do we have waiting in the wings if Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed? It seems like, without it, the country has a step backwards.

No, without it the Uniform Code of Military Justice still applies uniformly to all members of the military. That is not being removed, just the part that says you are out if you like sexing the wrong people. They are going to keep the baby and just drain the tub.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:36 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why do people get so down on celebrities who speak out for a cause? If you think their point is inane or naive, fair enough. But telling them to shut up and sing is idiotic in more than one way.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:38 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


people are still trying to figure out what a meat dress is supposed to mean

"Pay attention to me" would be my first guess.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:00 PM on September 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


andreaazure, Founding Brothers was a very interesting read; it looked at the Founding Fathers from the perspective of the time in which they lived, before the continued existence of the United States was a foregone conclusion, let along a reality. There was strong sense among several of them that the slavery issue was simply being papered over for the time being, and that it would come back to haunt the country. At least one of them suggested that the Constitution had a shelf life of no more than twenty-five years. Very few people were ecstatic about it at the time. If more had been, there wouldn't have been the need to write the Federalist Papers.
posted by edw at 12:02 PM on September 21, 2010


Why do people get so down on celebrities who speak out for a cause?

Speaking for myself, it's because everything a celebrity does is designed to garner attention. They want to be on camera. They live to be noticed, to be talked about. That's what made them celebrities in the first place.
When they speak out for a cause they're simply using that cause as a catalyst to have more cameras pointed at them and more people talking about them. If they really cared about the cause itself they would quietly support it financially or through volunteering their time and/or labour. And they would do it without issuing a press release.
posted by rocket88 at 12:24 PM on September 21, 2010


I mean, slaves and "Indians not taxed" were only counted as three-fifths of a person Artricle 1, Section 2.

Oh for fuck's sake, would you ignorant people stop repeating blatant lies? It's in fucking Article I for a goddamn reason - it's not about whether people "count" it's about how much power states get in Congress... Congress being, you know, the fucking subject of Article I. Do you honestly think it would be a pro-abolitionist stance to give slave states MORE representatives in Congress? Don't be so fucking clichéedly idiotic.
posted by thesmophoron at 12:29 PM on September 21, 2010


56-43 against ending the filibuster.

"The whole thing is a political train wreck," said Richard Socarides, a former White House adviser on gay rights during the Clinton administration.

Socarides said President Barack Obama "badly miscalculated" the Pentagon's support for repeal, while Democrats made only a "token effort" to advance the bill.

"If it was a priority for the Democratic leadership, they would get a clean vote on this," he said.

posted by Joe Beese at 12:32 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
"It is my personal and professional belief that allowing homosexuals to serve openly would be the right thing to do. No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."
Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
"I fully support the President's decision [regarding the repeal of DADT]. The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we best prepare for it. We have received our orders from the commander in chief and we are moving out accordingly."
posted by ericb at 12:33 PM on September 21, 2010


Are there any actual written plans, bills, what have you, to stand in place of the removed policy?

There are many white papers, etc. focused on how to proceed post-repeal..

Example:
Palm Center: How to End "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- "This report addresses political, legal, regulatory, and organizational steps to ensure a smooth end to 'don't ask, don't tell'."
posted by ericb at 12:36 PM on September 21, 2010


If they really cared about the cause itself they would quietly support it financially or through volunteering their time and/or labour. And they would do it without issuing a press release.

but you are requiring that the same modesty be imposed upon the cause the celebrity is supporting, when that cause could be better served by having the publicity generated from celebrity involvement. lady gaga knows that her job as a celebrity is to gain attention. she's going to get that attention with or without being involved in a charity or cause. she could choose to keep it all for herself, but she's sharing it with a cause she and her fans believe in, and she's setting an example for others to be engaged with something beyond themselves. her 'quiet support' in this case might have served your sense of propriety, but it would have poorly served the cause.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 12:36 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Speaking for myself, it's because everything a celebrity does is designed to garner attention.

Sometimes an organization or cause needs attention. Celebrities by their attention whore nature can add this attention. If a celebrity wants to live to be talked about, isn't it better that they are being talked about along with a worthy cause?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:37 PM on September 21, 2010


Study: Gays in Military Would Not Be Disruptive
"A bipartisan panel of retired military commanders has concluded that Congress should repeal 'don’t ask, don’t tell' and allow gays to serve openly in the military. One commander helped Bill Clinton implement the current policy in 1993 but says it’s flawed by an assumption of disruption when no evidence exists for it.

The study [PDF], commissioned by UC Santa Barbara, found no evidence that gays serving openly would affect morale, unit cohesion or readiness." (July 2008)
posted by ericb at 12:39 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gays in Military Would Not Be Disruptive

No, but the parades would be a lot more interesting!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:41 PM on September 21, 2010


Admirals, Generals: Let Gays Serve Openly -- "More than 100 call for repeal of military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy."
posted by ericb at 12:46 PM on September 21, 2010


Well said, fallacy of the beard!
posted by ericb at 12:57 PM on September 21, 2010


are they cool with just anyone proposing laws? Shouldn't a citizen at large be suggesting laws?

Guess what? As part of living in this country you can do both! No one has to listen to you, but you can certainly propose, suggest, dictate, declare, or anything else.

You all watched it.
posted by micawber at 1:00 PM on September 21, 2010


The contemporary left wants to have its cognitively diassonant cake and eat it too by being simultaneously anti-military for straights and pro-militarycivil-rights for gays.

There, that's better.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:07 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, but the parades would be a lot more interesting!

This brings to mind one of the annual gay celebration Southern Decadences which is held every year in New Orleans on Labor Day Weekend. On the Sunday of the event there is a parade in which anyone can march. Many individuals and groups go to great lengths to have fabulous costumes!

One year the parade happened to 'collide' with a military parade going the opposite way on Decatur Street. Well, the drag queens wasted no time in jumping on the running boards of the Hummers while one 'French Maid' took her duster to cleaning a cannon's barrel. Some of the soldiers joined the viewing crowd in laughter; others rolled up their vehicle windows. A clash of two worlds, or so it seemed!
posted by ericb at 1:11 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


There, that's better.

Except that the contemporary left isn't really anti-military.
posted by The World Famous at 1:45 PM on September 21, 2010


Don't underestimate the ability of the senior brass to resist change from outside their ranks, even from their nominal superiors.

"Nominal superiors", Rangeboy? Formerly active-General MacArthur would like to have a word with you about that. General Patton narrowly (and fatally) escaped the same fate. The previously-known-as-a-US-soldier, General McCrystal, the same.

This is the actuality of the POTUS' rank superiority over the senior brass beneath him. However, even in your examples, you only provided proof that underling generals spouted off. They blew air. Did they refuse the orders? Did they fail to comply, AND keep their positions? Or did they huff, and puff, and ... do as they were told.

The ones that kept their careers, followed orders.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:57 PM on September 21, 2010


She has had some bad press as of late. I do not think that this is a coincidence that she is now attempting to put a positive spin on her persona. I don't doubt that she supports gay rights at all but the timing of this is almost like an ""oops, I just had a "jumped the shark" moment"". She is trying to regain some credibility. Meh.
posted by futz at 3:03 PM on September 21, 2010


what bad press? she just came off the mtv thing, which was basically a party to celebrate gaga; she pretty much ate katy perry's birthday cake right off her plate, and gave kesha a rosethorn wedgie, all without cracking an insult or dropping her smile...

and she's been talking about gays in the military as an issue for a good while; i believe she mentioned it specifically a few months back when talking about her next album.

i mean, you never know. i don't know her motives; but i don't think you do, either.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 4:22 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bad press about numerous things...the recent baseball ...you know what? Fuck it. Have at it and try to pretend that this is something newsworthy or earth-shattering.
posted by futz at 5:45 PM on September 21, 2010


"Nominal superiors", Rangeboy? Formerly active-General MacArthur would like to have a word with you about that. General Patton narrowly (and fatally) escaped the same fate. The previously-known-as-a-US-soldier, General McCrystal, the same.

Yes, that would be the General MacArthur who had spent decades thumbing his nose at the White House and the Pentagon, who publicly voiced his desire to pull China more deeply into the Korean conflict against the express wishes of Truman, who was only sacked once he voiced his contempt for his Commander-in-Chief to the House Republican leader, who was lauded by Henry Luce's media empire and the so-called China lobby even as they savaged Truman's reputation. Patton, for his part, had more problems with Eisenhower than his civilian masters. And McCrystal resigned; he wasn't fired (though he probably would have been).

As for the officers who resisted Executive Order 9981, they did indeed keep their jobs. How? By telling the White House they were doing the opposite of what they were doing:

"When {Secretary of Defense Louis} Johnson imposed his deadline, the Army reacted by expressing confidence that its existing racial policies 'are sound in the light of actual experience, and are in accord with the policies of the National Military Establishment,' as set forth by the Secretary of Defense 'and with Executive Order 9981,' the President's directive calling for equality of treatment and opportunity."

--Bernard Nalty, Strength for the Fight: A History of Black Americans in the Military, pg. 251.

That was a crock, of course. In the end, the Army committed itself to integration only because the early months of the Korean War went so poorly for the Americans that the brass was forced to conclude that continued segregation was no longer feasible. It was also helped along by Matt Ridgway's replacement of MacArthur, who despite his public statements to the contrary, was at best indifferent to the question of integration and at worst actively opposed to it. Even so, the Army's last all-black unit wasn't deactivated until 1954, six years after Truman's order and two years after he left office.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that military decisions have political implications, and it's naive to think neither the generals nor the politicians understand this.
posted by Rangeboy at 6:45 PM on September 21, 2010


Fuck it. Have at it and try to pretend that this is something newsworthy or earth-shattering.

what the fuck are you doing here, then? you're the one waltzing in talking about how gaga, at the height of her popularity, has somehow fallen and is trying to 'regain' her credibility. i was trying to understand that perspective, as it doesn't seem supported by, um, reality. if you just walk around saying shit just to say it, at least own up to that, but don't go pretending you're somehow above discussing something you brought up in the first place.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 7:47 PM on September 21, 2010


Metafilter* : you know what? Fuck it.

*at it's worst, kids!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:56 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Useless lowbrow comment filter: I saw about 3.7 seconds of this on the news last night and nearly punched my TV to pieces. I'd long assumed she would be incredibly annoying in audio/video form, but that was orders of magnitude more annoying than expected. DADT is stupid though, obviously, so fair play for that.
posted by Slyfen at 2:57 AM on September 22, 2010


We're here, we're queer, we're heavily armed trained killers.

Get used to it.
posted by keratacon at 10:41 AM on September 23, 2010


Judge orders lesbian Maj. Margaret Witt reinstated to Air Force.
posted by ericb at 2:44 PM on September 24, 2010


"'Her discharge from the Air Force Reserves violated her substantive due process rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. She should be restored to her position as a Flight Nurse with the 446th AES as soon as is practicable,' wrote [Federal Judge Ronald Leighton of Tacoma, Washington]."*
Wingnut talking point in 3-2-1: "Judge Leighton is an activist judge who should not legislate social issues from the bench!"

Um, but exactly who is Judge Leighton?
"Leighton was nominated by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2002 to a seat vacated by Robert Bryan. Leighton was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 14, 2002 on a majority voice vote and received commission on November 26, 2002."
A previous ruling by the judge: Druggists may withhold "morning-after" pill. To prohibit them from doing so is an unconstitutional violation of the pharmacists' freedom of religion.
posted by ericb at 2:55 PM on September 24, 2010


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