Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I will say one thing about Lady GaGa

Let me put on record that I do like the songs of Lady GaGa. They function on a dancefloor. They have good metaphor use. I like the production. I even like her voice.

Her clips are improving tremendously – the one for Paparazzi is just astounding, as Guy has also noted. She can carry a leotard. I think the aggressive focus on her crotch in her clips is interesting.

However, Lady GaGa, unlike many pop ladies that I do like (Madge, Kylie, etc, I’m sure there must be others) is not fabulous. This may seem like a contradictory thing to say, given that most of the ingredients of ‘fabulousness’ are present in her package. She has the costumes, the grand concepts, the dancing.

The problem is that whenever she is given a second of interview space, she always, always draws attention to the fact that it is all such hard work. Being a pop star is not easy, she tells us. We are always being reminded of the grit and effort required.

I do not care for this.

Of course creating art is hard work. Yes, sweat went into it. But no one wants to think about this. Grand productions must look effortless. Even Beyonce – whom Mark once called the embodiment of the Protestant work ethic in late capitalism – does not draw so much attention to the fact that this is a tough job. And if anyone is a worker, it is Beyonce.

Grand productions must seem weightless. Sure, they can aestheticise working (Madonna has done this). But there is nothing gained by reminding people about the suffering involved in the production of pleasure. One must always strike the pose of ease.

That is, one must strike this pose if one wants to be fabulous. Maybe GaGa wants something else? I’m not sure. She is a funny (new?) model of pop star.