Camille Paglia has a “profile” of Lady Gaga in this week’s Sunday Times (UK). Though I agree with a lot of what Paglia has to say here about Lady Gaga (her points about Gaga being compared to the likes of Madonna, and even worse David Bowie, are very good), I take issue with a couple of her assertions.
1st off I don’t get why Gaga needs to be sexual in Paglia’s eyes. Aren’t women sexualized enough in pop culture? One can argue that for a woman to become a huge star while simultaneously being asexual is a triumph, and a sign that younger folks are possibly beginning to move past America’s obsession with sex.
This line is particularly problematic:
Gaga’s fans are marooned in a global technocracy of fancy gadgets but emotional poverty.
Paglia seems to give no other evidence for her statement besides people putting more of their personal selves in public.
There is also an enormous amount of “get off my lawn” aspect to what Paglia is saying. She just sounds like an old person who doesn’t get all these weird things, and people some young people are into. Paglia even calls Gaga rude for wearing shades during an interview. Sure it’s a bit rude, but Gaga is a rock star after all. Not the 1st one with an affinity for shades & she certainly won’t be the last.
People like Paglia will never understand why some young & not so young people love Gaga. Gaga isn’t for her. If Paglia would have stuck to the points about Gaga as in artist, especially her point about Gaga’s corporate backing, she would have really hit it out of the park.
One more thing the idea of Paglia as “America’s foremost cultural critic”, as the Times (UK) calls her, is pretty laughable. I don’t know who is, but I know she ain’t.
If someone is going to critique, and attempt to tell people why someone like Gaga is popular it probably shouldn’t be someone who’s 63 years old. I was just talking about the hegemony of old people in positions of power on twitter. It’s not just about politics. It’s about academia, journalism & many other areas. I don’t think we need to push older folks aside, but we need to be much, much less dismissive of young(er) people. They/we know a lot more than folks older than us give us credit for. A lot of our leading thinkers & revolutionaries were in their 30′s or younger when they made names for themselves and/or their organizations.
(h/t Danielle Scruggs)
Tags: Popular culture