Lady Gaga uses drugs
The slow and bitter end of Lady Gaga's career
Do you remember the time when Lady Gaga was practically infallible? When critics and fans kneeled down in front of her and even angry tongues couldn't deny her crushing influence on pop culture (and if not necessarily the influence, then definitely the undisputed exploitation)? So I ask you if you remember it, because it seems like that's all we have of Gaga: the memories.
Nobody cares about Lady Gaga anymore. Last week she released her 11 minutes and 46 seconds long “Artpop Film” for the song “G.U.Y” and almost nobody was interested. The video has just over 23 million views at the time of this writing — a number that is likely to increase, but if you look at how their last long video, Marry The Night, it fared, it probably will not be much. Compared to their contemporaries like Katy Perry and Beyoncé, whose videos have garnered 165 million (“Dark Horse”) and 129 million (“Drunk In Love”) views, respectively, this is disappointing. Even Jennifer Lopez's latest video, "I Luh Yah Papi," has seen 17 million views, and J.Lo doesn't even have a funny nickname for her fans. Considering that none of these other videos feature an epic performance filmed at Hearst Castle, this must be pretty frustrating for the Gagasphere. I mean, all Beyoncé did was dance on a beach.
But regardless of the comparisons, did you even know that Lady Gaga released G.U.Y last week? The video stayed almost entirely under the radar as sites that normally write full articles about Mother Monster's life either pushed the video for “GUY” into those “what's new this week” lists or just didn't mention it at all to have. It seems like Lady Gaga, one of the most highly regarded and judged pop icons of the time, has become too unimportant for the news, at least for her “art”.
Lady Gaga struggles. She does not swim, but sinks. Which really sucks for her as she is a really talented artist. If you don't believe me, just watch this video in which she sings the song "Hair" with Howard Stern. I just looked at it again and it moved me to tears. If you leave out all the trappings, Lady Gaga is just a perfect, capable and passionate artist. Somehow this very rare fact got lost, maybe smothered by all the wigs and the oiled, fetishized bodies of their many dancers.
My own obsession with Gaga began when I attended a concert by her almost four years ago and was impressed by her skills on stage. She was fascinating all around, her songs were infectious and I danced and sang along like I was meant to be. Lady Gaga is fascinating in a way that others lack — except someone like Ke $ ha maybe — as she is the mysterious outsider. She's the girl from school who smoked cigarettes behind the bike shed and was surrounded by rumors and speculation about her life, family and origins when she walked the aisles.
But now Lady Gaga just seems ... boring. The in-depth writers no longer seem to care about them, and what is more disturbing, even the gossip sites and celebrity news don't seem to care anymore. She is met with more and more disinterest, which is directed against her entire creative work. Here are a few reasons why:
THE VIDEO FOR "G.U.Y" IS LENSELY BORING
The video for "G.U.Y" is a loose metaphor for femininity, misogyny, capitalism, their Jesus complex, etc. It is full of predictable Gaga motifs and overused imagery. It starts with her being gunned down as a sexy bird creature by a couple of greedy men in suits who seem to be stealing all of their money (don't ask me where the Gaga bird hid all the money, she doesn't even seem to have a bag with it to have). Anyway, this scene lasts almost three full minutes, until the wounded Gaga bird crawls back into her big gay palace to be redeemed like Jesus - why not - and then at the big gay party that is in every room of their property takes place to celebrate.
In the middle of the video there is a terrible parody in which Gaga refers to Greek gods and says little in-depth stuff about sexuality, which is further evidence that parodies should be left to the pros - namely, R'n'B- Artists from the 90s. The video turns into a boring choreography that we have seen a thousand times by Gaga and which can be seen as a convincing argument that choreographed dancing should also be left to the professionals - namely, exclusively Beyoncé and Ciara.
The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” can be seen briefly in the form of a kitsch folk band and instead of Gaga they sing “G.U.Y”, which totally loses its effect, since nobody even knows who these women are. The only reason I know is because I googled it. In trying to be ironically cute, Gaga slips into irrelevance. She also uses some visual effects that some of her comrades just used — better, too. When she dances around in a strange teddy bear costume, she comes across as a Miley Cyrus for arms and her Egyptian villa is reminiscent of "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry.
The video ends with a weird sexy dance that looks more like a long jeans commercial, and if you manage to get through the 7 minutes 38 you probably haven't even noticed the song itself as it's pretty awful too. The last four minutes of the song consist only of end credits - which seem to mention everyone Gaga has ever met - to which another of her new, unbearable songs plays, "Manicure".
In summary, nobody cares about the G.U.Y. video because it sucks, which is a totally legitimate reason not to care.
IT'S SOMETHING NORMAL
One of the most intriguing things about Lady Gaga has always been the ambiguity of her gender and the way she portrayed sexuality in this bizarre spectrum where more weirdness meant more nudity — but on the other hand, more clothes meant more weirdness. Weirdness always permeated what Gaga did, so she was never sexy in the way you expect a woman in the pop business to be, and in which many of her peers are. She built the bridge between Madonna and Miley Cyrus and challenged the super-tanned post-2000s women with their flat bellies, who in turn came on the scene after we lost sight of Madonna's vision of female sexuality.
In the video for "G.U.Y" and also in her last public appearances, Gaga embodies conventional sex. And while she does it well, that's not why people are besieging the House of Gaga. Nobody ever wanted Gaga to be really sexy — we cheered her for challenging the notion of sexiness with her alternative aesthetic (and still being incredibly hot at the same time). I don't think anyone ever wanted to see Gaga in a blonde wig, perfect makeup, regular lingerie, and in men's magazine poses. It's just uninteresting and even less interesting if someone does it who was so interesting before.
SHE RAISED HERSELF TO POP DEITY WITHOUT SOMEONE PRAYING THEM
Beynocé and Madonna are the only active artists who deserve the title “pop goddess”. Britney maybe still, but just maybe. For some reason Gaga felt the need, with all of her Jesus motifs and with the failed attempt to create an "Artpop" world, to claim this category for herself. Trying to immortalize yourself in the pop world wasn't Gaga's smartest decision - it's hard work changing a certain status quo (Madonna revolutionized sex for women in pop music, Beyoncé revolutionized what it meant to be a woman and Britney, if you want to include her, has, oddly enough, revolutionized the kind of music we expect from women in the pop business, devoting himself to a sound that was previously reserved only for boy bands) and that's it what allows you to move into Pop Olympus. Unsurprisingly, the public has rejected Gaga's idea that she is a legend. The sad thing is that if she had kept her horses in check, she might have made it there in the end.
YOUR MUSIC IS JUST NO LONGER GOOD
There was a time when Lady Gaga made great pop music. "You & I" (written by Gaga) is one of the best and most underrated pop songs of the past decade, maybe in history. It's an incredible arrangement in which her bluesy voice mixes with pristine piano and just a few isolated synths. The balance is perfect. Likewise, songs like "Alejandro", "Bad Romance" and "The Edge of Glory" are perfect, timeless pop songs with a well thought-out composition, theme and execution.
I have myself Art pop listened to it twice in full and it's just damn terrible. The autotune effect on her voice, which is great in itself, is a nuisance and the aggressive disco house dance tracks aren't as deep as they try to be. They cause headaches and do not do Gaga justice as a songwriter or singer, as the whole thing seems to be just a huge mess of randomly put together sounds. Thematically, Gaga's new album is also rather one-dimensional - it's all about "me, me, me", which actually doesn't fit with Gaga's inclusiveness.
NOTHING ABOUT YOUR VIDEOS IS NEW OR CONFRONTATIVE
This is a serious problem for someone whose success is based on being new and confrontational. Since “Judas” (OK, Norman Reedus was there, so it wasn't that bad) it's been a painful decline for Gaga. “Marry The Night” was silly and “Applause” didn't make any sense at all. There was a time when the spectacle Gaga delivered in her videos was stimulating and seductive - even on Telephone with Beyoncé, she managed to Subversion (in the scene where she was wrapped in police tape , the half-naked posing in her cell is particularly confrontational) and also incorporating some ingenious pop culture references (the grindhouse theme of the video, for example). I'm not sure if it's because we “saw it all” about Gaga, or if she literally confused herself with her increasingly mind-boggling videos and spins in circles, but her latest visual output just misses the mark to challenge or even impress the audience.
SHE EXCHANGED NICK KNIGHT FOR TERRY RICHARDSON
With the argument that her videos are becoming more and more mundane, it also fits that she has apparently traded her former colleague Nick Knight for the creep on duty, Terry Richardson. For an “artist” like Lady Gaga, it is simply not beneficial when she goes from a visionary like Knight to a pervert like Uncle Terry. This change makes no sense, because from an artistic point of view the curve should go in the other direction.
YOUR ART OF PERFORMANCE HAS BECOME BANAL EFFECTS CREATION
If you need to get people to vomit on stage and Kim Kardashian just needs to breathe to get attention, then you should really reconsider your priorities. Lady Gaga has always done weird things to get attention - like wearing a flesh dress or hatching from a giant egg - but while her antics have always been considered quirky, they increasingly seem to be it's about showmanship that's done out of sheer sensationalism — which is pretty boring. According to Gaga himself, the vomiting action had no intellectual background — it was just "expression" for expression's sake. Which is not Gaga's style. At least it shouldn't be. Up until now, Gaga's performance has always been considered and targeted and it seems like she just got lazy and just did crazy things.
THE REALLY BAD R.KELLY DECISION
There is absolutely no reason for a woman to sing "Do what you want with my body" in a duet with R.Kelly. Gaga tried to avert the damage by also singing the song with Xtina (who ROCKED it) but that didn't change anything either. This collaboration had pretty much the same effect as her friendship with Terry Richardson — it just pissed everyone off, and not in the good, didactic way she would have liked.
YOUR LITTLE MONSTERS FOUNDATION SEEMS TO BE CRAP
Rumors that Gaga's Little Monsters Foundation - which claims to fight bullying - are just throwing money out of the window, have cast doubt on Gaga's commitment to social issues. When you consider that Gaga has built her entire career around being a social justice warrior, the fact that that is being challenged means that her whole personality and the authenticity of her advocacy is being questioned.
THE MYSTERY HAS GONE
In his book Eating The Dinosaur writes Chuck Klosterman: “[Her importance] seems to be based only on the fact that normal adults don't understand what she is supposed to be doing, mainly because she is not really doing anything. She makes records and dresses a little perverted. That is the formula for their existence. Everything else is what an illusionist calls 'deception' - except that in this case the deception is the reward. ”Unfortunately for Gaga, everyone else seems to have noticed too. That may not be entirely their fault — in our post-social media world, where everyone is cynical, critical and everyone screams for "authenticity," the collective consciousness seems all too ready to shred the Gaga personality to pieces to tear. It was designed to do this. And to quote Gob Bloth, "Tricks are what a whore does for money," so maybe it was only a matter of time before we resolutely wrested her Enigma from Gaga.
SHE SEEMS DESPERATE
When you put all of the above together, you get the impression that she is plagued by desperation. Their questionable creative partnerships, their endeavors to shock just to shock, and the objective crap of their music — it all comes together and pulls the curtain aside, in which Lady Gaga desperately grabs and clings. It's hard not to lose its importance, but it's even harder not to when you're such a strong and flashy personality like Lady Gaga. And instead of staying calm in the flood, Gaga's actions reveal the opposite — that she struggles and swallows tons of water in the process. She listens to the swan song on her career and in her perhaps last moments she fires everything out again and hopes that there is a hit somewhere in between.
Kat George listens to Poker Face to remember the good old days. Follow her on Twitter— @ kat_george
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