The Gaga police are out today but lets not indict her of corrupting dominant values with her creative venom just yet. Critics and celebrities like Katy Perry have been quick to attack Lady Gaga's new video, Alejandro by Tweeting, 'Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke'
It's easy to jump on the Puritan bandwagon to focus on the religious friction Gaga is causing by deep-throating rosary beads in a blood-red latex skin-suit resembling a nun's tunic. But how is this more blasphemous than everyday pornography or events that happen in real life? A buffet of fetishes that make most squirm are surfacing in the mainstream and suddenly, we are reacting to Lady Gaga in pretentious prudence? If we chafe at the idea of men in porcupine helmets wearing fishnet stockings over their better-than-Rockettes sculpted legs, we are missing the point.
Steven Klein the director of 'Alejandro' is a long time collaborator with artists such as Madonna and Britney Spears. The aforementioned pop icons and image creators continuously push the limit and normalize the extreme. Like religion, the lexicon of pop culture is a way we understand the world and the values we believe in. Lady Gaga is not just a self-appointed queen of pop. Whether you love her or hate her, she matters because she holds a fragile yet potent force in our consciousness to the extent where we can't participate in everyday conversations without uttering her name.
Aren't we all a little intoxicated by Gaga's hedonistic yet painful and dark narrative of love? She offers up her macerated heart on a platter and confesses her unrequeited love for Ale-Ale-Alejandro in this bizarre account of a funeral turned mysterious S&M celebration of love. A chorus of well oiled men with bodies of warriors are outfitted in high waisted spandex serenading, lamenting, undulating in desperation while balancing on femme-fatale heels. This apocalyptic discoteque costume party is a tour of the internal violence love can inflict. Heartbreak is never pretty, it feels exactly like gutting out a barbed-wire heart through charcoal burnt lips with death-stained fingers. This is the locus of Lady Gaga's power, she is an intersection of universal ideas tacitly condensed into 8 minutes of entertainment.