Venting her spleen under the heading Lady Gaga and the death of sex, Paglia lets rip with an epic takedown of the singer.
Best bits from Paglia’s diatribe:
On Gaga’s fans
“Generation Gaga doesn’t identify with powerful vocal styles because their own voices have atrophied: they communicate mutely via a constant stream of atomised, telegraphic text messages. Gaga’s flat affect doesn’t bother them because they’re not attuned to facial expressions.”
On Gaga ’stealing’ from Madonna
“Gaga has borrowed so heavily from Madonna (as in her latest video-Alejandro) that it must be asked, at what point does homage become theft? However, the main point is that the young Madonna was on fire. She was indeed the imperious Marlene Dietrich’s true heir. For Gaga, sex is mainly decor and surface; she’s like a laminated piece of ersatz rococo furniture. Alarmingly, Generation Gaga can’t tell the difference. Is it the death of sex? Perhaps the symbolic status that sex had for a century has gone kaput; that blazing trajectory is over…”
On her background
“Although she presents herself as the clarion voice of all the freaks and misfits of life, there is little evidence that she ever was one. Her upbringing was comfortable and eventually affluent, and she attended the same upscale Manhattan private school as Paris and Nicky Hilton.”
On her message
“She constantly touts her symbiotic bond with her fans, the ‘little monsters’, who she inspires to ‘love themselves’ as if they are damaged goods in need of her therapeutic repair. ‘You’re a superstar, no matter who you are!’ She earnestly tells them from the stage, while their cash ends up in her pockets. She told a magazine with messianic fervour: ‘I love my fans more than any artist who has ever lived.’ She claims to have changed the lives of the disabled, thrilled by her jewelled parody crutches in the Paparazzi video.”
On Gaga’s sexuality
“Despite showing acres of pallid flesh in the fetish-bondage garb of urban prostitution, Gaga isn’t sexy at all – she’s like a gangly marionette or plasticised android. How could a figure so calculated and artificial, so clinical and strangely antiseptic, so stripped of genuine eroticism have become the icon of her generation? Can it be that Gaga represents the exhausted end of the sexual revolution? In Gaga’s manic miming of persona after persona, over-conceptualised and claustrophobic, we may have reached the limit of an era.”
You can read the rest of her essay here
Manufactured and artificial or not, there’s no denying that Gaga’s got the Midas touch – she’s up for a whopping 13 moonman trophies at today’s MTV Video Music Awards.
What do you make of Paglia’s opinions?