“If there are zeitgeist moments for products, movie stars, and even politicians, then such moments can exist for weaponry as well. The robotic drone is the Lady Gaga of this Pentagon moment.”
So wrote Tom Engelhardt, in an essay titled “America Detached from War,” and he couldn’t have picked a more perfect metaphor. Gaga is sexy, ubiquitous, and oh so of-the-moment. She exists on a line between monstrous and beautiful, making us ask questions about progress, about agency, about control, about men and women, about Americans and the world. She is both a perfect embodiment of American cultural dominance and subverting what that means at every turn.
Gaga-analysis could fill a library at this point. It is impossible to ignore her. She demands in a voice somewhere between a howl and a snarl at the Grammys “I wanna be a star!” and she makes philosophers (like Nancy Bauer, in a New York Times piece) as well as pop critics talk about her.
The Predator drone is the latest and sexiest symbol of American dominance through military technology; Gaga is the latest and sexiest symbol of cultural hegemony. The media is full of both of them, breathlessly discussing the capabilities of the unmanned drones, a giant leap forward in our technology, a way to detach us even further from the reality of war, to spend a day at war and then go home to the family at night. And of course picking over the latest Lady Gaga video — a cultural event that has turned YouTube into the site of the new Fireside Chat. Instead of talking about the news, millions of Americans talk about the new Gaga video.
Meanwhile, Predator drones kill civilians in countries that millions of Americans probably couldn’t find on a map. Wars continue, dead bodies pile up. The living bodies of women are contested territory abroad and at home. And the body of a 24-year-old white woman who regularly calls herself a monster is one of the few things we come together to discuss. America dominates the world; Gaga dominates our pop culture universe.
We have made monsters out of others in order to kill them without fear. Gaga makes herself a monster to try to show us ourselves.
Lady Gaga: Pop Star for a Country and an Empire in Decline | World | AlterNet
Then, sometimes I write things about Lady Gaga. And other people actually think that they are good! And publish them!
everyone should read this.