I am a veteran eavesdropper of cell-phone conversations, and they really are as stupid as you all think. In fact, I have never heard one that was smart and not whiney/complainy/bitchy/pleading.
CELL PHONES ARE OUTLETS FOR NEEDINESS.
Oh! But I can!
Because are you really saying that there is no VISUAL difference between Madonna and Tyra Banks and Lady Gaga? Surely you are not because that is a RIDICULOUS claim. A cone bra is not a costume! A cone bra is TRADITIONAL LINGERIE WITH A TWIST. Every woman wears a bra every day. No woman wears a mask every day.
Lady Gaga is not a LADY, is the big joke. She is an insecure, uggo post-adolescent girl who has the same problem as all insecure, uggo post-adolescent girls, which is the pathology of PLEASE LIKE ME. She is all about self-hatred, where Madonna is all about self-love (to the extreme.) And that becomes problematic when we talk about Gaga's Image because here we have a girl who hides her face (the being-yourself extremity), hides her hands (the doing-for-yourself extremity), hides her feet in "armadillo shoes" (the freedom extremity) and only FLASHES HER COOCH. Madonna flashed her cooch, true, but she was all about making the cooch empowered. Gaga flashes her cooch and it is the ONLY PART OF HER THAT YOU CAN SEE, LITERALLY, because the message of her image is that the PUSSY is the only thing about a woman that PEOPLE WANT TO SEE.
This is the opposite of self-esteem.
And let's go, for a moment, to the Gay Misogyny place, which is why I don't like Gaga. Gaga is problematic because she is a woman created by gays to be dressed as a drag queen, and yet she portrays herself as a victim (not just a sub, WHICH IS A ALSO GOOD INSIGHT, Doctor.)
Male draq queens would NEVER portray themselves as victims because the Drag Queen Bible has heavily quoted chapters on Self-Esteem and Self-Love and Empowerment and Fabulousness. As RuPaul said, being a drag queen is not about being a woman. Being a drag queen is about looking like a woman but RETAINING THE SOCIAL HIERARCHICAL POWER OF A MAN. Straight men love that too! That's why men as Milton Berle and Rudy Giuliani used to LOVE going in drag, because it was basically hilarious to them like being in blackface. Ha, ha, look at me, a man, take on the trappings of the weaker woman.
Because as much as I love the gays, and as much as gays love their hags, the uncomfortable underbelly of all the Liza-Barbra-Bette-Cher love is that these uggo ladies, while fabulous and Always Overcoming for Societal Acceptance and consistent with the gay storyline in those ways, also happen to be TOTAL lack of sexual competition to gays. These are women who are largely unattractive to straight men.
The underbelly of Gay Misogyny is women having to be Hot Messes, for the prime feeling of superiority. The only straight women portrayed as gay-friendly also have to be alcoholic, emotionally maladjusted, messy sluts who make the Gay Friend look Sensible. (Yes, I went to the Will & Grace place, but that's HARDLY the only example; look carefully at your own friendships). And that is Lady Gaga - crying, destructive, chained, and nothing more than a clothes horse for fashion. A woman willing to be the fabulous, blank, socially accepted carrier for the ideas of much smarter gays. PERFECTION. Because that is the entire couture/fashion business, right there. Let's not forget that gay men still think men are better. Their hierarchy is Straight Man, Gay Man, Woman. A gay man doesn't want a woman in charge any more than a straight man does. And with Lady Gaga, there's no threat of that.
And also would like to add that Madonna and Tyra would not ever fantasize about personal harm to their own body as Gaga does because they really are about gaining feminine self-esteem while Gaga is basically the popular dance-music couture-clad version of a compulsive cutter.
I was following you until you got to wack moral judgments like "ashamed of" and "scare you" which are really more about your own anticipatory gay-discrimination panic and not about my point at all.
My point is that to claim, as our dear correspondents do, that Lady Gaga is in any way about female empowerment is LAUGHABLE. Gaga is not about feminine empowerment or gender empowerment; they are about Gaga Empowerment. To claim that Gaga's IMAGE is about female empowerment is also way off because she is the female simulacrum of a male drag queen masking female. Her image is no more about female empowerment than RuPaul is about female empowerment, or Paris is Burning is about female empowerment. Female has nothing to do with it, baby.
Also, to claim that Madonna and Tyra are cartoons of femininity is also to misunderstand what it is to be a woman (and by the way, to betray some misogyny); their entire careers have been about gaining power as an oppressed minority (the FEMALE one) and taking control of gender roles and self-esteem. They wear clothes, not costumes.
They happen to dress to elicit male sexual desire, but it would also be fine if they dressed to elicit female sexual desire. Gaga doesn't dress to elicit desire at all; she dresses as a concept. And the concept is "hobbling, chaining, being trapped." In her couture as in her music, GaGa's image is that of being trapped in a double life, unable to speak or be heard when she protests. Paparazzi is about hounding/being hounded to death, with free choice taken away from you, and the video ends in severe personal harm to her own body; Bad Romance is about being trapped in a unsatisfying relationship and WANTING that abasement and "disease," and the video ends with her burned on a bed, smoking a cigarette; Poker Face is about being trapped in an unsatisfying relationship and just closing your eyes and thinking of England to get through it.
My point being, LADY GAGA'S IMAGE IS NOT ABOUT POWER, EITHER FEMALE OR MALE OR DRAG-QUEEN OR OMNISEXUAL. IT IS ABOUT PASSIVITY, AN INABILITY TO SEE FOR ONSELF (THE EYE-COVERING MASKS); HATE OF ONE'S OWN FACE (THE MASKS AGAIN) AND FORCED ABASEMENT (ALL HER VIDEOS AND SONGS FEATURE HER AS A VICTIM.)
It could be argued that Gaga's message of entrapment is a metaphor for drag queens, who also fight that fight of being unable to speak or express themselves without some consequences to their personal lives, about being trapped in gender constructs. In any case, the idea did not come from 22-year-old Stephanie Germanotta; it came from people far older, far wiser, far smarter about fashion and far more nihilistic and clever. It just also happened to come from people far more gay.
And then, don't even get me started on crediting weasel-faced artistic huckster (and former domestic abuser) Quentin Tarantino with anything approaching originality or female empowerment.
No no no it's not about an Evil Gay Conspiracy but rather the hallmarks of Gay Creativity and Vision (as in Mugler and indeed all couture and high-fashion) and Lady Gaga is merely a frontwoman for this PARTICULAR nihilistic view of gender and entertainment, which was created not by her but by far cleverer gays. Lady Gaga is like the biggest campiest hilarious-est joke of Britney and Madonna, like, what do those performers look like when we strip their self-esteem and personal hallmarks and all we have left is an all-too-willing clothes hanger, an average-bordering-on-unattractive girl who has no previous impressions of her own beauty and sexuality to conflict with her being a complete cartoon of feminine sexuality. Lady Gaga's image owes its due to the best drag queens in the business - the exaggeration, the showmanship, the makeup, the couture. It is a cartoon of femininity, and that's what this video is - a live-action cartoon.
But my main point is that Gaga should not be running around getting credit because, again, there is no Gaga - she is a 23-year-old who wants any way to get famous but had no idea how to do it. Instead, there are GaGa's Creators, and these are the people who innovated whatever it is we're looking at, and they have a separate agenda and message that little plain Stephanie Germanotta has ABSOLUTELY NO UNDERSTANDING of besides putting on the clothes she is told to put on and sell the records she is told to sell.
I'm sorry but THEY COVER HER FACE and have her dance around in tiny leather outfits and DEFACE HER HAIR and PUT HER IN UNWALKABLE SHOES and the message is FEMALE EMPOWERMENT?
Define "props" in this context? Because her path to fame, whether she says it explicitly or not, has been the path of ALL PREVIOUS female performers to fame, which is to flash her cooch until we are sick of it. Sometimes her cooch is in leather, sometimes in tulle, sometimes in NOTHING, but it is still the same cooch-flashing technique first invented in the fucking Bronze Age.
I read the entire conversation between Choire and Natasha VC and I wondered if I was in the in-between world OF THE FRISKIES COMMERCIAL, because TARANTINO WHAT WHA WHA? All the visual references are PRE-TARANTINO, which Tarantino ripped off because he RIPS OFF EVERYTHING and has not had a single original idea in his ENTIRE WEASELLY FACED LIFE.
The visual references, with the naked ladies and the prisons and tough-girlness are clearly RUSS MEYER FASTER PUSSYCAT-type situations and there is NOTHING Tarantino-esque about it because nothing, in society, can be said to be Tarantino-esque because "things created originally by Tarantino" is a null set.
This is also the dumbest, shallowest possible ripoff of REAL Riot grrrl fair, like Thelma & Louise and the Betty Page 50s explosion of the late 1980s, and fonts of the 70s and production values of the 60s.
Also there are explicit references to Madonna - check out Gaga's makeup when she takes off her sunglasses - and that, first and foremost, is clearly where Gaga gets her inspiration and ideas.
You tell me this is original or fascinating or what and I CAN'T SEE IT because I'VE SEEN THIS BEFORE like a cluttered room full of antiques I've seen in other places, and people are YELLING like, "IT'S SO ORIGINAL AND FABULOUS BECAUSE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THEM TOGETHER IN THIS ONE ROOM."
I get GaGa but really there is nothing to get because she is not of much value. She is your basic Britney merchandising mannequin, except her merchandise (fashion) is much more upscale. And ALSO she is the OPPOSITE of feminine power because she is obviously a PUPPET of far more clever GAYS who just needed an appropriate way to get across this particular nihilist-but-fuzzy trend in fashion which HAS NOTHING to do with GAGA and EVERYTHING to do with people far, far, far cleverer and with vision about destroying this whole fucked-up societal view of gender. I mean, for chrissakes, even HER NAME IS A DRAG NAME. Can no one see?
Exactly. That comment in particular is part of the three way step from straight to gay, with a stopover at boyishly built Asians.
Weltanschauung on the Ones