Shocked by Lady Gaga? Get over it

Getting angry that Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball show features blood “just hours” after a mass shooting, is like getting angry that the directors of a Romeo and Juliet production didn’t change the ending because a young couple killed themselves.

In the Daily Telegraph (and picked up across all News Ltd sites): Sick Lady Gaga slammed after UK massacre. Not even ‘Sick’ Lady Gaga. Nice editorialising there, Tele. Unless she had a cold. Then that headline would be correct.

SHE’S not exactly known for her squeaky-clean image and has been no stranger to controversy during her rise to fame.

But has Lady Gaga possibly taken things too far this time?

The singer was slammed by horrified fans after she she pretended to be murdered and eaten on stage by a crazed psycho killer, just hours after the horrific shooting spree across Cumbria.

So, she’s expected to change her show because of local crime? Don’t get me wrong, the crime was horrific, but aren’t we getting just a little too precious? Pop is about fantasy, and yes, there is an element of being a role model for young people, but her image and music aren’t about being clean, powerful and normal (like Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus).

Thousands of fans and parents who had taken their children to the concert at the MEN Arena in Manchester looked on in horror as the 24-year old singer, dressed in a skimpy leather basque, was ambushed from by a gothic man dressed in black, who then appeared to bite into her neck and fake blood spurted down her chest.

So, a theatrical vampire performance is akin to a man shooting 12 people and then himself? Yes, the death and blood theme is a little insensitive, but if you’re that easily offended, what are you doing at a Lady Gaga show? She’s not even out there in terms of the crazy shit I’ve seen on stage. And what are children doing there? Don’t parents say “no, you’re too young” anymore?

But check this out:

One mum who took her 14-year old daughter to the show said: “I was absolutely sickened at what I saw. We know Lady Gaga is not exactly mainstream performance for all the family but she really crossed the line this time. It was extremely tasteless to see her pretend to be attacked in such a gory way – especially in front of young children.”

Again, what the fuck are parents doing taking their young children to see Lady Gaga?

And this, from Lynn Costello of Mothers Against Violence:

“Something like this is tasteless at any time but so soon after what happened in Bradford and Cumbria it also shows a total lack of sensitivity to the families of the victims. These people seem more concerned with selling tickets.”

Well, yes. Because that’s her job.

13 responses to “Shocked by Lady Gaga? Get over it

  1. I do have to wonder if any of the people who went to the concert have ever seen a Lady Gaga video clip or a clip of her live shows (which are all over YouTube.

    Getting upset that there’s blood in her concert is a bit like going to an Alice Cooper concert and getting upset that there’s a noose on stage.

    I would have been pissed if I’d gone to her concert and she’d cut all the batshit crazy bits out so as not to offend victims of a massacre that wouldn’t even be there.

    This is just about people getting concerned on behalf of people who I doubt are even concerned. And “they” (teh medias) love putting the boot into Gaga because she refuses to dress like a ‘normal’ person and she kisses girls in her video clips.

    Won’t someone think of the children!!

    • And what’s with parents taking their young kids? Did they all watch the clips, listen to the lyrics and decide ‘yes, this is fine for my eight-year-old’?

      I hate the media’s faux-outrage on everything. It’s tiresome, and bullshit.

  2. Yeah Boganette, this put me in mind of Alice as well. The guillotines, the strait jackets, etc. All part of the show (although I suspect the strait jacket is more about giving him a bit of a breather, mid-performance these days, than anything else) lol.

    Then there is Till Lindemann’s live performances of Mein Teil where he acts out a scenario of cannibalism based on a real life murder – he’s been doing that for years and I never hear outrage over it.

    I think this is just about punishing gender role deviancy – LG should be seen to be more caring/nurturing. Bad woman.

    • And if she isn’t going to be caring/nurturing, then can she at least be fuckable because teh mainstream gets weirded out by women in skimpy outfits who don’t conform to heterosexual fuckability.

      • I’ve seen Alice Cooper twice. Most recently at his Theatre of Death tour and it was awesome. He died four times in the show – if I remember correctly: by hanging, by giant needle, by guillotine and oh I forgot the other one. I think his daughter strangled him with a pearl necklace or something (raised eyebrow). I interviewed him. He is by far the coolest person I have ever interviewed. I reckon Gaga and the others Marilyn Manson etc nick Alice’s material. But he doesn’t seem to care. Nothing she’s doing is that original to me. Even her hairstyles are nicked from the B52s and everyone is all “wow a bow made of hair! Nobody has ever done that before!”

        Though I totally agree with your points. If Alice Cooper had performed “hours” after the massacre nobody would have said anything.

        And for the record – If I had sprogs I wouldn’t take them to see Lady Gaga but I would take them to see Alice and Ozzy (hopefully Alice and Ozzy are still rocking by the time I have kids). But that basically comes down to the fact that i think Lady Gaga is awful and I can’t stand straight pop stars pretending to be gay to sell records – Katy Perry and Rihanna I’m looking at you too.

        • Very well said. I wouldn’t go see Lady Gaga either, because it’s not my kind of music. I’m not a huge Alice Cooper fan, and his pro-Bush, pro-war stance still irks me.

  3. Yes, be caring or fuckable. Preferably be both but at least one of the two.

    As for parents taking their young kids, I don’t personally have a problem with this per se. Both of the young people who call me Mum have been going to concerts from a young age. I think one of them was only 9 when she went to her first Nick Cave concert with me. But I am/was a Nick Cave fan and I’ve always tried to avoid encouraging them to get caught up in mainstream pop culture, particularly crappy pop music. That’s because I am a big music snob.

    But there is something different about parents wanting their kids to be exposed to the pop cultural flavour of the month. I see this with well-to-do parents that I’m sometimes forced to hang out with. They’re very ambitious for their kids and they’re prepared to pay to ensure their kids can get an edge in life, whether it’s private tutoring, extension classes, music lessons etc. Their kids must be competitive, and being seen as “cool” is a part of that preparation for them to “achieve” and “succeed” in life. It might be a part of that Helicopter Parent Syndrome.

    • Ah, but the difference is that you are aware of Nick Cave’s lyrics and themes. All the comments from “outraged” parents (which also happened when she toured Australia) is that they somehow expected something like The Wiggles. Which suggests they had no clue about what they were taking their child to.

      I am also a music snob and I applaud any effort to get kids aware of music outside the top 40.

  4. Yeah I was always like “My kids will be exposed to decent music damnit”. Can you imagine if I’d taken her to see NC at the age of 9 and then written an outraged letter to the Telegraph about the content of his lyrics? People would be like, “What the fuck did you expect lady?”

    Boganette, I’m jealous that you’ve interviewed Alice. How did you pull that one off? I believe he’s very conservative/right wing – did you see signs of that? Then again he did a lot of gender bending when he was younger.

    I may have told this story before, but I got into his music via the song “Clones” in 1980 – then years later in 1990 I saw him play in Sydney when I was 6mths prego with my daughter. She’s been addicted to him ever since. According to her the tour before Theatre of Death was much better than TOD. She says he carries off the ageing rocker thing way better than anyone else.

    • He was brilliant on the Theatre of Death tour. I had seen him a year or two before and he was much better in a small theatre. It was like a live horror show. Very cool. And we were practically in the front row so we could almost touch him. It was cool to go to a rock concert in a tiny theatre. A really, really different experience. I think he gets better with age.

      We talked a bit about politics. He said that he has always tried to keep his political views to himself because he hates it when rock-stars preach etc. We only had about 15 minutes but I don’t think I’d be able to see much of that come through anyway since he puts forward “Alice Cooper” the character during his interviews. He’s very good at interviews. It’s probably the easiest one I’ve ever done. He’s very uncontroversial.

      For me personally – I just want to hear the music. I don’t give too shits if Alice Cooper likes George Bush. If he said something racist, homophobic or sexist I would care. But I think he was just put on this earth to entertain me so it’s easy for me to ignore any comments he says about Iraq or Bush (I haven’t read any but it wouldn’t surprise me if he did support both since he’s a Christian). In particular with Alice Cooper I *really* don’t want ot know his political views because he’s a character. I got annoyed when I read he played golf because I was like “WTF! You’re Alice Cooper! You don’t play golf! You sacrifice animals! etc”. It kind of kills it when you focus too much on the fact that he’s someone’s great-grand father and he plays golf and prays every night. If you add “votes Republican” to that it’s pretty depressing.

      I saw Shut Up and Sing last night (again) which is a great doco about my secret love The Dixie Chicks. It’s pretty much about how they said some comments about Bush in London and people in the US turned on them for it. I don’t think any artist on either side should be slammed for their views. Unless it’s something really offensive I don’t want to hear about it.

      Actually it also reminds me of CSNY:DE JA VU which is about the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Freedom of Speech tour. I was amazed that people booed and stormed out when they played Let’s Impeach The President. I mean who didn’t know CSNY were a protest band? Have these people been living under a rock?

      I kind of have to ignore the politics when it comes to a lot of the bands I listen to. With Cooper there’s also the fact that he’s criticised for his video clips, stage shows (and music really) depicting violence against women. I find that sometimes I can’t reconcile my feminism and activism with the music I listen to. Metal and feminism don’t fit together well. A lot of the things I am into don’t sit well with my political and social views. Wrestling is a big one. It’s like an orgy of testosterone and last month they had a Diva (women’s) match that involved ironing boards. It makes me feel like a bad feminist but then….I really like metal and wrestling is really fun to watch. I’ve never figured out how to make them work together.

      I’m rambling so I’ll stop now.

  5. It seems to be a universal dilemma – reconciling your feminism with your music interests, cos I’ve had heaps of discussions about this all over the internets, including here I think.

    I remember the golf thing causing an uproar at a music forum I post on. This is the thing with the information age – artists lose their mystique because we can find out everything about them now. Whenever I watch the movie “Almost Famous” it makes me sad to remember how things used to be.

    • Linda, I was thinking the same thing about music and feminism, and I’m pretty sure we talked about it over at your place when you posted about the Nick Cave book cover. Some of the early blues I listen to is pretty dismissive of women (old ball an’ chain gonna ruin your life), but there’s something to be said for context.

  6. I have long blonde hair (and 50s fringe), a penchant for pretty 50s dresses, hair heels and matching handbags. I look like Doris Day. I’m a brown belt at kung fu and I swear like a sailor and I am an enormous cynic. I used to drive a V8 1977 Torana (now have sports car cos I’m a big fat sell out) and race bpys at the lights. I march in protests (in pretty dresses) and consider myself a complete feminist. I love that women get to be who they want to be know and that can be conforming or not conforming to peoples images. I love that people assume I am a girly girl (and by virtue of my looks that ia m dumb and maleable) when I despise pathetic girliness and scrapbooking and pole dancing. I love that people make the wrong assumptions about all sorts of people, more fool them.

    I used to have shaved hair and short red hair and wear German Para boots and camouflage trousers and every one thought I was gay. I realised one day that I was about as alternative as the next alternative and that I was presenting myself as something I am not which seemed like a lie. I also got old and l realised I suit heels and long hair and not red hair and big boots. I’m exceptionally comfortable with who I am…as every woman should be.

    Boganette I love fast cars and I love boxing and martial arts, although I know boxing is morally and societal tenuous ground but I love a good right hook what can I say!

    I think LGs music is crap but she is what she is. My friend (straight, male, 38) went to see her in Manchester and said it was awesome and she’s mental. too mental to date but an awesome performer.

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