Getting Stale: Obama and Lady Gaga

by Ryan on September 19, 2010

in Anything Else,Media,Media Bias,Politics,Pop Culture

Renowned feminist writer Camille Paglia has taken aim at Lady Gaga a few times already, noting that Gaga is just a sterile recycled sham devoid of substance or true sexuality.  In fact, Paglia goes on to say that the complete lack of originality and shock-value of Gaga’s actions, wardrobe and music might be signaling the end of sex-as-power feminism in the media.  Quite a claim!

Paglia may have a point.  Gaga’s got that kind of adolescent sexual pomp you’d see from a hot chick in college who just figured out she’s hot and is on a tear to show everyone, which completely explains her massive commercial success.  However, she’s predictable shock, which is the worst kind of shock you can be.  When you borrow from everyone, you seem like everyone.  I agree with Paglia that she’d be more real and sexy as herself, a brunette named Stefani who’s not trying so hard to be something plastic or allowing herself to be so scripted.

It’s that “scripted” part which caught my attention.  I could not read Paglia’s article and the Daily Mail‘s observations on it without thinking about President Obama.  When I hear of an all-look/no substance celebrity I can’t help but think of Obama.  He’s supposed to be a great speaker, but has no gravitas.  He’s supposed to be a great thinker, who’s merely recycling failed policies from the 1930s.  He’s supposed to bring the parties together, but that was a joke from his Inaugural Address.

Like Lady Gaga, Obama symbolizes something that’s been overplayed — whether it’s the ripped-off hooks in Gaga’s songs and the scripted barely-clothed appearance of her predictably outrageous wardrobe, or Obama’s well-groomed, elitist politician of mixed ethnic descent whose populist rhetoric is enough to allegedly bridge all divides, they’re both overplayed sad jokes in an age when media-driven sex appeal is getting stale, and the slick articulate shallow politician doesn’t resonate with an increasingly angry and cynical public.

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