Nice to know I’m not the only one with a negative critique (also published in On Line Opinion Friday)of the Lady Gaga machine. Here’s an extract from a piece by Jim Schumacher and Debbie Bookchin titled ‘What’s Next From Lady Gaga: A snuff film?’ recently published on Huffington Post:
What if glitzy Lady Gaga is exactly what she appears to be: The latest manifestation of a culture industry that pushes the boundaries of civility and sexuality to the extreme in order to make a buck? And worse, pushes it on our kids long before they want or need to be presented with some middle-aged ad executive’s personal sadomasochistic sexual fantasies?
With all the press it’s getting, Lady Gaga’s latest video offering (‘Telephone’) hardly needs elaboration here: Naked girl-on-girl-in-prison soft porn sprinkled with violence, a mass murder fantasy and, of course, ample product placement. Ms. Gaga manages to foist it on our kids in the name of “art” with the tacit approval of culture critics who apparently fear political incorrectness if they go against the trend.
Lady Gaga may be a talented singer and pianist, but when she makes the jump from wild theatrics and sexually-charged lyrics to releasing a video soaked in sexploitation–the complete reification of women as sexual objects in accordance with pornographic stereotypes that the women’s movement thought it had put to rest 30 years ago–doesn’t someone have to stand up to the Gaga juggernaut and ask if this is really art…>more
The Sydney concerts included a clip of Gaga being vomited on by another woman, her bathing in blood and visual references to group sex and sadomasochism. She also invited the audience to show her their cocks. Some parents were taken by surprise though you have to wonder what planet they’ve been living on, to think Gaga’s porn-inspired violence-celebrating performance (which she told Nova Radio last night came to her as a “vision from God”) might be a fun night out for a nine-year-old.
Scott Mackillop in The Punch also questioned the presence of children at the concerts.
Meanwhile, NSW Labor Whip Greg Donnelly was lambasted for a speech on the effects of sexualisation, referencing Gaga. The Sunday Telegraph called his speech bizarre and Liberal MP Catherine Cusack took him to task.
A woman I am privileged to call friend, Maggie Hamilton, author of What’s Happening to Our Girls (and the soon to be released What’s Happening to Our Boys) responded with this letter to the Sydney Morning Herald:
For the thousands of teachers, school counsellors, child psychologists, sexual assault support services, police, and emergency staff dealing with the fallout of our highly sexualised youth culture, it’s dismaying to discover that a number of NSW parliamentarians continue to shy away from hearing the hard facts. One in ten teenagers is now cutting. Every weekend girls as young as 12 are being admitted to emergency wards so drunk they can’t breathe, often having had sex. The explosion of underage sex and the resulting sexually transmitted infections has caused a huge rise in chlamydia amongst other things, to the point that adolescent health expert Professor David Bennett says we could be facing the most infertile generation of young women in history. Sexting is now impacting little girls as young as eight who are taking inappropriate photos of themselves and distributing them amongst peers. Sadly, the examples are endless. These and other trends are putting a strain on our education system, policing and hospitals. Daily professionals battle to keep our kids safe, turn our kids round, rescue them when they get hurt. The longer these parliamentarians and other adults fail to get up to speed with the twenty-first century realities, the more our kids remain vulnerable.