written by Davis Fleetwood
Shakespeare and Jesus sit atop the heap of historical figures about which the most has been written. Add to that list, like it or not, the woman who has captured the zeitgeist of the moment: Lady Gaga.
Not only are every one of her growing legion of pubescent twitter and facebook little monsters taking to typepad and blogspot to deconstruct her latest video, but a growing legion of pundits, pop critics and philosophers are laboring to see both the forest and the trees and connect Gaga to this historical moment.
While many of us of a certain age see this particular moment in history as one where the United States has risked, and in some cases lost our moral, military, and economic superiority all in the name of fighting a war based on lies, Gaga and her little monsters have grown up with war as an inevitable and, according to the lame-stream media, often un newsworthy fact of life.
Before Gaga lit her g-string on fire or doused her see through dresses in blood like liquid in an effort to complicate what are otherwise conventionally sexualized performances, before she channeled Duchamp and discovered Dada (she recently inscribed a functionless white urinal “I’m not fucking Duchamp but I love pissing with you,”) Gaga was a teenager in New York; a West Side Girl going to an East Side private school when the towers came down.
Since that day, the U.S. has come together to, in the words of Alternet writer Sara Jaffe and
“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.”
Like Archie Bunker, Gaga so fully embodies what she wants us to think what she is satirizing (post feminism, post Madonna, post Pop and Imperial America that it matters not whether one in on the joke, if indeed there is one. Her reach is so obtuse and indiscriminate, like the current U.S. foreign policy that James Parker of the Atlantic argues that she is eviscerating pop, that she is in fact the last pop star.