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Happy Easter or Lady Gaga Can Suck an Egg

April 24, 2011

Lady Gaga is making me angry for three reasons:

1. For having me defend the Catholic Church (not usually my style)
2. For making me dislike a musician with whom I was at one point completely in platonic love (as in…her)
3. Putting me on the same side as Katy Perry…dammit

As many of you have, I heard Lady Gaga’s song “Judas” the other day and I kinda wanted to….well….gag. LG took on the persona of St. Mary Magdalene “In the most Biblical sense / I am beyond repentance / Fame hooker, prostitute wench…” and put her never-heard-of-before love for Judas – the disciple who turned on Jesus the night of the Last Supper according to the Catholic religion – to a pop beat. Are you serious?

Let me count the ways this is obnoxious.

First, LG is shooting fish in a barrel. The Catholic religion is one an easy target because of the many scandals that has rocked it since like…forever.  Obviously the leaders of the Church aren’t helping with their banning of contraception, saying women aren’t as good as men to serve as priests, and their cover up of many molestations that have happened within the Church. But nevertheless, it is a faith that serves as the foundation for millions (billions?) of people who live good, moral lives day in and day out.

Second, this has been done before (see point above as to why). Madonna questioned religion’s role in racism with “Like a Prayer” and Sinead O’Connor fully took on the Church on SNL when she tore up the picture of the pope and called him the “real enemy.”

Many women who grow up in the Catholic religion and leave, leave with some serious baggage for one reason or another. Let’s just say it’s hard to love a religion in which your gender isn’t portrayed very well…Mary Magdalene herself is said to have been slandered in the Bible…with the authors characterizing her as a sinner and a prostitute even though she wasn’t. But come on, LG…how about trying something different? How about saying it in a less “LOOK AT ME” kind of way?  Which brings me to my third point.

I was a big fan of LG with her first album and a half (Fame and Fame Monster). Her songs were catchy but had fun, quirky themes (mostly very female-taking-the-lead and girls who like to party for the sake of partying). Even though I was a few years out of those days in college it brought the memories flooding back and I was sad that her album couldn’t be my soundtrack my last couple of years in LA. But I digress.

My last point is this: “Born This Way” and “Judas” are in no way timeless songs. When we think about artists who have stood the test of time, we listen to their songs years later and can still relate. When people hear “Born This Way” and “Judas” all people are going to think is “Damn, what was HER deal??” There are definitely ways to tackle on these themes (being part of the LGBT civil rights movement or fighting the demons of the religion that messed you up) in less direct ways and with songs that will let the listener interpret what you’re singing. Think of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” or John Lennon’s “Imagine.” (Feel free to comment with your personal favorite timeless song.)

So yes, when Katy Perry tweeted “Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke,” I think she WAS talking about Lady Gaga, and maybe she even stoked the fire to make it worse. Ugh.

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