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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lady Gaga

You know, if you would have offered me a thousand dollars to say something nice about Lady Gaga yesterday, I would have told you to keep your money. I had never listened to a single thing she'd done, and had no intention of starting.

But, someone wants to interview me about Lady Gaga's latest song, "Judas" so I felt honor-bound to at least look at the song and find out how stupid it was so I could comment intelligently.

Now, the video has not yet been released, and I'm sure it will be horrific.
The release date (Easter) is chosen to maximize Catholic outrage and, therefore, generate free Catholic advertising for sales.

But, the lyrics.... well.... I'll let you be the judge on that.
I promise you, this is worth your time.
Really.

Here's how they start.
Ohohohoh
I'm in love with Judas, Judas

[Lady Gaga - Verse 1]
When he comes to me, I am ready
I'll wash his feet with my hair if he needs
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after three times, he betrays me.
"Typical vomit-inducing stupidity" thought I to myself. "This isn't going to be fun to wade through." Judas is the symbol for the worst betrayal and sin, so falling in love with Judas and parading that love is just raw ugly marketing to a depraved culture.
I'll bring him down, bring him down, down
A king with no crown, king with no crown
Great.
Now she's comparing Judas to Jesus.
On Easter.
Just lovely.
[Chorus]
I'm just a Holy Fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But still I'm in love with Judas, baby
I'm just a Holy Fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But still I'm in love with Judas, baby

[Lady Gaga - Verse 2]
I couldn't love a man so purely
Even prophets forgave his crooked way
I've learned love is like a brick you can
Build a house or sink a dead body
Then we have this "love is like a brick"?
"You can build up with it or tear down with it..."
That's just stupid.
It shows a complete failure to understand love.

At this point, I'm dying, trying to figure out how I will be able to say anything but "this stinks."

Of course, she's not done.
After a few more of senseless repetitions about loving Judas, she goes on a journey of self-discovery.
Ohohohoh
I'm in love with Judas, Judas

[Bridge]
In the most Biblical sense,
I am beyond repentance
Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind
But in the cultural sense
I just speak in future tense
Judas kiss me if offenced,
Or wear an ear condom next time
So, she admits she's just doing what she does for fame, and essentially calls herself (in addition to a money-grubbing wench) a cultural, secular prophet.

Uh-huh.

And says if you don't like the way she's described herself, don't listen to her ("wear an ear condom"). Sadly, I'm reading the lyrics, honey. I'd have to put a towel over my eyes.

Now, there's an implication in that stanza that the whole of society is headed down the crapper and she's just imitating it or it is imitating her - which it is, is not clear.

And, up to this point, I'm intending to write all of this off as pretentious crap.
But then .... then she throws this in:
I wanna love you,
But something's pulling me away from you
Jesus is my virtue,
And Judas is the demon I cling to
I cling to.
"And now," think I to myself think I, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I may have to apologize to Lady Gaga. Maybe I mis-judged her. Maybe she understands things a lot better than I thought she did."
[Chorus]
I'm just a Holy Fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But still I'm in love with Judas, baby
I'm just a Holy Fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But still I'm in love with Judas, baby

Ohohohoh
I'm in love with Judas, Judas

Ohohohoh
I'm in love with Judas, Judas

Judas! Juda-as Judas! Juda-as
Judas! Juda-as Judas! GAGA
Damnation.
Isn't this song the story of our lives?
Insofar as any of us commits a sin, isn't it the case that we are ALL in love with Judas?

We cling to Judas even after "he betrays" us.
Our sins betray us.
Our sins never bring us the happiness they promise, but we cling to them wash their feet with our hair, love them to death.
Our death.

And that's what she means by "love being a brick" in the prior stanza.

It is all clear to me now.
You know what?
This isn't pretentious crap after all.
She is saying our love of Christ can build up the house of God.
But our love of Judas, of sin, can bury us in the sea, like the millstone draped around the neck of those who offend the littlest one.

The "Holy Fool" nonsense in the chorus is a nod to the predominant Protestant theology in America today, and I think she can be forgiven that phrase, given the way she's encapsulated the rest of her message.

Lady Gaga insists she got this message straight from God.
Right now looking just at the lyrics (and God help us with how bad I'm afraid the video will be), I'm thinking... maybe she did.


Lady Gaga Outrages Catholics During Holy Week: MyFoxDFW.com

7 comments:

Flambeaux said...

I have less than no interest in her body of work but she's been very clear from the beginning (including her stage name which is a nod to the Queen song "Radio Gaga") that her artistic project is a combination of Madonna, Howard Stern, and Andy Warhol.

Her goal is to send up the pieties of pop culture, humiliate the audience, lament the decay of society, and wait for someone, anyone, to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

She'll become fabulously wealthy in the process since, in the acid words of H L Mencken (no friend of Catholics), "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

TH2 said...

Did she actually write the lyrics herself? Our does she just mouth off what's been written for her by a producer, music exec. or whomever?

Alan Aversa said...

This is a cheap marketing scheme relying on ambiguity for appealing both to Christians and satanists alike. Depending how she pronounces "Judas," it could sound like "Jesus;" and the song would still be equivocal nevertheless. "I am beyond repentance": that sounds like some peoples' boasting they will go to hell anyways, so why does it matter? This song is clearly satanic despite any glimmers of Jesus' redemption one could read into it. What you read into it, Steve, is like saying Jesus redeemed Judas because He gave him the freewill to kill himself.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Alan,

I don't disagree that it is a cheap marketing scam to release the video at Easter.

I'm morally certain the video will be absolutely horrific.

My point is, there is nothing wrong with the lyrics. In fact, from a theological perspective, the lyrics are actually pretty good.

Now, unfortunately, no one will remember the lyrics, they'll only remember the horrific video, and Catholic League has given her a ton of free advertising by complaining about it, but that's life.

As far as her "I am beyond repentance" remark, well, she had 13 years of Catholic school, so a very good argument can be made that she is so badly formed in the Faith that she's not really responsible for her understanding of it. She did NOT say she was beyond salvation - she just was not sorry for chasing fame and fortune.

OK. Given her Catholic schooling, I'm not sure you can hold her morally responsible for having that attitude. Catholic school destroyed the faith of most of the people I knew from school, so she's just living what she knows.

scotju said...

Lady Gaga is well-named. I've only seen her twice, and both times, I wanted to go gaga, gaga, gaga!

Patrick said...

Madonna, Lady Gaga, Katie Perry - all horrifically messed up women who came from very conservative backgrounds and completely misunderstand where they came from. As Katie's mother comments, "I cringe every time I watch this woman perform... I pray that she comes back from where she's been." I think we all share that thought.

Jim Dorchak said...

About "Lady Gaga"!

She is not, and she is.

I do not like clowns (really she even dresses up like one), who claim to be moral compasses.

Jim Dorchak

http://qm2ss.blogspot.com/