Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Don't take Lady Gaga seriously

Anon wrote, “As Catholics, how should we respond to this stuff Lady GaGa keeps doing? She put out a song a week before Good Friday called ‘Judas’ and it's extremely offensive. “

During our Alternative Spring Break trip, I learned that some – and maybe many – GW Catholics are big fans of Lady Gaga. We got a heavy dose of Lady Gaga during the trip. It was a good Lenten penance for me and some of the others! Not a fan.

The music sounds somewhat ok to me, but her act is a bit much. From what I’ve heard and seen from her music, I’ve found it offensive morally, of course, but also intellectually. I’ve seen this before (e.g. Madonna). This type of provocative entertainment might be new for you students, but it’s old and played to me and others who have been around a little longer (but not too much!).

Like so many modern performers, Lady Gaga has to go to great lengths to remain relevant. Even though she has a big following of fans, they will get tired of her and turn to the next big thing if she gets old. So, she has to stay fresh and provocative.

And, she has done so with her latest song, “Judas”. It comes out this week which is no coincidence. It’s been uncanny that the devil plays some kind of card during Holy Week to distract us. Last year, it was a media attack on Pope Benedict that got people talking. This year, people are talking about the warped view of Judas that Lady Gaga presents through the eyes of Mary Magdelene. One line is all you need to know about this song:

“Ohohohoh, I'm in love with Judas, Judas… Ohohohoh I'm in love with Judas, Judas”.

This is warped! Ironically, Pope Benedict gave a recent insight about Judas that is real. “His remorse turns into despair. … He shows us the wrong type of remorse: the type that is unable to hope ... Genuine remorse is marked by the certainty of hope born of faith in the superior power of the light that was made flesh in Jesus.” The real tragedy of Judas is that he could “no longer believe in forgiveness”, according to the Holy Father. Judas and Peter committed the same sin (betraying Christ), but Judas lost hope and Peter did not.

To GW Catholics who are fans of Gaga – including my buddies from ASB – I ask you to approach her music as you would approach things like horoscopes or professional wrestling: this is entertainment only. Don’t take it seriously! It’s not real!

I understand if you “just like her music”. But, be careful with her lyrics and her act just like you would be careful with horoscopes. In fact, I would suggest to take her as seriously as you would horoscopes…which means: don’t take Lady Gaga seriously.


Katherine G ERT said...

On Lady Gaga, she has actually said herself in interviews that her persona on stage is an alter ego...there was a big Rolling Stones article and numerous other articles where she was specifically interviewed on this. She has also said that her lyrics are "lies" in the sense that in order to promote good art and music sometimes you have to push the limits very far to be successful. One of the reason she has so many fans is because she is unapologetically herself and she is honest about what her music means.

On other music, you can take it seriously...or not. AC/DC for instance is a great 80's band and recently I realized that much of their music is very sexual. Do I take it seriously? No, I enjoy the band for the vocals and the talent behind the guitars and the drums. Just wanted to clear the air on that...Lady Gaga herself and other musicians have made statements on what their music means and represents. And they admit that it is either not Christian, it's their alter ego, or both.

Liesl said...

sadly, she was raised catholic - catholic schools and all!

Christina said...

Her music is catchy, but everything she does is a pretty obvious ploy for attention. Even in our generation, artists like Christina Aguilera and Brittney Spears have done this stuff, and they did it before Gaga. Just like most other pop stars, she's a flash in the pan, and her fifteen minutes are almost up.

Olivia said...

Whenever I hear of Lady 'Blah Blah' ;)) all that comes to my mind is Psalm 37:10.

As for the new song 'Judas' it's just a hype to hit the charts among the fallen ones.

Good advice Fr.Greg on the 'horro-scope' ;)

God Bless

Anonymous said...

Greg August KM

Katherine please read JPII's letter to Artists: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_23041999_artists_en.html

It seems to me that JPII explains very well the moral obligation and the need of culture to have "good art" and artists who can reflect the beauty of God. The artist "summons from their being/soul" this reflection. JPII contends that the artist brings forth that which is in them. I would not place too much stock in the alter ego. "The lady doth protest too much, methinks"

Anonymous said...

For some anti-Lady G. music, try this:

"Beauty of the Cross," by Johnny Diaz,on youtube.