2010 ➤ Egghead versus bimbo: Paglia demolishes Gaga

Lady Gaga,sexual revolution,demolition job

Lady Gaga in performance: does she mark the end of the sexual revolution?

Camille Paglia,Hurricane Camille,Lady Gaga,death of sex

Paglia the hurricane

❚ CAMILLE PAGLIA describes herself as a “dissident feminist”. Others have dubbed her “Hurricane Camille”. With a PhD from Yale, she is one of America’s brightest women, variously expressing iconoclastic opinions as a social philosopher, cultural critic, author and educator who believes that most women are bisexual. Her powers of reasoning mean that she is not easily dismissed. So when in today’s Sunday Times Magazine she detonates a dynamite demolition job on the popstar Lady Gaga, we should perhaps take notice. She argues that Gaga is “sexually dysfunctional”, and marks the end of the sexual revolution. Then she savages Gaga’s “little monster” fans. Here are Paglia’s juiciest soundbites:

❏ “Despite showing acres of pallid flesh in the fetish-bondage garb of urban prostitution, Gaga isn’t sexy at all — she’s like a gangly marionette or plasticised android.”

❏ “How could a figure so calculated and artificial, so clinical and strangely antiseptic, so stripped of genuine eroticism have become the icon of her generation? Can it be that Gaga represents the exhausted end of the sexual revolution?”

❏ “For Gaga, sex is mainly decor and surface; she’s like a laminated piece of ersatz rococo furniture. Alarmingly, Generation Gaga can’t tell the difference. Is it the death of sex?”

❏ “Drag queens, whom Gaga professes to admire, are usually far sexier in many of her over-the-top outfits than she is.”

Stefani Germanotta,Lady Gaga,MTV

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta: as brunette herself on MTV's Boiling Points in 2005, and as Lady Gaga last year, blonde but without make-up

❏ “Marlene and Madonna gave the impression, true or false, of being pansexual. Gaga, for all her writhing and posturing, is asexual.”

❏ “Most of her worshippers seem to have had little or no contact with such powerful performers as Tina Turner or Janis Joplin, with their huge personalities and deep wells of passion.”

❏ “Generation Gaga doesn’t identify with powerful vocal styles because their own voices have atrophied: they communicate mutely via a constant stream of atomised, telegraphic text messages. Gaga’s fans are marooned in a global technocracy of fancy gadgets but emotional poverty.”

➢ To read the rest of Paglia’s appraisal of Gaga visit The Sunday Times Magazine

‘Now, come on, people, do you really believe that Lady Gaga is 23 years old?’

➢ In her Salon column last November 10, Camille Paglia threw out this invective:

❏ “Do you really believe that Lady Gaga is 23 years old? I’ve been in advanced doubt about it for a while, particularly after seeing this ‘Rare pictures!’ video of early photos of her hanging with some mighty tough critters. (A friend of mine said of Gaga in this vid: ‘Too many miles of bad road there.’) I think Gaga was a hell of a lot sexier as a fun Italian-American brunette. This artificial, masklike, over-the-top Club Kids thing that she’s now into seems compulsive and wearily passé. Give it a rest, and focus on the music!”

➢ Tuesday top-up from the throne-room at Popjustice:

Camille Paglia wrote a big thing about Lady Gaga for the Sunday Times. Some of her points were good but a lot of it felt like she was writing the article for the benefit of one reader — Madonna — and most of the good bits were buried by an avalanche of General Missingthepointness. We particularly love an outraged Paglia railing against Lady Gaga for “rudely” wearing sunglasses in interviews, and the idea that Lady Gaga has gone on tour to escape scrutiny (?!). Give it a rest Paggo.

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