Lady Gaga, the pop sensation who took home a shelf-load of awards at the 2010 VMAs last night, has clearly taken style inspiration from Madonna and Marlene Dietrich, says Camille Paglia in The Sunday Times (UK). But, despite being a "ruthless recycler" of these noted sex symbols' fashions, Gaga is ultimately asexual. In fact, the use of sex in her videos and fashion spreads is "creepy and coercive." Her "over-conceptualized and claustrophobic" erotic persona represents "the exhausted end of the sexual revolution." Here's an excerpt:
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?…
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? Perhaps the symbolic status that sex had for a century has gone kaput; that blazing trajectory is over…
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The simple trick to making better decisions in every aspect of life
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
Subscribe to the Week