When I was in the 5th grade, my parents did the unthinkable and provided me with access to cable TV in the comforts of my very own bedroom. I promptly took advantage of their terrible judgement and wasted my days watching MTV, VH1, and Spike TV. To give you full effect of the damage done, this debauched sponging of low-brow, fizzled pop-culture, took place during the first blush of MTV’s reality programming–we’re talking Date My Mom and Laguna Beach. It was around this time there was a show called Boiling Points on MTV, which, of course, I followed. Don’t get me wrong, I savored the show in 2004, but it was four years later, once I realized it was the first exposure I ever had to one Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, that I truly reaped its benefits. In the most dubious way, I was ahead of the curve, privy to the greasy brunette who would manifest herself in Lady fucking Gaga.
I followed Gaga’s career on TV like the third season of a show that was once of a higher standard–I knew the story lines were going to get worse but I was too hooked to look away. First, there was 2008 Gaga with her blonde bangs and leotards, the fun Gaga. And like a college student, ’08 Gaga was a little crazy, kind of hot, definitely a hot mess, and still groping for her *true* identity. Then there was “Born This Way” era Gaga, who, literally was “reborn” from an egg at the Grammys. Of course, there was “Artpop” Gaga who let someone vomit on her in the name of art. Still, she was always doing something kind of off , which filled me with the obscene need to find out whether she was doing it dressed in a hazmat or like a Christmas tree. I liked that she dressed as if she made atmospheric avant-garde instrumental cosmic explosion bullshit, but instead opted to make the most straightforward pop music of all time. Lesson learned: do not judge a Gaga by her leotard.
These days, you can find her wandering around in elegant gowns from award show to award show as she pays tribute to various things, be it The Sound of Music, David Bowie, or victims of sexual assault. At this point she’s the go-to tribute lady, which, I guess, is understandable because she’s as close to a chameleon a human being can get. Does anyone even know what Lady Gaga really looks like?
As I try to piece together this Gaga rebirth in my mind, it feels like some kind of conspiracy. It all started when she became friends with Tony Bennett and released a jazz album (???!!!). I wonder if she heard herself singing on that album and realized for the first time that she could actually sing/that she’d been selling herself short all these years. Maybe this is her redemption and she’s the comeback kid. Disillusioned by the pop world, she decides to quit leotards and face paint, and gets a renewed outlook on life when she releases a jazz album and finds love. It seems to add up.
The new Lady Gaga smears paint by having sex on a canvas and calls it “art.” She takes post-coital naked mirror selfies, and just stands there on stage while she dazzles you with her voice. She’s so normal, she’s…boring. It’s as though she realized she could sing, but to harness that talent meant sacrificing her ability to dance and wear anything but a ball gown. This new Gaga ain’t taking rides on no disco sticks. If you see photos of her with her new boo, they literally look like a regular white couple.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I miss you Lady Gaga. I miss the Gaga that wore meat dresses and hair bows and straight up just wore a thong on live television. I mean if you’ve got a booty to show, by all means please flaunt it. I miss the days when it was “What will Gaga wear next?” or “What will her crazy ass do next?” Not, “Which tribute will Gaga sing next?”
Whatever you do, don’t say you’ve quit pop music my dear Gaga. I need to have faith that The Lady will rise again in blonde, blunt-bang glory with bubble dress and egg carrier in tow.