Camille Paglia: Madonna's 'authentic' but Lady Gaga's a manufactured misfit.

September 15, 2010


Camille Paglia's at it again, entertaining but so sensitive about her Madonna. The nerve! Lady Gaga, another pint sized fame seeker, aggressively displaying counter sexuality, conveying 'ironic moments', wearing meat, head to toe, purse to chapeau, elevating underground zeitgeist above ground.  How dare she!!! Everybody knows clever marketing Madonna/Whore owns irony!!!

Really? Some of us never bought whatever sex the material girl was selling, so curiously modern, more athlete than artist, renown for being humorless, ambitious, disciplined, but always finding the time to put her hands down her pants. Somehow I missed the point, this ratcheting up of sexual antics, modern talents' basically what you can get away with I suppose. 

Once upon a time popular music had 'voices, needing nothing more than a microphone. Judy Garland, Streisand and Frank Sinatra come to mind. They were vulnerable and often political. And yes, prior to the right wing press smearing Sinatra, before Lee Mortimer killed off his career, Frank was as left leaning as his radical activist of a mother in Chicago. The House I Live In being just one example, and post Kennedy, he went right to Reagan. He couldn't withstand the humiliation, but we still, gratefully, have "the voice".  

When I hear people gush,"Tiger's the greatest athlete ever!" and "Just look at their fortune!" I beg to look away, listen, if you can win a national sports title with a limp and need both autotunes and controversy, that's a manufactured gift, a marketing experiment.

It's all about leveraging your social media;Youtube hits, twitter followers, facebook pages, endorsements, quasi naked covers with HUGE! and FAST! impact. If you can spread your net along the web, drive traffic and advertising you can get away with just about anything.

Not so long ago, Hollywood's 'talent' had to sing, dance and act.  When your screen time arrived, one outta three had to wow the crowds, then the marketing dept went into full gear.  

Camille Paglia is inconsistent, she seems turned on by and plugged into thuggish, conservative, polarizing voices that create their own reality, she gives Palin a wide berth, she loves Limbaugh, and she doesn't like Gaga taking the mickey out of Madonna, but come one, it was only a matter of time, even Madonna and her quest for eternal youth knows its only a matter of time...

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