WEEKEND | Giving up and getting born this way

This underground person named Lady Gaga or something released a new song last week. Like, I’m sure you haven’t heard it or whatever. Except not. For some completely inexplicable reason, Lady Gaga is the most famous person in America. So you have definitely heard this song, probably more than five times in the last week.

I’m not a Gaga fan. I think it’s really weird that she has become some big gay icon, as though she wears queerness as anything more than a trendy badge. Sure, Lady Gaga gives us queerfolk some public visibility. But is it really the type of visibility that we want? Last year, so many “gay” songs came out, and as much as I like public figures exclaiming their love for LGBT people, there was something rote and bandwagonesque about the trend. I see Lady Gaga as the it’s progenitor, and that rankles me.

Back to “Born this Way.” The song is awful. If I ever hear this song at a party, I will probably shank someone. The rhythm is extremely derivative — it does sound like “Express Yourself” by Madonna, but also every forgettable disco song — and it perverts the otherwise enjoyable beats into something empty.

And the words! Am I the only person that finds “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen” inane? What about “Brown, white, beige, chola descent / Lebanese, you’re orient”? That’s plain creepy and tone-deaf, if not downright offensive.

Seven days and a Grammy performance after the release of “Born this Way,” the hype has not dissipated and the Gaga backlash is not here. Her appearance at Staples Center on Sunday was gimmicky and pandering, but people loved it! I’ve learned that there’s nothing I can do. I just don’t get Lady Gaga, and I don’t think I ever will.

Perhaps it’s time for me to give up. Little monster-dom, here I come!


  • lprol

    hmm the “derivative” sentiment seems to be lifted directly from “Born This Way”‘s wikipedia page.

    is originality too much to ask?

  • sonofmory

    it is too bad you see it that way…lady gaga’s work on don’t ask, don’t tell and the enormous charitable donations she makes to organizations like re-generation and others are commendable. She recognizes some of the challenges facing LGBTQ youth and tries to do something about it – i personally see that as something more than a “trendy badge.” I understand you could write a better song (one that would not make me want to shank someone) than gaga about accepting yourself for who you are and being proud of your differences, but until then, put your paws up!

  • Undergrad

    I was going to download the song but decided not to when I saw the rather disturbing album art.

  • rr22

    iprol, maybe mr. vanderhoof wrote the wikipedia page, did you ever think of that?