Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bookmarks: Internet stuff - Stephen Fry meets Lady GaGa

It's a lovely piece, although written from a fan's perspective - so difficult questions either get dropped altogether or satisfied with an unsatisfactory answer. It's the FT who have brought the pair of them together:

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That message, “Find out who you are and be it,” clearly means a great deal to her. Like any simple aphorism it can be made to sound naive or profound according to one’s point of view. I think I’m old enough to know when I’m being fobbed off, bullshitted, lied to or deceived. There was in Lady Gaga’s eyes and voice enough to tell me that whatever else she is, she is no fraud. The “messages” in her songs and albums, the calls to freedom and self-actualisation, the addresses she has made to the American military on the subject of their fatuous and hypocritical “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, the support she has shown for the dispossessed and marginalised in society may cause many to roll their eyes and make the obvious cynical observation that being a friend to the friendless is damned good business. Just look at the figures. Number one after number one, record-breaking releases of singles and albums, record-breaking YouTube visits, record-breaking numbers of Twitter followers. Oh, sure, this is one smart cookie. There’s money to be had in self-publicity and the championing of the lonely ones out there.

Well, of course, all that can be said. But against such arid ­cynicism it should be pointed out that Lady Gaga did herself few financial favours during her last major world tour, The Monster Ball, which she began in 2009 to promote her album The Fame Monster. One of the most successful promotional tours ever, it quite literally bankrupted her.