When I think of Lady Gaga, I am usually overcome with feelings of both amusement and irritation. Sometimes I think she is genuinely brilliant. Most of the time I think she is an infuriating hack biting at the heels of progressive culture and making astronomical amounts of money off of her spit up. To be honest, I’m just jealous. I’m not mad at you, Lady. You are getting your life as you see fit and I respect that. I just wish that I could take you seriously more often because you are one of the most famous and theoretically powerful women in the world today. My intuitive feeling is that your intentions are mostly pure and that you genuinely do fancy yourself an artist as well as a sort of zany philanthropist. A pop culture Mother Teresa. You make massive errors in judgement and have a tendency to exploit other people’s ideas for your own personal gain but hey, what good pop machine doesn’t? I’m into it, honestly! I want to be on your side! We can sort this out over a cup of Madonna’s soul. You still have some, right? Call me.
Anyway, today I am focusing primarily on the brilliant aspects of Lazarus Gaganous and her esteemed colleagues with a little guide to her newest short film/music video for the song “G.U.Y.” Ladies and gentlemen, this thing is a reeeeeal motherfucker. I’d watched it at least 12 times before I even decided to write about it.
On location at Hearst Castle, one of the most stunning historical landmarks in the country, HAUS OF GAGA have given us a mini-masterpiece. The opening sequence translates as a literal representation of how she must feel in the wake of the industry flop that has been her latest album, ARTPOP. We see Gaga as a fallen angel, vulnerable and broken, shot down from the heavens by hoards of money grubbing suits before being reborn in the pool of Goddess consciousness with a renewed sense of purpose and direction. What is this new direction? I honestly don’t know (does anyone?) but it sure looks good and thank god(dess) because for a minute there, I was worried about her. Lyrically the track plays heavily with gender role reversal and the video is a strong visual reflection of the personal/sociopolitical messages embedded in the music, featuring a plethora of simulated sex dance routines, a pagan baptismal ritual, and a team of female scientists running a clone shop and injecting men with the “G.U.Y.” serum. I think the serum is being used to turn ugly old men into young, beautiful and potentially gay men but I’m not entirely sure. Who cares?! This isn’t exactly new territory for Gaga but here it is executed more effectively than ever. The main hook itself is a cleverly succinct play on words that really says it all; “I wanna be that G.U.Y., the girl under you.” There you have it.
There are some kind of confusing elements at play in this mini-saga, such as the appearance of cast-members from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I could speculate that in Gaga’s mind, these women are modern incarnations of Goddess archetypes. That might seem hilarious and insane to the rest of us but hey, it’s Gaga’s world and we’re just visiting. (Sidenote: I am obsessed with RHOBH so there is absolutely zero shade being thrown here.) We also see Michael Jackson and Jesus Christ rising from futuristic clone coffins (Yeah, I don’t know) and then there are the random scenes of Gaga wearing this bizarre alien teddy bear (?) suit which doesn’t feel stylistically cohesive with the rest of the wardrobing. My friend A.J. also pointed out that an extra can be seen wearing this same teddy suit elsewhere in the video, which struck us both as a major faux pas. Tisk, tisk! Perhaps the budget is tighter than usual these days. You know, a few million less than what she is used to by now. Bummer!
(POINTLESS SIDENOTE: Is this a dig at Miley?! Am I invoking Perez Hilton right now?!)
Ok, enough tomfoolery. Let’s get serious. This video is so fucking up my alley aesthetically that I cannot help but be obsessed with it. Quite simply, it and she is beautiful. I could pick it all apart intellectually until the cows come home (on second thought, there probably isn’t all that much depth to it, if we’re being real) but I feel like that would defeat the purpose of experiencing art, and this IS a work of art whether I want to admit it or not. It would also be foolish not to note the incredible talent she possesses as a singer and songwriter, which is pretty undeniable at this point in her career. Pop music is a simple formula that is not at all easy to follow. Trust me, I struggle with it every day. It must be extraordinarily difficult for her to straddle the line between full blown mainstream pop diva and the more “avant-garde” (for lack of a better term – honestly, I’m a bit drunk) interests that she appears to have. I relate to basically everything about this song and the music video. Every word, every frame. I’ve found myself shouting “SAME!” aloud at the computer screen dozens of times while experiencing this…experience. I’m sure that I will continue to go back and forth regarding her validity as an artist, but for now I am enjoying this renewed sense of faith. You can be my G.U.Y., Gaga. I currently identify as down with you. DON’T FUCK IT UP.