There's a great discussion of this going on over at rm
, which featured a link to this: http://gagajournal.blogspot.com/
I still don't get the whole Nazi/Fascist uniform fetish, but at least that helped make sense of it in the scope of the video. There are so many questions Gaga raises in this piece, and as much as I dislike pop music in general, it's good to see things that question the dominant paradigm reaching such a huge audience.
Madonna is definitely part of the inspiration here, but the reference to Cabaret, Metropolis, and the Weimar era in general also abound. And as the gagajournal piece discusses the acceptance and love of non-hetero men is prevalent, even when they do not react in the way Gaga would wish.
I'm still not sure I get her (or ever will), but I'm constantly intrigued by not only her videos, but the groups that re-create them for fun online. In that regard Gaga's work seems like a cultural touchstone that allows people to question themselves and their roles in society in a way that hasn't been done in a long time. It's really kind of fun to log online and find my friends and their friends having ongoing cultural critiques of her work from so many different viewpoints.
I almost feel like I'm back in grad school again, trying to interpret a play based solely on the script when we don't know the author's intention or what the performers did/thought or how the piece was staged; inference and subtle cues in the original script being what we have to go on. Well, that and whatever historical records are available regarding the time period of the original performances. My brain is grasping for meaning and coming back with untranslated documents about how much tallow was used in the castle during the month the players were in town vs that of months when they were not, as if that was enough to help determine how the stage was created and set-up.
I'm enjoying the thought process more than I did then, perhaps because it's my own history she's playing with, and even more because the tropes are already familiar. Derivative or not there's more to Gaga that I expected when I first heard her name, and I hope she continues to challenge us. I also cannot wait to see the you-tube remakes that will show up for this video in a few weeks - will it read differently when it's a gay man and the football squad for example?