Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Letter to James St. James

Dear James St. James,

I don't really like you, honestly.  I find the films about your Club Kids history interesting, but overall find you really annoying and pretentious.  Today, however, I read your blog post on World of Wonder from when the lyrics to Gaga's "Born This Way" were released.  I am so happy that you have now been able to articulate exactly what my feelings towards the song and it's attempt at becoming an anthem are:

'Below are the lyrics to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," the anthem she has written for all the LGBT teens out there, her beloved "little monsters." I hate it already. A gay anthem, whether it's "I Will Survive" or "The Man That Got Away" or "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going," BECOMES a gay anthem because we find ourselves empathizing with the singer's passion or pain or exuberance. It's the realization that their pain is our pain too, that their joy is our joy etc. It's that our commonality has brought us together. It's ALMOST NEVER because it was written FOR GAY MEN TO HELP GAY MEN DEAL WITH BEING GAY MEN. That's just cynical and obvious. It's like bit like Susan Sontag's explanation of "pure camp" being something that strives for greatness but fails spectacularly, while "contrived camp" is something that intentionally sets out to be bad and cannot, therefore, be as satisfying. Gaga here isn't allowing us the choice of deciding whether or not this song will be a gay anthem (like "Bad Romance"), she's TELLING US that it is, and that makes it somehow less pure and less satisfying. It's contrived. I haven't heard the melody yet, and although I'm sure it will be a foot-stomper, I already feel manipulated.'

You are brilliant, and I wish everyone else would understand this about the song, but so many 'little monsters' are brainwashed into loving everything Gaga puts out that they can't even reflect on the quality of what they're being fed.  The song isn't bad.  I enjoy it for the most part, but it is in no way LIFE-CHANGING, and it's infuriating that so many people are deeming it such.  I understand that music taste is objective, but first the population enjoys Britney's piece-of-shiite "Hold it Against Me" and now everyone's going apeshit over this one as well?? Even though "Born This Way" is MUUUCH better than the Britney track, it feels hollow and feels like a track on an album that would be towards the end and would be fun but definitely a 'skipper'. 

James, thank you for understanding.  I now respect your opinion.

Sincerely,

Matt

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