Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gaga Over Gaga

Monday is the worst television night of the week--for those of us who are cable-challenged. And so it was with great joy that I ran into Lady Gaga last night as a guest on “The Tonight Show” on “free” TV NBC.

I’m here to say it publically: I love Gaga. No, wait: More than that, I might even march with her into hell. What’s more, I’m unable to properly explain why those feelings are so strong, though I’ll try.

I certainly loved “Poker Face.” Great song. It’s catchy, quirky and lovably weird, and the arrangement is great. Plus you can dance to it. (Really: I don’t care what it’s about!) I give it a 99.

Now, what I’ve heard of Gaga musically since then has been totally vague and scattershot. I couldn’t even name you another one of her songs. (“Just Dance”?? How does that go again?) But, really, I don’t care about that. If Gaga’s goal was to make her very walking being an appealing art form, then she has succeeded.

My admiration is particularly surprising to me because in my “real life” I’m an entertainment critic, gifted at dissecting theatrical performance and backing up my opinions. I tend to “be critical.” I tend to formulate specific reasons why I like or dislike something/anything/anybody.

Yet even through the TV screen, Gaga--not yet 25 but so self-possessed--communicates something so personally likable that I find myself simply smiling and enjoying her. Without any questions at all.

Let’s look at some conventional gauges. She’s an attractive gal--but she’s not a great beauty. She has a decent figure--but she’s not really voluptuous or overtly sexy. She can and does sing and dance--but I’m not sure she’s going to challenge for top skill honors in either category.

Frankly, I wouldn’t care if Gaga never recorded another song. It is, in the end, her PERSONHOOD I celebrate. She seems like a truly decent and honest (enough) human being, that rare celebrity who actually doesn’t seem to take her celebrity that seriously.

Sure, I could be wrong. It might all be a plausible misperception. Maybe, since she made it big early in life--what a relief THAT is, right?!--there’s no way to really be sure of Gaga’s personal integrity. But for now, and with all my heart, I think Lady Gaga--nee Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta--has character, and that’s something you don’t see much anywhere, but especially not in show business. Because show-biz makes whores of everybody, and the lure of the easy buck makes character a negotiable commodity.

I don’t know why, America, but I trust Lady Gaga. I think she’s intelligent, inherently kind and blessed with a wonderfully winking sense of humor.

She makes me laugh. And that’s what I like in a lady.

Viva La Gaga!

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