Q: “Why is Lady Gaga worth studying?”

Via aldaily.com – “Get your Ph.D. in Lady Gaga”

There are lots of professors who rant about cultural studies because of what happens to the rest of the liberal arts. Not only do students take fewer courses in Shakespeare, for example, but new hires in the department increasingly lack competence with the material that makes one a scholar in the first place.

There are, of course, a host of other intelligent comments one can make. Perhaps the market for scholarship is distorted. Thus a whole journal no one will read except a few other academics, and which has no lasting value, has been produced. Or that academia should generally strive to be immune from hype, and to be this immersed in a pop star’s ego is a problem.

One thing is for certain – comments like this one from the interview cause me to gape:

Durbin: I think Britney Spears was the last pop star, not Gaga. If anything, Spears’ highly publicized descent represented the final fall into the void, a victim of the system. Britney and her shaved head wielding an umbrella at the paparazzi became a “monster”– Gaga, on the other hand, is the pop star resurrected as a meta-pop star. Gaga said to an interviewer at CNN: “I am whoever you perceive me to be.” She reflects back the things society projects onto pop stars. By drawing attention to her self-conscious performance of fame, she gives power to her audience.

I think the less of that interview I read, the better. Forget cultural studies – it is academic pedantry, the want to be able to comment on every single thing, that created this monstrosity.


  1. The worst part is that those immersed in this world are so dazed and confused that when populist, plebian America backpedals in righteous aversion, they think this is reinforcement that the job is being done the way it should be done. Little do they know the dude that smokes weed and lives in his parent’s basement down the street from me produces more stimulating thoughts.

  2. While I will reluctantly admit to loving to sing several of her songs (and I also think she’s a more talented singer than most pop stars around), I don’t know how far I’d go toward calling her any kind of artist.

    Umm, how about this: if she is truly a creative genius, her choice of medium sucks.

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