This morning, I watched Lady GaGa's Monster Ball Tour on HBO. I missed it the first time around and thought quickly enough to TiVo it for the second time. Thank God HBO shows specials like MTV shows reality shows. If you are a fan of creative use of costumes, lighting, dancing, video, and curse words...you'll enjoy the show. It is well done.
I feel like my feelings toward her "Judas," however, are more real than I might have expected.
As far as I can tell, GaGa exists for one purpose: to let everyone know that they should be who they are (and be proud of it) because God made them who they are and it's ok to be who you are because people told her she was nothing and then she went and became a star, and Superstardom should be the key to all good things so people should want to be like her and follow her.
Throughout the show (in which she constantly encourages the audience in regards to the aforementioned point of her existence), other than GaGa, one figure remains constant on stage. It's a shirtless, long-haired electric guitar player who she readily refers to as Jesus, Jesus Christ, or Jesus Christo. To be fair, he kind of looks like what we typically think Jesus looked like (throwing away the notion that Jesus might have looked a lot like Osama bin Laden). In fact, at first I thought that that was why she called him Jesus.
But...it seemed to move from being a joke to being real.
I've heard many people discuss whether or not GaGa's message of "love all" is really the message of the Gospel or not. I've heard people advocate that GaGa is spreading her own Gospel. I've expressed before how much I think the sexuality of her performances and videos depletes the value of her message.
I think one thing is clear: I think GaGa senses a sense of calling to be the voice for those who have been afraid to be themselves in this world. I think she feels a need to speak up for those who have felt "oppressed." I think she thinks she is spreading the Gospel (however we are to define that word).
The problem for me, though, still lies in her follow through.
Everyone should appreciate who they are and who God made them to be: awesome. People who feel attracted to members of the same sex should be able to live lives that aren't based in hiding those feelings: great. People should want to make something of themselves, especially when they've been told over and over that they will never be anything: fantastic.
But, why the crotch grabs? Why the F words? Why the suggestive nudity? Why the mocking of religious attire and practice?
There's no doubt in my mind that Lady GaGa is extremely talented. If it's not in her singing, then her dancing, If not in her dancing, then in her writing. If not in her writing, then in her work ethic. If not in her work ethic, then in her creativity. If not in her creativity, then in her sense of "call."
She's got what it takes to make it.
But she's one of those rare artists that come along and gains rare stardom...and tries to use that fame and voice to speak a message. So her potential is not just for fame, her potential is for change. Imagine a world in which this potential is used in a proper way!
If her message were based in love and life, she'd have something. But it isn't.
She wants to be a voice for those disrespected by culture...but she cares more about those people following her than the purpose of the message. It's a fake-out, to the highest degree.
She has a voice that many in the church wish they had. She even speaks some of the same language that they'd like to. But she's doing it in the wrong way. The potential for change is lost, ruined, and destroyed. Instead...she doesn't influence culture in the way that the Gospel is supposed to. She influences culture in the way that she wants to.
And because of that, I'd ask her to stop calling that guitar player, "Jesus."
She's good, but she used to be better. Just watch: