Friday, October 09, 2009

Acceptable Rebellion

I am a fan of Lady Gaga. Lame provocateurs rely on cliches to upset people - The 90s saw Marilyn Manson "pushing" the same boundaries metal trashed in the 80s. She pushes some of the go-to boundaries like nakedness and gender - to good effect. I was really impressed with Gaga's red lace dress that covered her face. It really helped me understand why I don't buy it when people talk about fashion being artistic. Fashion's completely and voluntarily restricted by the paramaters of prettiness. No one experiments with outfits that make them look fat or like they have a pretty bad case of scoliosis.

I can only imagine that the intersex rumor was started by her, as a part of the attempt to really push boundaries of what people find attractive or interesting. Of course, she still follows a lot of rules: she's thin, she's white, she's American, she's rich, she usually complies straightforwardly to gender norms, and she makes vanilla pop music. It's an unfortunatev truism of boundary pushing that there are always some holds barred.

Another thing I love about her is that it's hard for someone who grew up after the sexual revolution to have any comprehension of what it must have been like to be actually shocked by something a media figure does. My age cohort hasn't had a single cultural shock. I do wonder what it is with the kids these days, though. Nothing seems subversive. Self-deprecating humor is basically the only kind out there, but I think that Liz Lemon is really a subversive character because she embodies Impostor Syndrome. Self-critical people use really melodramatic terms (I'm so STUPID, how could I have done that?) and Liz is what that melodrama describes. She's bad at everything (skills/looks/relatioships) except work. And her mom thinks she's cool.
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