Gaga in Prison
Speaking of prisons, the latest online sensation is the nine-minute trashy video from Lady Gaga, riffing off of Natural Born Killers and Pulp Fiction. It is also a knowing wink to girls behind bars movies, and employs a number of porn tropes, too (not least the sadomasochistic outfits and situations). Beyond blue, this sort of thing would have been banned a few years ago, and is surely a new low in terms of exposing young people to mind-poison, and the glamour of evil. That, or it is hyper-cool, po-mo fun. In the digital age, even the identity of genres and their ethical implications are fluid and fastly-shifting. One thing is for sure. Watching and listening to the kooky, sexy Telephone, it is more than ever clear that the Wilde-Madonna template has been lifted and learned exquisitely. Using decadent costumes and witty cultural inversions that shock and expose masks and facades, Lady Gaga is now the 21st century Madonna - a pop culture instigator of artistic purpose and genuine power.