• Carmen over at Autostraddle has a great piece about everything that's wrong with Lady Gaga's new song "Burqa/Aura": "To Lady Gaga, the burqa is a sexual accessory, instead of a garment with layers of significance that she doesn't have the experience to understand or the right to play with." [Autostraddle]
Earlier today, Lady Gaga posted photos of herself in her underwear on her website with the caption: "Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15" and launched a new project encouraging fans to "make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous."
Anything that pushes back against body snarking and encourages body diversity and acceptance is a good thing, obviously, but is Body Revolution resisting beauty standards or reinforcing them?
The world's biggest flirt has triumphed over a social revolutionary on the pop charts: Carly Rae Jepsen and her flouncy seven-week chart topper "Call Me Maybe" finally unseated Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" as the longest-running number one single for a female singer with the Interscope label.
Flirty summer fun winning out over social comment, according to the dollars we are paying for the music they are making, means something. And yet, since this ideological overthrow was executed in the arena of pop music, the philosophical shift our iTunes purchases are fueling is not being discussed in the same way it might be if we were talking instead about domestic themes culled from the latest Jennifer Egan book or other pieces of more "worthy" art.
So what if we worthified the Top 40 by considering it alongside thoughts and arguments from great women writers of the past? What if we made explicit connections between the music of Kelly Clarkson and the oeuvre of Charlotte Bronte? What if we could talk about the contrasts between Adele and Emily Dickinson?
Welcome to my new guest blog, RetroPop, where the messages from today's biggest female-created pop tunes are played right next to those of rockin' and respected female artists from the past—and where dancing while blogging is highly encouraged.
Last June, NPR reported that the "end of gender" was near, citing everything from gender-neutral prom courts to clothing ads to suggest that perhaps people aren't so hung up on the male/female gender binary anymore. But despite the growing trend of gender neutrality, the response to disappearing gender constructs in politics and in popular culture isn't always positive.
Lady Gaga sang that she was as free as her hair, and she has been spotted in a dress that appears to have been made from her leftover wigs. It's certainly a talking point, especially in light of her song lyrics which associate freedom with the choice of how you wear your locks. She's not the first person to use hair as a form of artistic self-expression, as I've found four women who beat her to it. Let's take a look at our hairstory...
Yesterday, Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain clashed with Piers Morgan about whether or not people are born gay. Here's the video:
The important thing to know is that Cain sets out saying that "homosexuality is a sin" because of his "Biblical beliefs," but Morgan quickly steers the conversation into "born this way" territory, outraged that Cain won't concede his point. Cain's response: "What does science show? You show me evidence other than opinion, and you might cause me to reconsider that... Where's the evidence?"
Last month Saturday Night Live released aired a video by the television skit/musical act The Lonely Island called "3-Way." It starred Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg from such other digital shorts "Dick in a Box," "Jizz in My Pants," and "Mother Lover." The two men play flashy, ridiculous men who consider themselves sexual dynamos and most of their songs revolve around their sex lives. In this new video, the pair are seen leaving each other's houses, having the night before slept with each other's mothers, Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson. They run through their plans for the day while wearing matching day-glo jumpsuits and decide to each go visit the lady they've had their eye on.
I've written about Robyn a lot, I know. This has, as I've mentioned, been the Year of Robyn for me. But this video hit last week and aside from being steamy, sent me spiraling off into a train of thought that I couldn't keep to myself.
Talking with a friend about the video and the tubes full of liquid that Robyn is wrapped in, I used the term "abstract futurism," which is totally me being pretentious. And yet, the tone of a lot of Robyn's songs, both on the Body Talk recordings and her previous work, evokes a world of robots and a world of love--the visual best suited was maybe already snagged by Bjork for "All Is Full Of Love".