I was doing a little channel surfing a few weeks ago and happened across some sort of music awards show. I believe it was The American Music Awards but judging from the level of the performances it could have been some sort of reality show. What caused me to stop for a moment was seeing what I thought was Madonna doing a little dance number in combat boots.
Madonna is famous for, among other things, reinventing herself. “Reinventing” is show business talk for falling to a new level of depravity. You never see the Hollywood press praising someone for finding faith or cleaning up their act but if they demean Christian values or morality they get raves. So I was interested to see if this was some sort of political or religious statement or just the latest fashion craze.
So I watched the performance for a few moments. The woman who was the focus to the number then moved to a piano inside a glass case which later ignited in flames. I started to suspect that this wasn’t Madonna because to the best of my knowledge she doesn’t play the piano and is old enough to remember that the late Michael Jackson set himself on fire awhile back. At the end of the song the woman leaned back with outstretched arms as if to say I have exhausted myself as an artist by dancing and lip syncing for three minutes.
In a few seconds I found this was indeed not Madonna but a woman who goes by the name of Lady Gaga, a reference to a “Queen” song. I was fascinated by this performer but not for the reason you might think. As a comedian I detected a note of farce in the act. The whole thing seemed to me to have a touch of “Borat” included.
With that in mind I did a little research on Ms. Gaga. The title “Lady” is a fake! I found no record of her elevation to that rank by any royal court. Perhaps she wants us to think she is English like Madonna and Kathleen Turner who have started using British accents for no apparent reason. She did however recently meet the Queen of England and wasn’t sure whether to bow or curtsey so she did a little of both. Lady Gaga is also prone to wearing outrageous get-ups which she refers to as “fashion.” She also has a habit of referring to herself in the third person. Just when I was letting all of this pretentiousness get to me I realized I was being had. Like a mark in the middle of a con who suddenly realizes things aren’t what they seem I caught on.
Lady Gaga, I am a fan! You see, this performance artist isn’t following in the footsteps of Madonna. She is channeling the spirit of Tony Clifton. She is having us all on, the music industry, the fashion industry and the general public. Andy Kaufman lives.