Lady Gaga just released the video for her disappointing single "Born This Way." It's covered in pixie dust, zombie ooze, and chunks of alien placenta. It's official: Lady Gaga has bought into her own myth.
Her latest cinematic epic starts off with a unicorn in an inverted pink triangle. It is possibly the only image gayer than a picture of Marc Jacob's nightstand. Then we get a "manifesto from Mother Monster." Gaga can be great, but can she do anything without it being some sort of grand message? The song is already a heavy-handed treatise about how great it is to be gay, now we need her manifesto on good and evil? For her first new work in quite awhile, does it have to be this very serious, self-mythologizing gobbledygook? Can't she just string together some choreography and costume changes and party down?
In a narration that purposefully sounds like the exposition at the beginning of a bad superhero movie, we find out that Lady Gaga gave birth to both good and evil and now we have to choose between the two. Our choice is narrowed down to resplendent earth mother Gaga with an eyeball on her chin, and nasty S&M devil Gaga in a corset. Both look pretty damn awesome, and in both cases, we see weird things come flying out of her vagina. In between the two, a bikini-clad Gaga seems to be leading an aerobics class in hell and dancing with the zombie model from the Mugler show.
If this song is supposed to be a celebration of diversity and acceptance, then why is the whole thing so damn bleak? I'm starting to believe that Lady Gaga is actually allergic to fun. She deserves credit for reviving the art of the music video, but what she really needed was something with more whimsy. And that a unicorn just didn't cut it—and Ke$ha beat her to it. But even watching Gaga's failure is more interesting and will churn up more debate than scores of other artists' triumphs.