The Thinking 
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Feelin’ Alive

July 13, 2010


I WAS reading a blog the other day in which a young woman stated that she loves Lady Gaga. The pop star, she said, makes her “feel alive.”  This is to be expected as the fans of Lady Gaga are half alive. Here is an apt quote from G.K. Chesterton’s Everlasting Man:

There comes an hour in the afternoon when the child is tired of ‘pretending’; when he is weary of being a robber or a Red Indian. It is then that he torments the cat. There comes a time in the routine of an ordered civilization when the man is tired at playing at mythology and pretending that a tree is a maiden or that the moon made love to a man. The effect of this staleness is the same everywhere; it is seen in all drug-taking and dram-drinking and every form of the tendency to increase the dose. Men seek stranger sins or more startling obscenities as stimulants to their jaded sense. They seek after mad oriental religions for the same reason. They try to stab their nerves to life, if it were with the knives of the priests of Baal. They are walking in their sleep and try to wake themselves up with nightmares.

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Undoing a Lifetime of Damage

July 13, 2010


RENÉE writes:

When I was twelve years old, my orchestra conductor told us that when she was young, women were not allowed in professional orchestras because they would have to be replaced with they got pregnant and it seemed more practical to just hire men. To me that seemed very sensible, though my opinion was something I knew not to share.

Throughout my life I have had many moments like that, knowing that the prevailing wisdom was wrong about matters of discrimination against women, but not feeling secure to voice my opinions because of fear, and, more importantly, not knowing how to frame my opinions in a manner that would even satisfy me. For, though I sensed that it seemed justifiable to discriminate against women, I still felt on some level that it was not fair. And the desire for fairness is what I was taught was the basis for any perspective on matters of gender. Read More »


The Queen Meets the Queen

July 13, 2010




LAST DECEMBER, Lady Gaga performed for Queen Elizabeth at the annual Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool.  Please don’t write to me and say that lots of trashy perfomers have appeared before the Queen. I don’t care if Satan himself tapdanced on a piano for the monarch. The point is, the Queen of England and the Queen of Nihilism should not be in the same room together, let alone shaking each other’s hands. If the Queen of England were responsible to her people she would not have shaken hands with Gaga or clapped at her performance. She would have appeared in a national address on television and asked all parents to ban Gaga from their homes. Instead, the Queen has done what leaders throughout the Western World have done. She has stood by, a mere spectator at the desecration of innocence and the tortured spiritual death of the West.

Reader N. writes:

There is a hidden significance to any performance for the Queen of England, although it isn’t as important as a few centuries ago. Ever since Henry VIII the English monarch has been the head of the Church of England. Yes, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the leader of that church, but the monarch is the titular head. Read More »


Stroking Lady Gaga

July 13, 2010



I see that bringing to attention the harmful pornographic imagery Lady Gaga has produced in her music videos and public persona has started a vigorous and much needed discussion of the harms that pornography, which is titillation of the senses without regard to the moral content of the message and the imagery, does to our culture. 

It’s important to emphasize here how clueless most people are as to the harms and dangers that Lady Gaga represents, and how the press has treated Lady Gaga with deference, approval and affection. Youngfogey has made comments about how it is at least redeeming that Lady Gaga is showing the dead-end of sexual liberation. Evan talked about the need to expose teenagers to cultural icons such as Lady Gaga so that they will be prepared to deal with the “real world” once they are no longer under the supervision of their parents. When Youngfogey and Evan made their comments, they were operating under the assumption and common understanding that the messages that Lady Gaga sends in her videos are actually bad, that they represent either the failings of and false promise of sexual liberation or they represent a danger that children need inoculation against through limited exposure combined with moral teaching as to why the messages embodied in Lady Gaga are bad. 

The wider culture, the response of the average person who imbibes of the cultural environment around them, does not have this fundamental understanding that what Lady Gaga represents is bad or morally dangerous at all. Now true, there is a feeling that Lady Gaga is often “naughty” and occasionally someone will describe the imagery she uses as “disturbing” but overall the cultural response to Lady Gaga is positive, affirming, and without a sense that what she is doing is wrong.  Read More »

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