Posts tagged ‘lady gaga’

April 22, 2011

The rich and famous put on Easter one egg at a time (or, The Politics of Blasphemy)

Donald Trump–“I want to see the death certificate. Isn’t it more than a bit suspicious that the date of his death changes every year? I’ve spared no expense putting private investigators on the case.”

Lindsey Lohan–“There’s a security camera video of me walking out of the store wearing The Cross?”

Donald Trump–“LET ME FINISH. Yes, I used to be pro choice and against the death penalty. But the more I came to understand Easter, the more I became pro life and for the death penalty. NEXT QUESTION.”

Barack Obama–“My base, my base, why have you forsaken me?”

Michelle Bachmann–“My fellow Iowans let us rejoice on this day, for we Christians celebrate the resurrection of The Easter Bunny.”

Kim Kardashian— “I got nailed one long hot weekend in East LA by a guy named Jesus. I’ve been nailed by more guys than drywall, but I thought Jesus was special. He kept moaning ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’ I never saw him again after that Sunday. Whatever.”

Nate Berkus— “I’m the first openly gay male talk-show host.  Who but Tom Kolovos would ever interpret that as a slam against Anderson Cooper? I know for a fact that up until I started this embarrassing, poorly rated and often ridiculed  talk show of mine, Tom thought I was one of the very few openly gay men on television to comport himself with any dignity. Apparently he no longer feels that way. Now if you will excuse me, I need to do a segment on how to use Easter as an excuse to make you repaint your house in pastels with Behr paint. Anything for a buck, right?

Julie Taymore–“It is finished.”

Rick Santorum–“If everybody followed Christ’s example, we wouldn’t even need Medicare and Social Security. The Bible makes it clear that Easter is about cutting entitlement programs and reducing the deficit.”

Mel Gibson— “Listen Mary, you f***ing whore, you’re an embarrassment to me. You look like a f—ing pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n—ers, it will be your fault.”

Charlie Sheen— “Some Jews nailed a guy to a cross? Welcome to Hollywood, my friend.”

Jesus–“If Charlie Sheen rises again before I do, I’m gonna be really pissed.”

Kobe Bryant—  “I never put all my eggs in one basket, you f***ing faggot.”

Pope Benedict XVI–“And to those of you in America who  have strayed from the teachings, I say to you the story of Jesus and Judas proves that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ worked for some 33 years. The Catholic Church can prove that it works for a lot longer than that.”

Rahm Emanuel–“To all you that gave up liquor for Lent, I say come to Chicago on May 16th for my swearing in ceremony as Mayor. It will be sponsored by EFFEN Vodka.”

John Galliano— “Bartender, one more round for the ugly lady.”

Oprah–“It is finished.”

John Edwards–“This would be a good time to remind everybody that I’m not the first man to ask another to pretend to be the father of his child. The other time would be around Christmas. See, we do live in two Americas!”

Ricky Gervais–(The Easter Bunny, unlike Tim Allen, has a wicked sense of humor.)

Donald Trump–I’M NOT FINISHED. What gives Obama the right to question anyone about my integrity and the business history of the Trump Tower in Chicago? Ivanka take him down, baby. Treat him like a buyer at the height of the market. Look him in the eye. You know our motto, no crisis big enough that the Donald can’t solve by looking someone in the eye. WE’RE FINISHED HERE, CURIOUS GEORGE.”

Greg Mortenson–“I was there with the 12 Apostles and Mary Magdalene and the whole gang. Really. I  wrote about it in my new book  3  Cups of Warranty Not Included.”

Lady Gaga releases her new single. “I’m just a Holy Fool, oh baby he’s so cruel, but I’m still in love with Judas.”

The Easter Bunny will be on sabbatical until next year, depending on what religious calendar you follow. He can live with himself everyday and hams it up by laying green eggs.

Related post: “Bad Reputation” and Stewie Rah Rah, the #1 king of fun

March 3, 2011

Rick Genest, Male Supermodel

From New York magazine:

Paris time, noon NYC time, stylist Nicola Formichetti’s first runway show for Thierry Mugler walks at Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Formichetti has released four stills from a Mariano Vivanco–directed film of his new muse, Rick Genest, who goes by Rico, wearing the collection in what may be fashion’s Social Network. The stylist discovered Rico on Facebook and knew instantly that he had to make him a part of his men’s debut. “After friending Rico via Facebook and learning that he couldn’t get a passport soon enough Nicola flew to Montreal, where Rico lives, and shot the film,” a press release explains.

View his video work with Lady Gaga and Mugler creative director Nicola Formichetti here.

March 3, 2011

The Born Identity: Lady Gaga releases “Born this Way” video

“Sexuality is unmistakably present and potent in her work but it is also fraught with danger, usually mixed up in some trajectory of birth and death.”                    

Tom Kolovos, The Sociology of Fame

February 26, 2011

The Sociology of Fame: Concealing and Revealing (or Thus Spoke Gaga)

In a 2007 interview with GQ magazine  to promote “The Bourne Ultimatum,” Matt Damon came clean about why he’s such a notoriously difficult interview subject, as far as his personal life is concerned.

“The better the actor, the less you know about his life. I mean, nobody’s better than De Niro, and you don’t know anything about him, right? Look at Meryl. We don’t know sh*t about Meryl. Look at Clint. And Jack. And Brando. Marlon Brando—who f*ing knows, right?”

That certainly explains why  at the peak of her fame Sharon Stone was  incessantly forthcoming.

On a fundamental level, as an artist, you want the quality of your work to speak for  itself but in the tabloid culture we live in there is constant demand for personal details. Some entertainers know how to conceal themselves despite that demand while others mete out  revelatory dribs and drabs as it suits their career arc or affects their their bank account. (A few years ago, during the press junket to launch her new talk show, Jane Pauley revealed she was bipolar. Recently, Tyler Perry revealed on “Oprah” that he had been molested as a child while promoting his latest film “For Colored Girls.” Senator Scott Brown reveals similar abuse in his new book, timed to coincide with his re election campaign.)

Still  others openly court that demand. We are now witnessing the advent of  “reality stardom”, in which  the otherwise talentless  (housewives, baby mamas, Kardashians, New Jersey hooligans, et al) become famous precisely for divulging every sordid pathological detail of their private lives.

If you’re interested in managing your image, it’s essential that you understand in which one of the three paradigms you operate.

That of course assumes that only those paradigms I’ve outlines are the only ones which exist. Might there be more? In a recent interview with “60 Minutes” Lady Gaga details to Anderson Cooper her personal image paradigm:

“As part of my mastering the Art of fame, part of it is getting people to pay attention to what you want them to pay attention to and not pay attention to what you don’t want them to pay attention to–the Sociology of fame: how to maintain a certain privacy without feeling like you are withholding anything from your fans.

My philosophy is that if I am open [with my fans] about everything yet art direct every moment of my life, I can maintain a certain form of privacy–in a way I maintain a certain soulfulness that I have yet to give.”

In other words, art is not an end product separate from the artist’s personal life. Art is a means by which one  manipulates the balancing act between revealing and concealing.

She says her music is about “self empowerment and self acceptance”  though she admits the creation of Lady Gaga in all her guises came about because she felt disconnected and disenfranchised  and bullied as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

Lady Gaga, as she presents herself, teeters between being the product of the warm and fuzzy philosophy of  “Oprah” and the cold calculation of Nietzsche, though from the outside looking in, the scales tip heavily toward Nietzsche.

While there is an element of sexuality to Gaga, it’s by no means conventional or even appealing. (She’s often referred to by men as “butterface”–as in everything about her is desirable but her face.) Sexuality is unmistakably present and potent in her work but it is  also fraught with danger, usually mixed up in some trajectory of birth and death. Most recently, she arrived at the Grammys in a Hussein Chalayan plexiglass egg from which she later emerged on stage dressed in Mugler to sing “Born this way.” Later in the week she appeared dressed as a condom on “Good Morning America” to promote AIDS awareness.

Credit: Jason Merrit/Getty Images

Unlike Madonna, who used her sexuality to manipulate the male gaze on her way to superstardom, Gaga’s interest is in mining our cultural interest in the “decay of the superstar. Isn’t that the age that we live in that we want to see people who have it all lose it all? It’s dramatic. It’s a movie.” Madonna’s ability to reinvent herself was a  patent career move, whereas Gaga’s creation is at once both more revelatory and more disturbing as it depends on the abandonment of Stephani–a career move perhaps but one with a decidedly psychiatric component–or a healthy dose of poker face deception.

Her fame, deception and all, can be seen as the revenge of the nerd (Stefani), something she shares in common  with the other world famous 20something seeking to empower everyone, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, as portrayed in “The Social Network.”

The reality of course is that most of us don’t have the luxury of art directing our lives, certainly in the extreme way Gaga does it.

But there are lessons to be learned here and it would seem that Michelle Obama has done just that. The First Lady is widely lauded for her sense of personal style. Most people are blithely unaware of the amount of time, money and human resources that go into creating and maintaining that image.

The First Lady’s image is as art directed  as Gaga’s. Her sense of style, as it has evolved with the expert oversight of the luxury retailer Ikram Goldberg, consists mainly of pieces of clothing which individually cost more than most people’s mortgage. Yet the First Lady’s style is in no way seen in  to be  extravagant. As a matter of fact, most women will tell you that her style is eminently approachable and affordable. How does this happen?

When Mrs. Obama dresses specifically for  mass media appearances–talk shows, magazine covers–she is always careful to wear an outfit that the masses can easily find and afford. Best leave the couture for events which get far less attention. It’s a strategy which started with her appearance on “The View”  before the election in a White House Black Market dress, and continued with various J Crew ensembles for other talk shows. As First Lady she donned a $395 Tracy Reese dress for the cover of People magazine and just a few weeks back, clearly mindful of the sad economic times, donned a dress from H+M on “The Today Show.” (The way she accessorized the dress, however, made it  painfully clear that Ms. Goldberg is no longer officially involved in styling Mrs. Obama.)

Of course, the studied choice and the complicit PR machine from both the White House and H+M meant that the dress sold out in a matter of hours.

The more  important takeaway from this story is that  every woman who bought that dress ($34.95) felt that she had just acquired the exact style of Michelle Obama (priceless).

Watch the entire “60 Minutes”  Lady Gaga interview HERE.

Lady Gaga appears in concert at the United Center February 28.

February 18, 2011

A Heart Like Mine

I think this song makes a nice companion piece to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” This video is from a live acoustic performance. The single appears on Ms. Lambert’s excellent CD “Revolution”.

February 12, 2011

Born This Way!

November 19, 2009

Bad Romance

2009 is the year of the bad romance (more to follow). This is the best music video of the year.

October 28, 2009


tom_kolovos_wordpressnewI’m pretty sure the Catholic Church doesn’t like gay people because in its experience gay people are a pain in the ass. Sort of how Mary Stuart (Queen of Scots) must have felt about Queen Elizabeth I.

Given that Jesus said not a single word in the Bible about homosexuality, the utter contempt that the Catholic hierarchy has for gays is in large part understandable because it is informed by its perverse experience of conflating  homosexuality with  the rampant unchecked pedophilia in its ranks and the laundry list of sins committed in the still persistent cover up.

In the movie “Heathers,” when Winona Ryder is asked point blank “why are you such a bitch?” the only possible answer is “because I can be.” You can’t imagine  what a terrorist bitch the Catholic Church is in the lives of gay people.  Consider, for example, the complicated dance between the Catholic Church and the breakaway factions of the Anglican Church (Episcopalians in the US), a dance which began back when Henry XIII picked a little fight with the Vatican over some women and their inability to produce little boy babies.

This week, the Pope and the entire Catholic hierarchy, which  has been/ still is pardoning and harboring child molesters in its ranks for God only knows how long, is now openly accepting  disgruntled homophobic married Anglicans priests and their congregations who object to such 21st century nonsense as openly gay or female clergy and gay civil unions (and  let’s not forget condoms) into the Catholic fold.

(I left the Anglican Church and all I got was this lousy T-shirt: YOU HATE GAY PEOPLE? WELCOME. PSSSST: AND IF YOU WANNA F**K SOME LITTLE BOYS TOO, NO PROBLEM! We’ve got a primo 9 year old or two with the body of 7  a year old. Right this way.)

This move, while characteristically reactionary, is not altogether unfathomable since historically the Church hasn’t exactly been in the vanguard of human rights or anything that might be called progress. Western history of the last 500 years can plausibly be seen as one giant bitch slap to the Vatican.

When you consider that Martin Luther declared “every man his own priest” and led  the Protestant Reformation which gave rise to the political theory of John Locke  which led to the Declaration of Independence, the much vaunted Vatican II  did nothing more than bring the Catholic Church straight into the 16th century.

Homosexuality, thus understood, is understandably a pain the ass.  So what could possibly be wrong with something to ease the pain? Think of homophobia as the Catholic Church’s answer to universal health care. Happy gay people and openly gay clergy? Not in this 16th century or any other.

It shouldn’t surprise the world, I suppose, that a German Pope who was a member of the Nazi youth, where homoerotica was more rampant than an Abercrombie + Fitch ad campaign, would throw a welcome party for homophobes. After all, the last time the Germans threw a party, they threw a Holocaust. “Burn, baby burn. It’s a disco inferno.”

Yes, the Jews were the first order of business of the Third Reich but gays were the second. You’d think that the Church would be inclined to learn from its mistakes. In a recent essay, Ginia Bellafante assessed the rise and fall of the subjects of  real estate reality shows lamenting that the Bravo hit Flipping Out “lays fraud to the idea that misfortune builds character and makes us better people. Mr. Lewis does not become a better person. He remains greedy, petulant, small-minded, arrogant without justification, ill-tempered, ungenerous — singularly detestable.” Il Papa is in the house.

Projecting his own Nazi past and the misery of pedophiles onto gay people is doubly detestable.  And no fun at all. Maybe next June “God’s Rottweiller” should go to Gay Days at Disney in Orlando and meet Kitty Meow for a Red Bull summit.

It might be instructive for the entire Church to see how “the happiest place on earth,” a creation of  a closeted gay man named Walt Disney, and the very place which once scorned gay people in the name of “family values,” now welcomes them by the hundreds of thousands each year during the first week in June.

Hey Ben, you don’t know what fun is until you’ve been bumping and grinding on a dance floor at  MGM studios, as you look up to the heavens and see  Kitty Meow, Chyna Girl and Power lip synch to the throbbing techno beat remix of Mary Mary’s spiritual “Shackles” (“take the shackles off my feet so I can dance, I just wanna praise You”)  and doing scissor kicks, each on a 3 story cherry picker, while climactically strategic fireworks explode  behind the Magic Kingdom. Unspeakable joy!

While the world has changed enough that gay tattooed love boys  can be found partying and tripping on the dance floor  to the drum and base beat (shirtless and flaunting their six packs, great America) at Gay Days, you don’t have to be Einstein, baby, to see that Pope Ben is flipping out.

Benedict XVI (or as he will properly be known in American human rights circles, Benedict Arnold II) is guilt tripping on  internalized self loathing  and bumping and grinding to the drumbeat of the ideology of the Nazi party of his youth. “No blacks no Jews and no gays.” No if and or but for the grace of God there go I.

But what do I know? I’m just a boy standing in front of a Pope asking him to love me. ( I’ll follow you around until you love me, Papa, Papanazi.)

Good thing I refuse to kneel.

October 11, 2009

Love in the Time of Cholera (2009)


Hopelessly inarticulate, short, portly, poorly dressed, perpetually sweaty, his face toxically red from razor burn but not shame, graduate from the “don’t expect a Supreme Court justice to come from there anytime soon” John Marshall Law School, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has got to be looking at Barack Obama right now and laughing at him as if he wereBeyonce Clown from YouTube.

Because they don’t give Nobel prizes to the likes of  Henry Kissinger over Gandhi (or political immunity to child molesters  like Roman Polanski) anymore, Richard Daley was overlooked by the Nobel committee.

Chicago politics is infamous for corruption.  Well articulated pleasantries, transparency and full disclosure were run out of this town long before the gentrification began. (We’re happy enough not to be Florida, the state responsible for the coup d’etat that was the 2000 election.)

Daley, the Father and  the Son, and the wholly spirited voters can proclaim we built this city in 6 decades.  And on an unusually warm night last November, we rested on our laurels as the whole world watched us rebuild this city, Barack, and all.

Daley was named as best mayor in the US–and it wasn’t because of his ability to put together a  stirring sentence in proper English but because he gets things done.  It was  because he was able to put the right cronies–sorry, civic minded supporters– including his brother into the Clinton administration, in the right place at the right time to get what he wanted: to make this scrappy little two horse town (which his father had inherited as a one horse town) into a world class city, critics, ethics, the media, his constituents, longtime friends, and common decency (anyone remember how callously and shamelessly he ruined Miriam Santospolitical career so he could save his own?) be damned.

There’s a fine line between a benevolent dictator and  Dick Cheney, and Rich Daley knows exactly where that is.

It’s a safe bet to say that with the possible exception of his wife, no one loves Richard Daley.  A handful of people may have good reason to hate him, but everyone fears Richard Daley. More accurately put, people fear that he has and can use political clout  against them if they don’t line up behind him. That, my dear, is called effective leadership. Perhaps Daley will buy Obama a copy of Machiavelli’s The Prince for Christmas.  Or perhaps Oprah might add Gabriel Garcia Marquez to her book club. We  can put the books on lay away  for him since the city doesn’t have enough money at the moment. (Blame it on Rio.)

As Bill Clinton and George W Bush showed us, we will tolerate, admire even, highly flawed individuals in politics if they know how to fight, fight back and fight dirty even as, or despite that, they cleanse their souls of their inner demons well within public view, whether it’s to compensate for being daddy’s abandoned little lamb or the black sheep of the family.

The racist lunatic fringe of the Republican Party (hard to miss) and drug addicted talk show hosts (hard to miss but hard to imprison?) who rant about deporting immigrants while they run the Hispanic maid, who they forced into being  their drug runner, out of the country so she can’t be found by prosecutors, don’t fear  Obama the man. They fear the effects of the changing racial demographics that will  challenge their social order. No one fears  President Barack Obama.

As Jimmy “lust in my heart” Carter and George “kinder and gentler” Bush proved, we’ve got only so much political tolerance for an ineffectual do gooder. We like leaders willing to get down and dirty. There comes a time when we tire of you running your mouth about your “achey breaky heart” — just ask all those pissed off queens last night at the Human Rights Campaign Fund gala who paid $1000 a person to be patronized–and we want to see you put up a fight.  And win.

All love, most especially political love, is conditional. Put out or get out. Put up or shut up. Just do it.

And as Lady Gaga so aptly  sang to the crowd last night, “baby when it’s love, if it’s not rough it isn’t fun.”